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Hit by Debris from a Truck in Nevada

Trucks carrying gravel, construction debris, and other loose material are supposed to have covers that keep their cargoes safely under control. But accidents still happen, and some operators are more careful than others when they load their vehicles. Many of us have had our windshields cracked by a loose rock falling out of a truck. But sometimes falling debris can cause much more significant problems, including accidents that result in personal injuries. In such cases, an injured person may have a legal claim against the operator of the truck.

The rules governing cargo securement

A general principle that applies to all drivers on the road is that a driver has a legal obligation to operate his or her vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. Anyone who puts cargo on a vehicle must take reasonable steps to ensure that the cargo is safely secured against falling into the roadway or otherwise creating unsafe conditions. This is true for all drivers. For example, it applies to someone who loads a mattress onto the top of a car to bring home. Commercial cargo carriers are subject to a broad range of rules with a variety of sources. Federal law regulates many kinds of commercial vehicles that fall within the scope of interstate commerce—a broad concept that captures many types of businesses, such as those using interstate highways. Federal cargo securement rules impose specific requirements for certain types of cargo. Nevada state law may have rules that go further than the federal standards for a given type of cargo.

Suing a trucking company

Almost by definition, debris falling off a truck is a sign that the person who loaded the truck, the driver, or the business that owns the truck has failed to comply with cargo securement rules. Ideally the driver of the truck sees the accident and pulls over to render assistance and provide insurance information. Sometimes a driver may not see that debris has fallen from the back of the truck and might need to be tracked down by other means. Commercial trucking firms are required to carry significantly more insurance than ordinary drivers. Someone who has been injured in a cargo-related accident should be able to rely upon the trucking company’s insurance coverage to provide at least partial compensation for injuries. But there are cases where the insurance company refuses to provide full coverage, or where the company’s insurance limits aren’t sufficient to cover the full cost of an injury. A lawsuit may be necessary. In cases where a trucking company or its agents have failed to comply with applicable cargo securement rules, the fact of noncompliance can be an important component in litigation. As a rule, when a civil defendant was violating a law or regulation at the time of an accident, and that violation was a cause of the accident itself, the plaintiff can use the violation to establish that the defendant has committed negligence per se. This standard shifts the burden of proof to the defendant, who now must show that its negligent behavior was not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. In cases involving loose cargo, such a case may be difficult for the defense to prove. Instead, it likely will be forced to settle on favorable terms.

The GGRM Law Firm represents auto accident victims

The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented clients in the Las Vegas area in auto accident cases for over four decades. If you have been injured as a result of debris falling from a truck, contact us today for a free attorney consultation about your case. Call us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

Roadway Debris Poses a Serious Risk to Motorized Scooters

Motorized scooters are taking America’s streets by storm. Seen as quick, flexible ways to get around town, they offer a fun alternative to walking, riding a bike, or catching a bus. On the other hand, scooters are also being blamed for a significant rise in injuries, including serious head wounds. One of the major sources of risk for scooter riders is roadway debris. The question for riders who are injured due to roadway debris is whether they have any legal recourse to recover compensation. Motorized scooters generally fall within the scope of Nevada’s rules governing mopeds. In many regards, a moped is treated like any other vehicle under Nevada’s traffic safety laws. Scooter riders therefore have a variety of basic obligations while they ride on public streets: obey traffic signals, take reasonable precautions to prevent accidents, and stay under the speed limit. Likewise, other drivers and pedestrians have a general obligation to use reasonable care to avoid accidents with moped riders. Roadway debris poses an interesting challenge for people who get hurt in accidents that it causes. Who is to blame for the debris being there? Answering that question is not always straightforward. Here are a few scenarios to consider:
  • A piece of equipment falls off the back of a truck, and a few minutes later the scooter rider falls while trying to avoid it. In this scenario, the owner and/or driver of the truck may bear liability for failing to properly secure the equipment, provided they can be identified.
  • An unresolved pothole leaves extensive gravel and other debris in the roadway. Such scenarios raise a number of questions. Which entity was responsible for maintaining the road? If the entity was a public agency, it may have protection against lawsuits under Nevada’s sovereign immunity law. On the other hand, if the agency failed to reasonably address a serious hazard of which it was aware, it may have committed negligence that would fall outside the sovereign immunity shield. Different standards apply to privately maintained roads.
  • Garbage blows onto the roadway from an adjacent property. Here again there will be tricky factual issues to resolve. Who was responsible for containing the garbage? What steps did they take to secure it, and what caused it to get loose?
For those who rent scooters from one of the several rental companies popping up around Las Vegas, it’s important to bear in mind that the rental contract probably includes some form of liability waiver, making a lawsuit against the rental company more difficult. Riders also should bear in mind that in any lawsuit their behavior as riders will be scrutinized. In general, a rider whose reckless behavior contributed to the accident should expect to have his or her chances of recovery reduced to some degree.

GGRM is a Las Vegas accident law firm

For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury and accident cases. We can help you examine your legal options if you have been injured in a scooter accident. For a free attorney consultation, contact us today at 702-388-4476 or through our contact page.

The Risk of Driving on Recalled Tires

Auto tires are highly engineered and carefully constructed to provide safe performance under a wide range of conditions. Like any sophisticated product, tires can be subject to manufacturer recalls. Such recalls can come about as a manufacturer learns about problems revealed by the real-world use of their products. When drivers learn about a recall of a tire that is mounted in their cars, it’s important to take immediate steps to respond to the recall. The underlying cause of tire recalls can vary widely. Some recent recalls have included potential problems with sidewall or tread adhesives coming apart. Others have reported cases where the steel cords lying underneath the outer rubber of a tire could become exposed. In each case the threat to drivers is a sudden loss of tire pressure, loss of traction, and loss of control. Even at low speeds a catastrophic tire problem can lead to a serious crash. Nevada’s products liability law gives people who are injured by defective products the option of suing the manufacturer and marketer of the product for compensation. A manufacturer recall doesn’t free the manufacturer from liability for injuries caused by the defect to which the recall relates. If anything, a recall is intended to reduce the risk that someone will get hurt and sue. A recall can even be useful to a plaintiff in a personal injury trial, provided that the plaintiff can prove that the specific defect addressed in the recall also caused the plaintiff’s injury. Proving that a specific defect caused an accident can require the help of an expert as the specific source of a tire failure may be impossible for an untrained person to identify. Expert witnesses can charge substantial fees for their work, but the expert’s analysis and testimony can be critical to show that a defendant’s product was defective. An expert’s testimony is likely to be especially useful for plaintiffs who want to use the fact of a recall as part of their case for the defendant’s liability. If a driver knows about a tire recall but ignores it or puts off getting the problem resolved, the tire manufacturer may have an argument that the driver has assumed the risk of injury by continuing to use the defective tires. Such a defense may grow more convincing as time passes. A driver who is injured by a tire failure while on the way to the shop to have the tire promptly replaced under the manufacturer’s recall program probably won’t face this defense. But a driver who goes for six months after receiving (and reading) the notice may have a harder time recovering full compensation if something goes wrong. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in personal injury and products liability cases. If you or a loved one has been injured by an accident caused by a defective tire, please contact us today for a free attorney consultation. Call us at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page.

Overcoming the Lies of an At-Fault Driver

Lies and deception are a reckless approach to getting out of liability for an accident, but that doesn’t stop some defendants from telling falsehoods. This can be especially problematic when the plaintiff and defendant are the only witnesses to the accident: there are no passengers, other drivers, or other bystanders who can shed light on the events leading up to the crash. When a defendant lies, the injured plaintiff can explore several options to establish the truth. The first is to obtain third party data. Auto accidents tend to generate a ton of information. Most contemporary cars have “brains” that can be accessed to gather data about virtually every system in the car. In an accident involving serious injury, police investigators may generate reports. In some cases it can make sense to investigate the defendant’s activities in the time leading up to the crash. Such information could come from deposing the defendant, or might be obtained from things like the defendant’s cell phone data. Another important approach is to examine the defendant’s own words. Lying consistently is very difficult to do. Many people who lie leave a trail of contradictory statements that can be used to refute their falsehoods. This is especially true of a defendant who has discussed the accident on social media or in other electronic forms, like email, which can be entered into evidence. The defendant may have made contradictory statements to others that could be brought in as evidence as well. A defendant who is “caught” in a lie in the course of litigation can face a number of consequences. If the defendant was testifying under oath, whether in a courtroom setting or in a deposition, the lie may be grounds for a criminal charge of perjury, a felony under Nevada law with penalties including up to four years in prison and a fine. In some cases the defendant’s attorneys may also be taken to task by the court for not taking steps to address their client’s deception. A good civil defense attorney wouldn’t allow his or her client to lie in court not just because of the serious criminal penalties that could result, but because it risks undermining the defendant’s case. For the personal injury plaintiff, proving that the defendant lied also calls into question the defendant’s other statements to the court. It puts the plaintiff in a significantly stronger position, because the credibility of the defendant as a witness has been seriously damaged. The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases for over four decades. We work closely with each client to find the best path to a successful outcome. For a free attorney consultation about your case call us today at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

Mistakes to Avoid After an Auto Accident in Nevada

Being in a serious car accident can have long-term consequences, especially for someone who has been injured and faces a long road to recovery. Amidst the fear and pain that comes in the immediate aftermath of a major crash, it’s important for people who have been injured to avoid making certain mistakes that could hurt their chances of recovering full compensation for their injuries from the at-fault driver or that driver’s insurance carrier. Naturally it’s essential to prioritize getting medical attention for those who need it after an accident. Once that step is resolved, there are some important things to avoid doing:
  • Not gathering a complete record of information about the accident. It’s always important to exchange information with other people who were involved in the crash. Nevada law requires drivers who are involved in a crash to exchange basic contact information, as well as license and insurance details. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to note down the time and location of the accident and as many details about what happened as possible. If possible, taking pictures is always helpful. So is getting contact details from witnesses, such as passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers who stopped to help.
  • Making statements that could imply fault. Although for many it’s instinctive to apologize after being an accident, an apology can become a tool of the other side in litigation as they seek to prove that their client wasn’t entirely at fault. One needn’t fear expressing concern for another person, of course, but it’s wise to avoid discussing the circumstances of the crash with the other driver. The inverse is also true: if the other driver begins to apologize profusely and offers a narrative about the accident that clearly shows fault, be sure to write down what was said.
  • Posting on social media about the accident. For many, posting photos and stories about an accident can feel like a perfectly natural thing to do. But it can have repercussions in any ensuing legal case, where the specific words and photos posted to a social media platform can be used to contradict testimony or establish adverse facts. Social media posts can be used by a defendant to call into question the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, establish that the plaintiff bears at least some fault for the accident, or other important details.
Anyone who has been injured in a car accident in Nevada should discuss the accident with an experienced accident attorney. 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.

Seeking Compensation After a Drunk Driving Accident in Nevada

Nevada law imposes significant penalties on those who drive drunk, and for good reason. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 30 people die every day in the United States in crashes related to drunk driving. Many more than that are injured by drunk drivers every day. The consequences can be devastating for those who are injured and for their families. Drunk driving is a crime, punishable in Nevada by a jail term of up to 6 months and a fine for first time offenders. Someone who kills another person as a consequence of drunk driving faces significantly harsher penalties. For the victim of a drunk driving crash, a criminal prosecution may offer solace in some regard, but it won’t necessarily pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and other damages associated with injuries. Even if state prosecutors are pressing charges against a drunk driver, an injured victim (or the victim’s family, if the victim has died or is incapacitated) can sue in civil court for financial compensation. Such a lawsuit probably will seek recovery from the drunk driver’s insurance company, but more than likely will also seek to recover additional damages from the driver personally. A drunk driver can be sued in civil court regardless of whether prosecutors will press charges, and regardless of whether the drunk driver is found guilty. Criminal courts have higher standards for conviction than the standards applied in civil courts for purposes of determining liability. A criminal conviction of a defendant is conclusive evidence of civil liability in Nevada. NRS 41.133. If a defendant has been convicted of a drunk driving offense, the questions in the civil case may turn to the extent of the damages for which the defendant should be held responsible. For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in auto accident cases. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, please reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation about your options. Call us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Are You Unhappy with Your Personal Injury Attorney?

The attorney-client relationship is one of the most intimate non-family relationships one can have. An attorney is ethically bound to provide zealous, passionate representation to every client. The client, meanwhile, is entitled to ask questions and raise concerns. Sometimes a client finds that an attorney isn’t providing the kind of service that the client expects or isn’t getting the results the client believes are possible. In those cases, it can make sense for the client to find a new attorney.

Reasons why a client might want to switch

Someone who is in the midst of pursuing a legal claim for a personal injury can be under a lot of pressure, whether from the costs related to the injury, its effect on their personal life, or the impacts on the client’s job. It is important that the relationship with the attorney not also be a source of problems. Clients may want to move on from an attorney who is adding to stress by being rude, belligerent, or intimidating. Clients may also want to move on from an attorney that they believe has committed an ethical violation. An ethical violation might involve a breach of the attorney-client confidential relationship, whether in court or in the course of negotiating a settlement. A violation might also involve a mishandling of funds, or a conflict of interest such as a simultaneous relationship with a party who is adverse to the client.

Reasons not to switch

The most important reason for a client to stick with the attorney they start with is to avoid lengthy delays and potentially undermining their case. A new attorney will need to come up to speed on everything that has happened, potentially taking significant time to re-analyze issues that the previous attorney had already studied. The court may allow for a short delay while the new attorney gets up to speed, but a judge probably won’t allow a plaintiff to inconvenience the defense for very long. A less clear case but one that deserves attention is where the client simply feels that the attorney isn’t getting as much as the client believes is possible to achieve out of the case. Clients rarely have the training and knowledge required to fully evaluate the merits of a case or the kinds of damages that are achievable in court or through settlements. Leaving an attorney for another one solely because that attorney tells you what you want to hear may not be a good strategy. In fact, the attorney who promises the moon probably is overselling the case.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury firm

For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. We strive to provide personal, caring service to each and every client, regardless of the size of the case. If you have been injured and would like to speak to an attorney about your legal options, call us today for a free consultation. We can be reached at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contact page.

Infertility Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Infertility can be a shocking side effect of many types of personal injury. Whether as a consequence of direct physical injury, or due to necessary courses of treatment, infertility may be a significant contributing factor in a person’s post-injury recovery. Someone who was planning to have children and no longer can, or who must now go through expensive fertility treatments to do so, may have the option of adding those issues to a list of demands in litigation.

Infertility as a form of damages

In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured plaintiff demands compensation for the damages associated with the injury that can be attributed to the defendant’s bad behavior. Plaintiffs typically base their claims on a range of well understood things like medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. A lawsuit may also seek recovery for so-called noneconomic damages, like a plaintiff’s suffering. Infertility can be a factor in both types of damages. This is because infertility can have elements that are relatively easy or relatively difficult to quantify. On the one hand are cases where an injury forces the plaintiff to undergo expensive fertility treatments or psychological therapy to overcome emotional trauma specifically stemming from loss of fertility. The costs of such treatments have clear sources. On the other hand, the plaintiff’s emotional suffering may have an abstract dimension as well. The costs of losing the ability to have a child can in many ways be more abstract than concrete.

The problems of proof

To receive compensation for any type of damages a plaintiff in a personal injury case must be able to prove the damages with reasonable certainty. Infertility is an example of an injury that raises challenges of proof for a plaintiff. There are several reasons why this can be so, including these:
  • Causation. A plaintiff’s fertility problems may have more than one cause. In cases where a clear line can’t be drawn between the plaintiff’s infertility and the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff will need additional resources, such as the testimony of a medical expert. Likewise, a defendant likely will try to raise doubts about whether the plaintiff has proven the case, for example by asking for evidence that the plaintiff had no fertility problems prior to the injury.
  • Emotional harm is harder to prove. For plaintiffs who seek damages for suffering of any kind, issues of proof can raise extra challenges. Infertility may raise especially difficult questions, as plaintiffs may need to “prove” their interest in having children and how infertility has affected them. A plaintiff’s attorney can take steps to protect the client from overzealous defense lawyers, but ultimately the client will need to decide whether pursuing these sorts of damages is worth the emotional cost.
The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez represents clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury and auto accident litigation. We are proud of our firm’s long history of providing clients with complete, personal service.  For a free attorney consultation about your case, call us today at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

Funeral Home Negligence in Nevada

Funeral homes play an important role in helping families grieve for the loss of a loved one. The scope of their duties can extend well beyond just providing a space for holding memorial services, including services relating to the preparation and storage of remains, cremation, and advice regarding statutory requirements. A funeral home is subject to regulation by the Nevada Board of Funeral & Cemetery Services. In the midst of a challenging emotional time, a funeral home’s negligence can cause significant disruptions, both emotionally and financially, to a family. Examples of funeral home negligence have been in the news lately. They cover a broad range of sometimes shocking behaviors by funeral homes that through inattention or outright fraud have created emotionally devastating circumstances for their clients. Examples have included homes that have mishandled the remains of deceased clients, such as not keeping them properly stored so that they begin to decompose. Other funeral homes have been caught storing bodies that they claimed were cremated. Still others have been discovered trying to cover up serious mistakes, like burying someone in the wrong plot. A family that discovers wrongdoing like this can be left with deep feelings of anguish, in addition to potentially facing additional costs associated with correcting problems caused by the funeral home. In some circumstances a family that is dealing with such trauma can sue to recover compensation for the costs associated with a family’s suffering, therapy, and recovery. Many funeral homes will ask their clients to sign contracts that contain some form of liability waiver for routine problems that can arise during the mortuary process. For example, contracts for a cremation may specify that a funeral home is not responsible for removing personal property like rings before cremation begins. It’s important for families to review these contracts with care and understand what their obligations are to avoid small but painful misunderstandings. No contract can waive a funeral home’s liability for gross negligence or willful misconduct. In serious cases, such as the examples involving “lost” bodies, a family should not feel intimidated by a contract’s terms. Personal injury attorneys can review the facts of the case, including the terms of a contract, to help families understand their options. The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez provide compassionate, caring service to each of our clients. We have represented clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases for over four decades. For a free attorney consultation about your case call us today at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

How Much is Your Lost Career Worth?

A serious injury can have devastating consequences for a person’s work life. Someone who can’t continue a promising career because of a serious injury is often forced to start again, either to develop new skills or perhaps to quit work altogether. In the course of developing the claims that go into a personal injury lawsuit, and in the course of negotiating a settlement, the plaintiff needs to have a good basis for calculating the value of the injury’s impacts on the plaintiff’s work and career. Fairness dictates that plaintiffs must have a reliable basis for the damages they claim in a lawsuit. Among other things, a plaintiff must support a claim of damages with evidence, which may include financial records and other historical information, as well as expert testimony from an accountant who specializes in helping litigants calculate damages. Accountants will take into consideration a number of factors to arrive at a reasonable estimate of a plaintiff’s lost earning potential. These include:
  • The plaintiff’s age. The younger a plaintiff was at the time of an injury, the longer into the future a serious injury must be projected.
  • The plaintiff’s work history. Any projection of future earnings must be based in part on past performance.
  • The injury’s prognosis. If a plaintiff is expected to make a full or partial recovery, based on a physician’s diagnosis, that will be an important consideration in determining how much the defendant should be expected to pay.
  • Other compensation the plaintiff will receive. Typically, a plaintiff’s compensation from a defendant will be offset by other forms of compensation, like disability insurance. Such insurance rarely covers the entire scope of a plaintiff’s losses, so a plaintiff can seek to “top up” from the defendant.
  • Statistical averages. Every plaintiff is unique, but when an injury derails a career it is often helpful to reference the average career arc of other people in similar lines of work. For example, someone who is injured early in a career should be granted recovery for a reasonably foreseeable progression of promotions, job changes, and other things that could be expected to impact earnings potential over time if an injury hadn’t intervened.
  • Discounts for projected setbacks. In addition to using projected progress, an accountant also needs to allow for the possibility of negative events that could impact a plaintiff’s career over time. Things like the likelihood of future illness and even projections of changes to a plaintiff’s industry could be included as factors.
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and accident cases. Contact us today for a free attorney consultation about your injury. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our site.