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Legal Blog by Las Vegas based Richard Harris Law Firm

Filed under: Blog

December 2, 2021

Dog Bites

Every year in the United States, nearly 5 million Americans are bitten by a dog. Half of those bitten are under the age of 10. According to the Centers for Disease Control, twenty percent of…

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Every year in the United States, nearly 5 million Americans are bitten by a dog. Half of those bitten are under the age of 10. According to the Centers for Disease Control, twenty percent of bite injuries require medical attention. There is no singular profile of what “kinds” of dogs bite. They can be puppies, small or large adult dogs, a seemingly friendly dog or even a dog you know very well.

If you have been bitten by a dog, first and foremost, get any medical attention needed. It is also important to report the bite incident to the police and/or the local animal control division. Finding and contacting a personal injury lawyer, such as the lawyers at Richard Harris Law Firm, is the next best step to ensure your rights are protected and to discuss a possible case for your injury.

What are the laws in Nevada that govern dog bites?

Nevada is one of several states in the United States that does not have specific laws or statutes regarding dog bites. In those instances, the state is known as a “one bite” state. That means that a dog’s owner may only be liable if his or her dog bites someone and the owner had reason to believe that the dog was capable of biting or would be likely to bite. In essence, from the time immediately after a first bite, that owner should be aware from that point forward that the dog poses a bite risk and take action to protect others from the possibility of harm.

Most Nevada jurisdictions do have leash laws. Under Las Vegas Municipal Code 7.36.030, for example, it is a misdemeanor to allow a dog out in public without a leash. It is always the duty of a dog owner to take proper responsibility for his or her dog, especially in public places. The owner is expected to have proper control of the animal at all times.

If I’m bitten, what rights do I have?

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, there are many factors that come into play to determine what rights you have, and what compensation you may be entitled to. For example:

  • Were you on private property or in public at the time of the biting?
  • Was the dog on a leash and under control by the owner?
  • Did you do anything that may have caused the animal to bite you? Did you scare or antagonize the animal such that it acted out to defend itself?
  • Was the dog known to the owner to pose a bite risk?
  • Does the dog owner have insurance that may cover damages incurred by the victim? In some cases, homeowner’s insurance and/or an umbrella insurance policy may provide coverage.

If I have a case, what kind of compensation could I receive?

Each case is unique, and the value of your case depends on the details and circumstances of your particular dog bite incident. Your lawyer will work with you to investigate your case, establish liability and any negligence, weigh which laws may have been violated and ultimately determine the best course of action. You could be entitled to:

  • Reimbursement for medical treatment and related costs. 
  • Money for pain and suffering.
  • Payment for lost wages for any time you were unable to work.
  • Payment for future/anticipated medical costs or inability to work stemming from the dog bite injury. This could include cosmetic surgery to restore damage you sustained.

When you meet with your attorney, you will be asked a number of questions. If you don’t already know the answers to these example questions, try to get answers or track down the information as best you can:

  • Who owns the dog, and what is his or her contact information? Is the person someone you have known or a stranger?
  • What was the exact site of the incident?
  • Is the dog up to date on all vaccinations?
  • Do you have contact information of any witnesses?
  • Do you have photos/videos of the incident occurring or right afterwards?
  • Do you have documentation of filing a report with authorities?

How can Richard Harris Law Firm can help with your dog bite case?

A dog bite incident is usually shocking and unexpected, and it can be downright scary and dangerous. There are many laws involved and potential rights you may have if you’ve been bitten by a dog. Immediately after getting medical attention, contact our attorneys, who have extensive experience in dog bite cases. We will listen to the details of your dog bite incident and evaluate your possible case. 

Filed under: Blog

November 23, 2021

Whiplash Injuries Arising After Your Accident

When you’re injured in an auto accident, some of your injuries may be subtle or appear days to weeks after the collision. Although injuries such as broken bones or concussion may be apparent immediately, an…

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When you’re injured in an auto accident, some of your injuries may be subtle or appear days to weeks after the collision. Although injuries such as broken bones or concussion may be apparent immediately, an injury like whiplash may be less visible or take more time to recognize. If you are suffering from lingering pain you cannot explain or may have a claim after the accident, you need the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer, especially if you may be suffering from whiplash. 

One of the most common injuries following an auto accident is “whiplash.” In personal injury cases, it can be very difficult to prove you are suffering from whiplash injuries and there are many misassumptions surrounding what whiplash is, how it happens, and how it affects day-to-day life following your accident. One of the most common classifications of injury in rear-end collisions and other types of accidents is known as “whiplash.” It is important to remember that whiplash may be a serious injury and should not be taken lightly. If you are experiencing pain, get the help and compensation you deserve.

Whiplash – What is it?

According to Mayo Clinic, “whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip… Most people with whiplash get better within a few weeks by following a treatment plan that includes pain medication and exercise. However, some people have chronic neck pain and other long-lasting complications.” Whiplash was first termed in the 1920’s and has become exceedingly more common. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, headache, dizziness, pain, visual disturbance and blurriness, and hearing disruption. Whiplash is not typically life-threatening, but may cause long periods of pain and disability and lasting complications, depending on the severity of the accident or type of collision.

How is Whiplash Proven?

Overall, it can be very difficult to “prove” whether or not a victim of the accident has whiplash. Whiplash usually involves soft-tissue injury, which x-rays and scans typically do not show. Primary care physicians may diagnose whiplash through careful examination and testing pain levels through different movements, but it can be difficult to know if the pain or injury is truly from the recent accident or if any underlying conditions existed before. This usually means a whiplash diagnosis is somewhat subjective, based on the doctor, tests, etc. It is reassuring to know that new advances in medical technology may give a more definitive diagnosis for whiplash.

Building Your Case and Compensation

Following your auto accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially if you suspect you may have a whiplash injury. Your primary care physician and their medical team can record your symptoms and begin a medical log that will provide better evidence for your claim than not being treated altogether. Your medical team can also provide exercises or tips for things to do/not do in efforts to speed up your treatment and recovery time. If you follow your treatment plan, this shows the jury that you are making an effort in your recovery process and may be suffering from some serious pain following your collision. The guidance of your personal injury lawyer will also provide the direction needed and assist in the building of your case.

The calculation of your compensation depends on the treatment received and the value of your claim. You may begin by totalling all of your medical bills for treatment received after the accident–doctor’s visits, medication or pharmacy bills, chiropractor or physical therapy bills. Including all of these bills in your valuation and fighting for compensation is key to get the most out of your claim.

Turn to a Lawyer You Can Trust

The guidance and assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer can make or break your case. They can help you file a claim for whiplash injury damages, accurately describe the pain, accident, or injuries sustained, and collect money from those who hurt you. Our lawyers know and understand the challenges of “proving” a whiplash case and have expertise in how to overcome the obstacles that may arise with fighting for your injury. Our team works with some of the best healthcare experts to argue your injuries and fight for the debilitations whiplash may cause for each and every individual involved in an auto accident. 

Filed under: Blog

November 18, 2021

Injured at Work? What to do Next.

Injured at work and don’t know what to do next? There is a series of steps that must be taken to file a workers’ compensation claim. Paperwork must be filed with specific timelines involved and…

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Injured at work and don’t know what to do next?

There is a series of steps that must be taken to file a workers’ compensation claim. Paperwork must be filed with specific timelines involved and protocols that must be followed.  Before you do anything, call the Richard Harris Law Firm and consult our personal injury lawyers who know exactly what to do. Even if you have already begun the process of filing a claim, or you have been denied, our lawyers know what to do next. When you hire a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve increase greatly. Your lawyer represents you in communicating with the insurance company responsible for workers’ compensation. The truth of the matter is, insurance companies have their own lawyers who are looking for any way to avoid payouts and save money for their clients. This is why it is important to hire knowledgeable and trustworthy lawyers who are dedicated to representing victims of injury in the workplace and know how to deal with insurance company’s lawyers.

What is the initial process of filing a claim for workers’ compensation?

Step 1: Notify your employer by filing an incident report.

  • Timeline: Within 7 days of injury

Step 2: Fill out an Employee’s Claim for Compensation form if the injury forces you to miss work or you are in need of or are already receiving medical attention. 

  • Timeline: Injured persons must fill out the top portion of the claim form called a C-4 within 3 working days of treatment while the doctor must complete the C-4 by filling out the bottom portion of the claim and submitting it to the insurance company within 90 days.

Your lawyer can assist you with filling out and filing all paperwork correctly and in the allotted time.

In the following situations, it is imperative to have a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of workers’ compensation cases and how to navigate varying circumstances. 

  • There is little medical evidence to support the workers’ comp claim.
  • There have been serious and potentially long-term injuries that lead to a high value claim.
  • The employer disputes the claim.
  • The settlement doesn’t seem sufficient or in alignment with the injuries. sustained.
  • The claim was not approved and an appeal is necessary. 

Three important aspects of workers’ compensation your personal injury lawyer handles include:

  1. Gathering medical evidence that supports your claim
    1. How can a lawyer ensure there is sufficient medical evidence to support a claim?
      1. Assembling all medical records
      2. Proposing treatment with certain physicians
      3. Securing the medical opinions of participating physicians and potentially have independent medical exams conducted 
      4. Acting as representation at a deposition
      5. Conducting depositions of medical experts
      6. Gathering statements from family and friends
      7. Obtaining evidence of negligence on an employer’s part
  2. Negotiating a good settlement
    1. How does a workers’ comp lawyer determine how much an individual’s settlement should be?
      1. How severe the injuries incurred are and what limitations are caused by the injuries
      2. Medical expenses from the time of the injury along with future expenses
      3. The extent of impairment, whether it is short term or long lasting/permanent
      4. Wages lost and penalties owed due to loss of funds
  3. Note: If a settlement is reached, your lawyer can ensure that your agreement is written properly and in a manner in which it will not negatively affect other benefits such as Social Security disability benefits. 

  4. Representing you at your workers’ comp hearing
    1. How does a workers’ comp lawyer help when a settlement can’t be reached and the case proceeds to a hearing or trial?
      1. Take depositions of witnesses
      2. Request medical records
      3. Perform legal research
      4. Write the stance being taken on the client’s behalf in petitions, motions, and responses to the insurance company
      5. Make sure that everything is submitted on time. 
      6. Present their case theory to the judge giving the reasons why benefits should be rewarded
        1. Argue on your behalf for opening and closing statements
        2. Examine witnesses 
        3. Raise objections when the insurance company does something improper
      7. Appeal if a satisfactory decision has not been made

Your lawyer can also ensure that your settlement agreement is properly written to avoid negative consequences down the road. For instance, if you’re receiving or applying for Social Security disability benefits, an improperly designed settlement agreement 

If approved, your workers’ compensation benefits can cover the following:

  • Medical treatment
  • Payment for lost wages
  • Payment for permanent loss of function
  • Death Benefits
  • Retraining benefits
  • Mileage reimbursement

If denied, you may file an appeal:

  • File a Request for Hearing – Contested Claim
  • File with Department of Administration, Hearings Division
  • File within 70 days of the decision

Note: Working with a lawyer to prepare for the process of a workers’ compensation appeal gives you a significant advantage. Knowing how to navigate the proceedings, gathering evidence to support your claim, and having the ability to prepare you for what to expect from the lawyers representing the insurance company are some of the advantages to having your own representation.

When you are injured at work, the only thing you should have to focus on is healing. Even minor injuries can affect your physical health, ability to work, and in-turn your financial security. Small injuries like a broken bone may not seem like a big deal at the time, but could have a profound and lasting impact on your health and ability to work going forward. For this reason, it’s recommended that you speak with a personal injury lawyer after sustaining any injury. He or she can offer legal advice, project future complications and expenses, and assess damages. If you or someone you love has been injured at work, contact Richard Harris Law Firm to discuss your personal injury case for free. Call (702) 444-4444 or fill out the online evaluation form to schedule your free case consultation.

Filed under: Blog

November 10, 2021

Understanding Attorney-Client Privilege

Attorney-client privilege is an important factor in the relationship and trust factor that a client shares with their attorney. This rule of confidentiality is designed to allow a person to freely speak with their attorney…

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Attorney-client privilege is an important factor in the relationship and trust factor that a client shares with their attorney. This rule of confidentiality is designed to allow a person to freely speak with their attorney in order to give all of the information they have pertaining to their case, which in turn allows an attorney to effectively represent their client. With that, the information obtained in the attorney-client communications may not be used without the client’s consent.

How is attorney-client privilege established?

  1. A person establishes communication with an attorney.
  2. Communication is made between privileged persons.
  3. The content of the communication is made in confidence.
  4. The person is seeking to obtain legal assistance.

Are emails protected by attorney-client privilege?

Yes, if they are strictly between a client and their attorney with no one else included, and the communication in the email must specifically be regarding seeking (client) or providing (attorney) legal advice. Some emails with other in-house counsel may also be covered as long as it is concerning legal advice with no mixed purpose. Communications including the opposing counsel are not covered.

Are text messages protected by attorney-client privilege?

Yes, text messages are protected,;however, the ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality may be more difficult than with in-person communications or email. As with emails, as long as the nature of the text message is to seek or provide legal advice and does not include any other parties aside from the client and attorney, it is covered by the attorney-client privilege. In order to protect the privacy of the content of text messages, a texting platform including end-to-end encryption is advised.

When does attorney-client privilege start? 

The moment a client speaks to an attorney with the intention of obtaining legal advice, and the attorney is acting as such, any communication shall be confidential. This can be waived by the client if they choose,;however, the attorney is held to the rules of confidentiality and may not divulge any information outside of the legal team working on the case.

Who can claim attorney-client privilege?

According to NRS 49.253 “The privilege may be claimed by the client, the client’s guardian or conservator or by the personal representative of a deceased client.”

What does and doesn’t it cover?

When a client speaks to their attorney in private, the conversation and any notes taken or recordings made of the conversation are covered under attorney-client privilege. If the conversation is had in public, or if the client repeats the information to someone else, the information is no longer protected. 

In the instance where there is another party in the room who is privy to a confidential conversation between the client and their attorney, there are factors that determine whether the attorney-client privilege applies.

  • Is the person assisting with the legal representation of the client?
  • Does the client intend for the information being disclosed to be confidential?
  • Does the third party fulfill an essential duty or role in conjunction with the case such as an investigator, expert, interpreter, or advisor?

Are there exceptions to the attorney-client privilege?

  • If communications between an attorney and their client are deemed to intend to cover up a crime or a fraud, the attorney-client privilege is forfeited. 
  • If a third party not playing an essential role in the case is present or included in the communications, the information is not protected.
  • If the information exchanged in a private setting with an attorney is then made public by the client, it is no longer protected.
  • If the information disclosed is made in a setting where other parties may overhear or see the information inadvertently, it is no longer protected.

Are family members included in attorney-client privilege?

A client’s family members are not entitled to the information that is shared with a person’s attorney. This includes spouses and all other relatives unless they are acting as an advisor, are the client’s guardian or conservator, or are the personal representative of a deceased client.

How long does attorney-client privilege last?

Attorney-client privilege is perpetual. The confidentiality is to be maintained throughout the period of representation and thereafter, even upon the client’s death. Even in the event that additional confidential information about the client is obtained after the case is complete, the attorney is bound to the confidentiality. If the information becomes public knowledge; otherwise, the privilege is no longer protected.

At the Richard Harris Law Firm, our team of expert attorneys protect your privacy and dutifully maintain the integrity of attorney-client privilege. Contact the Richard Harris 

Law Firm to discuss your personal injury case. Call or text (702) 444-4444 or fill out the online evaluation form to schedule your free case consultation.

Filed under: Blog

November 3, 2021

How to Prevent a Slip & Fall Accident

Slip and fall accidents, also referred to as trip and falls, are the number one cause of non-fatal personal injuries in need of medical treatment in the United States. There are more than 8 million…

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Slip and fall accidents, also referred to as trip and falls, are the number one cause of non-fatal personal injuries in need of medical treatment in the United States. There are more than 8 million emergency room visits every year as a result of slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. Statistics also show that falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for adults age 65 and older. In many instances, these accidents occur on someone else’s property or business. When this is the case, the property or business owner can be held liable for the injury, making it possible for the victim to recover money for their medical bills  and prescriptions, as well as lost wages due to missed work due to a prolonged disability.

When it comes to workplace injuries, more than 5,000 workers die on the job every year, many as a result of a serious slip/trip and fall accident. According to the Department of Labor, nearly 20–30% of workplace slip-and-fall accidents cause moderate to severe injuries. These include injuries such as head injuries and concussions, broken bones and spinal cord injuries. The cost to employers is estimated at approximately $161.5 billion per year. 

A slip and fall can be life altering and, at the very least, disruptive to your daily routine for an extended period of time. Learning how to avoid slip and fall accidents is a great way to prevent them from ever happening in the first place. Part of knowing how to avoid slip and falls is knowing what may potentially cause them. Over two-thirds of all trips and slips happen on the same level, while the remaining occur from a height such as a ladder. Here is a list of common scenarios that occur at floor level at home, in public and in the workplace, compliments of Grainger Inc., and can result in a slip, trip, and fall:

  • Wet or greasy floors
  • Dry floors with wood dust or powder
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Polished or freshly waxed floors
  • Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
  • Transition from one floor type to another
  • Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
  • Damaged or irregular steps; no handrails
  • Sloped walking surfaces
  • Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
  • Clutter
  • Electrical cords or cables
  • Open desk or cabinet drawers
  • Damaged ladder steps
  • Ramps and gang planks without skid-resistant surfaces
  • Metal surfaces — dock plates, construction plates
  • Weather hazards — rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail, frost
  • Wet leaves or pine needles
  • Poor lighting 

Whether you are an employer or are an owner with a business that is open to the public, these tips can be of value and assist you in implementing policies and procedures that minimize the possibility of slip and falls under your watch. When these preventive measures are not taken, some may create an environment that helps cause an accident and create liabilities (and possible restitution) for the person suffering an injury.

Housekeeping and Preventative measures:

  • Walkways:
    • Keep clean and place clear signage out when surfaces are freshly cleaned or compromised by weather conditions
    • Keep free of clutter
  • Stairways and Handrails:
    • Clear of obstructions
    • Well lit
    • Free from loose objects – avoid placing rugs in front of stairs
    • Mark top and bottom with reflective tape
  • Cords and Wires:
    • Run cables behind walls or under carpeting when possible
    • Install power outlets, internet connections and phone jacks in immediate area of use 
    • Avoid running cables across walkways at any time – when unavoidable, mark with bright tape and signage of possible tripping hazard
  • Footwear:
    • Employers – ensure suitable footwear for employees is required according to the tasks at hand with proper traction
    • Individuals – consider your destination and choose footwear mindfully while always watching your footing in every type of environment
  • Lighting: 
    • Illuminate areas with high potential for slips, trips and falls such as walkways and stairways
    • Install motion-detected lighting in outdoor spaces for dark hours
  • Signage:
    • Place informative and brightly colored signage in highly visible locations where someone may encounter things such as: a step, a gap in the pavement, uneven ground or loose rocks
  • Ladders and step stools:
    • Make ladders or step stools readily available for assistance in getting to items at a height – this avoids usage of unstable or unsafe methods
  • Floor conditions:
    • Maintain and repair all footpaths both inside and outside where trip hazards are prominent
  • Rugs/Floor mats:
    • Use a non-skid layer underneath all rugs or mats
  • Spills:
    • Clean spills immediately once they occur and place warning signs where residue may need to be removed with more thorough cleaning methods

With all of the precautions taken to avoid slip, trip and fall accidents, they can and do still occur. Many people ask the question, “Can I sue for a slip and fall accident?” The answer is simply, yes. In many instances, a slip and fall or trip and fall accident occurs when something is out of place and becomes a hazard. Business and property owners are potentially liable for injuries that happen on their property and are due to this type of negligence. These instances allow for the victim to file a lawsuit and have the opportunity to recover money for damages due to the accident.

It is imperative to contact an attorney if you have been injured in a slip, trip and fall. At the Richard Harris Law Firm, our attorneys have won over $1 billion for victims of personal injury with a 98% success rate for all cases. Contact us today for a free legal consultation!

Filed under: Blog

October 27, 2021

Deflating Common Legal Myths

Fact vs. Fiction – when it comes to the law, there are so many complicated terms and documents involved in every aspect of the legal process that are packed full of language and phrasing difficult…

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Fact vs. Fiction – when it comes to the law, there are so many complicated terms and documents involved in every aspect of the legal process that are packed full of language and phrasing difficult for the average person to navigate and fully comprehend. This oftentimes causes confusion between what is fact and what is fiction – both for a person determining whether they should seek a lawyer to begin with, as well as for those who are already in the midst of a legal case. 

Truth and justice are the foundation of the Richard Harris Law Firm, and instilling knowledge in our community and our clients is powerful and has proven to lead to the highest probability of success. With that, there are a handful of common misconceptions that we are here to deflate. Knowledge is Power! 

Seven Common Legal Myths – Deflated.

MYTH: Hiring a personal injury attorney is so expensive. There is no way I can afford representation. I will have to represent myself.

TRUTH: 

Navigating the legal system without an attorney is a huge gamble, one that is not recommended and completely unnecessary. The attorneys on Richard Harris’s team work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t pay anything until we negotiate a settlement or win a verdict for you at trial. You don’t pay any fees until we win your case. If you have been in an accident of any kind, schedule a free case consultation, and we will assist you in determining the correct course of action.

MYTH: An attorney won’t be able to help me because my injury isn’t severe enough.

TRUTH: Many injuries may not seem severe in the immediate aftermath of an accident, however, the full severity may not present itself for some time after the occurence. If your body is in pain and you are incurring medical bills, that is an excellent indication that you likely have a personal injury case. We are here to help you with the next steps, and a case consultation is free.

MYTH: I don’t need to get a lawyer. The insurance company will handle everything.

TRUTH: An insurance company’s priority is to handle your claim for as little payout as possible. They are not in business to ensure that all of your financial, medical, emotional, and physical needs are met. Richard Harris personal injury lawyers are your advocate and champion when it comes to doing everything in their power to get you the compensation you deserve and need in order to get your life back on track.

MYTH: If I hire an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit, I will have to go to court. 

TRUTH: In most cases, personal injury lawsuits settle out of court. Most defendants never see the inside of a courtroom. Your attorney will rely on you for as many of the details as possible from the incident, and they will handle the heavy lifting from their offices. 

MYTH: All attorneys are the same.

TRUTH: Each individual attorney has a certain skill set and level of expertise in specific practice areas. Depending on the type of case you bring to the attorney, they may or may not be a good fit for you. Keep in mind that there is no way to know how much your case may be worth before all the details are clear, so be aware of attorneys promising a certain payout for your case.

MYTH: It takes a very long time for a personal injury case to be resolved.

TRUTH: The amount of time a personal injury case takes is dependent upon many factors. The truth is that most cases settle out of court within a matter of months. It is always worthwhile to pursue justice and compensation for another’s negligence that has resulted in injury which costs victims time, money, and many times mental distress. It is our mission at Richard Harris Law Firm to get you that compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible in order for you to return to your life.

MYTH: Personal injury cases are usually people just trying to work the system.

TRUTH: Personal injury law has been designed to bring justice for victims who have been injured by another’s negligence and, in some cases, have had their entire lives altered forever. The Richard Harris Law Firm has a history of excellence and integrity and takes pride in serving the injured and their families.

Our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to being available to you when you need us. We provide one-on-one attention and excellent service to each of our valued clients, and we will promptly respond to all phone calls or emails. Our attorneys understand what a traumatic toll a personal injury can take on you and your family, and we are intent on obtaining maximum compensation for you.

When you’re hurt in an accident, even a minor injury can affect your physical health, emotional well-being, and financial security. Small injuries like a broken bone may not seem like a big deal at the time, but could have a profound and lasting impact on your health and ability to work going forward. For this reason, it’s recommended that you speak with a personal injury attorney after sustaining any injury. He or she can offer legal advice, project future complications and expenses, and assess damages.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident, contact Richard Harris Law Firm to discuss your personal injury case for free. Call or text (702) 444-4444 or fill out the online evaluation form to schedule your free case consultation.

Filed under: Blog

October 20, 2021

What can I do if I was injured by a defective product?

When you purchase a product and use it as it is intended to be used, it is rightfully expected that the product will be safe and reliable. The unfortunate reality is that injuries can occur…

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When you purchase a product and use it as it is intended to be used, it is rightfully expected that the product will be safe and reliable. The unfortunate reality is that injuries can occur under unforeseen circumstances out of a consumer’s control. At times, these injuries come with traumatizing and costly consequences. 

What is a defective product?

By definition, a product defect is any characteristic of a product which hinders its usability for the purpose for which it was designed and manufactured.

In personal injury law, we address product defects when someone has been injured by a product unexpectedly particularly when it does not perform as expected.

When referring to product defects, the three prominent categories include:

Design Defects

A faulty product due to flaws in the actual design are considered “design defects.” It has been manufactured in the way in which it was intended, however, the design itself has inherent flaws that are dangerous to the public consumer. Many times this will result in a recall of the product, and quite often, this recall happens after injuries to consumers have occured. 

Example: One of the most famous examples of a design defect is the case against Remington Rifles. Their models 700 and 710 had a firing system that was defective. The design flaw caused these particular models of rifles to fire without pulling the trigger. The safety latch could be bumped accidentally, and the rifle could fire off a shot. An incident in 1994 in which a Texas man out on a hunting expedition did just that, with a bump of the safety latch, his rifle fired resulting in accidentally shooting himself in the foot. This design defect ultimately won the Texas man $15 million in compensation.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects are an unintended defect in a product that occurs when there is deviation from a product’s design which can then result in the product becoming a danger to consumers.

These types of defects occur during production and are limited to an isolated batch or batches of products as they are manufactured. This differentiates a manufacturing defect from a design defect.

Example: One of the most famous examples of a manufacturing defect is from 2010 when a certain fleet of Toyota automobiles were experiencing accelerator failure resulting in unforeseen accidents. There was a specific feature that failed to be installed during the manufacturing phase that led to the unexpected accelerator failures and accidents. Damages of $1.1 billion had to be paid by Toyota.

Labeling and Marketing Defects

By definition labeling or marketing defects can occur when a manufacturer of a product fails to include sufficient warnings for the product on written warning labels or in marketing materials, including broadcast media marketing. This can refer to misinformation or omission of important safety information. Labeling and marketing defects make it possible for accidents causing significant injuries to happen to innocent, uninformed, or misinformed consumers.

Example: One of the most famous examples of a marketing defect case in recent years is the one against Monsanto for the incorrectly marketed and labeled harmful components in their weed killer product RoundUp while countless consumers claimed the product caused their cancer. Stating that RoundUp was “safer than table salt,” Monsanto’s lack of proper warning regarding the toxicity and potentially carcinogenic nature of the product, along with the intentional coverup of the facts, resulted in over 100,000 lawsuits and $11 billion dollars in payouts. 

Who is responsible for liability when someone is injured by a defective product?

Depending upon the cause of the defective product, the liable party may be one of the following:

  • The product’s manufacturer
  • The party responsible for assembly or installation of the product
  • The manufacturer of the components or parts of the product
  • The wholesaler of the product
  • The retailer who sold the specific product to the consumer

What can you do if you have been injured by a defective product?

You are entitled to justice and compensation if you are injured by a defective product. Retaining a product liability lawyer is highly advisable in order to receive the proper compensation. The manufacturer has a duty to ensure the safety of the products they make and sell. When a consumer is injured by a product on account of the manufacturer’s negligence, they are entitled to compensation for financial loss due to medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income. 

Examples of defective products:

  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Recreational products
  • Clothing
  • Asbestos
  • Batteries
  • Chemicals
  • Cosmetics
  • Elevators
  • Automotive Products
  • Machinery
  • Firearms
  • Food 
  • Agricultural Products
  • Tools
  • Medical Devices

If you or someone you know is considering filing a legal claim over an injury or illness that might be linked to a product, the personal injury attorneys at the Richard Harris Law Firm have the expert knowledge and experience to help you recover compensation for your losses. Let us help you get the justice you need and deserve.

Filed under: Blog

October 12, 2021

If I Signed a Waiver, Can I Still Sue?

 Just because you signed a liability waiver does not mean that you have given away your right to sue in the event that you become injured, especially when the responsible party has shown “gross or…

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 Just because you signed a liability waiver does not mean that you have given away your right to sue in the event that you become injured, especially when the responsible party has shown “gross or willful negligence or lack of informed consent.” It is common to sign a waiver when you are dealing with commercial property, recreational activities, health service providers and other instances when participating in voluntary interests.

What is the purpose of a liability waiver?

A liability waiver is an agreement or a type of contract between a service provider and an individual that basically states that the person engaged in the activity or event is doing so as a voluntary participant and is aware of all potential risks and will not sue the provider in the event of injury. 

Are there regulations that determine the validity of a liability waiver?

A liability waiver is a legal document and has several components that must be adhered to in order to be deemed legally binding. 

For example:

  1. The waiver must use language that is uncomplicated and clear in order for the participant to be able to fully comprehend the terms. 
  2. The terms of the waiver cannot be placed in fine print or in an obscure location and must be clearly visible and legible so as not to mislead or deceive the participant.
  3. The waiver covers an injury sustained under “ordinary negligence” and does not cover the business or service provider in the case of “gross or willful negligence or lack of informed consent.”
  • Ordinary Negligence by definition is: Conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. A person has acted negligently if he or she has departed from the conduct expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under similar circumstances.
    • Example: You signed up and went on a hiking excursion while on vacation at the Grand Canyon, and there is a malfunction with the hiking equipment during the activity which causes you to fall and become injured. The hiking company’s failure to inspect their equipment prior to yours and other participants’ use is considered “ordinary negligence.” When you sign a liability waiver or release, you are waiving your right to sue even if you experience this type of negligence despite the fact that you were injured due to the hiking company’s failure to act reasonably as it relates to general safety.
  • Gross or Willful Negligence by definition is: The “lack of slight diligence or care” or “a conscious, voluntary act or omission in reckless disregard of a legal duty and of the consequences to another party.”
    • Example: You signed up and went on a hiking excursion while on vacation at the Grand Canyon, and the guide leads you to an area where you are required to repel down the rock; however, they did not disclose that you would be involved in such a technical activity, and while you were engaged in repelling, the equipment failed, causing you to fall onto the rocks below and break your leg. This example of “gross negligence” could be grounds for a lawsuit as you were uninformed, and the company was reckless in its preparation.
  • Lack of Informed Consent by definition is: Failing to get permission granted in the knowledge of the possible consequences, typically that which is given by a patient to a doctor for treatment with full knowledge of the possible risks and benefits. 
    • Example: In general, when a physician does not give a patient proper information about the known risks involved in a procedure, and the patient is harmed in the process, this could be a case of lack of informed consent causing harm. There are some cases in which a procedure is performed that is different from the procedure the patient has agreed upon. The only instance where this may be permissible is in an emergency. 

In which cases can a waiver be deemed invalid?

  • If the waiver has incorrect verbiage or excludes specific phrases in the clause, it may be deemed invalid.
  • In most states, courts deem a waiver invalid if the wording is such that it intends to protect a service provider from liability for gross negligence, reckless or willful misconduct.
  • If the waiver is not signed by the person who it is being used against, it will be deemed invalid.

If you have been injured as a result of “ordinary negligence,” it is possible that the liability waiver you signed may hold up in court and protect the provider of the service from a lawsuit. However, if “gross negligence” on their part caused your injury, you may have a case.

Most importantly, you must be represented by attorneys like the ones at Richard Harris Law Firm, who are experts in personal injury law, are highly knowledgeable about cases involving liability waiver disputes and will help you determine the facts of your case. Contact us today for a free legal consultation!

Filed under: Blog

October 5, 2021

Personal Injury Legal Terms – Defined

Every personal injury case is unique. It is also usually a stressful time for the parties involved. At Richard Harris Law Firm, we want to alleviate as much of the burden from our clients as…

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Every personal injury case is unique. It is also usually a stressful time for the parties involved. At Richard Harris Law Firm, we want to alleviate as much of the burden from our clients as possible. Informing them about what to expect during their personal injury case, including the legal terminology that will be commonly used throughout the process, is one way we do that. Whether it is a defective products case or a motor vehicle accident, there are common legal terms that are used in all injury cases. Here is a quick reference guide to the meaning of each of these terms and examples to further explain the context in which these terms are used.

Plaintiff: The person or group of people who has filed the lawsuit.

Example: If you were struck by a vehicle while riding your bicycle and brought a lawsuit against the driver, you are considered the plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Defendant: The person or party who is the recipient of the complaint being accused by the plaintiff of wrongdoing.

Example: If you were struck by a vehicle while riding your bicycle and sued the driver, the defendant in the lawsuit is the driver.

Complaint: The official filing of the plaintiff’s grievance with the suitable court. This is the first formal action in filing a lawsuit and is a written document containing the allegations against the defendant and how their actions harmed your rights. It also outlines which laws were violated, details that led to the dispute, and what the plaintiff is seeking financially or other compensation for their relief.

Prayer for Relief: Found within the complaint, it is the specific portion in which the plaintiff describes the desired type of compensation they seek from the court such as a monetary sum or an injunction forcing the defendant to cease a certain activity, and at times, both.

Example: “The plaintiff prays for 1) special damages in the sum of $250,000, general damages according to proof, 2) reasonable attorney’s fees, 3) costs of suit; and 4) such other and further relief as the court shall deem proper.”

Answer: As the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant responds by filing an answer to formally announce their position regarding the accusation.

Statute of Limitations: From one to ten years or more, the statute of limitations refers to how much time after the incident takes place that one has to file a complaint and for prosecutors to press charges for a particular offense. This legal time limit varies from case to case and differs in each State. 

Note: Personal injury lawsuits tend to have a statute of limitations around 2-3 years. In the State of Nevada, most felonies have a 3 year statute of limitations, 2 years for most gross misdemeanors, and one year for standard misdemeanors.

Negligence: Carelessness or failure to act resulting in injury.

Example: The driver of a vehicle who runs a stop sign, causing them to strike a person on a bicycle, is displaying negligence by failing to stop at the stop sign.

Burden of Proof: The plaintiff in a lawsuit must prove to a certain extent that their allegations against the defendant are most likely true. 

Damages: In regards to personal injury cases, damages refer to the financial compensation that the plaintiff is seeking, which includes both the costs incurred from the accident, as well as money to compensate for emotional distress incurred.

Example: Types of damages that may be rewarded to the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit include medical treatment, reduced income, property loss, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. 

At Richard Harris Law Firm, we believe that knowledge is power, and empowering our clients through the often stressful and sometimes confusing process of a personal injury lawsuit is an important aspect in the success of the case. If you have been affected by someone else’s negligence, the highly knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys at Richard Harris Law Firm guide you through every step of your personal injury case in order to get you the compensation you need and deserve. 

Filed under: Blog

September 30, 2021

What Is Your Personal Injury Case Worth?

Understanding losses and compensation allow for better valuation of personal injury claims. For many, the consideration of filing their personal injury claim for slip and fall, car accidents, or other personal injuries might pose two…

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Understanding losses and compensation allow for better valuation of personal injury claims. For many, the consideration of filing their personal injury claim for slip and fall, car accidents, or other personal injuries might pose two important questions: “Is it worth it?” and “What is my case worth?” The main factor in formulating the arguments and answers surrounding these questions comes down to calculating your damages–what are the physical, monetary and mental damages that deserve compensation, and if a defendant can truly be punished based on your circumstances. In personal injury cases, monetary damages are paid to the injured party, the plaintiff, by the opposing party or entity who is found to be legally responsible for an accident, either an insurance company or the defendant.

Take a look at different damages in a personal injury case to better understand your compensation:

  • Monetary or Compensatory Damages in Your Personal Injury Case
    • In most personal injury cases, many of the damages accounted for are classified within this category of compensatory damages. This means that the intention is to compensate the personal injury victim for whatever was lost, or severely affected, by their personal injury accident. The key behind this is trying to put a dollar amount and value all of the consequences of one’s accident or injuries. Common reimbursements include medical bills and property damage, but others may be difficult to calculate or value based on their impact to a personal injury’s plaintiff, such as the emotional distress or pain and suffering.
    • Common compensatory or monetary damages in a personal injury case include:
      • Emotional distress – In more serious personal injury accidents and claims, emotional distress damages are used to compensate the plaintiff for any psychological impacts their case may have, which may have lasting impacts on their day-to-day life. Examples may include, but are not limited to, anxiety, fear, paranoia, and loss of sleep. In some states, this emotional distress category may be viewed as part of the whole for pain and suffering damages as it pertains to a personal injury case and plaintiff’s damages.
      • Income – Depending on the severity of your case, and its impact on your salary, wages or ability to work, you may be entitled to compensation. 
      • Medical treatment – For the medical treatment category, it is the calculation or determination of your case damages and medical bills related to it, as a plaintiff may be compensation, or rather reimbursed, for treatment already received or future medical attention needed.
      • Pain and suffering – This may be one of the more difficult damages to value. As the plaintiff, you may be entitled to compensation for pain, suffering and serious discomfort suffered as a result of or during a personal injury accident. 
      • Property loss – Any personal items, clothing, vehicles or other property damages as a result of your personal injury accident may entitle you to repair or replacement reimbursements based on the market value for any lost or damaged property. 
  • Punitive Damages
    • In most cases in which a defendant’s conduct is in question or ultimately deemed particularly careless and egregious, the plaintiff in a personal injury case may be compensated and awarded for punitive damages. This calculation is rather different from that of compensatory damages and calculating the value of compensation for wholeness. Punitive damages are still awarded to an injured plaintiff in the case, but the effort and goal for these damages is to punish the defendant for their conduct, negatively impact them financially and act as a deterrent or obstacle. Punitive damage awards typically do not top tens of millions of dollars, like compensatory damages can, most states have a designated cap for personal injury case punitive damages. 

In Nevada, this variety of factors may determine your personal injury settlement and compensation. Your damages stem from the impact the personal injury case has on the plaintiff, or victim, at the expense of the defendant or responsible party. If the opposing party was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their conduct may entitle the plaintiff to additional compensatory damages.

For tips on determining the value of your case, turn to the trusted lawyers at Richard Harris Law Firm. Our lawyers have years of experience dealing with damages and determining what your personal injury claim is worth. 

Filed under: Blog

September 22, 2021

Out of Court Settlements

If you believe you have a legal claim against someone, the first step should be not going to court to resolve it. Going to court can be a very stressful and expensive process, taking a…

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If you believe you have a legal claim against someone, the first step should be not going to court to resolve it. Going to court can be a very stressful and expensive process, taking a lot of time and money. On average, it takes more than a year to receive a trial decision in small claims court, and dealing with the Supreme Court takes even longer. It is always better to settle the dispute out of court to make it easier for both sides to save time and money. A settlement is an agreement between both parties in a lawsuit that effectively halts the dispute process and any other future lawsuit. In other words, it is known as a compromise settlement, which is substituted for the claim by the injured party, and the rights and liabilities of the two parties are then set by the agreement.

Pros and Cons of Settling Out of Court

Going to a trial, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, can be very stressful, and settling before the trial may be the best option to save time and money. There are many advantages to settling a dispute out of court, such as:

  • Lower court costs and attorney fees.
  • Quicker resolution and certain outcomes.
  • Less stress and time away from work.

However, there may be benefits to settling a trial in court, such as:

  • Could be difficult to get the claim paid.
  • Claim amount may be more in court.
  • If there is no agreement, it is back to court.

How to Settle Out of Court

The best first step of any lawsuit is trying to work out the agreement out of court. Even the courts agree with this, as it saves time and money for both parties. There are three general paths to be taken in order to resolve a case out of court. First, the best way to settle an agreement is to have a face-to-face conversation about the dispute. There are some instances where the adversary is not aware of the problem or acknowledging their responsibility within the case. People dealing with out of court settlements may not realize how reasonable the adversary is, as they don’t want to have to spend money hiring a lawyer and dealing with a case in court. If there is an agreement that was settled upon, it is important that there is a written document stating the resolution, signed by both parties. Additionally, it is smart to have a lawyer present and to create the document so there aren’t any legal holes in the document.

If you have tried negotiating with your adversary and it didn’t work out, you should consider mediation. Mediation is where you and the adversary meet with a third party and come together to find a resolution. The third party, or the mediator, has no say in the case, but offers a solution that works best for both parties. In some courts, a mediation is required before a case can even be presented in court. If both parties come to a solution, there will be a written mediation agreement that states the intentions for both parties and is signed by the mediator.  

Lastly, another way to resolve a dispute is arbitration, which is similar to mediation. The difference between an arbitration and a mediation is that the third party, or the arbitrator, makes the legally binding decision in the case. This makes it so the ultimate decision is based on the arbitrator, though the judge can overturn it in court. Arbitration is recommended for cases involving money, rather than a problem between you and your neighbor. 

If none of these resolutions work, then it is best to find an aggressive lawyer who will fight by your side. Although it may cost more money and time, this is your best option if you cannot settle your dispute out of court. If you can settle out of court due to mediation or arbitration, it is still recommended to hire a lawyer to be a witness to the resolution. Here at Richard Harris Law Firm, our lawyers have years of experience dealing with out of court settlements and know the laws better than anyone else. If you or a loved one is dealing with an out of court settlement, reach out to us for help on better understanding the case and determine if a lawyer is needed. 

Filed under: Blog

September 14, 2021

Pre-Existing Injuries Affecting Settlements

In most personal injury and auto accident cases, the victim will face questions from the other party’s legal team and insurance company about pre-existing injuries before the accident. People assume that the victim was completely…

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In most personal injury and auto accident cases, the victim will face questions from the other party’s legal team and insurance company about pre-existing injuries before the accident. People assume that the victim was completely healthy before the accident, although that is rarely true. Most people deal with injuries or health conditions, major or minor, throughout their life and it may be right before the accident. Injuries can vary, some being mental, some being physical, and some being a combination of the two. Generally, victims are not entitled to compensation for injuries and conditions that occurred before the incident happened. However, victims may be entitled to compensation for pre-existing injuries that were made worse due to the accident.

Disclosing Prior Injuries

It is important that people involved in accidents or injury cases are honest with their attorneys about their injuries or prior injuries. Failing to disclose previous injuries can work against you, as your chances of a fair settlement may be diminished. Disclosing prior injuries is essential because if they were significantly worsened due to the accident or injury, you may receive additional compensation for it. Also, doctors can look deeper into the previous injury and how it was aggravated due to the new accident, making your chances greater for compensation. As a victim, you should never feel discouraged to disclose prior injuries or conditions. Having detailed and complete medical records of your previous injury or condition can substantially change the current case and the compensation you may receive because of it.

The Eggshell Theory

A person’s pre-existing injury or condition may make them more susceptible to an injury in an accident. However, that doesn’t mean that they are less entitled to compensation because of that. In the “eggshell theory,” defendants must take plaintiffs as is, and they are not allowed to use the plaintiffs’ previous injuries during injury attribution. This rule applies to all personal injury and auto accident claims, and it states that the fragility of the injury victim is not a valid defense against a claim. According to the “eggshell” rule, defendants are liable for all damages that stem from their negligent actions, even if they had no idea about the victim’s previous conditions and that it played a role in affecting the severity of the injury. It is essential that the victim explains his or her conditions after an accident to their medical and legal team to be properly treated and accurately compensated. 

Proving Prior Injuries

Although every case is unique, prior injuries offer a set-in-stone way for judges and lawyers to see how the victim has suffered because of a subsequent event. It is important that your lawyer works with your medical team to provide an honest and complete documentation of your prior condition or injury. Your attorney will attempt to establish the degree to which the accident worsened your prior injury or condition, minor or major. Providing detailed medical records proves your prior injuries or conditions and gives you a greater chance for compensation. 

You should never feel discouraged to disclose a prior injury in order to pursue compensation, as it is completely normal for people to have their previous conditions or injuries worsened due to an accident. Nothing is more important than one’s health, and understanding the severity of an injury, the treatment for the injury, and the time an injury takes to heal is very important for the person and the lawyers to understand. If you have been injured due to someone’s negligence, it is important that you seek a qualified legal team to help you receive compensation. At Richard Harris Law Firm, our attorneys understand the legal system better than anyone else, and will help you get back on your feet. We will help you recover compensation for your pain and suffering, but if you have a pre-existing injury, don’t let that derail you from pursuing a personal injury claim. We will aggressively fight the charges for you and detail medical records and other important evidence in order for you to receive the correct compensation.

Filed under: Blog

September 8, 2021

Traumatic Brain Injury in Nevada

Traumatic brain injuries can be devastating to one’s life, as the effects can be unpredictable and life-lasting. Unlike most other injuries, brain injuries do not heal the same, as symptoms could appear right after the…

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Traumatic brain injuries can be devastating to one’s life, as the effects can be unpredictable and life-lasting. Unlike most other injuries, brain injuries do not heal the same, as symptoms could appear right after the accident, or they could appear months after the accident. These injuries cause permanent biological damage and could require lifetime medical treatments. According to NRS 427A.850, Nevada has a unique program to protect victims of traumatic brain injury. The program includes special treatment, such as in-home care, care provided in an assisted living facility, and special instruction in the skills required for independent living and job placement. Additionally, there is treatment for substance use disorders and support for the family of the victim. Every victim of a traumatic brain injury has the rights to these services and is encouraged to take advantage of them in order to compensate for their suffering.

Causes of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries can be caused in many different scenarios, including slip-and-falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports-related injuries, construction accidents,  or even medical malpractice such as birth injuries or brain surgery. If you suffered from a traumatic brain injury, you are highly encouraged to seek medical assistance right away, because the injury can be made worse if you fail to seek assistance. Swelling or bleeding of the brain can cause fatal results either hours or days after the accident first occurred. According to the CDC, the number of student-athletes who have received traumatic brain injuries due to physical contact in sports have significantly increased over the last few decades. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, otherwise known as CTE, is commonly found in football players or boxers. CTE is a form of a traumatic brain injury, as it results from having multiple concussions, causing mood and behavioral disturbances. Another significant risk of having a traumatic brain injury is repeated head trauma. An example would be having multiple concussions, as it is unlikely to have head trauma from one concussion, but it is likely that after multiple concussions you would start having effects of head trauma. Traumatic brain injuries are very serious, and there are multiple causes to being diagnosed with one.

Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury

As a doctor, it can be difficult to figure out how serious a brain injury really is, as even severe brain injuries can appear mild at first. While brain injuries have life-lasting effects, some of the effects you feel can be short lasting, such as:

  • Dazed feeling
  • Pain shortly after the injury
  • Memory loss
  • Uneven pupils
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Visual disturbances

Long-term effects from suffering traumatic brain injury can be very unpredictable, and the cognitive effects can be life-lasting. The effects of head injuries are different for everyone, as some people may not even feel dazed or have pain from their head injury, although that doesn’t mean there is no injury.

Compensation for Brain Injuries

If you are a traumatic brain injury victim due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to receive compensation. The injury compensation includes the amount of lost wages, medical care bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. Your life is completely changed when you receive a traumatic brain injury, and it is only right to receive compensation, especially if someone else caused it. If you are a victim of traumatic brain injury, there are certain documents you must have ready to provide to the court and doctors. These documents include insurance information, social security, driver’s license, school records, work records, accident report, bank statements, and birth certificate. These documents give the court, the doctors, and the person who caused you the injury more insight on how much it cost and how it changed your life, including employment. Bills for traumatic brain injuries can get very expensive, as some services may even get into the millions. It is highly encouraged that you file for compensation if you received a traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries are very different and more serious than most other injuries, and it is important that you get help in order to get back on track. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, it is best to reach out to a legal team to talk about the situation that led to your brain injury, and if it was caused by someone’s negligence. Although no one can reverse the incident that led to your traumatic brain injury, our attorneys at Richard Harris Law Firm can help you receive compensation to pay for your medical bills and other damages that have altered your day-to-day activities.

Filed under: Blog

August 31, 2021

Youth Sport Injuries

Youth sport injuries can be very life-changing and devastating because of how serious they are. In order to keep your child safe while playing the sport they love, it is important that you are aware…

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Youth sport injuries can be very life-changing and devastating because of how serious they are. In order to keep your child safe while playing the sport they love, it is important that you are aware of how they can get injured and try to prevent it. Using the right equipment and understanding the rules of the game and how to play fair are the two most important ways to help prevent injuries. Getting injured at a young age can carry on for the rest of your life, causing more injuries that can be serious later on.

Types of Sport Injuries

Common injuries among children playing sports include concussions, muscle strains, broken bones, fractured bones, traumatic brain injuries, spine injuries, or even a heat stroke. There are two kinds of sports injuries, acute traumatic injuries and overuse injuries. Acute traumatic injuries are injuries like fractures, strains, sprains, concussions, and cuts. These result from getting tackled in football, getting checked in hockey, or falling off a skateboard. Overuse injuries are ones that include stress fractures and tendonitis. Stress fractures and tendonitis can be life-lasting, irritating injuries that can come up later in your life. They are otherwise known as chronic injuries because they can result from overtraining and can get more serious if they are not treated properly.

You can get injured anywhere on your body, but there are areas in your body where injuries are more common or more serious in certain sports. Neck and head injuries most often occur in sports like football, hockey, or rugby, because of the contact in the sport. Neck injuries are also common in gymnastics because of falling accidents. Neck and head injuries are typically the most dangerous injuries as a child, because of the long-lasting symptoms they can include. Back injuries are typically derived from twists or overexertion of back muscles while bending over or lifting improperly. Similar to head injuries, back injuries are most common in contact sports like football, although weightlifting is a big cause of back injuries. However, hand and wrist injuries are extremely common in almost every sport. Fingers, hands, and wrists are all at risk when playing sports like basketball, where the ball can jam into your finger or sprain your wrist trying to steal the ball. These types of injuries can all seem minor, but can turn into a major injury if it is not treated properly and in a timely manner.

What To Do If Your Youth Incurs a Sports Injury

If your child believes they are injured during the game or activity, it is important that they take a rest on the sidelines and take care of the injury before going back out. It is important that if you believe the injury is serious, you consult a doctor. Signs that you should see a doctor include:

  • Unbearable pain
  • Swelling around injured area
  • Limping
  • Limited range of motion
  • Continuous pain

Claim for Sports Injuries

It is possible to receive a claim if your child incurs a sports injury, and it depends where the injury originated from. If the injury originated from human negligence, defective products, or an unsafe environment, then it can be possible to receive compensation. A significant barrier to recovering damages from a sports injury is the assumption of risk, or a notion of consent. Typically, there is an assumption of risk for every sport, such as if your child is playing tackle football, there is a risk for a concussion. However, receiving an infectious disease in the locker room after the game does not fall under the assumption of risk. If you are filing for a claim due to someone’s negligence or a defective product, there is typically a cap on the amount you can claim. This is due to state sovereignty laws protecting public schools and universities; however, private schools and universities do not fall under the state sovereignty laws. It is important that if you are attempting to file a claim, you understand what the school falls under and the details regarding it.

Youth sports injuries could seem minor, but can be detrimental to your child’s health later in their life. It is important that as a parent, you take caution and ensure your child has the correct equipment and understands the rules to help prevent injuries from happening. If your child has incurred a sports injury due to someone else’s negligence or a defective product, it is important that you seek legal assistance to help receive compensation. At Richard Harris Law Firm, our trusted attorneys have years of experience dealing with youth sports injuries and can help you with your case and inform you about the seriousness of sports injuries in children.

Filed under: Motorcycle Accident

August 24, 2021

2021 Nevada Motorcycle Laws

Being a motorcyclist can be very dangerous, as suffering a fatal injury as a motorcyclist is much more common than suffering a fatal injury driving a car. A very common cause of motorcycle accidents is…

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Being a motorcyclist can be very dangerous, as suffering a fatal injury as a motorcyclist is much more common than suffering a fatal injury driving a car. A very common cause of motorcycle accidents is drivers breaking the Nevada traffic laws. If you want to become a motorcyclist in Nevada, there are specific laws that you must meet before driving a motorcycle on the road. Motorcyclists are required to have a class M license and wear a helmet that follows the Nevada motorcycle helmet standards. In Nevada in 2019, 51 motorcyclists lost their lives due to a fatal traffic accident.

Motorcycle Licensing

In some states, drivers with a standard driver’s license can take one test to receive a motorcycle endorsement. Legally in Nevada, you cannot operate a motorcycle without obtaining the correct license, a class M license, which can be added to your current driver’s license. To receive a class M license, you must either enroll in an approved motorcycle course and pass the course, or you can request a written and skills motorcycle test with the Nevada DMV. If you are under the age of 18 attempting to obtain a class M license, you must follow the additional requirements:

  • Show proof of school attendance.
  • Complete driver’s education.
  • Pass a vision and knowledge test.
  • Receive a learner’s permit.
  • Show proof of 50 completed hours driving with a licensed driver that is at least 21 years old.
  • Finally, pass a driving skills test.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws

According to the Nevada Law NRS 486.231, all motorcycle operators and passengers must wear a helmet at all times. If there is no windshield on the motorcycle, protective eyewear and face masks are required. The other important motorcycle helmet safety laws include:

  • Passengers of three-wheeled motorcycles must wear protective eye and face gear, unless the motorcycle has an enclosed cab.
  • While riding on a highway, all motorcycle passengers must wear securely fastened helmets, and protective eye and face gear if there is no windshield on the motorcycle.
  • If the motorcycle is participating in an authorized parade, motorcyclists and passengers are not required to wear protective clothing and gear. 

Required Motorcycle Equipment

A motorcycle must meet all state and local requirements of specific equipment in order to be legally drivable on public roads. A motorcycle must be safe and have proper equipment, such as at least one headlight, electric turn signals, front and back fenders, front and rear brakes, a working horn, a muffler, one rearview mirror per handlebar, a visible rear reflector, visible red tail light, and a brake light that is clearly visible. If you are a motorcycle owner, it is essential that you maintain your vehicle in proper conditions to keep you and other drivers on the road safe. Maintaining poor motorcycle conditions can be very dangerous, as faulty parts may malfunction or break down, resulting in a potentially very dangerous scenario as a motorcyclist. 

Lane-Splitting Law

As a motorcyclist, you have the right to use an entire lane of traffic, on standard roads and the highway. However, a motorcyclist is legally allowed to share the lane with another motorcyclist, but not another motor vehicle. It is against the Nevada law for a motorcyclist to ride between two separate lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. This action is called lane-splitting, and it can be extremely dangerous for the motorcyclist, as they are tightly in between two different vehicles. Even if there is surrounding traffic and vehicles are stopped, it is still illegal to drive between two lanes going the same direction. 

The Nevada Laws for motorcyclists can seem very strict for some motorcyclists, although it is just to keep everyone on the road safe. There have been many fatal motorcycle accidents, and it is important that all motorcyclists and passengers keep their motorcycles properly maintained and follow the proper Nevada traffic laws. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important you hire a trusted legal team to help assist you. At Richard Harris Law Firm, our attorneys have had years of experience dealing with cases dealing with motorcycle accidents, and are more than willing to aggressively fight the case by your side to ensure proper compensation.

Filed under: Blog

August 17, 2021

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Nevada

Like all states, Nevada has specific laws governing wrongful death claims. A wrongful death lawsuit occurs when a victim dies or is killed as a result of someone else’s negligence. In these very unfortunate cases,…

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Like all states, Nevada has specific laws governing wrongful death claims. A wrongful death lawsuit occurs when a victim dies or is killed as a result of someone else’s negligence. In these very unfortunate cases, the surviving family members or executors of the victim’s estate bring a claim for money damages. Additionally, a wrongful death action is considered a civil action rather than a criminal action, and the suspect will not face incarceration. The family of the victim pursues legal action for payment to compensate them for their losses, both financially and for their pain and suffering.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

According to the Nevada Law, there are only certain parties that legally have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit after another person’s negligence caused a fatal injury to someone else. The State of Nevada permits the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file, as well as the spouse and domestic children of the deceased person. If the person did not have a spouse or children, then the parents are allowed to file the lawsuit. There are other people closely related to the deceased person that are ineligible to file, such as:

  • Close friends
  • Boyfriend/Girlfriend
  • Fiancees 

Who Are the Defendants?

According to NRS 41.085, any person, organization or company can face a wrongful death lawsuit for wrongfully causing a person to pass away. Examples of possible defendants are:

  • A person who intentionally murdered someone else. 
  • A driver who accidentally killed someone on the road while intoxicated or driving recklessly.
  • A doctor who negligently killed a patient by administering standard medical care.
  • A hotel that failed to monitor carbon monoxide levels, causing their guest to die. 
  • A parent who negligently let their minor child play with their gun, causing them to accidentally kill someone

There are many possible different defense strategies the defendants can use in an attempt to escape liability. Common defense arguments include:  

  • The defendant was falsely accused by someone else.
  • The defendant is the victim of a mistaken identity.
  • The defendant did not contribute to the victim’s death, even if they were at the scene.
  • The defendant was acting in a way of self-defense when they killed the victim.
  • The victim signed a legal release agreement taking all responsibility for their death.

What Damages Are Available?

Every case is different, and the compensation available to surviving family members all depends on the circumstances of the case. The judge or jury, or insurance company, will issue compensation to the victim’s family according to the economic and noneconomic damages the family can prove exist. The finances that the victim’s family can recover for compensation are medical bills up to the time of death, property damages from the incident, funeral and burial costs, lost earnings and inheritance, loss of loved one’s affection and love, and punitive damages. The monetary value differs for every case, and there is no average settlement that can accurately estimate what a family can receive from the insurance company because of the wrongful death. 

How is the Settlement Divided?

The settlement for the wrongful death will be divided among surviving family members according to NRS 41.085. The law states that a deceased person’s heir, which is a person who would be entitled to succeed the property if the victim had died intestate, are entitled to a portion of the settlement award. An heir can prove their grief, sorrow, and loss of companionship to establish eligibility for a portion of the settlement. Once the court has heard evidence from all the heirs, they will then divide the settlement in proportion to the respective damages of each heir. In most cases, the largest sum of money from the settlement will go to the surviving spouse or domestic partner of the deceased. The second largest sum of money will go to any of the surviving children, and the rest will be divided among other beneficiaries if they can prove they suffered losses due to the wrongful death. 

If a loved one has passed away due to the negligence of someone else, it is important that you hire a defense attorney to help you and loved ones of the deceased to receive proper compensation. Wrongful death lawsuits can seem very complicated, and having an experienced legal team by your side to explain the laws of wrongful death lawsuits is very beneficial. At Richard Harris Law Firm, our attorneys have had years of experience dealing with wrongful death lawsuits, and will effectively and efficiently work by your side for you to receive the compensation you deserve. 

Filed under: Newsletter

August 1, 2021

Firm News

Richard Harris and Ben Cloward were recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as top personal injury plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Mountain West. Christian Miles, Ryan Helmick, Johnathan Leavitt, Jonathan Lee, Jessica Munoz, Samantha Martin and Michael…

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Richard Harris and Ben Cloward were recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as top personal injury plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Mountain West.

Christian Miles, Ryan Helmick, Johnathan Leavitt, Jonathan Lee, Jessica Munoz, Samantha Martin and Michael Sandoval were named “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine.

Avvo ranks Richard Harris 10 out of 10 “Superb,” the highest possible rating.

Ryan Helmick received Vegas Inc. magazine’s 2021 “Top Lawyers” award for criminal defense.

Jeff Scarborough was recognized as a 2021 Legal Elite Award recipient by Nevada Business Magazine.

Martindale-Hubbell ranks Richard Harris and the Richard Harris Law Firm “AV – Preeminent,”the highest possible rating.

Richard Harris Law Firm, Ticket Busters and The Defenders won Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Best of Las Vegas Gold awards in multiple categories.

Spirit of Nevada, the weekly video series presented by the Richard Harris Law Firm, is in its 5th year and has millions of views on social media. The show also airs weekly on COX YurView channel 14 from Las Vegas and on KOLO channel 8 from Reno.

Real Vegas magazine gave its 2021 “Women Who Wow” honors to firm members Julianne Harris Stone, Jessica Munoz, Kristina Weller, Melissa Graham, Nancy Bernstein, Nia Killebrew, Samantha Chian and Samantha Martin.

Ryan Helmick was interviewed by local and national news media for his representation of a Las Vegas father whom police briefly sought in connection with the suspected killing of his son — only to be cleared hours later when the boy was found alive.

With 30 lawyers and over 7,500 pending cases, the Richard Harris Law Firm is Nevada’s largest plaintiff personal injury practice.

Filed under: Blog

August 10, 2021

Jaywalking Laws In Nevada

At some point, almost everyone has jaywalked, although it is illegal. All pedestrians who want to cross a street must only do so in a clearly marked crosswalk and at the right angles of the…

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At some point, almost everyone has jaywalked, although it is illegal. All pedestrians who want to cross a street must only do so in a clearly marked crosswalk and at the right angles of the curb. The Nevada Law prohibits jaywalking, which is when a pedestrian crosses a street that is not marked as a clear crosswalk. Jaywalking is more regularly enforced in Nevada in places such as downtown Las Vegas, The Strip, downtown Reno, or any other populated area with many pedestrians and drivers. Typically, police officers will issue citations for jaywalking similarly as they would for a traffic ticket.

Penalties for Jaywalking in Nevada

Jaywalking is considered a misdemeanor in Nevada, and the fine for jaywalking varies depending on the city in Nevada you are in. For example, a fine for jaywalking in Las Vegas is $160 and the fine for jaywalking in Reno is $115. Jaywalking is a minor offense, and may serve as a plea bargain if the defendant is facing more serious criminal charges. For example, if the defendant was charged with shoplifting, they may plea bargain and the shoplifting charge could be lowered to a jaywalking charge. If you get convicted for jaywalking, you will not receive any demerit points or have your driver’s license revoked.

Defenses to Jaywalking in Nevada

It is very common for people who are cited for jaywalking to just pay the fine without disputing the charge. However, there are various defenses that the defendant can explore if they do wish to fight the charge.

  • The defendant crossed at a clearly marked crosswalk and the police officer mistakenly thought the defendant was not in the crosswalk.
  • The police officer mistakenly cited the wrong person and misidentified the alleged jaywalker.
  • There was an emergency situation, such as an out-of-control vehicle or a tree falling and the defendant jaywalked to avoid an accident and protect themselves.

What Happens If I Get Injured While Jaywalking?

Everyone, including pedestrians and drivers, must follow the rules of the road. It is very common for people to believe that the law will always come down the hardest on drivers, and pedestrians always have the right of way. Although, that is not necessarily true. In the case of jaywalking, the pedestrian most likely doesn’t have the right and they are partaking in illegal activity in a place where they shouldn’t be doing it. The pedestrian will likely be found partially at fault, and any damages the pedestrian is able to cover, such as compensation for injuries, from other at-fault parties may be lowered.

Comparative Negligence

Under the comparative negligence rule, the plaintiff’s level of fault determines the total amount that they can recover from the other at-fault parties. Comparative negligence will reduce by a comparable extent the amount of any damages awarded to the injured party. If the state adheres to this doctrine properly, the courts will lower the amount of damages by the percentage of blame shouldered by the injured person. However, states can follow the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. Under the modified comparative negligence doctrine, the injured pedestrian will receive compensation for damages if they are blamed for less than half of the accident. If the courts determine that the pedestrian was 50 percent or more at fault for the accident that caused his or her injuries, they will receive no compensation under modified comparative negligence.

In any legal claim involving jaywalking and injuries from jaywalking, the laws can be very complicated, but very important. The court will make its decision based on both at-fault parties, the arguments between them, and evidence. If you are a pedestrian who was jaywalking and hit by a motor vehicle, your entitlement for compensation depends on your personal injury attorney and the decisions made in court. At Richard Harris Law Firm, our qualified attorneys have had years of experience dealing with cases between pedestrians and motor vehicle accidents. If you were a pedestrian who was hit by a motor vehicle, reach out to us and we can help aggressively fight the charge so you can receive the compensation you deserve.

Filed under: Auto Accident, Blog

August 3, 2021

Vehicle Damage Rating in a Police Report

Unfortunately, car accidents happen each and every day, whether it is on the road or in a parking lot, parking garage, or even a driveway. When a car accident does happen, people generally call the police…

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Unfortunately, car accidents happen each and every day, whether it is on the road or in a parking lot, parking garage, or even a driveway. When a car accident does happen, people generally call the police to come out and file a police report. Police reports are documents that are used during the insurance claim process after a car accident has happened. These police reports include basic information about the car accident including the location, the date and time, who was involved, and any other information that is important.

Vehicle Damage Rating

When a police officer is filing a police report, they will assess the damage done to the vehicles in the accident and include it in the police report. The police officer will assign a vehicle damage rating based on their findings, although not every police report will include this information. There are three different values that go into determining the vehicle damage rating.

  • Direction of force: Represents the direction in which the vehicle was struck. Typically, this is a number that can be found on a clock. A vehicle that is struck directly from behind should receive a 6, a vehicle that is struck from the side should receive a 3, and the vehicle that is directly struck from the front should receive a 12.
  • Damage description: Typically a series of letters that describe the location of the damage to the vehicle or the type of collision. For example, a vehicle that suffers a head-on collision will receive the letter F, and a vehicle that suffers a rear-end collision will receive the letter R.
  • Severity of damage: This represents how much damage a vehicle has endured. Typically, the number scale is between one and six. The more damage a vehicle has endured, the higher the number will be.

Four Car Damage Categories

When the insurance company is looking into the accident, an inspector will evaluate the damage done to both vehicles. Typically, the inspector will classify the vehicle damage into one of four categories. The four different categories are:

  • N: The at-fault party’s insurance company wants to see the vehicle labeled in the N category. This consists of minor vehicle damage, such as a broken tail light. Typically, the car does not have any substantial damage, like a ruined body or frame. The owner of the vehicle should still be able to drive the vehicle safely. However, if there are minor damages like a broken tail light, the owner should get it fixed before driving on public roads.
  • S: In category S, the vehicle has sustained major damage, although it can be repaired. The vehicle could have a ruined body or frame, but can be salvaged by a professional. The owner of the vehicle is not allowed to drive the vehicle until a licensed mechanic has repaired the vehicle.
  • B: In category B, the vehicle cannot be driven again due to the amount of damage. Now, the vehicle is only good for selling the parts. If your vehicle has been categorized in category B, your insurance company will not allow you to remove the parts, and a salvage yard will get rid of the pieces.
  • A: In category A, the vehicle has been completely ruined because of the wreck and no one can remove or sell any parts of the vehicle.

How Does a Police Report Affect Your Claim?

The insurance company will conduct investigations when notified of the car accident and will want to see the police report. The claims adjuster does not have to accept any information within the police report. They can come out to inspect your vehicle themselves and determine the category themselves. The claims adjuster may think that the vehicle is more damaged than the police officer, or vice versa. Overall, the police report is a good place to start with receiving compensation for your vehicle.

If you go to court due to a car accident, a police report can be very critical with strong evidence of the car accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, it is important that you protect your rights to compensation. At Richard Harris Law Firm, our attorneys have had years of experience dealing with motor vehicle accident cases. If you are dealing with a motor vehicle accident case, reach out to us for help and a strong defense to ensure compensation.

Filed under: Newsletter

July 28, 2021

Lawyer Spotlight: Jeff Scarborough

Jeff Scarborough Jeff Scarborough made his way to a career in law after standing at the intersection of legal and sales. The discourse and goals for each career path are similar – in the end,…

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Jeff Scarborough

Jeff Scarborough made his way to a career in law after standing at the intersection of legal and sales. The discourse and goals for each career path are similar – in the end, you want to get your client what they need to solve their problem. The difference between the two paths, and one area where Jeff truly shines, is the analytical skill needed to be a successful attorney. For clients at Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, in Jeff they have a committed attorney whose greatest joy is the ability to assist people who are in the greatest need of help. “By far, the most rewarding part of my job is when my client is sincerely happy and appreciative at the end of their case,” said Scarborough.

Jeff appreciates and admires the greater opportunities he is exposed to in order to help those who may need it the most. At the start of his law career, Jeff initially thought he would practice in criminal defense, as he was passionate about helping those who were wrongfully convicted. He also practiced in employment law before pivoting to join Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm in 2017.

“When I decided to transition into practicing personal injury exclusively, I was lucky enough to secure an interview with Richard Harris Law Firm,” said Scarborough. “After the first interview, I knew this is where I wanted to be. There are many other great firms, but I don’t think there is a more complete firm in Nevada than Richard Harris Law Firm, with regard to its work environment, culture, attorneys, and staff.” 

Jeff graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a focus on International Relations. At UCLA, Jeff was a member of the Pre-Law Society and UCLA’s Ski Team. He then moved to Las Vegas and graduated from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. During law school, Jeff also served as an Editor for the Nevada Law Journal, competed in moot court, and gained valuable experience interning for Justice Michael L. Douglas in the Supreme Court of Nevada. Upon graduation from law school, Jeff served as a law clerk to the Honorable Michael P. Villani of the Eighth Judicial District Court located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Outside of the office, Jeff is a bit of a foodie, and takes advantage of Las Vegas’ top-tier dining options. He enjoys musical and sporting events, especially Los Angeles Dodgers games, and traveling. You can find Jeff at his happiest when he’s somewhere with a beach to relax or a mountain for snowboarding.

We’re certain Jeff would have been a great salesman, but we’re glad he became part of the RHLF team.

Jeff Scarborough