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Suing for Injuries on Escalators

Suing for Injuries on Escalators
A fall on an escalator can cause terrible injuries. The moving stairs can cause serious cuts, grab loose clothing, and send a person tumbling out of control. Escalator-related injuries cause about 10,000 visits to emergency rooms in the United States each year. In some situations a person who is injured by an escalator may have reason to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. A fall on an escalator can happen for a number of reasons. These can be separated into several general categories: 1. Falls caused by improper maintenance. An escalator that isn’t adequately maintained poses a danger to every rider, and the owner/operator may be liable for any resulting injuries under a theory of premises liability. Operators of escalators in public places, like malls, have a legal obligation to maintain them in reasonably safe condition for use. If the operator knows, or should know, about a dangerous condition, it must take steps to fix the problem. Sprague v. Lucky Stores, 109 Nev. 247 (1993).

2. Falls caused by other riders.

Someone busily rushing up or down an escalator could easily bump into another rider and cause that rider to fall. Given the inherent extra dangerousness of riding on an escalator, a person who aggressively pushes others out of the way may be responsible for any resulting injuries under a general negligence theory, or in more extreme cases may be liable for recklessness or even battery. What matters is not that the defendant believed the bump wouldn’t be significant, but that the injured plaintiff was hurt. For example, it doesn’t matter that the defendant didn’t see that the person he was shoving was elderly and potentially unstable. Aggressively pushing past people on an escalator creates a risk for everyone.

3. Falls caused by a rider’s negligence.

People who ride on escalators bear a degree of responsibility for their own safety. A properly maintained escalator has a degree of dangerousness even in ordinary operation. That is why escalators bear signs instructing passengers to hold on to handrails and advising against using them with strollers or other carts. An operator sued by someone who falls due to nothing more than his or her own infirmity or clumsiness may have a successful argument that the rider assumes the risk of injury by stepping onto the escalator. This can apply even more to someone who rides despite having known balance problems, whether from a medical condition or drunkenness. A person who rides while knowing he or she is unfit may be committing an act of negligence which frees the operator from liability. For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients in the Las Vegas area recover compensation for personal injuries. If you have been injured in a fall on a escalator please reach out to us to discuss your legal options. For a free attorney consultation call today at 702-388-4476. We can also be reached through our contacts page.

Suing an Estate for Personal Injury Damages in Nevada

Suing an Estate for Personal Injury Damages in Nevada
Someone who is seriously injured by another person’s negligent or reckless behavior is hopefully able to recover compensation. But if the responsible person dies before a case is resolved, the injured person may need to sue his or her estate. In some ways an estate is just like any other defendant, but lawsuits against estates involve some special issues. At the most basic level, after someone dies their assets are generally used to pay off the deceased person’s debts, with anything left over going to the person’s heirs. Past this basic framework, however, an estate can be quite complicated. Here are a few potential issues a plaintiff may face:
  • Probate. When a person dies with assets that aren’t held in a trust their assets are placed into the administrative process of a probate court. The probate process is intended to provide an orderly way for creditors of the deceased person to make claims against the assets in an estate. The estate’s personal representative, who may be a family member of the deceased or the deceased’s lawyer, is responsible for notifying creditors of the estate about when and where hearings will be held to resolve claims.
  • Trusts. A trust is a type of legal entity that some people use to shield assets from estate taxes and, potentially, creditor claims. A common form of trust, the revocable living trust, does not protect assets from creditors. But high net worth individuals often set up more supplicated vehicles, like spendthrift or “domestic asset protection” trusts, which provide a more airtight protection against creditor claims on property left in the trust for a period of time.
  • Tight deadlines. Public policy demands that estates be settled reasonably quickly. That means that deadlines for making claims against an estate can be quite tight. For example, unless otherwise permitted by the court a creditor who receives notice of an estate going into probate has only 90 days from the date of notice to file a claim. NRS 147.040.
  • Restrictions on continuing lawsuits. A plaintiff against a deceased defendant must comply with all of the rules that apply to a creditor in probate. What’s more, a plaintiff in an ongoing lawsuit against someone who dies must show “good cause” for the lawsuit to continue against the estate in probate. NRS 147.100.
  • Other creditors. After someone dies there are often a range of creditors who will seek to claim a part of the deceased’s estate. Lenders for mortgages and education costs will have sophisticated help at their disposal to protect their interests. The injured plaintiff must have good representation to compete with these behemoths.
  • Fraudulent transfers. If the deceased person tried to shield assets from the injured plaintiff’s claim by giving them away—for example, by gifting a large chunk of money to a child—the plaintiff will need to bring the transferees of such assets into the case to seek recovery of the assets that, in legal terms, were fraudulently transferred (that is, transferred to avoid being subject to the plaintiff’s claim).
  • Out-of-state assets. Quite often someone who dies will own property outside of Nevada. Pursuing claims against those assets can involve working with local counsel in other states to ensure that local rules are satisfied.
Navigating these and other complex issues requires careful work by the lawyers who represent the injured plaintiff. Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients get compensation in personal injury cases for over 45 years. If you have been injured and would like to explore your legal options, reach out to us today. For a free attorney consultation call us at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

Suing a Doctor for Misdiagnosis

Suing a Doctor for Misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosis of an illness can have serious consequences for the patient. Not only can the patient end up being treated for the wrong disease, potentially at substantial cost and discomfort, but the real problem can go untreated and get worse. For example, a blocked artery misinterpreted as heartburn can leave the patient exposed to grave injury or death. In some circumstances, a misdiagnosis can be a form of professional malpractice for which compensation can be sought in the courts.

The key question is whether misdiagnosis is negligence

Under Nevada’s professional negligence laws, the central issue that a plaintiff must show in most cases is that his or her licensed health care provider, such as a physician or dentist, was negligent in performing professional services. Professional negligence is defined as a “failure . . . to use reasonable care, skill, or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances by similarly trained and experienced providers of health care.” NRS 41A.015. There are several elements of this definition that come into play in the context of a misdiagnosis:
  • Reasonableness. A doctor is only expected to apply a reasonable level of care, skill, or knowledge to treating patients. Whether a given approach was reasonable is evaluated, as much as possible, by objective standards. For example, a patient who complains of constant fatigue might reasonably be diagnosed with a sleep problem, even though she is also carrying an undiagnosed cancer. On the other hand, it might be unreasonable for a physician to fail to screen a patient for cancer if the patient exhibits a number of symptoms and risk factors.
  • Ordinary care. A doctor needn’t take every possible step to evaluating a condition. For example, perhaps it is not the customary process to order an MRI for an otherwise healthy twenty-something who presents all the usual symptoms of migraines, which could leave a brain tumor undetected. On the other hand, negligence may apply if the ordinary procedure in that situation is to order a precautionary MRI and the doctor fails to do so.
  • Comparison to other professionals. The defendant’s actions are measured according to his or her training and experience. This can have important consequences: a relatively junior professional may be evaluated differently than a seasoned expert, and a highly trained specialist will be treated differently than a generalist.

Technical barriers to recovery

A plaintiff in a professional negligence case must present a sworn affidavit by a professional who works in the same field as the defendant. NRS 41A.071. The affidavit must attest to each of the components of the definition of professional negligence. In other words, the plaintiff must find another doctor who is willing to give an opinion that the plaintiff’s doctor behaved negligently. In addition to the challenge of crafting an effective affidavit, this requirement can pose a practical challenge. For example, if the defendant works in a narrow specialty it may be difficult to find another doctor who is sympathetic to the plaintiff’s case and believes that the defendant didn’t act reasonably. Anyone considering a medical malpractice suit in Nevada should bear in mind that state law requires such suits to be brought within three years of the cause of the injury, or one year from the discovery of the injury, whichever is earlier. NRS 41A.097(2). In medical malpractice cases Nevada limits a plaintiff’s noneconomic damages, such as for pain and suffering or emotional distress, to $350,000. NRS 41A.035.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

The attorneys at the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have broad experience with medical malpractice lawsuits. If you are suffering from the consequnces of a misdiagnosis and are wondering if you have a case, we are happy to talk you through your options. For a free attorney consultation, reach out to us today at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contacts page.

How Breed Can Affect Dog Bite Lawsuits

How Breed Can Affect Dog Bite Lawsuits
Depending on who you ask, some dog breeds are more dangerous than others. Owners of pit bulls argue that the breed gets a bad rap, but a study by the Centers for Disease Control identified pit bulls as the breed most often involved in dog-bite fatalities over a twenty-year period. As a result, many insurers charge higher rates to homeowners who keep pit bulls and other breeds that are considered dangerous. Many landlords who otherwise allow tenants to keep dogs will refuse to rent to people who have certain breeds. When a supposedly dangerous breed bites someone the dog’s breed is often less important than the individual dog’s history for determining liability.

The duties of dog owners in Nevada

Nevada does not have a dedicated statute for dog bites. Whether an owner bears liability for someone being bitten by their dog is typically a question of the owner’s negligence. In the case of dog bites, the central question is often whether the owner failed to comply with a legal duty of care. Various local and state rules govern dog ownership generally. In Las Vegas all dogs over four months of age must be licensed and vaccinated for rabies. Owners are required to keep their dogs on leashes unless they are contained within the owner’s property, such as behind a tall fence, or in designated places like dog parks. Failing to comply with these requirements can support a grounds for negligence, provided that the lack of compliance was a cause of the dog bite. For example, someone who unlawfully walks a dog off-leash in a public park may be liable for damages if the dog attacks another person’s pet.

A dog’s “dangerousness” is not a question of breed, but of behavior

Specific rules dictate when an animal is legally considered dangerous. Importantly, those rules are not concerned with the dog’s breed, but whether the dog has behaved aggressively in the past. Chapter 7.16 of the Las Vegas Municipal Code authorizes the Department of Public Safety to declare an animal dangerous “if it constitutes a physical threat to human beings or other animals” and either:
  • on two separate occasions within an eighteen-month period behaves menacingly or bites a person without causing substantial bodily harm; or
  • is used in commission of a crime, causes serious injury or death to another animal that is not at large or otherwise being kept in violation of the law, or exhibits a condition like rabies that poses a threat to public safety.
The Municipal Code further authorizes dogs to be declared “vicious” if they kill or seriously injure a person or another animal, or if they continue to exhibit behaviors that previously justified them being declared dangerous. If an animal is declared vicious the dog must be euthanized, unless the owner can successfully challenge the declaration of viciousness at a formal hearing. An owner of a dog that is declared dangerous or vicious must comply with a range of special rules, described in section 7.16.030 of the Municipal Code. There are numerous requirements for owners of such animals, including the following:
  • The city must inspect and approve the enclosure where the dog will be kept.
  • The dog must be muzzled, leashed, and under the control of an adult whenever the dog leaves the owner’s property.
  • Warning signs must be posted around the owner’s property.
  • The dog must be sterilized.
  • The owner must carry at least $50,000 of liability insurance covering potential injuries caused by the dog.
  • Sales or other transfers of ownership of the dog must first be approved in writing by the Department of Public Safety.
If an owner fails to comply with these rules and the dog bites someone, the owner may be liable for the injuries under the theory of negligence per se.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has served dog bite victims in the Las Vegas area. If you have been injured by a dog please reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation. Call us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Personal Injury and the Internet of Things

Personal Injury and the Internet of Things
Like other technological innovations, the Internet-of-things is raising novel legal questions. Ordinary devices like thermostats, microwaves, and door locks increasingly feature networked functionality. Although putting household devices on a network adds useful features, it also creates opportunities for hackers. Hacks to some kinds of networked devices have the potential to cause property damage and personal injury.

The vulnerability of Internet-of-things devices

Internet-of-things devices are notoriously insecure. Some have relatively simple software designs that are easily overcome by sophisticated hackers. Others, such as electronic door locks that respond to verbal commands, can be defeated by low tech methods like voice recorders. Because each device on a typical home network sits behind the network’s digital firewall, once a hacker breaches the security of one networked device it can be easier to access and control other devices on the network as well. The potential harm from attacks against these devices ranges from inconvenience to serious danger. A home thermostat remotely set to its maximum temperature will run up utility bills and could damage a furnace, but could also make a home dangerously hot for an infirm resident. A clothes dryer that’s forced to run could cause a fire. Analysts have even discovered vulnerabilities in a motorized wheelchair that could allow it to be controlled remotely.

The potential for lawsuits

Someone who is injured as a consequence of security failures in these devices will need thoughtful guidance from an attorney. What appears to be the cause of an accident may only be a downstream consequence of failures elsewhere in a network. Determining the best strategy for recovering compensation will require a close technical analysis. Let’s consider the hypothetical case of the hacked clothes dryer. The manufacturer of the dryer may be legally liable under a products liability theory. Even if the dryer was hacked and its electronic safety mechanisms disabled, perhaps it should have included a non-networked emergency shutoff to prevent overheating. But what if the dryer’s security was defeated by a hacker using a back door created by another device on the network, such as the homeowner’s printer? Was the failure of the printer’s security the real cause of the fire? Insurance may be an important issue for homeowners facing this situation. Many insurance policies make exceptions for data breaches, which would need to be covered under a separate “cyber policy.” This has become a serious problem in the business insurance world, but could also be a problem for a homeowner whose claim is denied on grounds that the cause of the damage was outside the homeowner’s coverage.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

For over 45 years the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have helped injured clients in the Las Vegas area recover compensation. We are keeping close tabs on the evolving intersection of technology, law, and injury. If you have questions about how Internet-of-things devices could affect your legal options, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476, or request a call through our website.

The Motorcycle Accident Attorney Las Vegas Riders Trust

If you are a frequent motorcycle rider, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with a successful motorcycle accident attorney. Las Vegas, with its many visitors unfamiliar with local traffic laws, is fertile territory for accidents.

Ask fellow riders if they are able to recommend a motorcycle accident attorney. Las Vegas has several law firms that do a fine job representing riders, but choosing the lawyer who truly understands what motorcyclists encounter on the road takes a little research.

A staggering 80 percent of traffic collisions that involve motorcycles result in injury or even death to the rider. That statistic alone is an indication that the legal defense of a motorcyclist involved in an accident is far different than that of a typical motorist.

The Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Las Vegas

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has more than four decades of experience representing motorcyclists in southern Nevada.

We know how to deal with insurance companies and juries that do not always understand the difference between driving a car or truck and operating a motorcycle. We are also skilled at overcoming the perception that motorcyclists are reckless daredevils.

Even before you are involved in a collision, check out references for a motorcycle accident attorney. Las Vegas' longtime law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has the knowledge and experience to get you the settlement you deserve, even if it means going to court. We're ready when you need us at 702-388-4476.

Drive Safe and Avoid the Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer this Holiday Season

Nothing can ruin the holiday season faster than suffering injuries in a car crash and having to spend time meeting with a personal injury lawyer instead of visiting with family and friends. Drivers must take extra precautions during this busy time of the year to reduce their risk of being involved in a devastating accident.

According to an NHTSA study, the number of fatal automobile accidents increases on December 23 and 24. Drivers are most likely to cause fatal injuries to pedestrians on Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The increased number of travelers during the holidays is only partially responsible for the increase in roadway fatalities. Busy schedules mean many people drive aggressively to make up time when they are running late. Those traveling with families are at constant risk of distraction by other passengers in the vehicle. Poor weather can make driving conditions treacherous and holiday libations only add another level of risk.

Use These Tips and Prevent Needing a Las Vegas Injury Attorney

Drivers who follow these tips can keep themselves and others safe on the roadways during the holidays:

  • Make sure all occupants are wearing seatbelts. Safely restrain small children in car seats.
  • Allow extra time for travel to account for the additional traffic and any unexpected delays. This will reduce the need to rush to arrive at the destination on time.
  • Take frequent breaks during long trips to avoid driver fatigue.
  • Schools are on vacation at this time of year. Watch out for children playing in residential neighborhoods and always obey the speed limit.
  • Never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. A single drink is enough to impair judgment and reaction time.

The holiday season should be a time of joy and spending time with loved ones. Nobody wants to be talking to law enforcement officers, filling out witness statements and hiring a lawyer during this time of year.

If you are injured in an accident caused by a distracted or negligent driver, call the law offices of Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez at 388-GGRM (4476) and speak to a personal injury lawyer to receive the compensation you deserve.

How to Help Your Personal Injury Lawyer With Your Case

If you’ve been in an accident, you can help your personal injury lawyer with your case by taking a few simple steps:
  • Document your injury. The minute you experience an injury such as an auto accident or a slip and fall accident in a store, call the police or contact the store manager to ensure a report is provided.
  • Take pictures. Photographic evidence will support your claim, especially if the photos are taken immediately following your accident. In addition to photographing your injuries, make sure other pictures are taken such as damage to your vehicle if you are involved in an automobile accident.
  • Seek medical assistance. You won’t help your case by avoiding the doctor so seek help immediately as you begin the healing and recovery process with medical help.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

An experienced personal injury lawyer will advise you to be protective of your rights when you are pursuing a claim. Most importantly you should:
  • Contact an attorney who has a proven track record in dealing with personal injury cases. Seek an attorney or a firm that specializes in personal injury and can provide case history involving situations similar to yours.
  • Reveal prior injuries. Tell the physician and attorney if you’ve been injured or have had accidents in the past in order to provide your team with full historical knowledge—the more your legal consulting team knows about you, the better equipped they’ll be to build your case
  • Never sign anything until you’ve consulted with an attorney. In some cases the other party may ask you to sign a legal document releasing them from culpability. If you sign any document like this, it could potentially ruin your case; so don’t do it without proper legal advice.

Contact a personal injury lawyer at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez Law Firm for a free consultation. Call 702-388-GGRM (4476) today.