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New Hit & Run Law This Holiday Season

Hit-and-runs are an unfortunately common occurrence, causing serious injuries and fatalities in many cases. Oftentimes it's impossible to determine whether the driver was intoxicated or sober at the time of the accident, as people who were intoxicated at the time of the accident may return at the scene once they've sobered up. Thus, the punishment is much less severe than it would be in many instances. During the holiday season, hit-and-run incidents tend to increase, causing devastation for families of victims when they should be celebrating.

Thankfully, a new law (NRS 484E) will be implemented this holiday season in Las Vegas to help discourage intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel, and apply equal punishment regardless of intoxication.

New Law Charges All Hit-and-Run Offenders with Equivalent of DUI


Metro law enforcement officers in Las Vegas have been unable to pin many hit-and-run drivers with impairment-related charges, even if they may have been impaired when they caused accidents. This season, the new Nevada law in effect will make it so certain hit-and-run drivers receive more severe charges, and face possible prison time for their offenses.

Specifically, if any hit-and-run drivers flee the scene of an accident that's responsible for the bodily harm of a pedestrian or another driver, they can receive the same charges one would receive for a drunk driving offense. Offenders could face up to 20 years in prison without probation whether sober or intoxicated at the time of the offense.

"Now we don't have to prove impairment," Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson stated.

This eliminates the need for additional investigation and treats all injury-causing hit-and-run accidents with equal severity. This is particularly good news when Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year tend to see a rise in hit-and-run deaths in which offenders don't often get the appropriate charges.

The new law discourages hit-and-run drivers from leaving the scene of an accident, removing any perceivable advantages of doing so. Many hit-and-run drivers are too scared of turning themselves in, but with the increased potential punishment, hopefully drivers will be more inclined to stay at the scene, or avoid driving intoxicated entirely.

Working to Eliminate Hit-and-Run Accidents


This new Nevada law is one step more states could implement to help reduce the instances of fleeing hit-and-run drivers and the overall number of these incidents. Thousands of people are either injured or killed by these types of accidents every year, but laws such as this will make it harder for offenders to get away.

You don't have to suffer in silence. If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run incident or another type of car accident, contact Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez today at 702-388-4476 for a free consultation. They will help you understand your rights and receive the compensation you deserve.

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5 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring an Attorney

When you've suffered an injury in an automobile or a work-related accident, regardless of who was to blame, you may be facing a tough road ahead dealing with your physical recovery and emotional well being. Make no mistake, you need a reputable advocate squarely and solely in your corner that will fight for your best interests in the days, weeks and months ahead following your injury.

To help make your search for legal representation easier, make sure you ask prospective attorneys these five essential questions.

1. What kinds of cases does the attorney handle the most?

No matter the type of legal case, the practice of law is complex and ever evolving. Only retain legal representation by an attorney specializing in the area you need. If you have been injured in an automobile or work-related accident, hire an attorney that specializes in those areas on a daily basis.

2. How long has the attorney been handling these types of cases?

To best comprehend the significance of this question, it pays to know that no matter the years and cases of experience, all attorneys that handle personal injury cases charge the same contingency fee. So, seek out and hire an attorney with the best reputation and most experience.

3. Can you provide references from previous clients?

Go with your instinct but do your homework. If the attorney isn't confident of his or her previous representation and reputation, move on to the next. Would you hire an employee without checking references? No, and this should be no different.

4. Does the attorney try lawsuits in court?

Actual courtroom jury trial experience is critical to your case for two reasons: (1) if you don't receive a satisfactory offer for your claim, you will want an attorney with extensive jury trial experience, and (2) your chances for getting a maximum settlement are better if the insurance company knows your attorney is experienced and ready to go to court.

5. How do the attorney's colleagues rate them?

Now, you don't need to call an attorney out of the blue and ask them over the phone who's best qualified to handle your case. There are reliable resources available on the web to pre-qualify a personal injury attorney, as reviewed by their peers:

  • The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry has been the go-to source for authoritative information of members of the legal community for more than 100 years.
  • At The Best Lawyers in America, attorneys are selected as " the best" in 57 specialties.
  • Super Lawyers lists outstanding lawyers each year from more than 70 practice areas. Only 5% of lawyers in each state earn the title "Super Lawyer".

If you have been injured in an automobile or work-related accident, call Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at 702-388-4476 for your legal representation. They have been practicing personal injury cases longer than any other firm in Las Vegas. We've also prepared a checklist for what to do if you have been in a car accident.

8 Tips to Stay Safe This Holiday Season

The holiday season is always a good cause for joy and celebration, but it can also be an occasion of increased accidents and crimes. Thus, be more vigilant than ever. These simple tips are important year-round, but are great reminders during the craziness of the holiday season.

  1. Drive defensively in case you're sharing the road with someone driving under the influence. Expect a spike in drunk drivers coming home from parties this season.
  2. Look at all directions when crossing the street and make sure to not be distracted by your cell phone. If a driver is intoxicated, they may be barreling down the wrong lane or have slower reflexes.
  3. Inform a friend or family member where you plan to go and how long you'll be away so someone else will know when to expect you.
  4. Choose a well-lit parking space if you'll be leaving the premises late. Carry your car keys in hand so you can get into your vehicle quickly, and don't be talking on the phone as you're walking out.
  5. Put packages you bought in the trunk of your car or under the seat. Keep them away from where they can be seen so someone is less likely to break in.
  6. Withdraw money from ATMs in visible view of many people. Avoid ATMs after-hours and in hidden corners where it's easier get mugged.
  7. Keep your mobile phone fully charged. You never know when you'll need to call for help in an emergency situation.
  8. Pull the plug on holiday lights when you're about to sleep, or get a timer to automatically switch them off at your designated time.

Overall, being more aware of your surroundings is an important step to staying safe. What other tips would you add to this list?

Accidents and injuries can still happen when you least expect them. Download our What to Do After Being in a Car Accident Checklist to help you be prepared.

4 Driving Tips for the Holiday Season

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, an estimated 46.9 million people made travel plans to visit family or friends - all of them going 50 miles or more away from home. That's the largest number of travelers since 2007, and 89 percent were driving to their destination, according to AAA. More people on the roads mean more accidents, even with a reduction in the number of alcohol-related crashes. For the first time since 2011, drunk driving fatalities dropped below 10,000, but that only accounts for 30.8 percent. The two other largest contributors are speeding and distracted driving. To make sure you enjoy the holidays, be sure to practice good holiday driving habits.

  1. Get Your Rest

    Always get a good night's sleep before a road trip. When you are rested, you have better reactions times and are more aware of other cars. During the trip, take frequent breaks. Try not to drive for more than two hours consecutively. A small break to stretch your legs, grab something to drink or just rest your eyes can make a big difference during an emergency.
  2. Keep Your Speed Under Control

    Sitting in traffic or dealing with congested roadways might make you feel impatient, but always obey the posted speed limit. Traffic can back up and leave you moving at below the limit. Try to stay calm when slow-downs happen. Drive defensively and avoid aggressive drivers. Driving aggressively likely won't help you arrive any faster, and it is certainly more likely to cause an accident.
  3. Prepare an Emergency Kit for the Car

    Sitting in traffic is stressful enough, without the added fear of being stranded outside in the cold. Make sure you have emergency supplies in the car, just in case. A blanket, flashlight, gloves and some sand are all good items to stock. You might also want to load up a few bottles of water and car-friendly snacks. Remember to keep your gas tank half full, so pull over regularly to fill up. A low tank can allow your fuel lines to freeze in colder climates.
  4. Relax and Have Fun!

    Driving in heavy traffic can be stressful, but try to stay relaxed. The more frustrated you become, the more likely you are to make poor driving decisions. When frustration starts to get the better of you, pull over. A brief stop and some deep breaths can help you get back on the road.
  5. The holidays are fun, but holiday travel may not be. By planning ahead you can minimize your risk of an accident. Remember, no texting, calling or drinking if you have to drive. If you are in an accident and you need to seek legal representation, call on the team at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at 702-388-4476 for help this holiday season.

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6 Unusual Workers’ Comp Cases

Worker’s compensation provides much-needed help for employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. This can occasionally result in some unusual cases, including these six claims:

  1. Man vs. Vending Machine

    At a Circuit City store, an employee attempted to dislodge a snack from a malfunctioning vending machine by bumping it with his hip and shoulder. He was seriously injured as a result.
    The court ruled in his favor. The machine was known to frequently malfunction, and there were no signs warning employees not to shake or strike it.
  2. The Jealous Husband

    A grocery store assistant manager called a co-worker at home about a work issue. The co-worker’s husband thought they were having an affair and contacted the man’s supervisor. He even hired someone to kill him. This plot was unsuccessful, but the manager’s pre-existing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was worsened.
    He won his claim because the events were set in motion by a work-related phone call.
  3. Pot and Bears Shouldn’t Mix

    An employee was mauled by a grizzly bear he was trying to feed at Great Bear Adventures park. Complicating the issue somewhat was the fact that he had smoked marijuana that morning. The park blamed the employee’s drug use for his injuries.
    The Court ruled in the employee’s favor, determining his marijuana use was probably not a major contributing cause of the event.
  4. Dangerous Urination

    A Portland longshoreman drank a few beers in the morning and continued to drink throughout work. Not surprisingly, he had to urinate. He did so near a dock rail and fell six feet, suffering a gash to his temple.
    The Court ruled against this worker. His blood alcohol level was .25, well over the legal limit. Unlike the marijuana-smoking bear feeder case, the Court decided this employee’s drinking was the cause of his accident.
  5. Move Over, Rover!

    A woman regularly worked out of her home for her employer, J.C. Penney. She was walking to her garage to replace fabric samples that were in her van when she tripped over her dog, breaking a bone in her wrist.
    The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled in her favor, finding her home sometimes served as her work environment, and she was injured in the course of work-related activities.
  6. Nigerian Investment Scam Argument

    A worker in Iowa was injured by her brother, who was also her co-worker. The family was involved in a complicated ongoing argument over the Nigerian investment scam that involved prosecution for tax fraud and threats. The brother claimed to have fallen into his sister accidentally.
    An Iowa Appellate Court ruled the brother’s actions were deliberate and for reasons unrelated to her employment, so his sister couldn’t receive worker’s compensation.
  7. The details of these cases may be a little humorous, but the injuries behind them aren’t a laughing matter to the people involved. If you’ve been injured or have gotten sick due to your workplace, contact the law firm of Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez for a free consultation at 702-388-4476. Also, download this checklist on steps to take after being injured on the job.

Interesting Personal Injury Claims

Most personal injury lawsuits involve injuries sustained in a car accident, fall, or similar situation. Occasionally, though, a personal injury claim captures national attention due to its rather unusual circumstances.

The following are a few of these unusual cases:

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

In Colorado, two teens decided to do a good deed and bake cookies for their neighbors. They knocked on doors, leaving the boxes of cookies with heart-shaped notes and a message telling the recipient to have a great night.

One neighbor, who had apparently been burglarized in the past, was frightened by the knock on her door at 10:30 p.m. She says she suffered an anxiety attack as a result and sued the teens. She prevailed in court, winning a $900 judgment, but the teens received public support from people who heard about the story and wanted to help them pay their fine.

Was Fear a Factor?

The television show “Fear Factor” is known for subjecting contestants to disgusting challenges. Apparently, they’re also disgusting to some viewers. A Cleveland man, who says he watched the show regularly without incident, sued the network that aired the show for $2.5 million after an episode in which contestants ate rats mixed in a blender.

The plaintiff said the episode caused him to throw up and made his blood pressure rise. He then felt dizzy and ran into a doorway, suffering an injury. The judge threw out the handwritten lawsuit, calling it frivolous and warning the plaintiff not to appeal.

In a Pickle

McDonald’s was famously sued over hot coffee in 1994, but that’s not the only lawsuit of its type involving the fast-food chain. A Tennessee woman sued MAR Inc., which does business as McDonald’s in Knoxville, after she says she was scarred by a hot pickle. She sued for $110,000, and her husband sued for $15,000 for losing the services and companionship of his wife.

She said the pickle fell from her hamburger onto her chin, causing second-degree burns. The company admitted no wrongdoing but settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.

Adding Insult to Injury

A Northern California man was sued after he shot a burglar who broke into his house. The man, who was 90 years old at the time, was shot in the face before he returned fire, injuring his assailant, police say.

Police took the burglar to the hospital, and he later sued the homeowner for shooting him. His lawsuit was dismissed, and he was sentenced to 86 years and four months to life.

Most personal injury cases aren't as newsworthy as the ones above. However, they are still very serious and can be an important way for victims to be compensated for the harm they've suffered. If you'd like to discuss your personal injury case, contact the law firm of Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez at 702-388-4476 for a free consultation. We specialize in injury cases and have a proven track record of success. You can also download our printable checklist on what to do if you’re in a car accident.

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Wrongful Death Claims and the Benefits of Hiring an Attorney

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful Death

Essentially, wrongful death occurs when a person’s death is caused by the negligent, reckless, or willful conduct of another. Examples of wrongful death include, but are not limited to: (i) death caused by medical malpractice; (ii) car or airplane accidents including vehicular homicide, manslaughter, airline negligence; (iii) criminal attacks; (iv) work-related accidents; and (v) death during a supervised activity including games or extreme sports activities.

Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim

In Nevada, per Nev. Rev. Stat. § 41.085, heirs and personal representatives may bring an action for wrongful death. An heir is a person, including the surviving spouse and the state, who is entitled to take the property of the decedent if he or she were to die without a will. A personal representative is an executor, an administrator, a successor personal representative, a special administrator and persons who perform nearly the same function under the law governing their status.

In a wrongful death claim, each heir may prove his or her respective damages and the Court may award each person monetary damages for the person’s grief or sorrow, loss of probable support, companionship, society, comfort and consortium, and damages for pain, suffering or disfigurement of the decedent. Furthermore, if the decedent left behind a debt, the debt may not have to be paid with the money awarded from the wrongful death judgment.

This varies slightly to that of a personal representative. Per NRS 41.085, the damages recoverable by the personal representatives on behalf of the decedent’s estate include special damages, such as medical expenses and funeral expenses and any penalties, including, but not limited to, exemplary or punitive damages, that the decedent would have recovered if the decedent had lived, but do not include damages for pain, suffering or disfigurement of the decedent. Unlike that of an heir, the proceeds of any judgment for damages awarded by a personal representative are liable for the debts of the decedent.

Statute of Limitations

It should be noted that, per Nev. Rev. Stat. §11.190(4)(e), an action to recover damages for wrongful death must be brought within two years of that person’s death. If the action is not filed with the court during this two-year period, in all likelihood, it may be barred.

Why Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?

True, it is difficult to deal with the loss of a loved one. Yet, when your loved one’s death was caused by another party’s negligent, reckless, or willful conduct, the grieving process only strengthens. You may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive the closure and financial compensation to which you and your family are entitled. Fortunately, wrongful death attorneys are here to help ensure your family is adequately compensated for your loss. Even if the liable person is never charged with the crime, you may still be able to file a civil suit against the person accountable.

For your best opportunity at obtaining a just resolution, it is critical to seek legal advice from an experienced and knowledgeable wrongful death attorney. Call the experienced lawyers at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at (702) 388-4476.

How Medical Insurance Payments Affect a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal Injury Insurance

In Nevada, medical insurance payments may significantly affect a personal injury lawsuit. As discussed below, when medical insurance pays for a personal injury, and a lawsuit is filed, the medical insurance provider will likely place a lien on the money provided. Depending on the circumstances, using health insurance to pay for bills related to an accident may be beneficial to the injured party.

Several laws exist to protect individuals from personal injuries that result from negligence, product liability, malpractice, and more. Please note, in Nevada, per NRS 11.190, there is a strict limit on how much time you have to file such a lawsuit. Basically, you have two years after the accident date to file your case in a Nevada state court. In legal terms, this is known as the Statute of Limitations. It is vital to pay attention to this law because if you decide to file your lawsuit subsequent to that two-year period, a Nevada court will almost certainly refuse to hear the case.

What happens when Medical Insurance pays for your Medical Bills?

Generally, if a person is involved in an accident, and has health insurance, the bills will be submitted to health insurance for payment. For example, a person is casually shopping at Home Depot when tools fall from a shelf onto this person, causing significant injuries. The individual is then rushed to the emergency room, provided medical attention, and, luckily, his healthcare insurance covered all the expenses! Now, this person is left with a decision: whether or not to pursue a claim for personal injury. If the person receives a settlement, his medical insurance provider may place a lien on the amount previously provided to cover the medical bills. Ultimately, this means that when the claim is settled, after his attorney’s fees are paid from said judgment, and other expenses, the medical insurance provider’s lien is then paid off. The leftover money, will then go to the injured person. Every case is different, and many different factors will determine whether it is viable to pursue a claim, and the existence of health insurance, and whether it is feasible to use health insurance, is always something that should be considered in every case.

Obligations of the Personal Injury Attorney

Suppose an injured person specifically instructs his attorney to not pay the medical insurance provider if he were to obtain a settlement. What is the attorney to do? This is a rare situation where the lawyers have ethical duties running in favor of someone other than his or her client. Nevada’s Rules of Professional Conduct indicate the attorney generally must work with the insurance company to satisfy the medical lien before the money is disbursed to the client or the attorney. Once the medical insurance provider pays the injured person’s medical bills, they become a creditor to reimbursement from any judgment money received. The medical insurance provider, thus, obtains an interest in the funds and the lawyer has three ethical obligations: (i) to promptly notify the client and third person on receipt of the funds; (ii) to promptly deliver to the client or third person any funds that the client or third person is entitled to recover; and (iii) upon request by the client or third person, to promptly render a full accounting regarding the funds.

Seek Representation for your Case

To maximize available compensation, it is critical to obtain the representation of an experienced personal injury attorney. The experienced personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, and Martinez have been helping victims in Southern Nevada since 1970. They maintain a superior knowledge of Nevada law and the statutes and issues related to personal injury, health insurance issues, and they are dedicated to assisting injured people protect themselves, and their families, from future harm. Their team can be reached at (702) 388-4476 and they are conveniently located at 2770 S. Maryland Pkwy., Ste. 100, Las Vegas, NV 89109.

Metro Police Highlight Pedestrian Safety Issues in a Creative Way

As drivers, we frequently encounter people crossing the road. Too often, though, the situation becomes dangerous, often due to an inattentive driver who may also be speeding.

Raising Awareness

That’s why Metro, Clark County School District police, and Nevada Highway Patrol have launched an unusual awareness campaign designed to draw attention to pedestrian safety issues. A police officer dresses as a turkey and waddles across the street to help show even a giant turkey sometimes isn’t spotted by inattentive drivers.

Other officers come along to issue tickets to drivers who fail to yield to a pedestrian or who pass a stopped vehicle at a crosswalk or intersection. Citations in Las Vegas for this offense start at $191, plus additional court costs.

State and Local Fatalities and Injuries

The effort comes at a particularly dangerous time of year, since many pedestrian fatalities occur in November and December. This is thought to be tied to a greater number of impaired drivers during the holidays.

Sixty-nine pedestrians were killed in Nevada in 2014, according to the state Department of Traffic Safety. Between 2008 and 2012, 234 were killed, and 784 were seriously injured.

Clark County and Las Vegas can be particularly dangerous for pedestrians. Experts say the area’s roads often contribute to the problem, with flat, long streets that make speeding comfortable. Few streets have convenient places to cross, they say.

Several studies have ranked Las Vegas as one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians. In fact, in 2013, pedestrian deaths accounted for almost 30 percent of Clark County traffic fatalities, a much higher percentage than the national average of 14.5.

Older people and children are particularly vulnerable and have a greater risk of dying in low-speed collisions. Pedestrians in general are more likely to be hit at night due to visibility issues, and darkness falls early in the late fall and winter.

Tips for Pedestrians and Drivers

The Nevada DOT offers the following tips for pedestrians and drivers:

Pedestrians

  • Cross only at intersections and crosswalks that are marked in the middle of blocks.
  • Don’t cross an intersection diagonally unless it’s been designed for this.
  • Look for cars before crossing, and continue looking as you cross.

Drivers

  • Be aware crosswalks exist at any intersection, even when there aren’t pavement markings.
  • Yield to pedestrians in sidewalks.
  • Take particular care around schools and school crossing guards.

If you’re a pedestrian who’s been injured, contact the attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez at 702-388-4476 for a free consultation. We specialize in personal injury cases and have the experience and expertise you need. You can also download our printable checklist of what to do if you’re in a car accident.

Tragedy Strikes Two Families in Senseless DUIs

Las Vegas can be a dangerous place for those with loose piggy banks and no self-control. But for 75-year-old Marko Kustudia, he couldn't have imagined the danger in getting his morning cup of coffee and taking a brisk walk.

Out for his morning stroll before 7am along Maryland Parkway, between Richmar and Gary avenues, near Gehring Elementary School, Kustudia and 78-year-old Richard Glen Bryan had been struck. Kustudia suffered a broken neck, spine and ankle. Bryan died on the scene.

The two men weren't acquaintances; they just shared the unfortunate luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time; in the path of 31-year-old Nicole Christine Johnson and her Honda Civic. Johnson was intoxicated at the time.

This wasn't the first such instance for Johnson in that same week. Two days prior she had been in another crash about a mile away. No one was hurt there and she did not receive a ticket. Witnesses said she also appeared drunk on that day.

Johnson also had bench warrants out for her arrest. One of these warrants included driving without a Nevada driver's license. However, these warrants weren't exercised when she crashed without injury. Now one man is dead and another is in a struggle just to regain his ability to live life.

Kustudia had recently been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a form of cancer of the lymph nodes. This injury has put a damper on his treatment of the cancer. Broken bones have halted the continued chemotherapy. He could be at the hospital for as long as three months.

According to Kustudia, this crash was "something that shouldn't have happened. They're not treating those impaired the way they're supposed to be treated."

Still, as the 20 year Palace Station Casino employee struggles for answers, he's also worried about how his wife and he will continue to pay their medical bills and keep a roof over their heads.

Drunken driving injuries are all too common in Sin City. More often than not it's those not even involved in the revelry like Bryan and Kustudia who pay the price.

If you have been injured in any type of car accident and you need to seek legal representation, call on the team at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at 702-388-4476. They are here to listen to your concerns, help you figure out your rights, and reclaim what has been taken.

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