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Suing a Child Care Provider for Negligence in Nevada

Parents are right to expect safe and responsible practices by the daycare facilities where they leave their children. A properly licensed and legally compliant facility must follow numerous laws and regulations governing safety and staffing, all designed to reduce the chance that a child will suffer a serious injury. Ordinary bumps and scrapes might be expected, but when a child needs to be hospitalized after an injury, questions will arise about the extent to which the daycare is legally responsible. The short answer to such questions is usually, yes, the facility does bear responsibility. Responsible providers carry insurance to protect themselves, the children in their care, and their parents from suffering serious financial consequences in the event of a tragic accident. They also ensure that their staff are well qualified to take on the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the children in their care. There are numerous potential sources of injury to children at daycare facilities. Ideally, every facility takes steps to reduce or eliminate sources of risk, but financial constraints, inattention, or inadequate skill can leave hazards unresolved. Examples of sources of injury include:
  • Improperly maintained equipment
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Inattention to food allergies
  • Improper response to an injury
  • Negligent hiring practices
In extreme cases, a daycare’s employee may have committed neglect or abuse that could give rise to a criminal investigation. The more common cause of action for an individual plaintiff will probably be negligence. A daycare that fails to meet its statutory requirements, or that fails to take reasonable care to protect children from injury, may be said to have committed negligence. Each case needs to be evaluated according to its own facts. In some cases a daycare’s staff may be reluctant to explain what happened, or may tell stories that the child disagrees with. One challenge in such cases is overcoming the staff’s reluctance to be held responsible for its own mistakes. An experienced attorney knows how to overcome these issues. 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.

What to Do if a Child Is Injured at School

When a child suffers a significant injury at school, parents have the option of suing for compensation to help pay for medical bills and other expenses associated with the injury. The type of lawsuit that may be appropriate will depend on the specific facts of the case. In most cases, there are some general principles that will matter for parents in this circumstance.

Public versus private school

The option to sue a school for a student’s injuries exists regardless of whether the school is public or private. However, there are important distinctions between the two. As a subdivision of state government, a public school district is subject to the damages limits imposed by Nevada’s governmental entity liability laws. A plaintiff seeking damages in a negligence lawsuit against a school district cannot recover more than $100,000 in compensation. This damages limit doesn’t apply in cases involving deliberate acts. A private school does not have the same statutory protection as a public school, meaning the potential damages that a plaintiff could recover are substantially more. A private school may have required parents to sign waivers or other limitations of liability that could limit the amount a plaintiff could recover. Such waivers should not discourage parents from exploring legal options. Many waivers can be overcome by plaintiffs.

Potential causes of action against schools

Lawsuits for personal injury typically are grounded in a claim of negligence. Negligence involves the defendant’s failure to take a legally required degree of care toward the plaintiff. It can apply to a wide variety of circumstances. As a general rule, Nevada schools owe their students a high duty of care to prevent injuries and ensure safety. An act of negligence could give rise to a lawsuit in cases such as these:
  • Negligent maintenance of playground equipment or school infrastructure leading to injuries from slip-and-fall accidents, cuts from sharp edges, and so forth.
  • Negligent food safety practices leading to foodborne illnesses.
  • Negligent hiring of individuals who pose a foreseeable safety risk.
  • Negligent supervision of students leading to injuries from fights or other issues.
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury cases. If your child has been injured at school we can help you examine your legal options and develop a strategy to seek compensation. For a free attorney consultation call us at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contact page.

Seeking Compensation for Child Abuse

A child who suffers emotional or physical abuse can endure both short- and long-term consequences, from injuries requiring medical care to lasting emotional and psychological trauma. In many cases child abuse is a crime. It can also be grounds for filing a civil lawsuit against the abuser to recover compensation for the child’s care. The nature of a lawsuit filed against an alleged child abuser will depend on a range of factors. These will include:
  • The identity of the abuser. Was the abuse by a parent or caregiver, or was the abuser someone outside the home?
  • The nature and severity of the abuse (physical versus purely emotional abuse, sexual versus nonsexual abuse).
  • The identity of the potential plaintiffs, which might include parents or legal guardians suing on behalf of their child, or the child suing directly.
A key question in any abuse trial will be the availability of physical evidence to prove that the abuse took place and that the defendant was responsible. In cases of physical abuse this might include testimony from medical professionals who treated the child immediately after abuse-related injuries. It might also include photographs and testimony from anyone who can confirm seeing visible signs of injury. Evidence of emotional abuse may have similar contours. In cases of emotional abuse, it can often be helpful to have evidence of the child’s psychological state before the abuse occurred as a way to show how much harm the abuse caused. When a child has been abused it is often vitally important to take steps to prevent the abuse from happening again. Plaintiffs can seek protective orders to restrict the abuser’s access to the child, and should consider reporting the incident to law enforcement and the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services. Parents are sometimes reluctant to seek help through these official channels for a variety of reasons, including fears that a governmental agency may seek to take the abused child away from the home. An attorney can help parents resolve these questions. The timing of a lawsuit that arises from child abuse is an important consideration for potential plaintiffs. Under Nevada law most types of personal injury cases must be filed with the court within two years of the injury. Nevada law provides an exception for plaintiffs who were minors at the time of the wrongful action. In such cases the two year period will only begin to run once the victim-plaintiff turns eighteen (in legal terms, the statute of limitations is “tolled” or paused). There is also a greater period of time granted for victims of childhood sexual abuse. Last year the Nevada legislature extended the statute of limitations for lawsuits arising from sexual abuse of a minor from ten to twenty years. NRS 11.215. The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury cases for over 45 years. If you or a loved one has suffered from child abuse and you would like to better understand your legal options, call us today for a free, confidential attorney consultation. We’re available at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

Bounce Houses Can Cause Serious Injuries

Bounce Houses Can Cause Serious Injuries
Bounce houses have become a popular feature of kids’ parties. As much as kids love them, bounce houses are also beginning to be blamed for a significant number of serious injuries. Before renting a bounce house or other inflatable amusement device for your next party, be sure to understand the risks. The kinds of injuries that a bounce house can cause Bounce houses have been responsible for a range of injuries, including:
  • Injuries resulting from collisions between participants.
  • “Flyaway” accidents in which children are trapped inside an unsecured inflatable that blows away.
  • Falls from the inflatable to the ground.
  • Twisted joints and broken bones caused by ordinary use.
  • Disease spread through inadequate sanitation.
Some kinds of injury can be avoided through proper setup and supervision. Operators need to ensure that inflatables are set up properly, including staking to prevent them from being picked up or knocked over by strong winds. And adults need to supervise kids while they’re on or around bounce houses to ensure that they aren’t using them in a dangerous way.

Bounce houses and personal injury lawsuits

The parent of a child who is injured using an inflatable may have the option of pursuing a lawsuit. Here are some potential issues that may arise in such a suit:
  • Who gets sued? The rental company that owns the bounce house may not be the only party at fault for a serious accident. The hosts of the party or other adults who took responsibility for supervising the children using the inflatable may also bear some degree of legal responsibility.
  • Liability waivers. Most companies that rent bounce houses require their customers to sign liability waivers, which in Nevada can leave a business off the hook even for its ordinary negligence, at least with respect to the person signing the waiver. An important question in any injury case will be whether the person who was injured is bound by the terms of the waiver.
  • Assumption of risk. People understand that jumping around inside a bounce house involves a degree of risk of ordinary bruises and bumps. But the legal defense of assumption of risk may not be available for serious injuries that are not as foreseeable. For example, the risk that a bounce house could fly away in a strong wind might not occur to someone. Bear in mind that assumption of risk may be a component of any rental agreement.
  • Contributory negligence. In many kinds of accidents, more than one party bears a degree of responsibility. Nevada’s modified comparative negligence rule reduces the defendant’s financial liability by the amount the plaintiff was responsible for the accident. A parent who leaves a child unattended in a bounce house might in some situations be deemed to have acted negligently.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured while using a bounce house it’s important to understand your legal options. For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented personal injury clients in the Las Vegas area. Our attorneys are available to answer your questions and explain the potential avenues for seeking compensation for your injuries. Call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476, or reach us through our contact page.

Legal Options When Children Are Hurt by Badly Designed Toys

Children get bumps and scrapes all the time. It’s part of growing up. But sometimes a toy is badly designed or poorly made and causes a more serious injury. Especially when a child is hospitalized for injuries caused by a defective toy, parents will have questions about how the law can help them get compensation for medical bills and other expenses associated with caring for their child.

Nevada imposes substantial liability for defective products

Nevada allows consumers to sue toy manufacturers for a wide range of damages from a product. Plaintiffs can sue for economic damages like medical bills and the lost wages of a parent who must take time off work to care for a child. They can also sue for noneconomic damages like emotional distress. A product’s manufacturer and distributor can be liable for defects arising at every stage of a product’s life, from its design and manufacture to the way it is packaged and labeled. NRS 695E.090.

The elements of strict products liability

Strict products liability is the most important legal theory for plaintiffs who are injured by defective products in Nevada. Strict liability shifts responsibility for defective products to manufacturers and marketers if all of its elements are met. Ginnis v. Mapes Hotel Corp., 86 Nev. 408 (1970). In Nevada a plaintiff must show the following elements to recover under a strict liability theory:
  1. The defendant was the manufacturer or marketer of the product.
  2. The product was defective.
  3. The product’s defect existed when it left the defendant’s possession (for example, when it left the factory or warehouse, and not after an intervening event damaged it).
  4. The defendant used the product in a way that was reasonably foreseeable by the defendant.
  5. The defect caused the plaintiff’s damages.
Nev. J.I. 7.02. Here’s an example of how these elements might work in a defective toy case. ABC Toy Co. makes a plush bear, which it labels as suitable for children as young as six months. The bear’s ears are attached at ABC’s factory with poorly made thread that loses cohesion when the bear is left in the sun for too long. The plaintiff’s seven-month old child is chewing on the bear’s ear, as children that age often do, and chokes on the ear after it falls off. The child loses consciousness and suffers brain damage. Here’s a case where each of the elements of strict liability are present, and the plaintiff is likely to recover substantial damages. The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has a long and distinguished history of helping personal injury clients recover compensation for injuries caused by defective products. To speak to an attorney, reach out to us today at 702-388-4476, or contact us through our website.