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Accounting for Changing Circumstances During a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In the course of recovering from an injury one hopes that the process follows a fairly predictable, linear path. For some injuries, the initial diagnosis leads to a straightforward treatment plan that proceeds without setbacks until the patient is fully recovered. But for many patients, setbacks are a frustrating reality of the recovery process. When a significant change takes place during the course of a lawsuit it may be possible to update the damages claimed in the suit to account for those changes.

Amending complaints to account for fresh information

A lawsuit is started by filing a complaint with the appropriate court. In a complaint, the plaintiff describes the basic facts of the case and makes claims against the defendant for damages. At the preliminary stage, damages can be based on a rough estimate of all the monetary and nonmonetary costs associated with the injury: past and anticipated medical bills, lost wages, pain, and so on. For a period of time while a case is pending, claims for damages can be updated as the plaintiff uncovers details that change the scope of appropriate damages. For a case that gets resolved through settlement negotiations, a plaintiff can use the claims in a complaint as leverage to improve the negotiated outcome. The key is that a defendant is not obligated to pay, and won’t agree to pay, costs that the plaintiff hasn’t proved with sufficient reliability to make it clear that the defendant will be held liable for it if the case were to go all the way to trial.

Proving new damages

To get compensation for any kind of damages a plaintiff must be able to prove their value and that they were caused by the defendant’s wrongful action. Causation can create interesting challenges for plaintiffs who find that their injuries are getting worse over time. The defendant may argue that an intervening cause, such as the plaintiff’s own lack of care with regard to the injury or mistakes by the plaintiff’s doctor, has made the injury worse and therefore the defendant should not be held responsible for the worsened condition. The issue of causation often requires support from the plaintiff’s treating physician. A doctor can testify about the nature of the plaintiff’s injuries and how their prognosis has changed over time. For complex cases, expert witnesses may be needed to help the court understand how an injury could grow worse over time while still being traceable to the defendant’s negligence. The potential for changes is one of many good reasons for working with an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented Nevada clients in personal injury cases for over 45 years. Call today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or request a call through our website.

Proving Lost Earnings in a Personal Injury Case

Serious injuries often force people to take time off work to recover. As a consequence, seeking compensation for lost income can be an important part of a personal injury lawsuit. Lost earnings come up in the damages phase of litigation, after the defendant’s liability for the injury is already established. Like other forms of damages, proving lost earnings can be harder than one might first assume. The simplest lost earnings scenario involves the individual who needs to take a certain, clearly defined amount of time off work and wants to be compensated for the wages that he or she didn’t earn during that time. This situation applies most clearly where the personal injury lawsuit is ongoing after the injured person has returned to work. Pay stubs from periods before and after the accident, tax forms from prior years (such as an IRS Form W-2 for people who work for an employer), or other forms of wage verification from an employer can be sufficient evidence to establish the amount of the lost wages. Someone who is self-employed can use tax records, checks from clients, or bank statements to establish the income that has been lost. Proving lost earnings gets more complicated if the person who was injured is no longer able to earn as much as before the injury, or has lost the ability to work altogether. In these cases the question is not just how much the injured person lost in the past, but also how large the person’s potential earnings were at the time of the injury. There are numerous ways to calculate future lost earnings, and some cases (like workers’ compensation) have predetermined methods. The analysis might consider one or more of the following:
  • The individual’s earnings history.
  • The medical prognosis of the injury, including how much recovery is possible (reduced to a percentage which gets applied to the wage figures).
  • The scope of employment options available to the individual in light of the injury and the individual’s skills.
  • Estimates of earnings growth, including the potential for reasonably foreseeable promotions, cost-of-living adjustments, and other factors.
  • Lost benefits, like employer 401(k) contributions, lost pensions, and insurance coverage, including estimates of how the value of those benefits may have increased over time.
Some plaintiffs will have an especially complicated questions of proof to overcome. Self-employed individuals who are early in their careers, people who have wildly fluctuating earning histories, and individuals for whom future earnings are highly contingent (such as artists and entrepreneurs) will need tailored strategies to ensure that they receive their just compensation. An experienced personal injury law firm knows how to get the most for its clients. For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped personal injury clients recover compensation for lost earnings and other damages related to injuries. If you would like to speak to an attorney about your case, please call us today for a free, confidential consultation at 702-388-4476 or ask us to reach out to you through our contact page.

How to Handle a Personal Injury Lien in Nevada

How to Handle a Personal Injury Lien in Nevada
The costs associated with an injury can easily pile up long before a lawsuit brings the injured person significant financial relief. A personal injury lien can be a useful tool to help victims get the care they need and pay other bills while the legal process plays out. In a personal injury lien, the injured person enters into an agreement that gives creditors a legal claim over the anticipated proceeds from a future settlement or court judgment. In exchange, the injured person gets at least a degree of relief from the short-term financial pressures of dealing with a serious injury.

The pros and cons of paying for medical services with a lien

A common type of lien in personal injury cases is the medical lien, in which a healthcare provider like a hospital treats the injured person in exchange for a promise that it will be paid out of proceeds from the injured person’s lawsuit. This can happen if the injured person doesn’t have adequate insurance coverage to pay medical expenses, whether because the policy’s limits are too low, the deductibles are too expensive, or because the injured person simply isn’t insured at all. One problem with trying to pay for medical services with a lien is that many doctors and hospitals won’t accept liens in lieu of payment. That is in part because the compensation received at the resolution of a lawsuit may not cover the entire bill, and there’s always the risk that the suit resolves in the defendant’s favor and the injured person is left holding an impossible amount of debt. Another problem has to do with the way medical billing works. Insurance companies negotiate bulk discounts with caregivers, but a medical lien will ordinarily fetch full market prices for everything. Care organizations do this in part because they can get paid more at the resolution of a lawsuit. But if the injured person winds up personally responsible for a portion of medical costs, they can be substantially more than if an insurer had been involved.

Other types of liens in personal injury cases

Medical expenses aren’t the only kind of lien to arise during a personal injury case. Quite often, a plaintiff’s insurance carriers—including auto, health, and workers’ compensation—will take out a lien against the final compensation in the case, on the grounds that they should be reimbursed for their costs associated with the injury. The same is true of Medicaid and Medicare, which are legally entitled to liens against final compensation awards for any injuries that get treated at their expense.

An experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help

A lien is a complex instrument that can have unintended consequences for someone’s financial wellbeing. The good news is that liens are often negotiable. It’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before entering into one, or if one is thrust upon you, because it may not lead to the best outcome in terms of both care and the amount you take home from a settlement or judgment. Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez is committed to helping our Las Vegas personal injury clients get the most compensation possible for their injuries. We take the time to really get to know our clients and understand the full scope of what they’re going through as a consequence of their injuries, and then tailor our approach to each case accordingly. If you have been injured and you’re wondering if a personal injury lien might offer you some relief, please be sure to consult with an attorney beforehand. Our attorneys are available for free consultations. Please call us today at 702-388-4476, or reach out to us through our contact page.

Home Construction Safety Tips

Call it a “perfect storm” of opportunity: affordable mortgages, robust employment and wage increases have converged in 2017 to propel home remodeling to an all-time high, up 4.5 percent over 2016. Professional contractors are reveling in the lion's share of the remodeling boom. But as any homeowner who has undertaken a major home construction project knows, it's difficult to remain a passive observer without yearning to get into the act by swinging a hammer, hanging a fixture or applying a fresh coat of paint. The personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas -- Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez -- commend the DIY spirit. But in an effort to quell an imperfect storm of home accidents, they urge homeowners to take a few precautions first:
  • Never undertake a home improvement project unless you: have the proper tools at your disposal; know how to complete the project from start to finish, assuming everything goes as planned; and know how to complete the project if you encounter problems. It's smart to have the name of a trusted contractor you can call if your project happens to run off the rails.
  • Keep a basic first aid kit nearby. Even the most careful and cautious contractors incur bumps and scrapes in the course of a home improvement project. Novices who aren't accustomed to such physical rigors are even more predisposed to minor incidents. A first aid kit is best kept on standby.
  • Invest in the proper protection equipment. Many personal injuries are the direct result of a lack of protection. Don't try to cut corners on such things as safety glasses, gloves, face masks, ear plugs and non-skid shoes. Even long-sleeved shirts and pants can reduce the risk of minor injuries.
  • Lift heavy objects with care. Most often, it pays to have a partner lend an assist with heavy or bulky objects. If you can manage a heavy object on your own, bend your knees and don't twist or turn to one side as you rise. Once incurred, back injuries have a nasty way of lingering.
  • Balance a tool belt – or dispense with it altogether. Many DIYers like to emulate the style of their favorite TV host and strap on a tool belt. The idea has merit; it reduces trips up and down a ladder. But if a belt is too bulky or heavier on one side than the other, it's safer to leave tools on a nearby work table.
  • Exercise ladder safety. Falls are the leading cause of home accidents. Ladders are a prime contributor, often because they: are not structurally sound; are too short for the task at hand; or are set too close to or too far away from a wall. As a rule of thumb, for every 4 feet of ladder, the bottom of the ladder should rest 1 foot away from the wall.

Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers in Las Vegas

The personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas with the longest track record, Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez, prefer you call a licensed contractor when starting construction on your home. If you have been injured due to construction in your home at fault of another party contact GGRM for a free consultation. We want you to ride out the “perfect storm” of this year's remodeling boom – and nail down best practices, too. Call 702-388-4476 to speak with an attorney today.

Consequences of Street Racing Accidents

Street racing is a form of reckless driving in Nevada. The Las Vegas personal accident attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez walk you through the consequences of street racing and the damage they can cause.

Understand the Law

In Nevada, street racing is a form of reckless driving. It’s unlawful to participate in, as well as organize a street race in Nevada. The fine print of city code 484B.653 states it’s unlawful for a person to:
  • Drive a vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.”
  • Drive a vehicle “in an unauthorized speed contest on a public highway.”
  • “Organize an unauthorized speed contest on a public highway.”
To organize a street race means to “plan, schedule, promote, or assist in the planning, scheduling or promotion of, an unauthorized speed contest on a public highway, regardless of whether a fee is charged for attending the unauthorized speed contest.” Of course, the worst possible outcome of street racing is death or injury, which personal accident attorneys have seen shatter countless families. But an accident can cause an horrendous lifetime of other consequences, including:
  • Physical impairment or permanent disability
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages, which can lead to the loss of a home and a host of other life-altering changes

Assess the Penalties

Compared to these consequences, incurring a misdemeanor charge from a police officer may pale in comparison. There’s no doubt Nevada laws are designed to deter repeat behavior: A first offense carries the possibility of:
  • A fine of between $250 and $1,000
  • 50 to 99 hours of community service time
  • A 15-day impoundment of the involved vehicle
  • The suspension of a driver's license of between six months and two years
  • A six-month jail term
A second offense carries the possibility of:
  • A fine of between $1,000 and $1,500
  • Between 100 and 199 hours of community service time
  • 30-day impoundment of the involved vehicle
  • Suspension of a driver's license between six months and two years
  • A six-month jail term
Third and subsequent offenses carry the possibility of:
  • A fine of between $1,500 and $2,000
  • The levying of 200 hours of community service time
  • 30-day impoundment of the involved vehicle
  • Suspension of a driver's license of between six months and two years
  • A six-month jail term
Meanwhile, “felony speed racing,” which causes someone's death or substantial bodily harm, carries a penalty of:
  • Between one and six years in prison
  • A fine of between $2,000 and $5,000

Contact A Las Vegas Personal Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured due to another party street racing or driving recklessly, you will need the legal prowess of the most experienced Las Vegas personal accident attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez. Call 702-388-4476 for a free consultation so we can help get you the compensation to start your recovery.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Las Vegas Review Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

When it comes to pedestrian accidents, identifying the precise cause can be downright complex. As tempting as it may be to blame the driver, whose vehicle obviously made contact with the pedestrian, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals pedestrians often imperil their own safety. For example, below are some statistics from the NHTSA's 2015 report – the most recent year for which statistics are available. Allow the most experienced personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas, at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez, explain the contours of this picture so you remain vigilant as you walk, run or jog around the streets of Las Vegas.

Statistics are Shocking, Personal Injury Attorneys Say

In 2015, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in the U.S., representing nearly a 10 percent increase over 2014. Meanwhile, about 70,000 pedestrians were injured. Together, this equates to one pedestrian being killed every 1.6 hours and one pedestrian being injured every 7.5 minutes. In Las Vegas, there were 58 traffic fatalities in 2015, 13 of which involved pedestrians. This put the city's pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 people at 2.08, slightly above the national state average of 1.67. For additional perspective, the highest rates, in Dallas and Memphis, were 4.31 and 4.27, respectively, while the lowest pedestrian fatality rates were in Fresno (at 0.96) and Seattle (at 1.02).

Causes and Characteristics of Pedestrian Accidents

  • 90 percent of pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes that involved single vehicles; 10 percent were killed in multi-vehicle crashes.
  • The average age of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes was 47; the average age of injured pedestrians was 38. Both numbers represent increases over the last 10 years.
  • The highest total pedestrian fatality rates by age group were those ages 50 to 54 and 80 and up. The highest total pedestrian injury rates by age group were those ages 20 to 24 and 15 to 19.
  • More than two-third of the pedestrians killed in traffic crashes were males.
  • The highest total percentage of pedestrian accidents (26 percent) occurred from 6 p.m. to 8:59 p.m., followed by 23 percent from 9 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. The lowest total percentage (5 percent) occurred from 9 a.m. to 11:59 a.m., followed by 6 percent from noon to 2:59 p.m.
  • More pedestrian accidents occurred in the dark (74 percent) than in daylight (22 percent), dawn (2 percent) and dusk (2 percent).
  • More pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas (76 percent) than in rural areas (24 percent).
  • Alcohol consumed by the driver, pedestrian or both was reported in 48 percent of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities.
  • More pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersections (72 percent) than at intersections (18 percent); 5 percent occurred at roadsides/ shoulders; and the remaining 5 percent were at other locations, such as parking lanes/zones, bicycle lanes, medians/crossing islands, driveway accesses, sidewalks, shared-use paths/trails and other areas.
  • Nearly one-fifth (19 percent) of the pedestrians who were killed were struck in single or multi-vehicle crashes that involved hit-and-run drivers.

Contact GGRM, Personal Injury Attorneys in Las Vegas

While precautions are inherent in most of these causes and characteristics, this last statistic puts a particular chill up the spine of personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas. If you've been injured as a pedestrian, do not hesitate to reach out to Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez. We'll assess your case and give you the benefit of the best legal advice in Southern Nevada. Call 702-388-4476 and receive a free case consultation today. Is A Lawsuit Inevitable Offer

Choosing a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney

Have you been hurt in an accident and now want a Las Vegas personal injury attorney to assess your case?

Whether or not you choose an experienced lawyer from Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez Law Firm as your Las Vegas personal injury attorney, here is what you should look for when seeking legal representation:

  • A long record of service. The Las Vegas personal injury attorney you are considering should be experienced and knowledgeable. A firm that specializes in personal injury law should be well-established and employ qualified attorneys who inspire confidence in clients that they will provide quality legal advice.
  • A free initial consultation. Most reputable attorneys will initially meet with a new client free of charge to determine whether a case is worth pursuing. You are not obligated to hire the attorney after that first consultation, even if the attorney expresses a willingness to take your case.
  • No up-front payment. A Las Vegas personal injury attorney should be willing to work on a contingency basis, meaning payment for legal services is made only if the case is settled or won in court. A demand for a fee upfront indicates a lack of confidence in the merits of your case.

A lawyer from GGRM will look at the details of your case at no charge. You can fill out an online contact request form or call 702-388-4476.

How Do You Know If You Need a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney?

Sometimes it's a tough call whether or not to contact a Las Vegas personal injury attorney. Victims may question whether the severity of their injury should require legal intervention whereas other victims may be unsure if their situation warrants a personal injury case. If you are undecided about whether you should contact a personal attorney in Las Vegas consider the three main components of a PI case:
  • Someone other than you is responsible for your injuries
  • Your personal injury has caused disruption in your life ranging from financial and work hardships to personal problems
  • The person who caused your injury was either intentionally or unintentionally neglectful
Sometimes personal injury cases are not cut and dry.  For example, how do you determine if falling down a flight of stairs at a local sports arena constitutes personal injury? If you can prove the area surrounding the stairs was unsafe, either slippery or had an obstruction that caused your fall, you may possibly have a personal injury claim. Victims of defective products may also consider pursuing a consultation with a Las Vegas personal injury attorney if the manufacturer or seller falsely advertised the product or created a defective product that caused harm. Read More… What Type of Compensation Can a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Obtain? A Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help you pursue your claim to cover numerous expenses stemming from your injury. Often, medical bills and lost wages top the list for many victims. However, victims may have suffered other losses too, including:
  • Loss of property that was destroyed, damaged or lost due to the neglect of another
  • The possibility that you can no longer work due to your injuries
  • Physical and psychological pain and suffering
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Disfigurement due to your injury
  • Loss of a loved one
Instead of pondering over whether you need a Las Vegas personal injury attorney, find out today – contact Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez Law Firm. Call for a free consultation at 702-388-GGRM (4476).