Indoor and outdoor trampoline parks have become a popular place to play for kids as well as adults. In addition to being fun, jumping on a trampoline can be good exercise
, burning calories and developing core strength. Like any form of exercise, trampolining also involves a degree of risk. Landing awkwardly or falling off the trampoline can cause a range of injuries
. At a trampoline park one must also be mindful of other people. Parks construct large “floors” of interconnected trampolines, so visitors can hop from place to place without restriction. Parks also tend to have equipment that is unfamiliar or unusual, which may increase the risk of injury.
A trampoline park’s safety is dependent on a range of factors. Some of these are within the jumper’s control, while others are not. Visitors to trampoline parks should keep all of these things in mind to improve their own safety:
- Jumping on a trampoline is a skill. It’s important that each jumper understand his or her own limits. Although it’s easy to catch some air hopping onto a trampoline with no training, the truth is that it takes practice to develop strength and skill. This is especially true for doing tricks like flips.
- Be mindful of other jumpers. Collisions are responsible for a significant number of injuries at trampoline parks. Jumping at a trampoline park is a bit like driving a car on a busy street. Even the most skilled driver can end up in an accident with another driver if the other driver isn’t paying attention. Jumpers need to stay alert for others coming into their space.
- Report damaged equipment. If safety padding is missing or loose, or a trampoline isn’t working correctly, it’s important to stop using the damaged equipment. The operator of the park should be told about the problem so it can be addressed.
From a legal standpoint every trampoline park requires its visitors to agree to liability waivers that place strict limits on the park’s responsibility for injuries. Properly drafted liability waivers are enforceable contracts that will forestall lawsuits against park operators for many common forms of injury. But each case is different. Whether a waiver applies to a specific injury should be evaluated by an attorney.
Trampoline parks are responsible for maintaining the safety of their equipment and premises. This probably means that they have a duty to take reasonable steps to inspect their facilities to ensure that they are in good working order. It also means that they should not introduce dangerous elements, like heavy balls that can be thrown around in a room meant for very small children. Given the inherent risks involved with trampolining, parks should provide adequate supervision of jumpers to ensure that everyone is following the rules.
Individual jumpers may also be responsible for causing injuries. In most circumstances a jumper at a trampoline park has an obligation to behave reasonably. Someone who is recklessly leaping around without regard for the safety of others might be liable for negligence if someone gets hurt as a result. People who jump while intoxicated may increase this risk. Bear in mind that a liability waiver signed at the door is only between he park operator and the jumper, and doesn’t restrict liability between jumpers.
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury cases. If you have been injured at a trampoline park, our experienced injury attorneys are standing by to offer advice about your case. Call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page
Although the safety of workout equipment is constantly improving, the reality is that doing any sort of physical activity involves a degree of risk. Working out at a gym is no different. Lifting heavy weights can damage ligaments. Running on a treadmill can cause a fall. Getting overconfident during a yoga class can lead to torn muscles. In some circumstances a person injured at a gym may have the option to sue the gym for contributing to the injury.
The limits of a gym’s responsibilities
Before considering how a gym might have legal responsibility for a member’s injuries it’s important to examine the principles that protect gyms from liability. Here are two important examples:
- Any gym that expects to stay open long will require its members to sign liability waivers. To be enforceable a waiver needs to have a few features. First, it must be clearly worded. Second, it can only cover events that are reasonably foreseeable at the time the person signs it. For example, a gym’s liability waiver may disclaim responsibility for injuries caused by a member using weight equipment, but if the member is injured because equipment breaks, that may not be covered by the waiver.
- Assumption of risk. Even if a liability waiver doesn’t cover the specific activity that caused an injury, the gym may be able to rely upon the member’s assumption of risk to escape responsibility for some or all of the injury. A person is deemed to assume the risk of an injury if the person is voluntarily engaging in an activity that the person knows or should know carries a degree of risk. A liability waiver may include language expressly requiring the member to confirm that he or she is assuming the risk of injury by participating in gym activities.
When a gym may be held responsible
There are two principle ways a gym can find itself liable for a member’s injuries:
- Premises liability. As operations open to the public gyms owe a high degree of care toward members to ensure that the gym facilities are safe for use. They are expected to take steps to verify the safety of their equipment and spaces, and take action to remedy dangerous conditions should they arise. These principles can capture a range of potential hazards. The most clear-cut are cases where equipment is not properly maintained and breaks as a consequence. Potentially less obvious is if a gym doesn’t attend to a slippery condition on the floor, such as if someone spills a drink or vomits. Bear in mind that in such cases the gym may have a defense available that relies on the inherently “messy” environment of gyms, where water and sweat are common hazards that patrons know to watch for.
- Negligence by employees. Businesses like gyms are also responsible for injuries caused by conditions that are the result of actions taken or not taken by their employees. A trainer who pushes a patron too hard might create liability, especially if the trainer doesn’t take reasonable steps to respond to the injury.
GGRM represents injured clients in the Las Vegas area
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped injured clients get compensated for their injuries. If you have been injured at a gym and would like to examine your legal options, we are happy to answer questions. For a free attorney consultation call us today at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page
The psychological consequences of an injury can be long-lasting and severe. However, psychological injuries differ significantly from their physical counterparts. Unlike a broken bone, an injured person’s depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) won’t show up in a conveniently objective medical scan. Instead they need to be proven by psychiatrist testimony, evidence about the person’s changed behaviors, and so on. Among the challenges of proof is the need to reduce a victim’s psychological trauma to a dollar figure that can be factored into a claim for damages.
What types of psychological harm can come from injuries?
Suffering a serious injury is often a traumatic event, followed by a string of further stressful experiences. The injury itself might come about because of a violent car accident, a dog attack, or even a slip and fall resulting in broken bones. The pain and fear of the event itself can lead to psychological consequences. But the aftermath of the injury can also have side effects: lost work, long-term difficulty with sleeping, an inability to enjoy life, and so on. Some of the psychological consequences of these things can include:
- Changes to personality
- Mood swings
What sort of compensation is available for psychological injuries?
In a lawsuit for personal injury the aim is to get the injured person compensation for the costs (or damages) related to the injury. The term damages includes concrete things like medical bills and lost earnings, and can also include more abstract notions like pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment. Calculating the amount of damages a plaintiff is owed is a complex and contentious part of any personal injury lawsuit.
To recover damages the plaintiff must prove several things. First, the defendant’s wrongful behavior must have been the legal (or proximate) cause of the damages. For example, a plaintiff who was already addicted to opioids at the time of the accident may be unable to recover damages for his or her ongoing addiction, even if that addiction was made worse by the accident. Second, the damages must be proven by evidence. For psychological injuries this element can be difficult. The costs associated with treating the psychological condition, such as psychiatry bills and medication, may be only one part of the whole. A plaintiff’s attorney can find ways to build a strong case for compensation that fully captures the consequences of the injury.
GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients in the Las Vegas area recover compensation for personal injuries. We provide each client with personal, caring service. If you have questions about how psychological factors may affect your personal injury claim, please call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page
Whether due to movies like the Fast and Furious
franchise, similar television shows, or video games, so-called street racing occasionally rears its ugly head in cities around the United States. During such races a driver is likely to exceed the speed limit, ignore traffic signals and signs, and place pedestrians and other drivers in significant danger. That is why street racing is illegal in Nevada and elsewhere. Someone who has been injured by someone who is competing in an illegal street race should consult with an attorney.
Nevada law on street racing
Driving or organizing “an unauthorized speed contest on a public highway” is a crime in Nevada, punishable by a fine, mandatory community service, and prison time. NRS 684B.653
. By definition, driving in such a race is a form of reckless driving. A first-time offender may be fined up to $1,000, ordered to serve up to 99 hours of community service, and jailed for up to 6 months. The penalties go up for repeat offenders. Offenders can also have their drivers’ licenses suspended and their cars impounded. Note that these penalties are in addition to penalties for broken traffic laws, refusing to stop for police, and so forth.
A street racer faces significantly more serious penalties if he or she causes serious injury or death to another person in the course of a race. In such cases the driver may be imprisoned for up to six years and fined up to $5,000.
Criminal prosecution of illegal racers may not fully compensate victims
When someone is prosecuted for any crime the prosecution may ask the court to order the defendant to make restitution payments to the victims of the crime as part of the sentencing process. Such restitution can only be ordered for economic damages suffered by the victim: medical bills, lost earnings, and so forth. By law, criminal courts don’t get involved with so-called noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.
The criminal justice system may or may not protect the injured victim in other ways. The prosecution is not within the victim’s control. It may take a long time and ultimately may fail for reasons having to do with the high requirements for conviction.
People who are injured by illegal racers therefore have a strong incentive to pursue civil lawsuits to recover complete compensation for their injuries. Even if the criminal prosecution is ongoing, it can be worthwhile to also pursue a civil action. And if the criminal prosecution has concluded with a conviction, the conviction can be used in the civil case to prove the defendant’s liability.
GGRM is a Las Vegas accident law firm
The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury and accident cases for over 45 years. If you have been injured by a driver who was involved in an illegal street race, call us today for a free, confidential attorney consultation. We’re available at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website
Depositions are often a critically important part of discovery, the fact-gathering phase of litigation. In a deposition, attorneys representing the parties in the dispute ask a witness a series of questions that are intended to help the attorneys gather information that may be important to the case. Witnesses answer questions under oath, meaning they face possible legal consequences for lying or misleading their questioners. A court reporter keeps a transcript of the deposition, which may also be videotaped in some situations. In some circumstances a witness may be assisted by an attorney, but as a rule a witness in a deposition is expected to prove accurate answers to all the questions that are asked.
For someone who is directly involved in a legal dispute over a personal injury, a deposition may sound like a kind of interrogation. Television and film like to ratchet up the drama with scenes of aggressive attorneys badgering witnesses into emotional outbursts. In reality a deposition needn’t be a stressful event. Although a witness is expected to answer every question that is asked, the witness’s attorney can enter objections on the record and can even ask that the deposition be stopped if the witness is being unfairly attacked.
Another important part of an attorney’s job is to prepare clients for depositions. There are a number of things that a witness can do to prepare for a deposition:
- Get clear about the important facts. To be clear, a witness’s preparation for a deposition is not about crafting a good story. It’s about making sure that the witness has a clear memory of the things that are likely to come up, so the answers given at the deposition are as accurate as possible. This includes knowing what one doesn’t know, and what one is unsure about.
- Practice answering questions. It can be helpful to have a friendly attorney roleplay the deposition. Not only does this help the witness think about how to answer difficult questions, it also makes the deposition itself feel more familiar and less stressful.
- Think about body language and vocal inflection. An attorney who is experienced with depositions will be looking for clues not just in what the witness says, but also in how the witness behaves. There’s nothing to gain by being argumentative, rude, or angry during a deposition. The witness should think about steps that could help relieve tension, such as taking a breath, sipping water, or other simple tactics.
- Get clear about procedure. During a deposition, attorneys will banter about technicalities, raise objections, and make comments to the court reporter. It can be helpful to a witness to know how this back-and-forth may affect them. Simply put, most of it can be ignored. At a minimum, witnesses should be prepared to answer questions even if their attorney objects to it. It can also be helpful for a witness to know how to go about asking for a break.
The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury cases for over 45 years. Our team is devoted to providing personal, thoughtful attention to each client. We have extensive experience with helping clients prepare for their depositions. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our contacts page
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), an umbrella concept that includes arbitration and mediation
, has grown into a popular approach to solving legal disputes. It often arises in commercial disputes, where many contracts require the parties in a dispute to pursue mediation or arbitration before anyone can sue. It can also come up in cases involving personal injury. In recent years online ADR has become an increasingly viable and robust alternative to conducting relatively expensive, in-person processes. Should someone who has been injured agree to pursue the online ADR approach instead of filing a lawsuit?
Cost and speed are the chief reasons for pursuing resolution of legal disputes through mediation and arbitration. Mediation in particular can offer a particularly speedy and inexpensive route to a settlement. In mediation the two sides of a dispute sit down to negotiate a resolution of their problems, with a mediator acting as a neutral facilitator. The mediator isn’t a judge, and the two sides in the dispute don’t need to go through the complex and sometimes expensive process of developing evidence that would be suitable for a court. To reach a final outcome, the parties in a mediation need to reach agreement about how they’ll resolve their dispute. In the case of personal injury, that might involve the responsible party agreeing to pay a certain amount of money to the injured person.
Arbitration is essentially “litigation lite,” with an arbitrator standing in for a judge. Arbitration is streamlined and simplified when compared to litigation, but rules of evidence and procedure make the process considerably closer to litigation than mediation is. The two sides to the dispute can call witnesses, present evidence, and make their arguments in an adversarial setting. At the end of the process the arbitrator will reach a conclusion which, in some circumstances, may be binding upon both sides of the dispute.
dispute resolution is a concept in its relative infancy with a spotty history
. Websites offering various kinds of dispute resolution services have come and gone over the years, mostly with little success to show for it. In theory, an online process offers many of the same advantages of mediation or, to a lesser degree, arbitration. It can be relatively fast, informal, and confidential. It can also be conducted between parties who are located anywhere in the world, removing barriers that might make other forms of ADR difficult (cost of travel, disability concerns, and so forth).
The potential downsides of online dispute resolution are considerable. For starters, any conclusion reached in an online forum may not be legally enforceable in a court. It also doesn’t necessarily provide a mechanism for resolving difficult questions, which can make it unsuitable for controversies where important facts are in dispute. This is a common problem with personal injury cases. Complex issues like medical diagnoses will be difficult or impossible to resolve in a satisfactory way without the tools available in more formal settings.
Even in cases where an online solution may offer a fast, simple approach to resolving a dispute, it’s important to consult with an attorney to understand the benefits and risks of such an approach. An attorney can help the client protect his or her interests, avoid traps set by the defense, and evaluate whether an online process needs to be abandoned for another approach. For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in personal injury cases. To learn how we can be of help in your case, call us today for a free attorney consultation. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site
The decision to go to authorities with complaints about an employer’s wrongful or illegal behavior is never an easy one. Whistleblower statutes attempt to reduce the hazards involved with coming forward by shielding employees who come forward with good faith concerns about potentially wrongful behavior from retaliation by their accused employers. Nevada and federal law both provide a range of protections for public employees who come forward as whistleblowers.
Nevada’s public employee whistleblower law can be found at NRS 281.611
through 671. Broadly, the statute is designed to protect state and local government employees from retaliation for reporting “improper governmental action.” This term casts a broad net, capturing actions by state or local officers and employees taken in the performance of official duties that is:
- In violation of a state law or regulation.
- In the case of local agencies, in violation of a local ordinance.
- Abuses authority.
- Presents a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety.
- Is a gross waste of public money.
The law protects a broad range of individuals who work for the state or a local government agency, including elected officials, political appointees, and individuals who perform public duties for compensation. State and local officers and employees are may not use their official authority to threaten, coerce, command, or otherwise influence a person who wishes to disclose improper government action. This includes taking adverse employment actions against the whistleblower, which includes everything from outright termination to unwarranted negative employment reviews. To be actionable under the statute the retaliation must have taken place within two years of the disclosure of information. A claim of wrongful reprisal for whistleblowing can be made by submitting a form
to the Department of Administration Human Resource Management division.
In addition to Nevada’s general whistleblowing statute protecting public employees, other state and federal laws may be germane to specific cases:
- Section 250 of the Nevada False Claims Act protects employees and contractors who report fraud in government contracts.
- State common law recognizes that an employer’s retaliation against a whistleblowing employee violates public policy that favors disclosure of wrongdoing. “Public policy” is a specific legal concept that draws upon principles set forth in statutes and elsewhere. For public employees, one source of public policy rationales for whistleblowing is Nevada’s Ethics in Government
- The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces whistleblowing protections under a wide range of federal laws.
A public employee who is thinking about reporting bad behavior by an employer should consider consulting with an attorney before
taking actions that could result in retaliation. Ideally a whistleblower gets ahead of potentially illegal reactions by an employer. At Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez we provide personal, caring counsel to each client. For a free attorney consultation about your case call us today at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page
Demonstrative evidence can be a powerful tool for establishing a legal case. In broad terms, demonstrative evidence refers to materials prepared by a legal team to summarize or illustrate other forms of evidence—raw data, witness testimony, collections of photographs, and so on—in a way that will help a judge or jury interpret and understand it. Demonstrative evidence might come in the form of chart, a table, or a map. Critically, demonstrative evidence has been prepared specifically for trial in reliance upon an underlying set of information.
Because demonstrative evidence is created by a party in the litigation it must meet strict standards to be admitted in court, as determined by Nevada’s evidence law
. In simplified terms the evidence needs to have the following characteristics:
- Relevance. The evidence must have a connection with a material fact that is at issue in the case.
- Identification and authentication. The sources of facts included in the evidence must be identified and authenticated. In other words, the demonstrative item must not include information that is not otherwise already established in the case. If the evidence presents information that is based on expert analysis or testimony, a qualified witness may need to confirm its accuracy.
- Usefulness. Evidence needs to be useful to the fact finder (the judge or the jury) to be admitted. “Useful” means, among other things, that the information is presented in a clear and accurate way. By definition, the evidence can’t be deceptive, misleading, or confusing. A chart that distorts a critical piece of information, for example by displaying it in particularly large text compared to the rest of the chart, might be deemed misleading.
Demonstrative evidence always poses a risk that it may unfairly prejudice a jury in ways that are out of proportion to the information that is presented. A stark example of this might be a barrage of explicit photographs of an injured person, formally presented to show the extent of the person’s injuries but strategically intended to evoke sympathy. Courts have the option of limiting or excluding demonstrative evidence that might have a disproportionate or unfair effect.
In a personal injury case the central questions tend to be whether the defendant behaved negligently in causing the plaintiff’s injury, and the extent to which the plaintiff has proven the damages that he or she has claimed. Demonstrative evidence can be useful in both areas. Once witness testimony and documentary evidence has been presented to the court, it can be helpful to summarize it in a chart to show how the defendant’s wrongful behavior led to the plaintiff’s injury. Likewise, preparing a table showing all the ways the injury has harmed the plaintiff, from medical costs to pain and suffering, can help the court form a complete picture of all the ways the injury has affected the plaintiff’s life.
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury cases. We work closely with clients to develop winning strategies for taking on difficult challenges. If you have been injured and you have questions about your case, please reach out to us for a free attorney consultation. We can be reached at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contact page
The viability of a personal injury lawsuit can sometimes hinge on the testimony of witnesses. Witnesses can provide essential information about an injury and related matters, such as the extent of the plaintiff’s damages. Some witnesses are willing to provide testimony and information without being compelled to do so. But others may be reluctant. Perhaps the witness is a friend of the defendant’s and doesn’t want to testify to facts that will help the plaintiff. Or perhaps the witness is an employee of a company that is being sued and wants to protect a career. In many cases such witnesses can be required to testify through the use of subpoenas.
What is a subpoena?
The subpoena power is a significant resource that only becomes available once a lawsuit has been filed. Its purpose is to give the parties to litigation a means to gather evidence related to the case even against the objection of individuals who have it. Subpoenas may demand testimony (a subpoena ad testificandum
) or production of documents or other materials (a subpoena duces tecum
). A court may charge someone with contempt if they fail to comply with a valid subpoena. Under Nevada law
contempt is punishable by a fine of up to $500, imprisonment for up to 25 days, or both, as well as reimbursement of legal fees and other expenses of the party that originally sought the subpoena.
The mechanics of subpoenas in Nevada state civil courts are governed by Rule 45
of the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure. To be valid a subpoena must comply with all of the requirements of Rule 45 and other related rules. A subpoena must be served upon the party being compelled to appear. Service must be in person and, with a few exceptions, must be accompanied by compensation for the witness’s mileage and a day’s fees.
Can someone avoid a subpoena?
There are a few ways someone can avoid responding to a subpoena. Many of the exceptions relate to the validity of the subpoena itself:
- Avoiding service of process. One reason people hire professionals to serve process is that some people take pains to avoid it, thereby frustrating efforts to make the subpoena valid and binding. Process servers use creative methods to deliver documents to people who try to hide from service.
- Undue burden. A respondent is not required to comply with a subpoena that creates an undue burden. This abstract concept is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but might include things like interrupting necessary medical care. An attorney who issues and serves a subpoena that creates an undue burden or unreasonable expense upon the person being served can be subject to sanction by the court.
- Reasonable time. The subpoena must allow the respondent a reasonable time to appear.
- Reasonable place. A subpoena cannot order someone to travel more than 100 miles from the respondent’s home or business, unless it is to the place where the trial is held.
- Protected information. Subpoenas may be quashed or modified if they require someone to disclose trade secrets, confidential business information, or compels an opinion by an expert who has not been retained by a party as a paid witness.
Experienced personal injury attorneys are used to using subpoenas to gather information that pertains to their cases. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in personal injury cases. For a free attorney consultation about your case call 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site
Teaching kids how to ride bikes safely is a great way to encourage them to develop life-long healthy habits. Putting children on bikes also involves a significant responsibility. Preventing accidents and injuries should be a top priority. Children can be at greater risk than adults for bicycling accidents. They don’t always ride in a straight line, may not have sufficient skill to respond to changing conditions, and may be easily distracted. Bearing in mind that many accidents can be prevented even by the people who are not legally at fault, here are a few tips for keeping kids safe on bikes.
- Check for mechanical problems. Kids’ bikes go through a lot. They get dropped, left outside for long periods, and so on. Before going for a ride in public places it’s a good idea to always check for mechanical problems, especially with brakes and any point of contact between the bike, the rider, and the road (such as seats, handlebars, wheels). A quick tightening of a loose nut may prevent an accident.
- Make children wear helmets. Nevada law doesn’t require cyclists to wear helmets. Although not wearing a helmet won’t result in a citation, it could result in a serious or even fatal head injury. Bear in mind that helmets do not prevent every kind of head injury, they only reduce the likelihood of severe trauma.
- Teach traffic safety. Bicycles are not regulated in the same way as cars in Nevada, but they are subject to traffic rules. Kids who will ride in public need to have a basic working knowledge of what signs mean. It’s especially important that kids know when they must stop. They also need to know to stay within designated lanes and when it is ok to leave them. When riding on roads, cyclists are required to stay within designated bike lanes if they are present, unless roadway conditions in the bike lane makes it unsafe to do so.
If a child is injured while riding a bike and someone else was at fault, there may be an option of suing for compensation for the child’s injuries. The facts of the accident will be vitally important for determining the outcome of the case. After an accident it is important to gather as much information as possible about the event, including the time of day, the location, details about the people involved, and so on. Of course, this is easier said than done when a child has been injured and needs medical help.
In any ensuing litigation the central question probably will be whether the person responsible for the accident was negligent. If the child was riding recklessly—for example, by running a red light into oncoming traffic—that may offer a partial or complete defense.
Talk to a Las Vegas personal injury firm about your case
The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury and accident cases for over 45 years. If you have questions about an accident involving a child on a bicycle, please contact us today for a free, no-obligation attorney consultation. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our contacts page