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Is Lead Poisoning Still with Us?

It’s tempting to think of lead poisoning as a problem that’s largely of a bygone era, when paint in old buildings caused widespread problems for children. But the truth is that the problem is still ongoing and may even be getting worse. Lead poisoning can have serious, long-lasting effects, especially on growing children. Someone who is affected by lead poisoning may have grounds for filing a lawsuit.

The sources and risks of lead poisoning

Despite regulatory efforts to reduce or eliminate lead from historical sources like lead and other construction materials, it remains present in a wide variety of items. A huge variety of products have been found to contain lead, from ceramic tile to cosmetics. Many products that are imported from overseas, including toys and food products, may contain significantly higher doses of lead than would be allowed under U.S. regulations. Part of the challenge of lead poisoning comes from the fact that even very small amounts in a person’s blood stream can be extremely toxic. It can cause a wide range of serious medical problems. In children lead poisoning can be especially serious, leading to developmental problems, cognitive issues, pain, and even seizures. Adults may experience high blood pressure, mood disorders, and memory problems, among other things.

Liability for lead poisoning

For someone who has been affected by lead poisoning and wants to pursue legal action to recover compensation for its related costs, a preliminary challenge is often to identify the source of the lead. Exposure to even small amounts of lead can cause significant problems. Tracing the source can require extensive, expert analysis of the environment where the affected person lives. The presence of lead paint in an old rental property might offer a clear-cut case. But finding the lead in, say, a particular toy may require considerably more work. The theories that a plaintiff might use to recover compensation for lead poisoning will vary according to the lead’s source. A tenant who lives in a building with undisclosed lead paint might have a good case for premises liability against the landlord. The parents of a child poisoned by a toy could have a strong case of products liability against the manufacturer, importer, and marketer of the toy. In each case, the plaintiff can seek compensation for medical treatment as well as remedial care to help the affected individual improve their quality of life.

GGRM handles lead poisoning litigation in Las Vegas

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in cases involving personal injury, premises liability, and products liability. If you or a loved one has suffered from lead poisoning, please reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation about your legal options. Call us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Seeking Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Depression

Work-related depression is a problem that is hiding in plain sight. Whether resulting from the stress of the job, loneliness, or alienation, depression is an authentic and serious problem for working people. Evidence that employers are aware of this problem can be seen in the rise of employer-provided “help lines” that provide employees with no-cost, anonymous counseling services to address depression and other issues. When an employee suffers from depression that is linked to work, the employer’s workers’ compensation program may offer a source of financial assistance for treatment and recovery. Despite the well-understood link between the stresses of work and clinical depression, the employee who makes a workers’ compensation claim likely will need help making an effective case for coverage. Workers’ compensation programs often are designed to address relatively easily understood workplace injuries, like broken bones and strained ligaments. Mental health issues pose special challenges for insurers, who will look for ways to avoid financial responsibility for an employee’s treatment. The most likely argument that an insurer will make to deny coverage is that the illness was not work related. To be covered by workers’ compensation a disease must have arisen out of or in the course of employment. If the disease can be traced to a cause that is not work-related, coverage will not apply. A conventional injury, like carpal tunnel from a non-ergonomic desk layout, tends to have a clear causal link to the employee’s job. The claimant must be ready to show that depression was caused by the job. Proving the link between depression and work can involve several sources of evidence. An important one will be the employee’s mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or counselor. An expert’s evaluation of the underlying sources of depression can be vitally important in cases where causes beyond work can have played a secondary role. Other sources of evidence might include other employees as well as confirmation from family and friends who have observed the ways that the employee’s work have affected his or her mood. Depression can result from ongoing stresses, but it can also be the consequence of a specific event. Here the case for workers’ compensation can be clearer. A worker who has seen a number of long-time colleagues laid off may experience specific emotional responses to those events. A worker who has suffered a physical injury at work may experience depression caused by medication or simply by a loss of mobility or career prospects. A workers’ compensation attorney works with clients to improve claims outcomes. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped injured workers get the coverage they need to get back to full health after suffering an injury on the job. For a free attorney consultation, contact us at 702-388-4476 or through our contact page.

Roadway Debris Poses a Serious Risk to Motorized Scooters

Motorized scooters are taking America’s streets by storm. Seen as quick, flexible ways to get around town, they offer a fun alternative to walking, riding a bike, or catching a bus. On the other hand, scooters are also being blamed for a significant rise in injuries, including serious head wounds. One of the major sources of risk for scooter riders is roadway debris. The question for riders who are injured due to roadway debris is whether they have any legal recourse to recover compensation. Motorized scooters generally fall within the scope of Nevada’s rules governing mopeds. In many regards, a moped is treated like any other vehicle under Nevada’s traffic safety laws. Scooter riders therefore have a variety of basic obligations while they ride on public streets: obey traffic signals, take reasonable precautions to prevent accidents, and stay under the speed limit. Likewise, other drivers and pedestrians have a general obligation to use reasonable care to avoid accidents with moped riders. Roadway debris poses an interesting challenge for people who get hurt in accidents that it causes. Who is to blame for the debris being there? Answering that question is not always straightforward. Here are a few scenarios to consider:
  • A piece of equipment falls off the back of a truck, and a few minutes later the scooter rider falls while trying to avoid it. In this scenario, the owner and/or driver of the truck may bear liability for failing to properly secure the equipment, provided they can be identified.
  • An unresolved pothole leaves extensive gravel and other debris in the roadway. Such scenarios raise a number of questions. Which entity was responsible for maintaining the road? If the entity was a public agency, it may have protection against lawsuits under Nevada’s sovereign immunity law. On the other hand, if the agency failed to reasonably address a serious hazard of which it was aware, it may have committed negligence that would fall outside the sovereign immunity shield. Different standards apply to privately maintained roads.
  • Garbage blows onto the roadway from an adjacent property. Here again there will be tricky factual issues to resolve. Who was responsible for containing the garbage? What steps did they take to secure it, and what caused it to get loose?
For those who rent scooters from one of the several rental companies popping up around Las Vegas, it’s important to bear in mind that the rental contract probably includes some form of liability waiver, making a lawsuit against the rental company more difficult. Riders also should bear in mind that in any lawsuit their behavior as riders will be scrutinized. In general, a rider whose reckless behavior contributed to the accident should expect to have his or her chances of recovery reduced to some degree.

GGRM is a Las Vegas accident law firm

For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury and accident cases. We can help you examine your legal options if you have been injured in a scooter accident. For a free attorney consultation, contact us today at 702-388-4476 or through our contact page.

Lawsuits After Deaths During Childbirth

Despite all the significant advances medicine has made in improving outcomes for mothers and their babies during childbirth, complications still happen. Over the last several decades the rate of maternal deaths in child birth have risen significantly in the United States. Birth and its immediate aftermath are also dangerous for the child. The United States lags behind other developed nations, a problem that has gained significant attention in recent years. For those who are grieving the loss of a mother or child in childbirth, a lawsuit may offer a means of recovering compensation for the devastating impacts that such a death can cause. Childbirth involves a range of common complications that pose risks to mother and child even under perfect medical supervision. But some deaths during childbirth could have been prevented if a hospital’s staff had followed proper procedures, correctly interpreted warning signs, or had the appropriate training or equipment. When the death of a child or mother can be traced to negligence on the part of a hospital or its staff, a lawsuit for professional negligence may be warranted. Professional negligence is a specialized form of negligence that applies to cases involving licensed professionals, like nurses, doctors, surgeons, and so on. A professional negligence suit asserts that the defendant, or defendants, failed to use reasonable care, skill, or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances by a similarly trained and experienced professional. NRS 41A.015. To bring a professional negligence suit the plaintiff must obtain a sworn affidavit from a qualified expert witness who supports the plaintiff’s argument that the defendant behaved negligently. A professional negligence claim can be accompanied by a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death is a cause of action available to the legal heirs of a person who has died: a surviving spouse, parent, surviving children, among others. Wrongful death can also be pursued by the legal representative of the deceased, such as an estate attorney. A wrongful death claim can seek compensation for funeral expenses as well as other special forms of damages, such as the plaintiff’s grief, loss of companionship, and the pain and suffering of the deceased. The estate may also pursue ‘survival’ claims for damages the person who has died suffered while they were still alive, including any penalties or punitive and exemplary damages which the person who died would have recovered if they had lived and damages for pain, suffering or disfigurement and loss of probable support, companionship, society, comfort and consortium. The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez provides caring, compassionate counsel to clients in personal injury, professional negligence, and other cases in Las Vegas. We gladly provide free attorney consultations to new clients who wish to explore their legal options. Call us at 702-388-4476 or through our contacts page.

Common Sources of Infant Head Injuries

It’s commonly understood that an infant’s skull, and therefore the infant’s brain as well, is extremely delicate for the first year to year and a half of life. Before the skull fully knits together and hardens, an infant’s brain is vulnerable to serious injury that can have life-long consequences. For the infant and his or her parents, such injuries create lasting challenges and heartache. There are several sources of infant head injuries, many, but not all, related to falls:
  • Parental mistake. A clumsy mistake while holding an infant can lead to terrible injuries. That’s why parents need to take special care when lifting and holding their infants. Parents can make a variety of other mistakes, like leaving a child on a bed without adequately ensuring that the child can’t roll off or trying to sit a child in a seat that isn’t appropriate.
  • Professional caregiver negligence. Many parents rely on professional or semi-professional caregivers, like nannies or day care providers, to look after infants. When an infant is injured in a caregiver’s care, parents may have the option of suing the caregiver to recover compensation. Licensed and insured day care centers will have coverage for such lawsuits and likely will have greater resources to pay an award than an individual who is working as a nanny.
  • Negligence by a nurse or doctor. Nurses and doctors who work with infants are specially trained to prevent injuries. When an injury does occur, the professional who causes it may have committed professional negligence. A professional negligence claim must be supported by the sworn affidavit of a professional in a similar line of work as the defendant, who confirms his or her independent opinion that the defendant did not use reasonable care ordinarily used in similar circumstances by other similarly trained and experienced professionals. This affidavit requirement imposes an extra hurdle on parents who might want to sue a doctor, nurse, or hospital.
  • Car accidents. Unfortunately, even with advances in child safety seats car crashes can still lead to serious brain trauma in infants. In some cases, the injured infant wasn’t properly secured in the seat, while in others the seat was defective, improperly installed, or inappropriate for the age or weight of the child. Each of these scenarios will involve different legal issues, such as whether the car seat manufacturer bears liability for selling a defective product. If the accident was caused by another driver, that driver may use problems with an infant’s car seat as a partial defense against liability.
A serious brain injury to an infant is a terrible event to face as a parent. It can be helpful to work with a caring and respectful attorney to explore legal options for recovering compensation for medical bills and suffering. The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury and auto accident cases for over 45 years. Call us today for a free attorney consultation about your case at 702-388-4476 or reach out to us through our contacts page.

The Risk of Driving on Recalled Tires

Auto tires are highly engineered and carefully constructed to provide safe performance under a wide range of conditions. Like any sophisticated product, tires can be subject to manufacturer recalls. Such recalls can come about as a manufacturer learns about problems revealed by the real-world use of their products. When drivers learn about a recall of a tire that is mounted in their cars, it’s important to take immediate steps to respond to the recall. The underlying cause of tire recalls can vary widely. Some recent recalls have included potential problems with sidewall or tread adhesives coming apart. Others have reported cases where the steel cords lying underneath the outer rubber of a tire could become exposed. In each case the threat to drivers is a sudden loss of tire pressure, loss of traction, and loss of control. Even at low speeds a catastrophic tire problem can lead to a serious crash. Nevada’s products liability law gives people who are injured by defective products the option of suing the manufacturer and marketer of the product for compensation. A manufacturer recall doesn’t free the manufacturer from liability for injuries caused by the defect to which the recall relates. If anything, a recall is intended to reduce the risk that someone will get hurt and sue. A recall can even be useful to a plaintiff in a personal injury trial, provided that the plaintiff can prove that the specific defect addressed in the recall also caused the plaintiff’s injury. Proving that a specific defect caused an accident can require the help of an expert as the specific source of a tire failure may be impossible for an untrained person to identify. Expert witnesses can charge substantial fees for their work, but the expert’s analysis and testimony can be critical to show that a defendant’s product was defective. An expert’s testimony is likely to be especially useful for plaintiffs who want to use the fact of a recall as part of their case for the defendant’s liability. If a driver knows about a tire recall but ignores it or puts off getting the problem resolved, the tire manufacturer may have an argument that the driver has assumed the risk of injury by continuing to use the defective tires. Such a defense may grow more convincing as time passes. A driver who is injured by a tire failure while on the way to the shop to have the tire promptly replaced under the manufacturer’s recall program probably won’t face this defense. But a driver who goes for six months after receiving (and reading) the notice may have a harder time recovering full compensation if something goes wrong. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in personal injury and products liability cases. If you or a loved one has been injured by an accident caused by a defective tire, please contact us today for a free attorney consultation. Call us at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page.

Pregnancy and Workers’ Compensation Claims

Pregnant women have unique concerns when they are injured. Protecting the health of a developing fetus can limit treatment options, like antibiotics, that might otherwise be available. And some injuries can pose serious risks to the fetus itself. For a pregnant woman who is injured at work and is receiving benefits under a workers’ compensation program, such challenges can raise questions about coverage and employment rights.

Nevada law protects pregnant women in the workplace

The Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act (NPWFA), NRS 613.335, limits the ways that employers can restrict a pregnant employee’s job responsibilities. Among other things, the law requires covered Nevada employers to provide pregnant employees with reasonable accommodations to allow them to continue to work during pregnancy and after childbirth. For employees who do manual work, the employer may lawfully offer light duty or a less risky role to protect the health of the employee and her fetus, and to manage the employer’s risk with respect to potential workplace injuries. Although the NPWFA isn’t expressly a workers’ compensation law, it provides an important context for women who are injured at work while they are pregnant. A pregnant woman does not need to accept an employer’s unreasonable job restrictions that are only intended to limit the employer’s potential liability and create an unnecessary burden upon the employee.

Workers’ comp applies to all job-related injuries

Nevada’s workers’ compensation law requires all employers to insure their employees against all injuries and illnesses that arise out of or in the course of employment. The fact that an employee was pregnant at the time of an injury has no bearing on coverage. So long as the injury happened during working hours, or while the employee was performing work-related duties, coverage will apply. This is true regardless of the specific cause of the injury. A pregnant employee whose injuries also cause pregnancy-related complications should expect those complications to be included as a component of coverage. It’s important to bear in mind that coverage may not be approved for conditions that cannot be traced to the job-related injury. Records of the employee’s obstetric treatment will be important to show that a condition did not exist prior to the work injury.

GGRM represents clients in complex workers’ compensation cases

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in workers’ compensation claims disputes. We are happy to help women who are facing challenges involving pregnancy and workers’ comp claims to seek better outcomes for themselves and their children. For a free attorney consultation call us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Water Features Pose Significant Risk to Children

Las Vegas is home to some of the most iconic urban water features in the country. Especially at night, when the water is lit up, big fountains can be an impressive show. Of course, the big fountains aren’t the only water features one can find in and around Las Vegas. More modest fountains and other water features, like a koi pond, are everywhere. Small children, who are attracted to water, can suffer serious injuries, including death, if they fall into a water feature and aren’t rescued in time.

Premises liability for water features

Homeowners and businesses alike owe certain obligations to guests to maintain their properties in reasonably safe condition. For a business that maintains a water feature that is accessible to the public, reasonable steps to keep the water feature safe might include:
  • Active, 24-hour video monitoring.
  • Maintaining fences and other barriers to prevent access.
  • Having personnel on site with training to respond to a drowning emergency.
Note that liability for a water feature can extend even to places that are not accessible to the public. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, a property owner can be held liable for injuries suffered by a child who trespasses onto a property in order to gain access to a water feature, like a pool or private fountain. Property owners are required to take active steps to ensure that a child who trespasses onto their property to use an “attractive” feature is protected from injury, such as by ensuring that a barrier is in place or by covering the water feature when not in use.

What role does a parent’s supervision play?

Parents of small children should always keep a close eye on their kids when they are around water. This is true for all children, but especially those who don’t know how to swim or keep themselves safe in the water. Always bear in mind that water features that aren’t intended for human use probably have slippery bottoms, making rescues more difficult. Parents who allow their children to wander off to a water feature without adequate oversight may face a defense of contributory negligence in any ensuing personal injury case. The defense may argue that the parents disregarded the potential danger to their child and therefore should be at least partially responsible for the child’s resulting injuries. Additional facts, like warning signs or evidence that the parent was aware of the risk but ignored it, could work in the defense’s favor.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez represents clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury a litigation. Our practice focuses on providing caring service to each and every client. For a free attorney consultation about your case, call us today at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

Overcoming the Lies of an At-Fault Driver

Lies and deception are a reckless approach to getting out of liability for an accident, but that doesn’t stop some defendants from telling falsehoods. This can be especially problematic when the plaintiff and defendant are the only witnesses to the accident: there are no passengers, other drivers, or other bystanders who can shed light on the events leading up to the crash. When a defendant lies, the injured plaintiff can explore several options to establish the truth. The first is to obtain third party data. Auto accidents tend to generate a ton of information. Most contemporary cars have “brains” that can be accessed to gather data about virtually every system in the car. In an accident involving serious injury, police investigators may generate reports. In some cases it can make sense to investigate the defendant’s activities in the time leading up to the crash. Such information could come from deposing the defendant, or might be obtained from things like the defendant’s cell phone data. Another important approach is to examine the defendant’s own words. Lying consistently is very difficult to do. Many people who lie leave a trail of contradictory statements that can be used to refute their falsehoods. This is especially true of a defendant who has discussed the accident on social media or in other electronic forms, like email, which can be entered into evidence. The defendant may have made contradictory statements to others that could be brought in as evidence as well. A defendant who is “caught” in a lie in the course of litigation can face a number of consequences. If the defendant was testifying under oath, whether in a courtroom setting or in a deposition, the lie may be grounds for a criminal charge of perjury, a felony under Nevada law with penalties including up to four years in prison and a fine. In some cases the defendant’s attorneys may also be taken to task by the court for not taking steps to address their client’s deception. A good civil defense attorney wouldn’t allow his or her client to lie in court not just because of the serious criminal penalties that could result, but because it risks undermining the defendant’s case. For the personal injury plaintiff, proving that the defendant lied also calls into question the defendant’s other statements to the court. It puts the plaintiff in a significantly stronger position, because the credibility of the defendant as a witness has been seriously damaged. The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases for over four decades. We work closely with each client to find the best path to a successful outcome. For a free attorney consultation about your case call us today at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

Mistakes to Avoid After an Auto Accident in Nevada

Being in a serious car accident can have long-term consequences, especially for someone who has been injured and faces a long road to recovery. Amidst the fear and pain that comes in the immediate aftermath of a major crash, it’s important for people who have been injured to avoid making certain mistakes that could hurt their chances of recovering full compensation for their injuries from the at-fault driver or that driver’s insurance carrier. Naturally it’s essential to prioritize getting medical attention for those who need it after an accident. Once that step is resolved, there are some important things to avoid doing:
  • Not gathering a complete record of information about the accident. It’s always important to exchange information with other people who were involved in the crash. Nevada law requires drivers who are involved in a crash to exchange basic contact information, as well as license and insurance details. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to note down the time and location of the accident and as many details about what happened as possible. If possible, taking pictures is always helpful. So is getting contact details from witnesses, such as passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers who stopped to help.
  • Making statements that could imply fault. Although for many it’s instinctive to apologize after being an accident, an apology can become a tool of the other side in litigation as they seek to prove that their client wasn’t entirely at fault. One needn’t fear expressing concern for another person, of course, but it’s wise to avoid discussing the circumstances of the crash with the other driver. The inverse is also true: if the other driver begins to apologize profusely and offers a narrative about the accident that clearly shows fault, be sure to write down what was said.
  • Posting on social media about the accident. For many, posting photos and stories about an accident can feel like a perfectly natural thing to do. But it can have repercussions in any ensuing legal case, where the specific words and photos posted to a social media platform can be used to contradict testimony or establish adverse facts. Social media posts can be used by a defendant to call into question the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, establish that the plaintiff bears at least some fault for the accident, or other important details.
Anyone who has been injured in a car accident in Nevada should discuss the accident with an experienced accident attorney. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in personal injury and auto accident cases. Contact us today for a free attorney consultation about your accident. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our site.
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