Smiley Law Firm - February 2020

February 2020

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680, New Orleans, LA 70130 • 504-894-9653 •

Have a Safe Mardi Gras!

It’s that time of year again; our streets are filled with parades, beads, and (my favorite) king cakes. This isn’t the first time I’ve written about how much my family and I love Mardi Gras — and who doesn’t? It’s as Louisianan as jazz and shellfish. But as much as I want to urge people to have fun and enjoy the festivities, I also want to urge caution in light of recent events. Many may recall the tragic car accident that made national news last year, when an impaired driver took his car into a crowd of pedestrians and bicyclists near the Endymion parade route. Two innocent people lost their lives that day, and six more were injured, some critically. As bad as this incident was, it’s far from uncommon. Just three years ago, 28 people were injured in Mid-City thanks to a single driver. Incidents like these have many calling Mardi Gras our city’s deadliest holiday. It’s not surprising. With that many people on the streets and behind the wheel, all it takes is one bad decision to cause major harm. I don’t want to sound like a downer or an alarmist — I still plan on enjoying Mardi Gras to the fullest with my family. But it’s important to remember to be aware and responsible during these festivities. Because of the nature of our work, Smiley Law Firm is all too familiar with the damage an inebriated driver can cause. Even when an accident isn’t fatal, it can leave lasting, life- defining injuries. We see people recovering from this sort of trauma every day and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. So please, on behalf of everyone on our team, stay safe and make smart decisions this Mardi Gras.

defensively than usual. It’s best not to give other drivers the benefit of the doubt during celebrations like this. Having said all that, I’m still very much looking forward to Mardi Gras. The boys love cheering on their favorite krewes and catching as many beads as they can hold. This is a proud Louisiana tradition, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But as we celebrate together as a community, let’s do our part to take care of one another and keep our families safe.

On a more personal note, I want to urge anyone who may be planning on driving to and from festivities to consider alternate means of transportation. As I’ve touched on in past editions of this newsletter, I was hospitalized because of a drunk driver when I was just a child. That accident stuck with me, not just for the pain it caused me and my family but also for the pain it caused to the families of those in the car that hit us. I urge you not as a lawyer but as both a survivor and a father: Please don’t drink and drive. With options like Lyft and Uber, you have alternatives to get you and your loved ones to and from the parades safely. If you don’t drink and would prefer to be the designated driver for your group, then please drive more

Laissez les bons temps rouler,

504-894-9653 • 1 -Seth Smiley

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