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Legal Strategies to Prevent Child Abuse

Legal Strategies to Protect Children from Abuse

When a child is suffering abuse at the hands of a parent, guardian, or other caregiver it can unfortunately sometimes be difficult to end the abuse without taking formal steps to create legal barriers between the child and the abuser. Especially in cases where the abuser is violent and potentially abusive toward the person who wishes to also protect the child, taking legal steps takes real courage. Anyone who wishes to protect a a child from an abuser in Nevada has a number of legal options.

  • Seek a protective order.

A protective order is a court-issued, legally binding document that requires the individual subject to the order (the “adverse party”) to not go to designated places, not approach designated people, or not engage in other behavior that could make the applicant for the order feel threatened or unsafe. For example, a protective order could require a person to stay a certain distance away from the home where a child lives, the child’s school, or a caregiver’s home. A protective order can be requested by someone who reasonably believes that his or her child has been the victim of a crime that is “harmful to minors,” such as sexual or physical abuse. NRS 33.400.

There are a number of advantages to protective orders. A short-term (30 days) order can be requested without first notifying the abuser, giving immediate, if temporary, protection. The applicant for a protective order need only provide the court with the necessary basics to establish the necessity of a protective order. The complexity grows for a protective order that will last for a longer period. A protective order can be issued for up to one year provided that the adverse party is allowed to be present for a hearing.

  • Contact Child Protective Services.

The Nevada Division of Child and Family Services includes a special unit that responds to child abuse and neglect. Child Protective Services (CPS) invites the public to report child abuse. Based on the initial report a case worker will conduct a preliminary analysis to determine if the child’s safety is at risk and how the agency should respond. The agency also conducts investigations, including home visits and interviews to determine if the evidence substantiates the initial report. CPS has a range of options to protect the welfare of children, including removing the child from a home in some situations. Because CPS determinations can have serious consequences for children and families, their processes are subject to hearing and appeal requirements.

  • Contact the police.

In cases where abuse is severe and ongoing it can be necessary to call 911 to request police assistance. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a specialized unit that investigates criminal child abuse.

  • Sue for damages.

An abused child often needs counseling to ensure that trauma doesn’t lead to long-term mental and physical health problems. Child abusers can be sued to recover compensation not just for the child’s medical bills, but in many cases also for pain, suffering, emotional distress, and other related damages. Whether a lawsuit is appropriate will depend on the circumstances.

Talk to an attorney about how to best respond to child abuse

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has provided caring, personalized service to clients in the Las Vegas area for over 45 years. We can help you craft a legal strategy to protect a child from abuse. For a free attorney consultation please contact us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Discrediting Expert Testimony in Nevada Personal Injury Cases

Discrediting Expert Testimony in Nevada Personal Injury Cases

Expert witnesses can play an important role in civil litigation involving personal injury. Medical experts are often needed to provide underlying facts about the plaintiff’s injuries. An accountant’s testimony may be needed to establish a reliable figure of the plaintiff’s lost future earnings. An engineering expert may have useful insight into defects in a product’s design. Finding flaws in an expert witness’s testimony is a key component of litigation strategy for both sides in a dispute.

Nevada’s rules of evidence and expert testimony

Under NRS 50.275, an expert witness can provide testimony based on his or her scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge in situations where such testimony will help the jury or judge understand a fact that is important to the case. The witness must be “qualified as an expert by special knowledge, skill, experience, training or education.” For example, a veterinarian with experience treating horse injuries may be qualified to offer testimony about an injury to a valuable horse, but probably isn’t qualified to testify about a person’s head trauma.

An expert is allowed to provide an opinion about complex topics, such as whether the plaintiff’s cancer might have been caused by chemicals present in the defendant’s building. An expert’s opinion can be based on facts made available to the expert in preparation for trial; the expert doesn’t need to base an opinion solely on information that is in evidence. NRS 50.285. A court can require an expert to disclose data and methods used to reach an opinion, and these pieces of information can also be required if they become the subject of the counterparty’s cross-examination. NRS 50.305.

There are specific types of expert testimony, such as that provided by a doctor about a medical issue, that are subject to specific guidelines. Absent specific rules, judges in Nevada state courts have “wide discretion” to evaluate expert witness testimony to determine whether it poses an undue risk of confusing the jury. Higgs v. Nevada, 126 Nev. 1 (2010).

Casting doubt on an expert’s testimony

There are a number of common ways an expert’s testimony can be brought into question by an opposing attorney. Here are some examples:

  • Examine the expert’s pretrial process for significant errors or omissions. If the expert’s opinion is based on faulty reasoning, the opinion itself may not be sufficiently reliable to be admitted into evidence.
  • Raise questions about the expert’s qualifications to speak on the specific topic at issue. Even someone who holds advanced degrees in a specific field may not have the necessary experience to speak to the technical topics at issue in the case.
  • Present a contrary expert opinion. Because the value of expert testimony can often be inconclusive, requiring the jury to weigh it relative to other pieces of evidence, the opposing side can benefit enormously by presenting another expert witness who holds a different opinion.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented personal injury clients in the Las Vegas area for over 45 years. We work with expert witnesses whenever doing so will help our clients’ reach a favorable outcome. For a free attorney consultation about your case, please give us a call today at 702-388-4476. We can also be reached through our contacts page.

Distinguishing Between Assault and Battery in Nevada

Distinguishing Between Assault and Battery in Nevada

In popular vernacular the distinction between assault and battery often gets lost. What many people describe as assault is actually a form of battery in many situations. Quite often the two concepts are paired together because an assault often precedes a battery, but they are separate causes of action. In fact, they are criminal causes of action, but they can each also be grounds for a civil lawsuit.

Assault

Assault, as defined in NRS 200.471, involves “unlawfully attempting to use physical force against another person, or intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm.” Note the two separate forms of assault: attempting to hurt someone, and making someone afraid that they are about to be hurt. In either case, intent is a critical component. The defendant must have intended to hurt the victim but for whatever reason was prevented from doing so (the “attempt” side of the coin) or the defendant must have intended that the victim be afraid.

A key component of “causing fear” assault is that it depends on the subjective interpretation of the victim, not the actual intent of the perpetrator. For example, a defendant who assumes a threatening posture and says, “Get out of my way or I’ll knock you over,” may be committing assault even if there’s no intent to actually knock the person down. Rather, if the victim reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger, that is enough to support an assault claim.

Another key component of assault is that the victim must be aware of what’s happening for assault to occur. If in the prior example the person being threatened had his or her back turned and didn’t hear the defendant’s threat, there likely wasn’t an assault. The same would be true if the target of the alleged assault was asleep. In that sense, assault is very much an emotional crime.

One reason that assault is often confused with battery is that some causes of action, especially in the criminal realm, use the term “assault” where “battery” would typically be used in a civil context. For example, the crime of sexual assault involves a physical violation of a victim’s body. In a civil context the victim might sue the perpetrator for sexual battery.

Battery

NRS 200.481 defines battery as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” Like assault, the defendant’s intent is critically important. If the defendant wasn’t paying attention and accidentally knocked into the plaintiff, the plaintiff probably couldn’t argue that the defendant had committed battery. But if the defendant in the example above had followed through and actually knocked down the victim of the preceding assault, then battery might properly be said of have occurred.

Unlike assault battery can take place whether the victim is aware of it or not. Battery can be committed against someone who is unconscious, asleep, or just distracted. A classic example of battery without assault is the sucker punch: the perpetrator sneaks up on the unsuspecting victim and hits them in the face with the intent of knocking them to the ground.

Remedies for assault and battery

As mentioned earlier, assault and battery are criminal offenses, punishable by fines and jail time that vary by the seriousness of the offense. Crimes are prosecuted by state or local prosecutors, not private law firms. However, a criminal case doesn’t necessarily address the kind of harms a victim of assault and/or battery can endure. That is why a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator may also be appropriate.

One reason the victim of an assault or battery may want to pursue a civil case is if he or she has suffered substantial damages that have not been compensated for by the criminal process. A criminal trial can award a victim reimbursement for medical expenses and other “economic” damages, but cannot compensate for noneconomic damages like pain, suffering, or emotional distress. Civil cases also require a lower standard of proof, which can be important for causes of action like this, where the defendant’s intent must be proven. Even if the criminal case can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to hurt the victim, in the civil trial the plaintiff need only prove intent by a preponderance of the evidence.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez represents injured clients in the Las Vegas area. If you have suffered an assault or battery, please call us today for a free, confidential attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or ask us to reach out to you through our contact page.

Hearsay Evidence in Nevada Personal Injury Cases

One of the trickier areas of evidence law involves how courts handle second-hand information that a party to litigation wishes to use “to prove the truth of the matter asserted.” For example, the plaintiff in a personal injury trial wants to prove that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injury by having Witness A testify that she heard from a friend that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injury. Because Witness A has no first-hand knowledge of the truth of her friend’s claim, it is inherently unreliable to prove anything more than that the defendant was rumored to have been responsible—a fact that may have relevance to other issues in the case but doesn’t actually prove that the defendant caused the injury.

The law treats so-called hearsay evidence as inherently unreliable, and therefore by default excludes it from consideration by a jury or judge as they examine the facts of the case unless an exception applies or the statement is not hearsay by definition. In general the rules and applications surrounding hearsay are rather complex. Here are some example rules that can be important in a personal injury case:

  • Showing inconsistencies in testimony. If a witness has testified to certain facts, statements that are inconsistent with that testimony are, by definition, not hearsay. The idea here is that the truth of a witness’s statements can be brought into doubt using contradictory statements. For example, the passenger of a defendant in a car accident case told a police investigator that the defendant driver was looking at her car radio when the accident happened, but at trial the defendant testifies that she was fully alert. On cross-examination the defendant’s statement to the police could be admitted to cast doubt on the truthfulness of the witness’s initial testimony.
  • Statements made by a party. Someone who is actually a party to the trial can have their words come back to haunt them. Social media posts offer a good example. If after the accident the defendant rushed to post something about the accident on Facebook, that post is, by definition, not hearsay.
  • Excited utterances. A witness in court can testify that she heard a bystander shout, “Wow, that red car ran the light!” just before the accident in which the defendant allegedly ran a stop light. Even if the bystander isn’t available to testify, the witness’s testimony can be used to show that a red car (i.e., the defendant’s car) ran a red.
  • Reputation as to character. Where relevant, statements about a person’s reputation can have important influence over the outcome of a case. If a defendant is known to have temper problems, that can be germane to a road rage incident. The hearsay rule would allow someone who isn’t personally familiar with the defendant’s anger management troubles testify along the lines of, “I’ve heard he’s got a short fuse when he’s driving.”
  • Statements against interest. A statement is admissible if it was against the speaker’s interests to make it. Examples of this sort of statement include statements that would have a financial consequence (“I lied to my boss this morning.”) or could subject the speaker to legal liability (“I left my dog off leash and she bit that kid.”). The idea behind this exception is that the statement is so clearly against the speaker’s interest that he or she wouldn’t be likely to make it unless it was true.

These examples only scratch the surface of what is ultimately a rather technical and nuanced area of the law. Experienced trial lawyers use the rules of hearsay evidence to help clients build the best case and prevent their opponents from introducing factual inaccuracies. For over 45 years the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases. Call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or request a call through our website.

Mandatory Arbitration and Employment Class Action Suits

Mandatory Arbitration and Employment Class Action Suits

Over the last decade employers have increasingly added mandatory individual arbitration clauses to their employment agreements. These clauses require any dispute between the employee and employer to go through arbitration instead of litigation, and prohibit employees from grouping together to pursue litigation as a class. Employers prefer this arrangement in part because arbitration is faster and cheaper than conventional litigation, but workers who have serious grievances against their employers often feel that the clauses are unfair.

Federal law favors arbitration

Employees who try to escape their arbitration agreement with employers face a difficult legal road in courts unless there are technical problems with the contract that might make it otherwise unenforceable. One reason for that is the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), a law that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled preempts state laws that would otherwise seek to limit the enforceability of arbitration clauses. The FAA provides that federal and state courts must enforce arbitration agreements unless they are invalid on other contract grounds, such as fraud or unconscionability.

The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the FAA to essentially override state laws that seek to limit arbitration in certain areas, such as employment contracts. In May its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285 (May 21, 2018), garnered media attention by tossing out California’s judicial precedent that disfavored mandatory individual arbitration clauses in employment contracts. Some have interpreted Epic Systems to mean that employers can escape class action lawsuits for employment disputes simply by requiring all employees to enter into arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. Although the ruling related to a California case, its holding probably will be applied to Nevada cases as well.

Pursuing a remedy within the scope of an arbitration agreement

In a nutshell, the Epic Systems case confirmed that employees cannot simply argue that such clauses are invalid for being unconscionable as a matter of course. The FAA’s protection for arbitration clauses requires employees who want to invalidate their employment contracts to find other reasoning. As such, employees may be limited in their ability to band together to protect their rights.

That does not mean that an employee who has signed an arbitration agreement is without legal recourse. Arbitration proceedings can be to the employee’s benefit as well. Arbitration tends to be faster and cheaper than ordinary litigation. Even though arbitration can have downsides, like confidentiality and potential bias among arbitrators who see employers as potential clients, an employee with a legitimate grievance should not hesitate to pursue an action anyway.

Call a Las Vegas attorney to discuss your case

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients in the Las Vegas area recover compensation for over 45 years. If you have concerns about how the arbitration clause in your employment agreement may affect your rights to pursue legal action against your employer, call us today for a free consultation. We’re available at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

Filing Complaints with the Nevada Division of Insurance

Filing Complaints with the Nevada Division of Insurance

From a certain point of view, insurers are in the business of denying claims. Finding a way to limit the scope of benefits a claimant can receive is how insurance adjusters make their living. Naturally, an insurer is legally permitted to aggressively defend itself against the possibility of fraud or inflated damages claims. But an insurer’s aggressive posture can and often does cross the line into the realm of bad faith or, even worse, fraud on the part of the insurer. When an insurance dispute arises the insured has the option of submitting a complaint to the Nevada Division of Insurance.

What does the Nevada Division of Insurance do?

The Division of Insurance has a number of important functions, with consumer protection being among time. The Division has staff dedicated to helping resolve disputes between consumers and insurers. They will investigate cases and offer mediation services to bring the dispute to amicable resolution without involving the relatively slow and expensive court system. The Division oversees state licensing of insurance professionals, which means that it has the authority to revoke the license of a professional or even a business if it has committed serious violations.

The complaint process begins by submitting a form online, or alternatively by mail. A consumer must provide all the information the Division needs to evaluate the claim, including a signed release form to permit the Division to seek medical information from the claimant’s doctors, if necessary. The Division considers cases involving potentially improper denials of claims, improper cancellations of policies, and disputes related to the necessity or efficacy of medical treatments. Once the Division receives the complaint and provides a notice to the insurer, the insurer has a short time to respond to the complaint.

The Division of Insurance has limited power to resolve disputes

Although the Division can help a consumer in a number of important ways, its authority in disputes is limited to a mediator role. Among other things, it cannot handle complaints brought by consumers who are represented by an attorney. Essentially, the Division offers no-cost assistance to consumers who otherwise cannot find or afford the help of an attorney. The Division also cannot order an insurer to provide coverage or alter a decision.

A consumer who feels that an insurance company is acting in bad faith or unethically may find that pursuing recourse through litigation offers a greater chance of a favorable outcome. This is especially true when a case involves complicated issues that make it difficult to compile a comprehensive complaint without an attorney’s help. Speaking to an attorney needn’t foreclose submitting a complaint to the Division of Insurance. The consumer can’t be represented by an attorney in a matter that is submitted to the Division, but an attorney may be able to help the consumer determine whether it makes sense to pursue a remedy through the Division complaint process or through litigation.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented injured clients in cases involving personal injury, workers’ compensation, and insurance disputes. If you aren’t sure whether filing a complaint with the Division of Insurance is the right move for you, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page.

When Must a Work-Related Injury Be Reported?

When Must a Work-Related Injury Be Reported?

People who get injured at work sometimes feel that they shouldn’t say anything about it. Perhaps the culture of the workplace encourages a “grin and bear it” attitude. Perhaps a worker is concerned about losing the job or being judged harshly by a manager. Whatever the reason, workers do themselves a disservice by not reporting workplace injuries. Failing to do so can jeopardize workers’ compensation benefits to which workers are entitled by law.

The basic rule workers should follow is to always report every incident where an injury has occurred on the job. In cases where the injury is serious, the first step is always to seek medical care. But once the initial treatment is provided, it’s important to report the incident. Nevada provides a prescribed form for this purpose: Form C-1 Notice of Injury or Occupational Disease. The employee must submit the form to his or her employer no later than seven days after the incident, or after discovering an occupational disease.

If the injury doesn’t require medical intervention, Form C-1 may be the only reporting step required. But when an injury does call for further health care, the fact that the employee submitted the initial report ensures that treatment will be covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Other reports become necessary when the employee goes to the doctor for treatment. The physician’s office will assist the employee to complete the next forms in the process, which are used to begin the insurance claims process through which the health care provider gets paid.

Nevada employers must comply with state and federal laws that require employers to report serious injury incidents. In Nevada an employer has 24 hours from the time it receives notice of a qualifying injury to notify the Division of Industrial Relations of any employee injury requiring hospitalization, amputation, or the loss of an eye. Among other things, these reports trigger an inspection by the state.

What if the employee didn’t complete Form C-1 at the time of the injury, but it later becomes evident that the injury isn’t superficial but requires medical intervention? In this case employees should still submit the paperwork and tell their health care provider that the injury is work-related. There can be legitimate reasons why an injury doesn’t appear serious at first. For example, an injury that gets infected, or a muscle strain that later turns out to be a tear, could still qualify for benefits even though it wasn’t reported immediately after the event. However, employees in this circumstance can expect to face questions from insurance adjusters who are paid to find excuses to deny coverage.

Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney from the beginning of the claims process can address many problems before they arise. The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has served injured workers for over 45 years. If you have questions about a work-related injury and how to get workers’ compensation benefits, call us today for a free attorney consultation. Reach us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Suing for Unpaid Wages in Nevada

Suing for Unpaid Wages in Nevada

Employers that don’t pay their employees the wages they have earned are unfortunately an all-too-common problem. Whether unpaid wages have been accrued through uncompensated overtime, violations of minimum wage requirements, or withheld tips, employers should not be allowed to get away with what amounts to theft. Workers who are victims of wage violations have legal recourse available.

Wage and hour laws are complicated, reflecting the many competing interests in the labor marketplace. One source of complexity is the interplay between state and federal laws. Both federal and state law set minimum wage and other basic labor standards. For many workers in Nevada, the provisions of Chapter 608 of the Nevada Revised Statutes will provide the first line of defense against wage theft.

Chapter 608 provides the framework for a wide range of wage and hour matters for most employers in Nevada. Here are some of the chapter’s provisions:

  • Employers cannot require employees to work without compensation during a “trial period.” NRS 608.016.
  • Employers cannot discriminate on the basis of sex to pay workers of one sex less than what is paid to workers of the other sex for the same work. NRS 608.017.
  • Eligible employees must be paid time-and-a-half for overtime (more than 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day for employees who work five days a week). NRS 608.018.
  • Employers must immediately pay unpaid wages and other accrued benefits to an employee who is fired. An employee who quits must be paid all accrued amounts within seven days or on the regular payday, whichever comes first. NRS 608.020, 608.030.
  • Employers are required to establish regular paydays. NRS 608.080.
  • Employers cannot require employees to refund earned wages or decrease compensation without at least seven days’ notice. NRS 608.100.
  • Employers must maintain detailed wage records. NRS 608.115.

An employee who has had wages unlawfully withheld or unpaid has a number of legal tools available. First, the law provides that employees who are fired or laid off obtain a lien against the employer’s property for unpaid wages until they are paid in full. NRS 608.050. Second, in the event of a successful lawsuit to recover unpaid wages the employer must pay the employee’s reasonable attorney fees. NRS 608.140. This second point is crucial: an employee need not hesitate to seek legal help for the recovery of wages solely out of concern about legal fees.

Finally, a worker can also file a complaint with the Nevada Labor Commissioner. The Commissioner has the authority to pursue administrative as well as criminal charges against employers who violate wage and hours laws. Bringing the authority of the state to bear against an employer who has acted in bad faith can be a powerful tool for recovering what is owed and preventing future violations.

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez represents working people in the Las Vegas area. If you have questions about how to pursue unpaid wages we can help. Call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

The Risks of Using Expired Child Car Seats

The Risks of Using Expired Child Car Seats

Child car seats are not designed to last forever. Manufacturers label each of their car seats, as well as related equipment like bases for removable bassinets, with expiration dates past which the car seat should no longer be used. Manufacturers do this for a variety of important reasons. Parents should take expiration dates seriously.

Why do car seats expire?

If a seat were to fail in an accident the potential for catastrophic injury to the child would expose the manufacturer to expensive products liability lawsuits, not to mention a loss of confidence in the marketplace. For that reason, manufacturers of car seats put their products through extensive safety testing before selling them to the public. Manufacturers also pay close attention to how their products perform in the field and will be quick to issue recalls if something isn’t working as intended. That is why registering car seats is recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and every manufacturer.

There isn’t a hard and fast rule governing when a car seat has reached its expiration date. Instead, manufacturers determine expirations based on their safety testing procedures and engineering standards. There are a number of reasons why a car seat is given an expiration date:

  • Safety standards are constantly changing, and older seats may no longer be compliant.
  • Materials and safety technology are constantly getting better.
  • Wear and tear can make straps, buckles, and safety padding more prone to breaking in an accident.
  • Manufacturers do not test seats for an indefinite time and will stop evaluating expired seats for faults that might otherwise trigger a recall.

The risks of using an expired car seat

For all the reasons above, using an expired car seat places the child at greater risk of injury. A buckle that’s worn out could snap open in a collision, potentially eliminating the seat’s protections altogether. The seat’s impact foam could be brittle and cracked underneath the external padding, making it less able to absorb shocks. The possibilities are endless.

In the event of an accident an expired car seat that causes injuries could limit the parents’ ability to seek damages from the manufacturer on a products liability theory. In extreme circumstances where the responsible adult knew that the seat was defective but used it anyway, there may even be liability for the person who put the child in the seat. Using a seat that isn’t expired is one way to avoid making a tragic situation worse.

This advice is especially important to keep in mind when considering whether to buy or accept a used car seat from someone else. Most thrift stores don’t take used car seats because the risks are too great, but they are often available for sale or for free through channels like Facebook and Craigslist. Used car seats may have hidden defects, may have been subject to a recall, or may be past their expiration. When it comes to safety equipment, it’s always better to buy new.

GGRM is a Las Vegas car accident law firm

For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in the Las Vegas area in auto accident and products liability cases. Contact us if you have questions about how your car seat may affect your legal rights. For a confidential, no-cost attorney consultation, call us today at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contact page.

Reasons to Never Leave a Child Unattended in a Parked Car

Reasons to Never Leave a Child Unattended in a Parked Car

Parents are often tempted to leave their children in the car while they run a quick errand. Many parents remember their own parents doing this to them when they were kids. But our current understanding is that leaving kids in cars is dangerous. Not only is it a crime to leave kids unattended in a car, it also exposes them to a number of potential dangers.

  • Heat injuries.

Nevada’s hot weather makes cars especially dangerous places for small children. In addition to the highly publicized problem of children being killed when trapped in cars, children can suffer lasting health effects from heat stroke and sunburn. A parent who leaves a child in a hot car may face charges of child endangerment or even manslaughter.

  • Risk of mechanical injury.

Even if a car is parked where it won’t get hot in the sun, a child who is allowed to freely roam inside a car can fall or get trapped in various ways. A child who is trapped inside a car with no way to call for help could suffer injuries that are only made worse by the length of time it takes to discover them and seek medical help.

  • Exposure to predators.

A child left alone in a car becomes an easy target for someone who would seek to do them harm. With child trafficking an increasingly significant problem, it’s wise to not discount the threat of kidnapping. Infants and very small children are especially vulnerable.

  • The rights of rescuers.

If someone spots a child trapped in a parked vehicle and calls the authorities, police or other first responders are allowed to break into a car to rescue the child. They may do so without liability to the owner of the vehicle. Imagine coming out of the grocery store to find a squad of firefighters smashing your car’s windows to get to your child.

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez represents clients in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and other cases. For a free attorney consultation please contact us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.