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The Basics of a Personal Injury Complaint in Las Vegas

The Basics of a Personal Injury Complaint in Las Vegas
The complaint is the first step in any personal injury lawsuit. Filed by the injured party (the plaintiff), the complaint sets out the core facts of the case, like the names of the people involved, the circumstances of the plaintiff’s injury, and the plaintiff’s legal theory as to why the person being sued (the defendant) is legally liable for the plaintiff’s costs associated with the injury (in legal terms, the plaintiff’s damages). Here we step back from the dry details of a complaint to look at how the core features of a complaint work.

The elements of a Nevada personal injury complaint

  1. The names of the parties.
A complaint begins by providing the names of every plaintiff and each defendant subject to the complaint. Multiple plaintiffs often join in a single complaint when their injuries were caused by the same accident, such as the driver and passenger in an auto accident. Likewise, multiple defendants may be involved where the legal liability is, or may be, spread between them. For example, both the owner of a building and the management company responsible for its upkeep might share responsibility for not fixing a dangerous staircase.
  1. The facts of the injury.
A complaint must describe the plaintiff’s version of the facts surrounding the injuries to give the court an opportunity to verify that the basic features of a legal case are present. In a typical personal injury case, that means providing enough detail to show several things. First, the plaintiff must provide sufficient information to support the legal rule (or rules) that the plaintiff will use to show the defendant’s liability. Second, the plaintiff must describe the nature of the injury. And third, the complaint needs to describe the damages that the plaintiff has suffered as a consequence of the injury, such as medical expenses or lost wages. At this stage of a personal injury suit, damages are often still accruing, so it’s sufficient to claim that damages exceed the threshold amount required by court procedures.
  1. Setting out the legal theory of the case.
A complaint also needs to show that the plaintiff has at least one sound legal basis for suing the defendant, which involves reciting the elements of the legal rule and describing how the facts support each element. For example, a personal injury complaint almost always involves some form of negligence, which in Nevada has four elements:
  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. A duty of care is a legal obligation created by statute or judicial precedent, and can be based on the relationship of the parties (for example, landlord-tenant, employer-employee) or the activity involved in the injury (for example, drivers owe each other a duty to comply with traffic laws).
  2. The defendant breached its duty of care.
  3. The defendant’s breach of its duty of care was the legal cause of the plaintiff’s injury. The facts in the complaint must draw a clear line between the defendant’s actions and the harm suffered by the plaintiff. This can be relatively simple in some cases, like a car accident in which a defendant ran a red light. But it can be more complicated in other cases, like those involving cancer that only appears years or decades after exposure to a carcinogen.
  4. The plaintiff has suffered damages as a result of the injury. Essentially, if the plaintiff didn’t suffer damages, the lawsuit can’t do anything to make the plaintiff whole. The complaint must describe the nature, if not the exact dollar amount, of the damages for which the plaintiff seeks compensation.
Naturally, a personal injury lawsuit can involve other legal theories beside negligence. Wrongful death medical malpractice, and product liability are common causes of action that arise in connection with personal injuries, alongside negligence or instead of it. Each legal theory has its own elements and factual requirements.

The practical side of filing a complaint in Las Vegas

Personal injury lawsuits in Las Vegas that involve more the $10,000 in damages get filed with the Eighth Judicial District Court. Every party to the suit must comply with the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure and the Rules of the District Courts of the State of Nevada, which among other things describe the physical requirements of court filings. After the complaint is filed with the court, the court will order that the defendant be served with the complaint and a summons to appear before the court. The plaintiff is responsible for serving the defendant with the summons, which must be delivered in compliance with the rules of civil procedure for the lawsuit to go forward. Bear in mind that Nevada has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.

Work with a personal injury lawyer to draft your complaint

GGRM has been committed to serving the Las Vegas community for over 45 years. We take pride in our personal approach to every client, which starts with a careful analysis of the facts of the case to ensure that the initial complaint not only meets technical standards but also preserves our clients’ legal options. For a no-cost consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney call us today at 702-388-4476, or reach us through our contact page.

The Consequences of Texting While Driving in Nevada

Personal injury attorneys have seen first-hand how texting and driving shatters lives. For your sake and those you love, we hope you take the time to assess the consequences of texting and driving. It's not just the smart thing to do; it could save your life and that of an innocent person.

A Life is Not Worth a Text

There's no subtle way of getting around the fact that death is the most serious consequence of texting and driving, claiming at least 3,477 American lives in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The actual number, we suspect, may be much higher since many people are probably disinclined to admit to a police officer they were texting in the midst of a fatal car accident. Police often must find evidence of the infraction, which is not as simple as it may sound. Meanwhile, nearly 400,000 people were injured in "distracted driving" accidents in 2015. Adults may point a wagging finger at teenage drivers, who tend to be accident-prone (and ticket-prone) in the first few years after getting a driver's license. Many studies have found ample support for this presumption, with one from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute finding that a full 25 percent of teens respond to a text message at least once every time they drive. However, about half of teens say they have observed their parents text while driving, too.

Weigh the Financial Consequences

The state of Nevada outlawed texting and driving in 2012. Consider the financial consequences:
  • A fine of $50 for a first offense.
  • A fine of $100 for a second offense within seven years.
  • A fine of $250 for third and subsequent offenses.
  • Higher fines may be assessed for texting in traffic control zones.
  • Second and subsequent offenses also carry four so-called "demerit" points, which are applied to a driver's record and may result in a driver's license being suspended or revoked if too many points accumulate within a certain time period.
  • The court also may assess "additional administrative fees."
There are a few exceptions. Drivers may use a hands-free headset to touch their phones to "activate, deactivate or initiate a feature or function on the device.” And they may text to report a “medical emergency, a safety hazard or criminal activity."

Contact Personal Injury Attorneys in Las Vegas

If you have been in an accident caused by someone texting and driving, the personal injury attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez are here to help. Serving the Southern Nevada community for over 45 years they have seen the consequences of texting and driving and have helped those affected receive the compensation they deserve. Contact the personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas at 702-388-4476 for a free consultation today.

Injury Attorneys in Las Vegas Discuss Concert Injuries

Concert Injury

Concert venues are ripe for many potential causes of injury – slip and fall injuries, especially. Sometimes these injuries are caused by the property owner, the management company of the venue, the security company (if any), fellow concert-goers and even the entertainer.

The most experienced injury attorneys in Las Vegas, at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez, can help you determine whether you have a case worth pursuing. Certain benchmarks must be met, including:

Have you sustained damages?

They don't have to amount to millions, but you must have sustained damages, including, economic damages, such as medical bills and, usually, lost wages; non-economic damages, particularly pain, suffering and emotional distress; and any other expenses incurred as a direct result of the accident.

Can fault be established?

Personal injury cases pivot on the issue of fault; without it, a personal injury case cannot proceed. A plaintiff must prove someone's actions or inactions caused an injury to occur. Put another way, this means someone must have either knowingly created an unsafe condition or knew about the condition and failed to remedy it. In other words, they were negligent.

Understandably, people who have sustained an injury sometimes assume fault is simple to prove – or should be. In fact, the most skilled injury attorneys know fault can sometimes be tricky to prove especially in these types of cases. It's a fallacy to think there is any such thing as an “ironclad” personal injury case.

Is it clear who is at fault?

Injuries caused by a structure collapse, wet pavement, a rickety staircase, poor lighting or an obstruction can appear straightforward compared with, say, an injury caused by a drunken concert-goer who punches someone in the nose and renders that person unconscious. Was the venue owner aware of that person's drunken state – and can it be proved? – but failed to act? This may be sufficient to establish negligence against the venue owner. On the other hand, if the venue owner was unaware of the disorderly conduct (and had no way of knowing about it), that drunken third party may be the only party held liable. Overcrowding and insufficient security can be factors in a personal injury (or premise liability) suit, but they can complicate an already complex web of events.

Contact the injury attorneys in Las Vegas at GGRM

For clarity, consult the most trusted injury attorneys in Las Vegas at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez. They know injuries sustained at concert venues trigger more information to sift through than a three-hour set list. They're ready to protect your best interests – and hit all the high notes along the way. Call 702-388-4476 for a free consultation today.

Is A Lawsuit Inevitable Offer

An Injury Attorney in Las Vegas Fights Nursing Home Abuse

An injury attorney in Las Vegas can help you identify the signs of nursing home abuse.  Many families feel guilt when they discover that the nursing home they trusted to attend to the needs of a loved has been neglectful or worse, hurtful. Families need an honest, trustworthy source for guidance. When visiting your loved one, look for these signs:
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Open wounds or sores (especially along the back, which may indicate bedsores)
  • Burns or abrasions
  • Sudden increase or decrease in weight
  • Soiled clothing or a drop in personal hygiene
  • Increase in infections
  • Hair loss
  • Torn or stained clothing
Physical trauma may not be the only problem. Emotional abuse can be just as damaging, which may include insults and degrading comments. If you suspect abuse, remove your loved one from the nursing home immediately and contact an injury attorney in Las Vegas for help. Know Your Rights – Talk to an Injury Attorney in Las Vegas An injury attorney in Las Vegas can help you understand your legal options if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect:
  • Know the care standards: knowing the type of nursing facility is important. Under federal law, there are 4 types, which includes an adult boarding service, residential care, intermediate care and skilled nursing facilities. The type of care will determine the kind of legal action
  • Understanding the facilities’ policies: you must be given access to a written document that details the facility’s policy on nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Participating in care and treatment: the resident has the right to access medical records and participate in treatment decisions
While these are general federal guidelines, an injury attorney in Las Vegas can lay out the guidelines specific to Nevada nursing home abuse law. If you suspect abuse or neglect, contact an injury attorney in Las Vegas at GGRM Law Firm. Call us at 702-388-GGRM (4476) to learn more about what you can do.

How Do I Select a Las Vegas Injury Attorney?

Being injured is an extremely stressful situation. Your physical and mental pain may be overwhelming, which possibly sidelines you from everyday life. Being injured may also reduce or eliminate your ability to work, placing financial strain on you and your family. Although no one wants to pursue a legal case against another person, when you’ve been unjustly effected and your life has been destroyed, legal action may be the only way you can pick up the pieces. Does finding the right Las Vegas injury attorney seem an insurmountable task? Endless Las Vegas injury attorney names line the phone book, so how do you know which firm is your best option? Before arranging an initial consultation, do your homework:
  • Ask how long the attorney or firm has been handling personal injury cases?
  • Inquire if the firm has a specific area of experience (such as auto accidents or dog bites)
  • Find out how many cases like yours the attorney or firm has handled
  • Ask for references
Additionally, obtain referrals and suggestions from friends and family members who may have been in a similar situation. Interview and select two or three attorneys over the phone and schedule initial consultations – the majority of those meetings should be free of charge. What to Expect During Your Las Vegas Injury Attorney Consultation Arrive at the meeting with your Las Vegas injury attorney fully prepared. Bring copies of your medical records, medical bills, insurance coverage statements, police report, witness statements and any other information necessary to help you build your case. Remember, this initial meeting is a “get to know you and your case” meeting so don’t feel compelled to discuss every aspect leading up to the injury or the case. Your attorney should ask questions to determine if you have a case and how he or she will pursue it. The initial consultation is also the perfect time to discuss expense and cost. In some cases, the Las Vegas injury attorney charges a flat hourly fee whereas others take cases on a contingency basis, meaning you only pay if you win. You should also inquire about additional fees such as court costs or other expenses not covered under the attorney fee umbrella. Finally, it’s extremely important to determine how your attorney works with clients and to see if you have a personality match. Some attorneys discourage clients from calling on a routine basis, whereas others prefer an open, ongoing dialog. Be sure you are comfortable with how your Las Vegas injury attorney operates so you can maintain a smooth and comfortable relationship throughout the process. For the most experienced injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez Law Firm today. Our friendly, professional staff will walk you through the entire process so you can start feeling more like your “old self” again. Contact Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez Law Firm today 702-388-GGRM (4476) and inquire about our free initial consultation today!