Monthly Archives: January 2020

Latest Posts

Archives

Categories

Tags Cloud

Protecting the Interests of a Special Needs Plaintiff in Personal Injury Lawsuits

When a person with cognitive challenges suffers a serious injury, special precautions must be taken by the personal injury attorney to ensure that the defense does not abuse the plaintiff’s condition in hopes of gaining a legal advantage. Special needs plaintiffs include people with developmental conditions, like Down syndrome, as well as individuals who have suffered brain injury and illnesses, like Alzheimer’s disease. The strategies that are used to protect the interests of a special needs individual must be tailored to suit the particular individual’s best interests.
  • Emotional challenges. Many special needs plaintiffs struggle with the stress and anxiety that comes with being injured. Care must be taken to ensure that discussions about the facts relating to the injury are handled in a thoughtful, compassionate way. This is especially true during formal depositions and trial testimony. For a plaintiff who may have such difficulties, the challenge is often to balance the plaintiff’s justified need for emotional safety and the necessity of getting important questions answered in order to reach a fair resolution. The plaintiff’s therapist or physician may offer valuable assistance to ensure that the plaintiff’s well-being is protected during this process.
  • Memory difficulties. When the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit has difficulty remembering key details about the injury, the plaintiff’s attorneys sometimes need to get creative to find alternative ways to develop a reliable case. It’s a rare case that is built solely on a plaintiff’s oral testimony. Other sources of evidence—other witnesses, documents, recordings, digital data—can be used to establish facts that the plaintiff might have forgotten.
  • Communication. Many people with cognitive difficulties have problems communicating. Whether the plaintiff struggles to form words, or struggles to understand what is being said, the attorneys involved in the case often need to rely upon the advice of experts who are familiar with the plaintiff’s condition to overcome such challenges. As with circumstances involving memory difficulties, communication issues often increase the value of other forms of evidence. They may also limit the value of a witness’s oral testimony.
For a personal injury attorney, working with a special needs client presents an opportunity to find workable, compassionate solutions that will meet the needs of the client’s case. The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases for over four decades. Our practice is committed to providing caring, personal service to every 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.

Does Bad Weather Excuse Bad Driving?

Everyone who has driven in heavy rain probably has noticed a perplexing tendency of some drivers to simply ignore the weather. Racing along at “dry weather” speeds during rain ignores the loss of traction and reduced visibility that comes with rain. When an accident occurs during bad weather, people who are injured in the crash may wonder how the weather’s role in the accident might factor into the at-fault driver’s liability. The answer to that question will depend on a number of considerations. As a general principle, Nevada drivers owe certain legal duties. The first of these is to obey traffic laws. The second is more abstract: a driver is obligated to drive in a safe manner, with the goal of avoiding accidents and injuries. In truth, even traffic laws are subject to a certain amount of interpretation once rain starts falling. Nevada law requires drivers to use their windshield wipers when driving in rain or snow. But it doesn’t necessarily require drivers to slow to a crawl. Speed limits generally are set according to what is deemed a safe maximum speed on a roadway in dry, daylight conditions. When roadway conditions change, the posted speed limit may no longer be appropriate. If the at-fault driver was breaking the speed limit at the time of the accident that does provide the plaintiff with a strong case for negligence, but it can be a closer call if the defendant was driving at or below the posted limit but was still moving too fast under the conditions. A driver’s general duty to operate a vehicle in a safe manner leads to more close questions that must be answered in light of the facts of the accident and the events leading up to it. The Nevada Department of Transportation’s rainy day driving safety tips provide a potential reference for evaluating whether someone was operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner. For example, someone who doesn’t adjust following distance to allow for longer stopping times might be driving in a negligent manner. Of course, the DOT’s list is not legally binding. Every accident needs to be evaluated according to its own merits. Far from excusing irresponsible driving, bad weather imposes additional obligations on drivers. The facts of the weather at the time of the accident will be important components of an injured person’s claims against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in personal injury and auto accident cases. Contact us today for a free attorney consultation about your accident. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our site.

Liability for Fires Caused by Household Chemicals

Improperly stored flammable materials can cause disasters. A backyard shed full of old gas cans or aerosol sprays could be a ticking time bomb, just waiting for an errant spark to set off a serious fire. When household chemicals cause a house fire, the effects can reach far beyond just the place where the fire starts. In some cases, not taking proper care of household chemicals can be grounds for liability for the damages that ensue from a fire.

A homeowner’s obligations to care for flammable materials

Outside of the context of deliberately set fires—the crime of arson—most lawsuits arising from fires are grounded in a theory of negligence. In simplified terms, a claim of negligence asserts that the defendant failed to comply with a legal duty, and as a consequence the plaintiff suffered an injury. A plaintiff must be able to show that all of the damages he or she claims were the result of the defendant’s negligent behaviors. A key question in any negligence case is what legal duty the defendant owed to the plaintiff. Everyone owes a general obligation to others to take reasonable steps to avoid creating risks of harm. This rule doesn’t mean that a homeowner can’t keep hazardous materials on hand. Keeping gasoline stored in a proper container in a garage or shed does not, in itself, create a problem. But keeping gasoline in an improper container may be a different matter. For example, someone who stores gas in an old milk jug may be allowing fumes to build up in the space that create an unreasonable risk of fire.

What liability can a fire create?

When a person’s negligence leads to a fire, the potential liability that person may bear can be quite broad. Specifically, liability may extend to every consequence of the fire. This can include:
  • Property damage caused by the fire, including damage to neighboring properties and the personal assets that are burned.
  • Personal injuries and deaths suffered by people who are caught in the fire.
  • The costs associated with fighting the fire.
These risks typically are on top of the responsible person’s private struggles in the aftermath of the fire. Someone who has flammable materials around doesn’t necessarily need to be reminded of the potential liability to others to know they need to take precautions to prevent fire. But when someone decides to ignore a private risk of fire, they often are also ignoring the risks that many others may bear.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

If you have been injured by a fire caused by another person’s negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to a personal injury attorney to begin assessing your legal options. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has served clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases. For a free attorney consultation about your case, call us today at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our website.