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What Out-of-Pocket Costs Can a Workers’ Comp Claimant Face?

Getting injured while on the job in Nevada entitles workers to insurance coverage under their insurers’ workers’ compensation program. Once a valid claim is started, the insurer will pay for a range of important expenses associated with the worker’s medical care. In some cases, though, an injured worker may need to pay some costs.

Nevada’s workers’ compensation system provides a broad basket of benefits to covered workers:

  • Medical bills for treatment that is reasonable, necessary, and authorized.
  • Wage replacement (up to defined maximums).
  • Mileage reimbursement for travel to and from doctors’ appointments.
  • Vocational rehabilitation for workers who can no longer continue their prior profession.
  • Benefits such as funeral expenses and special payments to heirs in the event that the worker dies as a result of work-related injuries.

All of these benefits are subject to important limitations. Each have caps limiting how much an insurer will pay. Each may also come with strings attached. For example, by accepting certain fringe benefits the worker may sign away his or her right to reopen a claim. On top of these limits, insurers work hard to find ways to limit their financial exposure for each claim.

The potential for disputes with the insurer is perhaps the most important source of potential out-of-pocket costs for an employee. The “bargain” of the workers’ compensation system is that in exchange for obligatory, no-fault insurance coverage an employee cannot sue the employer except in rare cases of gross negligence or intentional injury. This limitation can put the employee in a difficult position if the insurer or employer doesn’t provide the kind of coverage that the worker is entitled to.

As a consequence, injured workers may need to hire an independent attorney to assist them with their case. An ethical attorney will examine a potential client’s case and provide an analysis of the kind of value the attorney can add to the client’s claim. By hiring an attorney the client may be able to greatly improve the outcome of the workers’ compensation process.

Of course, once coverage limits are reached any further costs must be borne by the injured worker. One goal of a workers’ compensation attorney is to ensure that only relevant costs are allocated to a particular category under a policy, so coverage limits aren’t reached in an artificial manner. There are other, rarer kinds of out-of-pocket expenses that may be necessary to resolve disputes with insurers. A dispute may require payment of administrative fees to obtain hearings. There may be costs associated with elective medical exams that are necessary to refute a questionable diagnosis by an insurer-designated physician.

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in workers’ compensation cases for over 45 years. For a free attorney consultation about your case call us at 702-388-4476 or through our contacts page.

Getting Back to Work After a Serious Hand Injury

Hand injuries can be crippling, and for anyone who works with their hands—most people—such injuries can have serious career consequences. If the injury happened at work, workers’ compensation insurance should cover not just medical costs, but rehabilitation and potentially some retraining as well. For people who suffer hand injuries outside of work, the path can be more difficult.

Recovering from hand injuries is a long process

The hand is enormously complex, and injuries to it can be just as complicated. Even an invisible injury like a torn tendon or carpal tunnel can have long-term consequences. But broken bones and amputations are common as well. One of the challenges of recovering from a major hand injury is that many factors can cause recovery to go more slowly than anticipated, or not be as successful as hoped. Many types of injuries lead to chronic conditions that limit the injured hand’s functions and affect an individual’s ability to work.

Workers’ comp and hand injuries

Because workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system, workers who are injured on the job need to meet a fairly low threshold to get coverage for an injury. By law an employer is required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to all of its employees and qualified contractors. For an injury to be covered it must have arisen out of and in the course of the worker’s employment. Hand injuries on the job are no different from other types of work-related injury as far as coverage is concerned.

Lasting hand injuries often force people to change the kind of work they do. Workers’ compensation may cover retraining programs where a doctor has imposed permanent work restrictions related to the injury and the employer has not offered permanent light duty work. The success of a retraining program depends on many factors, only some of which are within the worker’s control. But it can offer a way to change careers in response to an injury that otherwise could leave the worker unemployed for the long term.

Injuries outside of work

One hopes that an individual who causes his or her own hand injury has insurance to cover the injury and its consequences. Of course, as we all know many people lack such insurance, and for them the cost of such injuries can be enormous.

Someone who suffers a hand injury as a consequence of another person’s negligence may have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover whatever costs an insurer won’t cover. Quite often these include things like job retraining, prosthetics, and physical therapy. Unlike workers’ compensation insurance, a lawsuit can also recover compensation for pain, mental anguish, and other forms of damage that a hand injury often brings.

GGRM is a Las Vegas workers’ comp and personal injury law firm

If you have suffered a serious hand injury and you think you have not received fair compensation, whether from the responsible employer or from a person who caused the injury, it’s important to talk to an attorney right away. The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases for over 45 years. For a free attorney consultation about your case, call us today at 702-388-4476 or through our contacts page.

Lane Departure Detection and Other Car Safety Features

Auto safety features have become increasingly more sophisticated over the last decade. Modern cars are often equipped with advanced equipment like rear-facing cameras, front and side obstacle detection, blind spot warnings, and lane-keep assist. These features, many of which come as a side benefit of the race toward self-driving cars, greatly enhance a vehicle’s safety.

Despite their obvious advantages, modern safety features aren’t able to stop every kind of accident. In fact, their role in an accident could become a part of a personal injury dispute. An overarching reason that this is true is that modern cars record enormous quantities of information about their systems, including the state of safety features. Here are a few ways these systems might factor into a case:

  • Showing distraction. Technology has made it easier to prove that a driver was distracted at the time of an accident. If the accident was caused by the driver’s car veering across lanes, the fact that the lane-keep assist system was beeping could be used to show that the driver wasn’t paying attention. Likewise if the driver backed into someone or something while the backup camera was active, the extra information available on the camera monitor may serve as a useful fact for the plaintiff. Although the data probably doesn’t tell the whole picture, it can become a vital clue as to the state of mind of the driver in the moments before the accident.
  • Establishing facts. Many safety features rely upon a car’s “vision,” as provided by cameras and other sensory equipment. The data from sensors themselves can become valuable information in a dispute. For example, it may show where one vehicle was in relation to another at the time of a crash. A collision prevention system’s activation may indicate that the driver was following too closely or didn’t brake in time. Oftentimes the facts shown by a system’s technical records are more reliable than the scattered recollections of individuals involved in a crash. Sometimes the technical data can show that one of the people involved in a crash isn’t telling the truth.
  • Resting culpability on the manufacturer. It’s conceivable that a safety system may not work as intended. A driver who has come to rely on a car’s side and rear obstruction detectors might cause an accident if the detectors aren’t working properly. There could be many reasons for a malfunction: improper maintenance, ordinary wear and tear, or a fundamental flaw in the system’s design or construction. Where the responsibility for the system’s failure rests with the manufacturer, it may be drawn into a case on a products liability theory.

The role modern safety systems can play in a personal injury case will vary based on the specific facts of each accident. Working with experienced attorneys who understand how to use technical data is essential to building a strong case. For more than 45 years the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented personal injury clients in the Las Vegas area. If you have been injured in a car accident call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page.

Overmedication in Nursing Homes

Placing a loved one into the care of a residential nursing facility involves a high degree of trust. Caregivers in nursing homes, from unlicensed assistants to the licensed nurses and doctors who oversee medical services, are placed in a challenging position of managing the wellbeing of people who cannot fully care for themselves. Dispensing medication is a key function of nursing homes. It can also be a source of problems. Overmedication can be a consequence of abuse, where the dispensing employee is deliberately trying to harm the patient. But it can also arise where a facility’s staff overuses medication to keep residents under control.

Professional negligence in a nursing home context

Given the complex challenges involved in caring for especially infirm patients, it’s easy to understand why caregivers can make choices that, after the fact, appear to have been wrong. The nursing home context may on the one hand give some leeway for professionals to administer medication for palliative purposes. But the risks in the nursing home context only heighten the importance of good practices and careful medication management.

Overmedication could be a sign of professional negligence. In Nevada, professional negligence is defined as “the failure of a provider of health care, in rendering services, to use the reasonable care, skill or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances by similarly trained and experienced providers of health care.” NRS 41A.015. The definition of “provider of health care” for professional negligence purposes is limited to (among other things) licensed physicians and nurses, as well as licensed hospitals, clinics, and other organizations that employ such professionals. It’s worth noting that the operator of a nursing home may not fall under this definition if it has “outsourced” its medical care. Instead, the licensed professionals overseeing and administering care, as well as their employer, will need to be identified.

The complex conditions in a nursing home may make a professional negligence claim more difficult than might be the case in an ordinary case of medical malpractice (i.e., objects left in a patient’s body after surgery). The decisions made in connection with a resident’s care will be measured according to a “reasonableness” standard, which leaves ample room for professionals to use their judgment when doing things like administering medicine. To successfully sue, the plaintiff will need to gather supporting facts to show that the nursing home staff administered medications in a way that was not reasonable under the circumstances. For example, it may be unreasonable to keep a patient continuously sedated for the convenience of the staff rather than because the patient is especially prone to risky behavior.

When negligence turns into abuse

Unfortunately, abuse in nursing homes is more common than one would hope. Nevada law defines unlawful abuse as the willful and unjustified infliction of pain, injury, or mental anguish upon a victim who is 60 or older or is physically or mentally impaired. NRS 41.1395. If nursing home staff is intentionally overmedicating a patient not for professionally reasonable purposes but rather to deliberately cause the patient injury, an abuse claim may apply. A successful claim of abuse can recover double damages.

Cases involving overmedication will involve difficult questions of proof. Blood testing or an autopsy may reveal that the patient had toxic levels of medication in their system. However, the question is not just whether too much medicine was administered, but whether the medicine was justified under the circumstances. Once again the professional judgment of the caregivers will be carefully examined. Perhaps the patient needed to be perpetually sedated due to a tendency toward self-harm. On the other hand, evidence like statements about a desire to hurt patients could shift the analysis the other way.

Call a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer to discuss your case

If you are concerned that your loved one may have suffered neglect or abuse in a nursing home it’s essential to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients in the Las Vegas area recover compensation in personal injury cases for over 45 years. For a free attorney consultation call us at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

Legal Options for Victims of Domestic Abuse in Nevada

Victims of domestic abuse have legal tools available to help end the cycle of violence and seek just compensation from their abusers. Domestic abuse is rarely a simple or straightforward problem to solve. The victim can be faced with complex and contradictory feelings, and practical concerns like children or income can add to an already difficult circumstance. But understanding the options can be an important first step toward a lasting solution.

An important point about domestic violence is that can occur not only between married people but within a broad swath of important relationships. It also covers not just physical attacks but other types of abuse as well. In Nevada domestic violence can occur between current or former spouses, relatives, roommates, people who are currently dating or previously dated, people who have had a child together, and between a person and their minor child. Domestic violence may be a physical attack (battery), an assault (placing someone in fear of being physically attacked), forcing someone to do something by threat or use of force, sexual assault, harassment, false imprisonment, or forceful entry into another person’s residence. NRS 33.018.

Seek a protective order.

One of the simpler mechanisms available from the legal system to protect victims of violence is the protective order. Protective orders are available for anyone who asserts that he or she is a victim of domestic violence or has been threatened with domestic violence. NRS 33.020. They are also available for victims of stalking, harassment, or sexual assault, as well as the parents of children who have been mentally or physically abused. A protective order is issued by a court and provides a legally binding instruction to the person bound by the order (in technical terms, the “adverse person”) to not do certain things. The scope of a protective order can be as broad as necessary to help the applicant feel safe, and may include restrictions on where the adverse person can go, with whom they may interact, and other restrictions. An applicant may obtain a temporary protective order lasting 30 days without involving the adverse person in the proceeding. An extended protective order lasting up to one year may only be issued after a hearing.

Protective orders that are issued to stop or prevent domestic violence can have important effects beyond restrictions on where the adverse person may go. Someone who is subject to an extended protective order may be ordered to surrender any firearms they own and may be prohibited from purchasing them during the term of the order. NRS 33.031. The adverse person may also be ordered to pay child support.

Ask the police for help.

Domestic abuse is a crime. Where a police officer has probable cause to believe that battery (that is, a physical attack against another person) has taken place in a domestic context, the officer is authorized to arrest the perpetrator without a court-issued warrant. NRS 171.137. For many victims of abuse the decision to call the police is difficult to make, with the threat of violent retaliation looming over the choice. But when serious harm is threatened, the police can stop a bad situation from getting worse.

Talk to a caring attorney.

The attorneys at the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez pride themselves on providing personal, compassionate service to each of our clients. We understand that domestic abuse is a complicated and difficult problem and we are glad to help victims explore their legal options. For a free attorney consultation, reach out to us today at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contacts page.

Proving Causation of Work-Related Cancers

Cancer affects much more than just a patient’s physical health. It also can have profound consequences for the sufferer’s financial wellbeing. One hopes that cancer victims always have the benefit of thorough insurance coverage, but that isn’t always the case. When cancer can be traced to a cause that was work-related, a patient can sometimes seek benefits under the workers’ compensation insurance policy of the employer responsible.

For cancer to be covered by an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance the patient must be ready to prove that the disease arose “out of or in the course of employment.” For most types of injury the link between an injury and employment is established early in the process, usually at the first visit to a doctor. But unlike a broken arm suffered at a work site, cancer can be slow to develop and its cause may be difficult to trace.

There are three threshold matters that the patient must establish (or be prepared to establish) to ensure that coverage will not be denied:

  1. Exposure to a carcinogen at work. Proving exposure to a carcinogenic material at work can be easier in some situations than in others. If the patient worked at a chemical plant and was routinely exposed to substances that are well known to cause cancer, the case will be relatively easy to build. But if the patient’s exposure was in an isolated event, where the presence of carcinogens wasn’t known, proving the link may be more difficult. The passage of time can complicate proof as well.
  2. A causal relationship between the carcinogen and the patient’s specific cancer type. The patient’s doctor can help draw a connection between the work-related exposure to a carcinogen and the patient’s cancer. If a dispute arises with the workers’ compensation insurance provider, additional expert testimony and other scientific evidence might be required to prove causation.
  3. No intervening cause. Although a patient doesn’t need to prove that his or her cancer didn’t come from a source other than work, the insurer will almost certainly argue that it might have. This has been the insurer’s argument in cases involving secondhand smoke exposure at casinos. Because casino workers can be exposed to cigarette smoke other than at work, insurers have successfully denied coverage for their lung cancers.

Another potential problem for slow-developing cancers can be employers who have since gone out of business. Patients in this situation shouldn’t entirely give up hope. Even though the business may no longer exist under its old name, it may still exist under another, been merged with another business, or been bought out. A crucial question will be whether the current legal entity that owns the business has responsibility for lingering obligations to former employees.

Nevada provides a special benefit for firefighters who contract cancer, even after retirement. NRS 617.453 can simplify the process of seeking benefits for firefighters who are exposed to carcinogens during their careers. The law provides a specific list of carcinogens and their known related cancer types. Provided the firefighter can show exposure to a carcinogen that the statutory list links to the firefighter’s cancer, there will be a presumption that the cancer is work-related.

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has served clients with challenging workers’ compensation cases. If you think your cancer may be work-related but you aren’t sure how to go about making a claim against your employer, please reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation. Call us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Responding to Abuse of the Mentally Disabled

When a loved one suffers from a mental handicap, it can be especially painful to learn that he or she has been abused in some way. Whether the abuse is at the hands of a caregiver, a trusted friend, or a stranger, the offender’s actions could have long-term consequences both for the abused person and those who must continue providing care. Representatives of the abused person may wish to seek compensation from the abuser by filing a lawsuit.

What constitutes abuse in Nevada

Nevada law protects “vulnerable persons” from abuse. A vulnerable person is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the person and has a medical or psychological record of the impairment or is otherwise regarded as having the impairment. NRS 41.1395(4)(e). The law specifically provides that the definition includes people with intellectual disabilities, severe learning disabilities, severe mental or emotional illness, or who has suffered from a terminal or catastrophic illness or injury. It may be helpful to note that the law’s language regarding a condition affecting “major life activities” and allowing for a condition to be diagnosed or merely “perceived” track the definitions of disability used in important statutes like the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.

“Abuse” falls into two categories. The first is a willful and unjustified infliction of pain, injury, or mental anguish. The second category involves an intentional deprivation of food, shelter, clothing, or services that are necessary to maintain the victim’s physical or mental health. NRS 41.1395(4)(a). The key component of this definition is that the alleged abuser must have acted willfully and without justification. It isn’t enough to show that the abuser was negligent or sloppy in how he or she cared for the mentally disabled person. Instead, the abuser needed to intend to do the harm.

Who can be an abuser?

Note that the definition of abuse doesn’t express any opinion about who can do the abusing. For purposes of showing abuse, it makes no difference if the defendant was a professional providing care in a formal arrangement or just a friend. Anyone around the mentally disabled person could commit abuse according to the first category set out above—an intentional infliction of mental or physical suffering is a clear case. The challenge for plaintiffs in these cases can be proving that the abuse happened and was the defendant’s fault. This is especially true if the victim lacks capacity to testify against the defendant.

The second category of abuse is potentially more subtle. How much food, shelter, clothing, and other services are “necessary” for any one person’s wellbeing? Were the defendant’s actions justified under the circumstances? For example, if an especially ill person was threatening to hurt themselves with clothing, it may be appropriate to leave them without clothes for a time. Situations that at first glance seem like abuse may offer defendants a winning argument. These are tricky questions that require careful analysis and skilled lawyering.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented injured clients in the Las Vegas area. We are dedicated to providing personal, caring attention to each of our clients. If you or a loved one has suffered abuse and you would like to better understand your legal options, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

Personal Injury Basics for Equestrians

Properly cared-for horses are not especially dangerous animals, but they can still cause injuries. A rider may fall from the saddle, a horse may kick or bite. When someone is injured during equestrian activities it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages from the person responsible. This is especially true if the injury is very serious, involving high medical costs or even death. Quite often such cases will need to be taken to court to compel an insurer to cover the injured person’s costs.

There are several potential scenarios involving horses where personal injury could create legal liability. Here are a few examples.

  • Dangerous animals. A horse’s owner needs to understand the animal’s personality. Horses can have a wide range of quirks, like fear of loud noises or children. Sometimes a horse’s behavior goes beyond typical skittishness and makes the animal dangerous to be around without appropriate precautions. The owner of such an animal needs to take reasonable care to ensure that other people are not harmed by the horse. That may include warning people who are around it and ensuring that the horse is kept where it isn’t likely to cause harm.
  • Improperly maintained equipment. Although not directly related to the behavior of the horse, badly maintained equipment could cause an injury. A saddle’s buckle might break under strain, throwing the rider. A noncommercial owner of equipment, such as someone who allows a friend to ride a horse, is not expected to take special care to ensure that every piece of equipment is in perfect condition. But if the owner knew or should have known about an equipment defect, liability may apply.
  • Irresponsible behavior. Equestrians develop good habits to keep their horses calm and content. Someone who doesn’t follow good practices around a horse risks spooking it into behaving erratically. In some situations the bad behavior may rise to negligence or worse. Setting a trap, even as a joke, is an extreme example. Bad behavior swings both ways. If the injured rider was drunk or behaving in a dangerous way (for example, trying to stand up on the saddle) the rider may be found to have behaved negligent as well, regardless of how others behaved at the time.
  • Inadequate supervision of minors. Children don’t necessarily know how to behave around horses. A horse owner who allows a child to ride a horse needs to take special precautions to make sure the child rides safely and doesn’t fall from the saddle.

It goes without saying that the facts of any injury need to be evaluated by experienced professionals to determine if a legal case can be made. To a certain degree someone who rides horses assumes risk of injury, but that doesn’t always relieve others of responsibility for creating dangerous conditions. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped injured clients in the Las Vegas area recover compensation for their injuries. If you have been injured by a horse and would like to understand your options for seeking recovery, we are here to help. For a no-cost attorney consultation, call us today at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contact page.

Alternative Medicine and Professional Negligence

“Alternative medicine” is a term encompassing a loosely defined collection of medical and pseudo-medical approaches to solving health problems. It includes familiar treatments like chiropractic and acupuncture, as well as more obscure approaches using healing crystals and herbs. Therapies are labeled as “alternative” if they are not used by mainstream medical professionals. One reason a treatment can be labeled alternative is because its clinical effectiveness isn’t settled. Someone who is injured by an alternative medicine professional’s negligence may have legal recourse to recover compensation.

Nevada’s professional negligence statute covers some kinds of alternative medicine

Nevada law allows lawsuits against providers of health care for damages arising from an injury or death caused by the provider’s professional negligence (what used to be called “medical malpractice”). The definition of “provider of health care” captures some kinds of alternative medicine practitioners, but not all. It includes:

  • licensed physicians, optometrists, dentists, and other conventional health care providers
  • licensed psychologists
  • chiropractors
  • doctors of Oriental medicine licensed pursuant to NRS Chapter 634A to practice acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other practices regulated by the State Board of Oriental Medicine.

Provided that a health care provider falls within these categories, a professional negligence suit is the appropriate remedy for injuries they cause. Professional negligence claims are subject to special rules, such as a requirement that the plaintiff obtain an affidavit signed by another professional in the same or similar profession as the defendant who attests to the defendant’s negligence. Professional negligence lawsuits are subject to a cap on noneconomic damages.

Alternative medicine outside the scope of professional negligence

Some practitioners of alternative medicine practices are not recognized as “providers of health care” within the scope of Nevada’s professional negligence statute. In practice this may mean that injuries caused by such practitioners fall within conventional negligence. Because professional negligence statutes are designed to protect health care professionals from some kinds of liability, it’s to a plaintiff’s advantage if the defendant isn’t covered. The professional negligence statute’s damages cap and other technical requirements won’t apply.

Patients who are considering using the services of an alternative medicine practitioners should use caution. The practitioner’s insurance should be scrutinized with care. Patients should not sign contracts with liability waiver language without first understanding the risks involved in a procedure. A treatment involving healing crystals may involve little inherent risk, but a treatment using herbs or chemicals that fall outside recognized norms may cause serious injury. Some practitioners may be committing fraud, violating licensing laws, or exposing their patients to dangerous situations.

GGRM is a Las Vegas medical malpractice law firm

The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez provide personal, attentive service to clients in the Las Vegas area. If you have been injured by an alternative medicine treatment and you would like to speak to an attorney about your legal options, please contact us for a free attorney consultation. Call us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Calculating Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Cases

The category of damages called “pain and suffering” can sometimes be the eye-catching part of a personal injury trial’s outcome. For example, a recent case awarded a plaintiff $10 million for pain and suffering in connection with a severe injury suffered by a teenager on a homeowner association’s badly maintained swing set. Someone who has been injured and is considering filing a lawsuit should take a moment to understand what pain and suffering damages are and what their limitations rae.

The categories of damages in Nevada civil litigation

Civil trial damages are divided into three categories:

  1. Economic (or compensatory) damages can be thought of as the consequences of the defendant’s wrong actions that can be reduced to a firm dollar figure without resorting to abstraction. Past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, and property damage are examples of economic damages. The scope of economic damages can itself be a controversy at trial. For example, a person’s future earnings are contingent on many factors, like the person’s age, years to retirement, and career path.
  2. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in cases where the defendant has acted especially badly. The aim of punitive damages is to make an example out of the defendant to deter others from behaving in the same way.
  3. Noneconomic damages tend to be difficult or impossible to quantify using commonly accepted formulas. Examples of noneconomic damages include humiliation, anxiety, grief, and loss of enjoyment. Pain and suffering are just two closely related variations of noneconomic damages.

The types of damages that a plaintiff can seek in a case depend on the nature of the claim, the parties involved in the case, and other factors. Economic damages tend to be available in almost every case that isn’t simply barred on other grounds. But noneconomic damages can be subject to caps or even prohibited altogether. Such restrictions are usually contained in statutes that are designed to limit the liability risk of certain activities. For example, Nevada law limits noneconomic damages in professional negligence cases (e.g., medical malpractice) to $350,000. NRS 41A.035.

How are pain and suffering damages calculated?

A plaintiff’s claim for pain and suffering, or other forms of noneconomic damages, must be fair and reasonable and may not exceed any applicable statutory cap. Like all damages, pain and suffering also must be proven with evidence. The greater a showing the plaintiff can make of the tribulations suffered due to the defendant’s wrongful actions, the greater the potential damages award. Unlike a plaintiff’s medical bills, pain and suffering isn’t so much a matter of math as one of reasoned argument.

Proving pain and suffering requires a careful collection of hard evidence, like photos and medical records. Documentation of the plaintiff’s medical condition, such as x-rays, can be especially persuasive. Oral testimony can also be vitally important. The plaintiff’s family members, friends, occupational therapists, and others can help to paint a picture of how the plaintiff’s life has changed after the incident.

GGRM is an experienced personal injury law firm in Las Vegas

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented injured clients in the Las Vegas area for over 45 years. If you have been injured in an accident and would like to speak to an attorney at no cost, please give us a call today at 702-388-4476. We can also be reached through our contacts page.