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Filed under: Blog

July 6, 2021

Nevada Labor Laws

Regarding labor and right to pay laws, every state is unique and has its own policies. Throughout the years, Nevada has gone through a significant transformation regarding employment laws. There are many changes in laws,…

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Regarding labor and right to pay laws, every state is unique and has its own policies. Throughout the years, Nevada has gone through a significant transformation regarding employment laws. There are many changes in laws, including overtime, vacation, wages and more. Nevada has improved on its labor laws to better help employees and give them benefits that they deserve.

Minimum Wage and Overtime

Starting July 1, 2021, the minimum wage in Nevada will be raised to $9.75 an hour for employees who are not offered qualifying health benefits. The minimum wage will be $8.75 an hour for those who are offered qualifying health benefits. Due to the increase of minimum wage, there is an increase to the threshold for daily overtime. Nevada recognizes that daily overtime is working more than 8 hours in a 24-hour period. Nevada also recognizes overtime as working more than 40 hours per week. Employees who earn less than $13.13 per hour and are offered qualifying health benefits from their employers are entitled to overtime whenever they work more than 8 hours in a 24-hour period or more than 40 hours per workweek. Employees that are earning more than that threshold amount are only entitled to overtime by working more than 40 hours per workweek. Nevada Law requires overtime pay at the rate of 1 ½ times the employee’s standard hourly wage. Nevada exempts executive and administrative employees from receiving overtime wages due to their status.

Meals and Breaks

According to the Nevada labor laws, employers are required to provide employees with a meal period of at least 30 minutes when they are working for a continuous period of 8 hours. Employers are also required to provide employees with a minimum 10-minute break for every 4 continuous hours worked. The breaks given by the employer are required to be paid breaks, by Nevada labor law. If an employee is working less than 3 ½ hours, the employer is not required to give them a 10-minute break. There are certain exceptions where an employee may not be able to receive a paid meal or break, such as if they are the only employee at the place of employment. Also, an employee may be able to decline their meal or break if they wish, and continue working. The specific meal and break time period includes:

  • One 10-minute break if the employee works at least 3 ½ continuous hours and less than 7 continuous hours.
  • Two 10-minute breaks if the employee works at least 7 continuous hours and less than 11 continuous hours.
  • Three 10-minute breaks if the employee works at least 11 continuous hours and less than 15 continuous hours.
  • Four 10-minute breaks if the employee works at least 15 continuous hours and less than 19 continuous hours.

Vacation and Illness Leave

According to Nevada labor laws, employers are not required to provide employees with either paid or unpaid vacation leave. As an employer, you have the ability to decide whether or not you want to give your employees the benefit of taking a vacation leave. The employer has full power deciding the policies regarding vacation leave, and they are able to decide whether or not vacation is allowed, and the length of it. Regarding illness leave, the Nevada law does not require employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid illness leave. Similar to vacation leave, the employer has the utmost power to decide the policies regarding illness leave. The employer must follow the illness leave policy written in the employer contract and may be required to provide an employee with unpaid illness leave according to the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Jury Duty and Voting Leave

As an employer, you are not required to pay an employee for the time spent serving on Jury Duty. Additionally, an employer is not allowed to terminate or threaten to terminate an employee for serving on Jury Duty. The Nevada Law requires employers to provide paid voting leave to employees to vote, if there is not enough time for employees to vote before or after their work shift. The requirements following voting leave include:

  • One hour if the voting place is 2 or fewer miles from the workplace.
  • Two hours if the voting place is more than 2 miles but fewer than 10 miles from the workplace.
  • Three hours if the voting place is more than 10 miles from the workplace.

The State of Nevada has made many changes to improve the working conditions for the most fair opportunity between employers and employees. If you or a loved one has undergone unfair circumstances in the workplace, it is important that you reach out to a qualified legal team to hear about your case. Here at Richard Harris Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience with dealing with Nevada labor laws and could assist you with your unique case to ensure fairness in your workplace, whether you are an employer or employee.

Filed under: Blog, Immigration, Workers Compensation

June 29, 2021

Undocumented Immigrants, Workers’ Compensation and Driver Authorization in Nevada

Undocumented immigrants are entitled to workers’ compensation and other benefits in Nevada and elsewhere in the United States. As employees, they have access to benefits such as medical treatment, temporary disability, permanent disability, and death…

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Undocumented immigrants are entitled to workers’ compensation and other benefits in Nevada and elsewhere in the United States. As employees, they have access to benefits such as medical treatment, temporary disability, permanent disability, and death benefits. Undocumented immigrants are allowed every same benefit as a normal employee, besides vocational rehabilitation services. This law has been controversial since it was signed, as some people believe as workers they deserve compensation and benefits, while others believe that as an illegal immigrant they should not be entitled to worker’s compensation. The Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits discrimination based on someone’s citizenship status. Undocumented immigrants also may be able to drive in Nevada with a driver authorization card, without getting in trouble with the police.

Undocumented Immigrants’ Worker’s Compensation Benefits

In Nevada, an employee is someone who is in service of an employer, whether or not they are lawfully or unlawfully employed. Regardless of immigration status, all employees who get injured at work have workers’ compensation rights. Benefits that all employees receive provide medical treatment, monetary compensation, and mileage reimbursement. An undocumented immigrant can obtain their benefits by filing a claim for worker’s compensation. For example, if a man who was a bellhop at a hotel fell and injured his leg, he would be eligible for all of those benefits, such as medical treatment. Although they are entitled to all of those benefits, there is no obligation for an employer to provide vocational rehabilitation services to an undocumented immigrant.

Undocumented Immigrants Driving in Nevada

Undocumented immigrants in Nevada are unable to receive a driver’s license, but they are eligible to receive a a driver authorization card. A driver authorization card is very similar to a driver’s license, besides that they are not valid identification to use in certain situations, such as boarding an airplane. Undocumented immigrants may be able to receive a driver authorization card without showing a birth certificate or a United States passport. It is illegal for the DMV to report an undocumented immigrant to ICE, under the Nevada Law NRS 481.063.

How to Receive a Driver Authorization Card

There are specific requirements and documented that the undocumented immigrant must be able to meet in order to apply for a driver authorization card.

  • Proof of Identification
  • Proof of Nevada residency
  • Translations of any non-English documents

If an undocumented immigrant has any unpaid traffic tickets or a suspended license, they are not eligible for a driver authorization card in Nevada. They must be able to show proof of identity by a U.S. military ID card, a U.S. Certificate of degree of Indian blood, or a DD Form 214, which is a certificate of release or discharge from Active Duty. If they are unable to provide one of those, they can show proof of identity by showing two documents that include a U.S. driver’s license, a U.S. driver authorization card, a foreign birth certificate, or a consular ID card. Undocumented immigrants must show proof of residence by showing two documents such as a rent receipt, public utility record, lease of a residence, employment check stub, bank or credit card statement, state or federal court document, record from a Nevada School, voter registration card, or public assistance receipt of benefits.

Driver Authorization Card Restrictions

There are a number of restrictions that follow receiving a driver authorization card in Nevada. You are not allowed to drive commercial vehicles with a driver authorization card, as they require a commercial driver’s license. Once a driver authorization card is issued, there are four years of driving until it expires. Drivers should be allowed to drive in any state with an issued driver authorization card from Nevada, although it depends on the DMV laws in that state. If you are pulled over in Nevada without a driver’s license or a driver authorization card, you will typically be charged with a misdemeanor, facing up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

Rules and regulations concerning undocumented immigrants in Nevada can be very confusing at times, and it is important that you have an experienced legal team. If you or a loved one is an undocumented immigrant and has gotten hurt on the job, Richard Harris Law Firm has qualified attorneys that will make sure you receive worker’s compensation. Richard Harris Law Firm will also inform you about the rules of the road and assist you with how to receive a driver authorization card, as long as you are eligible.

Filed under: Blog, Workers Compensation

June 22, 2021

Nevada Workers’ Compensation Laws

Injuries at work happen daily, as it is very common for someone to be involved in a slip and fall accident. Although it is unfortunate, many people break bones and are diagnosed with other serious…

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Injuries at work happen daily, as it is very common for someone to be involved in a slip and fall accident. Although it is unfortunate, many people break bones and are diagnosed with other serious illnesses every year from the workplace. Nevada law requires that all private employers with one or more employees to have workers compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical bills, lost wages, and any permanent disability suffered by workers who get injured while on the job. Employees cannot receive workers’ compensation if they are not actively on the job while they were injured. There are many steps to receiving benefits from workers’ compensation and filing a claim.

Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation?

Nevada workers’ compensation covers injuries that happen within the time period of your employment. If you get injured while working on the job, or doing a duty for your boss out of the workplace, you will most likely be qualified for compensation. Typically, injuries that occur outside of work, at home for example, you will not be granted workers’ compensation because you are not on the job. Examples of injuries that you would be compensated for if you were on the job would be a broken bone due to falling, or developing an illness due to the harmful toxins in your workplace. The Nevada workers’ compensation law does not require employees who get injured to use their own insurance.

What are the Benefits of Workers’ Compensation?

When you get injured at work and file for workers’ compensation, and it successfully goes through, there are some benefits you are entitled to. These benefits include:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy and other treatments to help you heal
  • Temporary Disability
    • Temporary Disability includes benefits that are two-thirds of your monthly wages, that you can receive until your doctor determines you are no longer eligible for it as you have reached maximum medical improvement.
  • Permanent Disability
    • If you are found to be permanently disabled due to a workplace injury, you will receive two-thirds of your monthly wages as long as you are still permanently disabled.
  • Temporary Partial Disability
    • If you are partially disabled and can still work, you will receive two-thirds between your monthly wages and the amount you are currently making after the injury.
  • Permanent Partial Disability
    • The amount of money you receive for permanent partial disability is based on the disability, your age, and your previous wage.

How to Receive the Benefits

There are specific steps that are needed to take to ensure you receive the benefits.

  • Give your employer a completed notice of injury or disease form
    • You must give your employer a C-1 form within seven days of the injury. If you submit this form after seven days, your employer has the ability to deny the claim.
  • Pursue medical treatment
    • It is important you get medical treatment as soon as possible, and ask your employer to inform you on which doctors you are able to visit.
  • Have your doctor fill out an employee compensation report after first treatment
    • When you visit the doctor, it is important you inform them you are seeking workers’ compensation because of the work related injury and they will fill out a C-4 form. Within three days of the appointment, you must show the C-4 form to your employer’s insurance. Once you submit this form, your employer has 30 days to either accept or decline the form.

Injuries at work can be very serious, and it is common for workers’ compensation claims to get denied, either by the employer or the employer’s insurance. If it does get denied, you have the right to appeal the claim under state law. Workers’ compensation claims in Nevada can be very difficult to overcome by yourself, that’s why it is highly suggested that you have a legal team by your side to represent you in court. Richard Harris Law Firm will aid you with developing a firm case to ensure you receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Filed under: Blog, Premises Liability, Slip & Fall

June 15, 2021

Can a Landlord Be Held Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Being involved in a slip and fall accident is common, but can be very scary because it can lead to some serious injuries. These injuries that can come from a slip and fall accident can…

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Being involved in a slip and fall accident is common, but can be very scary because it can lead to some serious injuries. These injuries that can come from a slip and fall accident can hold you back from work and maybe even cause you to need medical treatment. If you are renting an apartment or a house, you will have a landlord that owns the property. Landlords are required to keep the property free from dangers that could cause a slip and fall, so you don’t get injured. If you do get injured from a slip and fall accident, you may be able to file a landlord liability claim if it is caused by your landlord’s negligence. However, circumstances vary, and your landlord may or may not be liable for your injury. You should discuss your particular situation with an attorney experienced in slip and fall accidents.

Landlord Negligence

Landlords are not always liable for every accident and injury that occurs on their property. If you are injured, the first thing you need to do is prove that your injury was caused by a negligent accident by your landlord. Two examples would be proving your landlord created an unsafe condition that led to the slip and fall, or knew about the hazard and did nothing to correct it. For example, if there has been a leak under your sink for a while and it caused the floor to be wet, causing you to slip and fall, your landlord may be liable. The question if your landlord would be held liable would depend on if they knew about the leak or not. If you were not home and the leak began to happen, causing you to slip when you got home, your landlord would not be held liable because there is no way they would have known about the leak. If you mentioned the leak to your landlord before and they neglected it, they could be held liable for your injuries. In the lease, the landlord will have stated your responsibilities as a tenant, and that will be used in court to determine if they are held liable or not.

Exterior Slip and Fall

There are certain conditions where your landlord could be held liable on a slip and fall in the backyard or in the front of the property. For example, if you were in front of your house on the sidewalk and slipped and fell due to a bunch of snow and ice there, your landlord may be liable. The landlord’s liability will all depend on what is stated in the lease, and if he is responsible for shoveling snow outside of the property. If in the lease it states you are responsible for any outdoor cleaning, such as shoveling the snow, then you are responsible for the slip and fall and they will not be held liable. Another example could be the exterior stairs of your house or apartment. If the stairs are defective in some way, including being broken or violating relevant building codes, that would be a firm case for the tenant that the landlord is likely at fault. If the tenant slipped and fell on the stairs due to a foreign substance that spilled on the stairs, the tenant will most likely be responsible for it because the landlord would have no way of knowing that there was a foreign substance spilled on the stairs.

Evidence

If you do get injured due to a slip and fall accident, you must take photos of where it happened, your injuries, and any other important details that would be brought up in court. It is very unlikely that you would win a slip and fall case if you showed no evidence of any injuries or the condition of where it happened. Having a visual record means a lot in court and can be the deciding factor in determining whether or not the landlord will be held liable for a slip and fall accident.

Proving liability in a slip and fall accident can be very difficult, which is why having a trusted legal team represent you is highly recommended to ensure you receive compensation. Here at Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, our experienced attorneys will teach you about the rights you have as a tenant, and what the next step is moving forward. A slip and fall can lead to serious injuries, and we want to help you from being held liable if it was due to the negligence of your landlord.

Filed under: Blog

June 8, 2021

Punitive Damages Law

In an injury case, people often think about the lost wages or the medical bills. Although those are very important, victims of injury cases have the right to claim compensation for non-economic damages, including pain…

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In an injury case, people often think about the lost wages or the medical bills. Although those are very important, victims of injury cases have the right to claim compensation for non-economic damages, including pain or suffering. Punitive damages are a specific type of compensation that becomes available when you’re hurt due to a personal injury. It is a financial compensation you can receive when you’re injured because the other party is acting in an oppressive way. The Nevada Law 42.005 states the law for punitive damages in Las Vegas Injury cases.

What Is the Purpose of Punitive Damages?

The point of punitive damages is to punish a defendant when they are accused of appalling conduct. Punitive damages are intended to punish the specific defendant when they deserve punishment. Punitive damages are rare, and are only awarded in specific cases because they are designed in a way to punish the defendant. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not based on your losses, including medical bills.

What Is the Nevada Law?

Under NRS 42.005, a plaintiff can receive punitive damages when the defendant’s conduct consists of:

  • “Fraud,” which is an intentional misrepresentation or deception, of a material fact known to the defendant and made with the intent to deprive you of your rights or property.
  • “Malice,” which is a conduct intended to injure you, or disregarding your rights and your safety.
  • “Oppression,” which is despicable conduct that subjects you to cruel and unusual hardship with disregard for your rights.

In Nevada, punitive damages are generally capped at $300,000 if the amount of compensatory damages are less than $100,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages if they are more than $100,000. These limits do not apply in specific cases involving defamation, defective products, exposure to hazardous materials, or an insurer who refuses to pay in bad faith. The jury decides if you get punitive damages and if either side disagrees, they can appeal the case. As long as someone is responsible for at least 50% of the damages, you are entitled for compensation. The defendant’s ability to pay punitive damages is meant to be painful, and is a factor in determining the punitive damages award.

How Do You Collect the Money?

Receiving a punitive damages award in either a personal injury case or an accident has three specific steps:

  • You have to win your case.
  • You have to ask for punitive damages and the jury has to agree that a punitive damages award is warranted.
  • If the jury agrees that the damages are warranted, there will be a following proceeding to determine the size of the punitive damages award you should receive.

Are Punitive Damages Available in a Labor Claim?

If you are suing an employer due to wrongful acts of the employee, you must show that:

  • The employer knew the employee was a risk to the rights and safety of others around.
  • The employer authorized the wrongful act by the employee.
  • The employer was personally guilty of fraud, malice, or oppression.

If the employer is a corporation, they are not liable for punitive damages unless an officer or director of the corporation is guilty for committing an act above, or the employer was authorized to ratify the employee’s conduct on behalf of the corporation.

If you are injured, our skilled attorneys can help you determine whether or not your case qualifies for punitive damages. If you are eligible for punitive damages, Richard Harris Law Firm will assist you with developing a strong case to prove how the defendant acted with bad intentions. Our attorneys will be with you every step of the way to ensure you receive the justice you deserve in court.

Filed under: Blog, Workers Compensation

June 1, 2021

Injured at Work?

Although the workplace should be hazard-free, injuries at work are common on a day to day basis. Getting injured at work is not something you should plan for, but should be thought about due to…

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Although the workplace should be hazard-free, injuries at work are common on a day to day basis. Getting injured at work is not something you should plan for, but should be thought about due to how common it is. If you do get injured at work, you should immediately contact your supervisor and tell them about your injury. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 2.8 million cases related to workplace injuries in 2020. Causes of workplace accidents include overexertion, slip-and-fall accidents, traffic accidents, workplace violence, and exposure to dangerous substances or working conditions. There are five common mistakes that employees who are injured at work make, which can result in losing compensation.

Not Reporting the Injury in a Timely Manner

Ignoring your injury, or waiting to report it, may bring into question the legitimacy of the injury and your integrity. In the State of Nevada, workers are required to report their injuries within seven days of the accident causing an injury. Delaying the report of your injury can be used as a defense by your employer’s insurance company. These time requirements differ depending on the state.

Failure to Disclose Previous Injuries

If you were injured at work previously, you should disclose that information to your employer. Failing to report a previous incident could ultimately result in you losing your compensation completely. If your pre-existing injury worsened due to an incident at work, your employer has to compensate you for the medical bills.

Not Reporting All Injuries

The most common mistake is failing to report the total extent of your injuries at work to the doctor. Although some injuries could seem minor at the time of the incident, additional symptoms could emerge days or weeks later. For example, if you fell at work and hurt your back, but also felt pain in your arm, you should report both the back and arm pain. Failing to report all injuries could result in losing compensation as it can seem you are trying to claim more than you are entitled to.

Refusing to Return to Work

Depending on the seriousness of the injury, your employer may give you time off of work in order to recover. When your doctor clears you to go back to work, you must at least attempt to go back to work. Not returning to work could also result in losing further compensation or even your job. Your employer may terminate you from your position because of your refusal to return. Doctors will assess you and place you in one of three categories:

  • Fit for work based on pre-injury duties with no restrictions
  • Fit for work, but with restrictions
  • Not fit for work

Not Seeking Legal Assistance

It is highly recommended for you to seek legal assistance when injured at the workplace to fight against insurance companies, which are backed by their own legal team. Even if your case appears to be open and shut, it is best to find an attorney who has the knowledge and skillset to properly represent you. It would be very difficult to deal with complicated legal proceedings, insurance claims, and any medical-related paperwork by yourself, especially going up against insurance companies.

What Are My Rights?

Although every state has its own different laws for workplace injuries, there are common rights in every state such as:

  • Right to consult with a doctor on your injury
  • Right for legal representation
  • Right to return to work after time off from a workplace injury
  • Right for legal representation

It is essential that as a worker, you know your rights if an incident occurs in the workplace. For example, if you get injured at work and your employer suggests you use your health insurance to pay for medical treatment, you have the right to refuse. Furthermore, if they requested you to not file a workers’ compensation claim, you also have the right to refuse his request.

Ultimately, if you get injured in the workplace, you must report every extent of the injury immediately. Workplace safety is everyone’s responsibility, but employers are obligated to maintain a safe and hazard-free workplace. It is also highly recommended to hire a personal injury attorney to help you deal with the incident. Here at Richard Harris Law Firm, our personal injury attorney team wants to make sure you get full compensation and avoid the common pitfalls that could harm your claim.

Filed under: Blog, Workers Compensation

May 25, 2021

Worker’s Comp for Stress and Anxiety

Do you struggle with extreme stress or anxiety related to your occupation? The reality is, we all have experienced stress in our day-to-day lives, some of us more than others. There are days where the…

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Do you struggle with extreme stress or anxiety related to your occupation? The reality is, we all have experienced stress in our day-to-day lives, some of us more than others. There are days where the toughest of us struggle, too. Coping mechanisms and tactics may help in stress relief, but for extreme cases, the toll one’s work or career has taken on their physical and mental health may have a lasting effect on their life. In Nevada, commuting and downtown traffic or uncertain job safety may be major components adding to the stress and anxiety of individuals. If you or someone you love has been seriously impacted by stress and anxiety related to their work, they may be eligible for compensation or additional assistance. Legal options available to you or your loved one, in regards to making a claim for work-related stress or anxiety may primarily depend on if it resulted in mental or physical injuries. 

Common Causes of Work-Related Stress

Here are some common stressors influencing stress or anxiety levels related to work and occupations:

  • Hefty workload and tight deadlines
  • Extended hours
  • Unreasonable or unmanageable work demands
  • Lack of resources or equipment in order to successfully complete a job
  • Workplace pressures or expectations
  • Unexpected, frequent or major changes within the workplace environment
  • Changes to work duties and appointed tasks
  • Financial and or occupational insecurity
  • Over-supervision or lack of supervision
  • Lack of support or assistance, when needed
  • Discrimination – racial, gender, religious, age, etc.
  • In-company conflict between boss and co-workers, or amongst co-workers
  • Injury or harm on the job – workplace injuries, robberies/criminal events, etc.
  • Poor company or organizational culture

Work-related stress or anxiety may result in physical illness and mental or behavioral distress, resulting in signs or symptoms affecting one’s well being. Although stress, or anxiety, may be an inevitable part of one’s work-life or occupational culture, excessive pressures, unrealistic expectations or other factors may result in ill-health and additional personal problems down the road.

Signs and Symptoms of Work-Related Stress

For many, work-related stress or anxiety may appear in many different signs or symptoms, related to physical, mental and behavioral health. Do you have extreme, work-related stress or just general stress?

  • Some Physical Health Signs
    • Exhaustion
    • Fatigue and lack of energy
    • Frequent migraines and headaches
    • Muscle tensity, aching and pain
    • Upset stomach, such as constipation or diarrhea
    • Chest tightness and pain
    • Irregular or rapid heartbeat, frequent changes
    • Sleep difficulties
    • Frequent illness, colds or flu
  • Some Mental Health Signs
    • Lack of interest in occupation or general life
    • Overwhelmed feeling and panic attacks
    • Focus or concentration difficulties
    • Irritability
    • Anxiety
    • Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Some Behavioral Health Signs
    • Diminished creativity
    • Diminished productivity
    • Poor work performance or a noticeable change in work performance
    • Communication difficulties between co-workers and/or employer
    • Aggressive behavior
    • Mood swings or attitude changes
    • Increased impatience or frustration
    • Failure to meet deadlines

Making Your Claim

Workers’ compensation encompasses the ill or negative impact of one’s job on their physical or mental health. Some instances may be actionable outside of worker’s compensation claims, but others may be eligible and right-fit for filing a personal injury lawsuit for negligent infliction of emotional distress and the effects of workplace stressors. In these cases, you will need extensive proof of the work-related stress or injuries inflicted, so it is important that this situation is not taken lightly. In order for consideration or further discussion of work-related stress, anxiety and injuries related to those, proof of discrimination, intentional or extreme workplace conflict or other issues will be needed to consider the impact of a workplace’s culture and duties on one’s physical, mental or behavioral health.

If you believe you or a loved one struggle with work-related stress or anxiety injuries as a result from your workplace environment or job, it is wise to seek advice from a legal team you can trust. By partnering with a personal injury professional, you may better understand your stress or anxiety and determine if the injuries you are faced with truly stemmed from your job or workplace culture.

Bad road conditions result in car accidents

Filed under: Auto Accident, Blog

May 18, 2021

Accidents Caused By Bad Roads

The majority of motor vehicle accidents are the result of poor decision making on one or both drivers’ sides, such as failing to yield/right of way, speeding and reckless or distracted driving. In some circumstances,…

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The majority of motor vehicle accidents are the result of poor decision making on one or both drivers’ sides, such as failing to yield/right of way, speeding and reckless or distracted driving. In some circumstances, accidents are caused at no fault of the drivers or pedestrians, but rather poor road conditions and obstacles caused by bad quality roads. This may lead to accidents resulting in injuries to drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Rather than placing the blame and liability on those in charge of road upkeep and local government, insurance companies tend to try to place blame on the driver.

Bad Quality Roads and Poor Road Conditions

According to The American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE), Nevada’s roads were given a C rating on their infrastructure report, last updated in 2018. The report states that 90% of the state is considered rural, as well as that 80% of the land area is owned by the federal government. In Nevada, there are nearly 100,000 lane miles NDOT, with an overall average road condition of “fair” grade. The report addresses the ongoing initiatives and effort to improve Nevada’s infrastructure. In fact, the authorization of Fuel Revenue Indexing in Clark County, scheduled to continue for the next 5 years and goes through 2026, has allowed Nevada to address overdue needs for poor quality roads and bridges projects.

Accidents Caused by Bad Quality Roads

Poor quality roads and unpleasant conditions may lead to more than just a bumpy car ride. Potholes, uneven surfaces, cracks in concrete, exposed rebar and other unsafe road conditions may result in extra dangerous roads or driving conditions, and may ultimately result in additional accidents. Dangerous road conditions may result in flat or bursted tires, causing a vehicle to veer or swerve unexpectedly into another lane, or even worse, colliding with other vehicles on the road or highway. It may not seem all that dangerous, but uneven roads could result in a driver, or multiple drivers, losing control of their vehicle and leading to a motor vehicle accident in which any drivers, pedestrians or passengers involved could suffer from life-altering injuries.

Common Injuries

Unsafe road conditions and damaged roads may lead to serious injuries or fatalities, such as:

  • Brain injuries or head trauma
  • Neck or back injuries
  • Broken bones or spinal injuries
  • Internal injuries and bleeding

Not only will serious injuries caused by bad roads result in an unexpected trip to the hospital or emergency room, but it often can result in surgery, medical treatment and an extended hospital stay, all reeking havoc on your financial stability.

Other less life-altering accidents may result in more minor injuries, such as:

  • Neck or back pain
  • Headaches or a concussion
  • Tingling and loss of feeling in the extremities
  • Whiplash and spinal injuries resulting in lack of some mobility

Claims and Motor Vehicle Accidents Caused by Bad Roads

If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident resulting from poor quality or dangerous road conditions, you may consider contacting the police after your accident. The officer responding to your call may complete an incident report regarding the factors in the accident and those involved. It is wise to bring the poor road conditions to their attention, if it was indeed something factoring in the accident, as they will want to take note of the problem and include it in their incident report. Also, take a video or photo of the poor conditions. These little details that may seem minor at the time of the accident may also help you later as you file a claim or desire to receive compensation.

Following a motor vehicle accident, any injured drivers or passengers may file a legal claim against those liable and responsible for condition causing, or factoring into, the car accident. There may be additional requirements for a claim against the government, as they may require more details or proof to claim damages. Timeframes for claims may differ depending on the severity of the injury or damage caused by an accident from poor road conditions.

Car accidents can be scary. We don’t want you to feel like you have to go through these trying times alone. Partnering with a personal injury professional will allow you to better understand what is needed for your claim and they can help you walk through the process, so you can meet the requirements and timeline for submitting documentation for potential compensation. If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, especially where bad road conditions and unsafe roads are a factor, we’re here for you.

Car accident lawyer investigating a crash

Filed under: Auto Accident, Blog

May 11, 2021

Your Car is Totaled, But You Still Owe Money

When you’re in a motor vehicle accident, you may be injured and are dealing with property damage. To worsen the impact of your accident, a new or leased car may result in additional expenses and…

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When you’re in a motor vehicle accident, you may be injured and are dealing with property damage. To worsen the impact of your accident, a new or leased car may result in additional expenses and paying the remaining balance on your car loan, even if it is totaled during the accident.

What is a Totaled Car?

The term “totaled” regarding motor vehicle accidents may differ in states depending on the specific damage threshold. In Nevada, a totaled vehicle is defined by damage exceeding 65% of the car’s fair market value.1 In a motor vehicle accident resulting in a totaled car, the cost of the repair is 65% or more of the actual value of your car. If the number is less than 65% of the actual value of your vehicle, before the accident, you’ll be offered a vehicle repair. If the number is equal to or greater than 65% of the actual value of your vehicle, your car will be declared “a total loss” or totaled. The value of your car is calculated by looking at the value of your car right before the accident, not what was paid, the car loan amount or cost of a replacement. Don’t stress thinking this calculation is your responsibility, this will be determined by your insurance company. A roll-over accident might incur this type of damages.

What Will My Insurance Company Do?

In the instance of a total loss, your insurance company will offer you a settlement check, but whether the amount is fair or not is a different issue at hand. A personal injury lawyer can be your go-to partner in moments that are uncertain or confusing when dealing with your insurance company.

With Nevada’s minimum required insurance coverage for drivers, your coverage may only cover the damage that you cause to others’ vehicles or people. If you are liable and at fault in a motor vehicle accident, the required insurance coverage doesn’t include payment for you and your injuries. If you have a more robust insurance coverage plan, such as collision and comprehensive coverage, your insurance company should pay for any damages up to your policy limit, but you may have a deductible you must pay and meet prior to receiving the compensation you deserve from your insurance company.

What if it is a Leased Car or Purchased with Financing?

Unfortunately, if your leased car or car purchased with a car loan and financing plan, you are still responsible for paying off the remaining balance you owe on the vehicle.

When Should I File A Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one were involved in a motor vehicle accident in which the other driver was clearly at fault, you may receive a phone call or correspondence from the driver’s insurance company. Here, they may ask to hear your side of the story and what was the cause of the accident, how you are feeling and other information relevant to the accident. It is important to know that you are under no obligation to provide a detailed or official statement. Insurance companies take into account what is best for them and the premiums paid by a client involved in a car accident, so they can be tricky and look for excuses to compensate you early, paying less than what you may be able to receive for your claim. Fast resolutions can be enticing, but not if it’s far less than you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage – they can be dangerous.

Is What the Insurance Company is Offering a Fair Settlement?

It’s important to determine if your insurance company is giving you a fair and reasonable amount of compensation for your totaled vehicle. Online search tools are a way to roughly estimate the value of your vehicle prior to the accident, including vehicle modifications and upgrades, but it is always safer to have a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer on your side during these uncertain and life-altering times. An online calculation tool may be a good place to start and helpful in solely working with your insurance company, but a skilled lawyer will be your key partner in facing any lawsuit or the courts.

If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, we’re here for you. Not only are they worrisome and daunting to face alone, but when property damages and totaled vehicles play a role in the scenario, it can be a sticky situation to try to navigate alone. We always recommend finding a trusted and experienced personal injury lawyer who knows the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies every day, as they can be very helpful in determining if the compensation they are offering is worthwhile for you. You should never feel like you have to go through it alone. Turn to our team of experienced lawyers and we will work with you to get the compensation you deserve.

1 N.R.S. § 487.790(1)(b) – NRS 487.790  ”Total loss vehicle” defined. (https://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/NRS-487.html)

Car accident victims could use the help of an attorney

Filed under: Auto Accident, Blog

May 4, 2021

Auto Accidents on Private Property

Any car accident may leave a driver or passenger anxious and unsure of how to handle injuries or property damage, but if an auto accident occurs on one’s private property, it may be even more…

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Any car accident may leave a driver or passenger anxious and unsure of how to handle injuries or property damage, but if an auto accident occurs on one’s private property, it may be even more difficult to determine damages and who is liable in the claim. This may pose an additional stress factor as claims regarding accidents that happen on roads and highways have a more straightforward process.

Whether you or a loved one are involved in an auto accident, there are many considerations to be taken, especially when it occurs on private property. Finding a trusted lawyer and understanding how liability works will lead to more success in recovering losses.

There are several ways auto accidents occur on private property, including:

  • Careless Driving – If you drive without taking necessary precautions, such as checking your mirrors or surroundings before switching lanes, swerving or changing lanes without properly using turn indicators in your vehicle, you may play a role in accidents due to your careless actions while operating your vehicle.
  • Distracted Driving A common factor in many auto accidents is being distracted. Whether you are texting, reading emails, eating, or messing with your radio/GPS system, when you take your attention from the road, you may easily find yourself involved in a collision.
  • Driving Under the Influence/Impaired DrivingAlthough this is a very avoidable instance, many drivers still operate their car under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs, resulting in life threatening accidents and injuring to all involved.
  • Tailgating and Lack of Signage – Whether you’re running late and following the driver in front of you right on their tail, or assuming signage is appropriately labeled in a parking lot, accidents happen. Stop signs or right-of-way signage may not be properly identified in a lot and tailgating on top of that may lead to unexpected rear-end or t-bone collisions.
  • Uneven and Unsafe Surfaces – Asphalt and lot conditions are not always maintained and kept safe. Potholes, ditches and other obstructions may result in auto accidents on private properties.

No matter when or where you’re driving, you should always practice safe and alert driving skills, ensuring you are aware of your surroundings and other drivers on property to avoid auto accidents.

When Should You Call the Police?

If you or a loved one is involved in an auto accident on a public property or road, you should call the police or first responders first, to ensure everyone is safe and injuries are minor. An accident report is always needed and the report will be vital in treatment for your injuries and your claim if another driver is at fault and liable. Realistically, the police report for your auto accident may be the deciding factor or proof needed for you to be fully compensated for your injuries sustained in the auto accident or being stuck paying your own extensive medical bills.

When you or a loved one is in a wreck on private property, police do not have the jurisdiction to complete a police report, as the location is not a public roadway or transportation route. In this situation, you could get an incident report for the auto accident, but oftentimes these reports are fulfilled by security guards, gate guards or other employees working on-property. An incident report is a simple, less extensive version of a police report. It is always better to get something in writing following the accident than nothing, as it may help you in proving the fault of the accident and injuries.

Who is Responsible for Auto Accidents on Private Property?

This is a major differentiating factor between accidents on public property versus private property. If involved in an auto accident on a public road or property, the owner of said public property (the state) typically isn’t liable at all, even if highway and road conditions played a role in or caused the accident. On the other hand, if an accident occurs on private property, the property owner may be held partially responsible or included as a party involved. If blind spots, narrow parking spaces or corners play a factor in your private property accident, some liability may fall to the owner of the parking lot, business complex or garage management.

This is very often why property owners tend to get involved in disputes between the parties involved in the accident. Property owners may feel obligated to help or more willing to assist if they know and understand that they may be partially responsible and liable for the accident and they may have access to security footage or other details playing a factor in your claim.

What Should You Do After an Accident on Private Property?

This can often be difficult to navigate and decipher, as there is a wide variety of conflicting advice for what to do following an auto accident on private property. First, contact police or the property owner to determine from whom you may get your incident report from. If injuries are sustained from such an accident, it is always wise to seek medical attention. The first thing you should do is contact the police to see if they can at least give you an incident report, and if they can’t, try to get one from the property owner or someone who works at the property.

If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident in Nevada, as a driver or passenger, on a private property, it is always wise to find a trusted and experienced personal injury lawyer who knows the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies every day. Their experience may help alleviate the stress of your situation as they do their part in fighting for the compensation you deserve. We never want you to feel like you have to go through it alone. Turn to our team of experienced lawyers and we will work with you to get the compensation you deserve.

Passenger injured in an auto accident

Filed under: Blog

April 28, 2021

Injured as a Passenger in a Auto Accident

You’ve been injured as a passenger in another driver’s car during an auto accident. What should you do? Situations like this can often be frustrating and worrisome. As a passenger, you were not operating either…

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You’ve been injured as a passenger in another driver’s car during an auto accident. What should you do? Situations like this can often be frustrating and worrisome. As a passenger, you were not operating either car involved in the accident. You and your insurance are not responsible for claims or any damage to either car as result from the collision. You are not at fault, yet you are an injured victim following the actions of other drivers.

Am I able to receive any compensation as a passenger in a car accident?
As a passenger injured in an auto accident, you may have a right to receive compensation. This does not rely solely on the role, or if you played an active role, in the accident. In many cases, the process is rather straightforward, as there are no additional factors or complexities to prove, like a driver operating either vehicle in the accident may have to. Ultimately, the most important thing is health and safety, so the passenger should take all necessary steps to determine their injuries and get the compensation they deserve.

As a passenger, you should take charge of your car safety. Whether you are the driver or passenger, always wear your seatbelt. Seatbelts save tens of thousands of lives each year and are designed to minimize the injuries incurred during an auto accident. If injured as a passenger due to not wearing your seatbelt or negligence, one or both driver’s insurance companies may try to position you as liable for your own injuries.

If you’ve been injured as a passenger in an auto accident, here are some recommendations for actions to take:

  • Take pictures of the accident scene.
  • Record everyone’s information. You may know the driver who you were a passenger for, but you should exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident, as well. It never hurts to get as much information from those also involved in the accident, as you may need information for all involved when handling your injuries. Whether it seems apparent whose fault the accident was, it is always wise to obtain information from both parties. If injuries are severe and you need medical assistance immediately, you may worry about gathering this information at a later time. If you are capable of doing so, collect names, phone numbers, and insurance information from each of the drivers at the time and scene of the accident.
  • Request information on the police report. It is important to get a copy of the report, or information regarding the police report, to have for your records. Depending on the injury, you may sustain a long-term impact.
  • Journal or keep a record of all medical treatment you receive and expenses you incur as a result of the accident. You should document any lost wages, medical expenses or other financial damages. This will allow you to have information backing up your injuries.
  • Do not stress about your insurance premiums increasing. Your insurance is not responsible for your injuries or others involved in the accident since you were not at fault.
  • Be patient. There will be a process to determine which driver was at fault for the accident. Your medical expenses and lost wages as a result of your injuries may be stressful, but expenses as a result of the auto accident will fall under the responsibility of that driver at fault.
  • File an injured passenger claim following the auto accident. Similar to how the drivers of both cars will need to file accident claims, you should file a claim. Your insurance company is typically not responsible for passenger-related expenses for injuries sustained in a car accident.
  • Hire a personal injury lawyer you can trust. If issues arise over the fault of the car accident, neither driver’s insurance company may want to claim your injuries as result of their client’s actions. This is where a lawsuit may come into play. This may be the route needed to insure you reserve the compensation you deserve, and hiring a personal injury lawyer is always recommended. Our trusted team of experienced lawyers guide clients through the difficult process daily.

If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, as a driver or passenger, it is important to find a team of personal injury professionals you can partner with and trust. Auto accident cases may be worrisome and complex, especially as an injured passenger and victim of the accident. We never want you to feel like you have to go through it alone. Turn to our team of experienced lawyers and we will work with you to get the compensation you deserve.

Truck accident lawyer needed in Nevada

Filed under: Blog, Truck Accident

October 26, 2020

Truck Accident Liability

If two cars are involved in an accident, determining liability will likely be between the two drivers and their insurance companies. However, if you are involved in a truck accident (not a pick-up truck, but…

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If two cars are involved in an accident, determining liability will likely be between the two drivers and their insurance companies. However, if you are involved in a truck accident (not a pick-up truck, but a “big rig” or 18-wheeler type vehicle), determining who is liable for damages can be complicated. A skilled Las Vegas truck accident lawyer would do the required research to determine which parties are liable, and to what degree.

The truck driver could be at fault, and the “type” of driver he/she adds additional complexity to the equation:

  • Independent owner-operators: These drivers own and operate their own truck(s), hauling their own goods or contents.
  • Owner-operators: These drivers own and operate their own truck(s) and may have a contract with a specific company to haul its goods. Alternatively, they can be independent contractors, carrying goods for more than one company.
  • Company drivers: This driver is an employee of a company, driving that company’s trucks.

This is typically the starting point in an investigation toward determining liability, but it continues beyond that. Here are some other factors that will come into play when determining who may be liable:

The Vehicle that Caused the Accident
All companies and drivers have a general responsibility to drive carefully, pay attention to the road and other drivers, and to maintain their vehicles to be safe when operating on the public roadways. This includes performing routine maintenance and inspections to identify any potential trouble areas and rectify them. Even if all of these efforts are done, a vehicle can have an unexpected failure, such as an electronic or mechanical problem that contributed to or caused the accident. Examples include engine or brake system failure, or a tire blowout causing the driver to lose control.

Let’s take a further look at the example of brake failure. The brakes could have failed because the driver drove over a sharp loose object on the road, causing a cut in the brake line. The brakes could have failed due to a manufacturing defect in one or more of the brake system’s parts – potentially a manufacturer’s liability. 

The Driver’s Employment
For a particular accident in question, was the driver hired by a company or self-employed at the time? The driver could have been acting 100% as an employee driving his/her employer’s truck, or could have been an independent contractor who was hired by a trucking company, or could have been operating as an employee of a company that “leases” drivers to one or more trucking companies. Depending on the scenario, one or more parties could be liable.

The Driver’s Actions
Whether there were or were not one or more vehicle system failures involved in the accident, a thorough accident lawyer will take a comprehensive look at the driver himself/herself. Driver error often contributes to an accident, and may include the following:

  • Intoxication or driving under the influence of drugs (including legal or prescribed drugs).
  • Lack of attention, distracted driving, speeding, or other unsafe driving factors.
  • Not following state and federal rules and regulations regarding maximum drivetime, required breaks/sleep, etc.

If these are identified as contributing factors to an accident, the liability may be on the driver and/or extend to the hiring company or employer. 

Intentional Acts
Unfortunately, sometimes a driver intentionally causes an accident. For example, he willfully smashes into a vehicle owned by his ex-wife’s new husband. Acts such as these would largely exclude an employer from liability, since the act wasn’t related to performing actions for the employer.

Summary
Truck accidents are different from other accidents on a number of fronts. Because of the size and weight of the truck, damages to a passenger vehicle and its passengers tend to be much more severe. Truck accidents are typically much more complex in determining which party or parties will ultimately be liable. Oftentimes, it is a combination of liable parties – the driver was partially to blame, the employer was partially responsible, and/or a manufacturer may be partially at fault for one reason or another.

Performing a thorough investigation after a truck accident is the only way to capture the needed information and evidence needed to pull together a solid case. This involves looking at all vehicles and the parties involved, and ruling in or out numerous factors that contributed to the accident and its aftermath. 

If you are involved in a truck accident, it is wise to speak with a highly qualified accident lawyer with deep experience in truck accidents, in particular. There’s a lot at stake in resolving a serious truck accident, and making sure your case has the best possible outcome starts with a lawyer who can navigate the process for and with you.

Car accident lawyers in Nevada

Filed under: Auto Accident, Blog

October 12, 2020

Police Reports and Car Accidents

Do police reports matter in car accidents? Whether your car accident is minor or results in serious injuries, it is always wise to request a police report. Police reports are essential evidence for your auto…

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Do police reports matter in car accidents? Whether your car accident is minor or results in serious injuries, it is always wise to request a police report. Police reports are essential evidence for your auto accident case. What is a police report? Following a car accident, a police report is a documentation written and compiled by the officer who arrives at the scene of your car accident. Here, law enforcement reports on all relevant details or any factors regarding your car accident. These reports might look a bit different depending where you were, like Denver or Las Vegas.

Why Do Police Reports Matter?

If you or another passenger were injured in an auto accident, a police report is very helpful in outlining the details of the incident. For example, any injuries or property damage claims that need to be filed with the negligent driver’s insurance company will require a police report. This is a standard request before any compensation or settlement is disbursed by an insurance company. Police reports do not solely focus on injuries. In fact, if you have no physical signs of injury right away–you should always file a report with the police following an accident. Police reports are crucial when no injuries occur, as well, especially if the accident resulted in any vehicle or other property damage. At the very least, a police report is needed to submit to your own insurance company when filing a claim for your vehicle damage and tentative repairs needed.

In many cases, symptoms or injuries following a car accident take days, or even months, to appear. Rather than assuming you are completely fine after an accident, even if you do not need to involve an insurance company or file a claim, you should always call the police. Making a police report in these instances allows you to have the written report for your records and insurance claims, but may also assist if injuries or symptoms arise following the accident. It is difficult, or impossible, to know if you will experience pain and symptoms a month after an accident, especially if you do not feel them when the accident occurs.

It is very common for some injuries to show up days, or even weeks, after your car accident. Here are some delayed medical conditions you may experience:

  • Whiplash
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Back pain or spinal cord injuries
  • Concussions
  • Brain injuries or internal bleeding

It is unsettling knowing that injuries such as these may take time to make themselves known. By always reporting your accident to the police and making a police report, this strengthens your case if any of the previously listed or other medical conditions happen to you. Allow yourself to have the additional evidence or testimony from a trusted source, just in case.

What Do Police Reports Typically Contain?

Officers understand the importance of their reports and are thoroughly trained in the important factors to include in their reporting. In their training of car accident assessment, they gain extensive experience in types of collisions that occur, injuries that may result, and the factors that may have played a role in the car accident. This detailed report that they provide will include any detailed information needed to file your insurance claim or serve as evidence in your case, especially if injuries were a result.

The police report may record the contact information of both drivers, their insurance companies, and any witnesses of the accident. This portion of the report is vital, as this information is required in filing any claims to insurance companies. Including information regarding the witnesses allows them to be used as resources if there are any questions or disputes surrounding what happened during the accident. Officers may not report on your witnesses in thorough detail, so it is always wise to get contact information from your witnesses, prior to them leaving the accident scene.

Some factors that may be notated or communicated in your accident’s police report, other than contact information, include:

  • Basic accident details: Time, date, and location of your accident
  • Drawings or diagrams of the accident: Point of impact, cars involved, etc.
  • Photos: Injuries, damage to vehicles, location of the accident, etc.
  • Statements from both drivers: What happened from both points of view
  • A narrative of the accident: Events causing, or leading up to, the collision
  • Injuries: Any injuries or pain you, your passengers, or anyone from the other vehicle(s) are experiencing
  • Damages: Any damage to your vehicle, the other vehicle(s), and other property involved in the accident
  • Environmental conditions: Weather report, road conditions, other environmental factors that may have played a part in the car accident
  • Conclusion: Any concluding remarks based on the details of the accident, also, it may report who is the at-fault driver

Whether you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, it is essential to file a police report and partner with a team of personal injury professionals you can trust. Auto accident cases may be scary and complex, and you shouldn’t go through it alone. There’s a lot on the line. Turn to our team of experienced lawyers and we will work with you to get the compensation you deserve.

Richard Harris personal injury lawyer discussing a claim with a client

Filed under: Blog, Personal Injury

October 6, 2020

Value of a Claim

How much is your personal injury claim worth? Like so much in life, it depends. Before we get into the ins and outs of determining what your claim may be worth, it’s important to know…

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How much is your personal injury claim worth? Like so much in life, it depends. Before we get into the ins and outs of determining what your claim may be worth, it’s important to know there is no magic calculator to quickly estimate a case’s value. Rather, accurately calculating an individual case’s value requires an experienced personal injury lawyer to navigate the details of that case to ultimately lead to the best possible outcome.

There are many examples of personal injuries that can, out of the blue, affect one’s life:

There are several parties involved in determining the ultimate value of a personal injury case. The insurance company representing the at-fault individual will want to minimize its costs by minimizing your claim. Insurance companies typically claim a case is worth far less than what it may actually be worth. Your lawyer has a vested interest in recovering the full value of your case, covering all actual and future costs and damages for pain and suffering, lost wages (including future losses), etc. Your vested interest, of course, is to restore the lives of you and your family members as best as possible, given your particular circumstances.

Ultimately, a personal injury lawsuit can be ended through negotiation and/or mediation, or it could end up in court with a judge or jury determining how much your claim is actually worth. Having a highly-experienced lawyer on your side is vital to identifying the value of your case and taking the many steps to make sure your rights and compensation are just.

What are some of the factors that determine my case’s value?

There are many factors that go into determining the value of a personal injury case. Typically, it’s a complex process that requires significant research and answers before that value can be determined. Factors include:

  • The severity of your particular injury
  • The length of time estimated for your recovery
  • Whether or not you will fully recover
  • Whether or not there was property damage or loss involved
  • Lost wages since the accident and projected lost wages in the future
  • Accurate medical diagnosis regarding your condition and any needed future medical care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

The average person simply is not equipped to know what to include or how to accurately calculate the monetary compensation for each component. Leaving out one or several pieces can mean the difference between a just settlement versus one that may haunt you for the rest of your life.

What are some expenses that I may incur because of my personal injury?

After you’ve sustained a personal injury, you’ll likely immediately have thoughts of expenses. How much is this going to cost? How many medical bills will start rolling in, and will my insurance cover them? What if I don’t recover fully and I can’t work in my profession again? It’s a scary situation for anyone. To get the injured person full and fair compensation, an experienced lawyer knows how to create and calculate an accurate, comprehensive set of expenses, such as:

  • Immediate, emergency medical care (attending physicians, hospital, specialists, etc.)
  • Ambulance and ER fees
  • Diagnostic exams and testing
  • Prescriptions
  • Post-event follow-up visits
  • Ongoing medical care
  • Physical therapy services
  • Nursing or in-home services
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

Not every case will incur the same expenses or have all of the components as touched on, above. Beyond these examples, there are also other expenses that may be incurred, such as investigators working on your case and experts to testify about your medical condition(s) and its ramifications.

The bottom line is that personal injury cases are complex, and placing a value on a particular case is difficult and time-consuming. By working with a qualified personal injury lawyer, your case will receive the expertise, time, and attention to detail required to battle for a just settlement, one that truly reflects your needs based on your injury and its effect on your life and that of your family.

When you are involved in a personal injury incident, it is imperative to seek legal help immediately after emergency care is sought. You’ll need legal guidance very early on that will affect the value of your case and its ultimate outcome.

Workers Compensation Lawyer for workplace accidents

Filed under: Blog

August 24, 2020

Allegiant Stadium Worker Injured in Boom Lift Accident

On Thursday August 13, 2020, construction worker Kifer Casarez was touching up black exterior panels near the top of Allegiant Stadium, when his boom lift tipped over, plummeting the small gondola holding Mr. Casarez to…

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On Thursday August 13, 2020, construction worker Kifer Casarez was touching up black exterior panels near the top of Allegiant Stadium, when his boom lift tipped over, plummeting the small gondola holding Mr. Casarez to the ground.  He was injured but conscious, and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.  His current condition is unknown; however, it appears he has gone through several surgeries per the Facebook page established to collect donations for his treatment.

Ironically, the stadium was declared substantially complete on July 31, which paved the way for the Raiders to take occupancy of the facility, however a punch list of over $1 million of additional work remained to be completed by the end of November.  During the 996 days of regular construction, the stadium’s record for safety was extremely high with very few minor accidents for a project of this kind.  An investigation is underway by Mortenson/McCarthy the project’s prime contractor and by OSHA to determine the cause of the accident.  Unknown at this time is whether the boom lift may have failed, or whether operator error may have caused the accident.  In either case, our thoughts are with Mr. Casarez and we wish him well during his treatment and recovery.

Major Construction Projects and Accidents

In Las Vegas, we’ve grown accustomed to major construction projects and look forward to many more as the economy of Southern Nevada continues to grow and mature.  Construction projects by their nature carry a certain level of risk, which in many cases can lead to accidents on the job.  Management and workers in these fields have developed training and procedures to minimize the potential for accidents, but even the most careful job sites can be subject to accidents due to equipment failure, operator error, defective materials, and many other factors.

All jobs carry risk of accidents

Besides the construction projects in our town, many other jobs carry risk due to the dangerous nature of the job at hand.  Even workers in apparent low risk environments can be subject to accidents at work, which can leave long lasting and sometimes permanent effects.  When injured on the job, a system has evolved over many years to address treatment for job related accidents and conditions, including temporary and permanent disability for such accidents.

The system is called Worker’s Compensation. All employers in Nevada are required by law to provide workers compensation coverage for their employees.  The employer must carry WC insurance or be self-insured.  As Workers Compensation has developed in the U.S. a compromise has developed: if you are injured on the job, Workers Compensation will be provided and in exchange, employers will be exempted from lawsuits against them for work related injuries.

Workers Compensation insurance and laws are quite complex in their nature and many employees may not even be aware of the most basic tenets of Workers Comp.  In Nevada, the system is administered at the state level, by the Nevada Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).

While most minor accidents and injuries are handled easily within the Workers Comp system, major accidents and injuries may require the representation of an attorney to ensure that you obtain all the benefits due to you by Workers Compensation law.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents injured employees in disputed Workers Compensation Claims

If you have been seriously injured on the job and your employer or their WC carrier is not providing coverage according to the law, the lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm are here to assist you.  We are well versed in all aspects of Worker Compensation and will represent you to obtain all benefits due to you.  If you have been injured at work and are not receiving benefits as promised, call our firm today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://news3lv.com/news/local/worker-hospital-allegiant-stadium-las-vegas

https://www.fox5vegas.com/news/construction-worker-transported-to-las-vegas-hospital-after-boom-lift-crashes-at-allegiant-stadium/article_e522c23e-dd82-11ea-95b9-63d0d80833d6.html

https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/allegiant-stadium-worker-injured-on-the-job/

https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/stadium/worker-injured-in-boom-lift-incident-at-allegiant-stadium-in-las-vegas-2094085/

https://www.facebook.com/donate/607732656838967/

Filed under: Blog

August 12, 2020

Talcum Powder Lawsuits: New Developments

This blog has been following talcum powder cases against Johnson and Johnson (J&J) for the last three years.  (We’ve listed the previous articles on the subject below.)  Since our first article in 2017, the number…

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This blog has been following talcum powder cases against Johnson and Johnson (J&J) for the last three years.  (We’ve listed the previous articles on the subject below.)  Since our first article in 2017, the number of cases filed has ballooned from a few thousand cases nationwide to the now over 20,000 cases filed in federal and state courts in the United States.

So far only cases filed in state courts have settled, while none of the over 18,000 cases in the federal court system have come to trial or settled to date.  Federal cases have been consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) which provides for an efficient and consistent process to be followed during discovery and other pre-trial proceedings but allows each individual case to settle based on the losses and merits of the individual claimants.

Since our last article on this subject a little over two months ago, several new developments have occurred which have strengthened the claims of those who have suffered losses due to the use of J&J Baby Powder™, and related product, Shower to Shower™, both of which consist largely of talcum powder.

To review, plaintiffs claim that due to use of these products, the individuals developed ovarian cancer, and that J&J knew or should have known of this risk and failed to warn users of this possibility, and has even attempted to suppress scientific studies which have supported such claims for the lasts 4 decades.  Furthermore, J&J has maintained that their talc contains no asbestos (a known carcinogen) since 1970, but evidence of asbestos in off-the-shelf containers of the product refute that claim.  In fact, J&J recalled almost 30,000 bottles of baby powder and Shower to Shower due to potential asbestos contamination.

J&J has maintained the safety of their talc based products and has appealed the verdict in every case which has settled against them and in some cases has prevailed; however, with the number of cases filed, and the recent rulings of federal and state courts in the last year, these claims are not going away.  J&J has recently withdrawn talc-based products from the U.S. and Canadian markets, in favor of similar products based on corn starch, which has many similar properties but no evidence of damage to the human body.

New Developments

We will highlight three major developments on this subject which have occurred since our last article.

New Jersey appeals court reverses decision of trial court – In 2016 a New Jersey state court judge dismissed two cases against J&J, after ruling that the expert testimony presented by the plaintiffs was insufficient to establish a link between talc and ovarian cancer.  In August 2020, a three-judge panel reversed the trial judge’s decision and called the original decision a misuse of the judge’s responsibility.  This reversal paves the way for about 1,000 pending cases in New Jersey state courts, which have been awaiting the outcome of the appeal, to move forward.

Appeals Court in Missouri refuses to overturn $4.6 billion verdict against J&J – In 2018 a jury in Missouri state court awarded 22 women $4.69 billion who claimed that J&J’s talc-based products caused their ovarian cancer.  J&J appealed the verdict, which was rejected by the appeals court in late June 2020.  The appeals court reduced the verdict to $2.1 billion since 17 of the 22 plaintiffs were not from Missouri and should not have been included in the verdict.  J&J plans further appeals on this case.

Federal MDL selecting 30 cases for bellwether trials – In late July 2020 the U.S. District Judge presiding over the over 17,000 federal lawsuits against J&J announced that 30 cases will be selected by mid-September 2020 for bellwether trials, which will commence in early 2021.  While the outcome of these trails in not binding on the remaining cases, it does allow both plaintiffs and defendants to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of their claims.  A defendant who loses one or more bellwether cases may be prompted to enter into settlement negotiations with remaining clients rather than suffer continued losses.

The Richard Harris Law Firm is accepting Ovarian Cancer claims due to talc exposure

The litigation between plaintiffs and Johnson and Johnson over whether talc-based products such as Baby Powder™ and Shower to Shower™ caused Ovarian Cancer are likely to persist for years to come.  The Richard Harris Law Firm is continuing to evaluate claims of those who used these products and were later diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.  If this has been your experience, you may be eligible for significant compensation for your injuries.  Call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/appeals-court-rules-against-j-150503854.html

https://www.neuralit.com/news/2020-aug-07/nj-appeals-court-reinstates-two-talcum-powder-lawsuits

https://www.carriermanagement.com/news/2020/08/06/209960.htm

Previous Talcum Powder Articles:

https://richardharrislaw.com/talcum-powder-case-settlements/

https://richardharrislaw.com/johnson-johnson-ordered-pay-417-million-talcum-powder-verdict/

https://richardharrislaw.com/jury-awards-4-69-billion-settlement-in-talcum-powder-lawsuit/

https://richardharrislaw.com/johnson-johnson-quietly-pulls-talc-based-baby-powder-from-the-u-s-market/

Filed under: Blog

August 10, 2020

The Hidden Car Accident Injury: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, physical injuries such as broken bones, bruises and lacerations, and burns are the most obvious and probably receive the most attention from medical professionals and care givers. …

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In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, physical injuries such as broken bones, bruises and lacerations, and burns are the most obvious and probably receive the most attention from medical professionals and care givers.  There is another injury that should receive attention when the accident has resulted in impact of the head with steering wheel, dashboard, windshields, side windows, headrests, air bags, and other interior surfaces.  Even a jarring of the head without contact to another object, such as in a rear end collision, may leave a less obvious injury to the brain.

This is why it is so important to seek medical treatment after a car accident even if there don’t seem to be obvious injuries which may require immediate transport to a medical facility.  Brain Injuries can cause side effects which can lead to permanent health conditions and even death.

Symptoms of Brain Injury

It is important in the aftermath of a car accident to watch for signs of brain injury.  These symptoms may appear immediately or may take days to weeks to develop.  It is important that medical providers watch for signs of brain injury which include:

  • State of being dazed, confused or disoriented
  • Loss of consciousness (ranges from fainting to coma)
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Problems with Speech
  • Changes in sleep patterns: either inability to sleep or sleeping longer than normal
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Concentration Problems
  • Mood Changes
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Dilation of one or both eyes
  • Weakness or numbness is fingers and toes
  • Loss of coordination
  • Profound Confusion
  • Agitation or other unusual behavior
  • Slurred Speech

Many of the symptoms of a minor brain injury are more difficult to identify than a more severe brain injury.  This is why its important to have a medical exam shortly after an accident to rule out the possibility of brain injury.

The importance of identifying brain injury as soon as possible after an accident

Negligent drivers are responsible for the injuries sustained by their victims even if the injuries or their effects, are not immediately apparent.  Recognition and medical treatment of a condition with long term consequences, such as Traumatic Brain Injury, after an accident will create a link between the accident and the injury.

Attempting to obtain medical care for an injury which was not identified in an accident claim may result in serious financial consequences for the victim later, when the effects of the injury become more apparent.  Having a medical professional recognize the symptoms and treat such conditions in the aftermath of an accident will strengthen the personal injury claim against the responsible party.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents drivers who sustained brain injuries

The brain injury lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm will assist our clients to recover all compensation they are due after a car accident.  If you were injured due to a car accident which was caused by a negligent driver our lawyers are dedicated to obtaining the medical care and compensation you deserve.  Call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2020/08/tracking-symptoms-after-brain-injury

https://msktc.org/tbi/factsheets/understanding-tbi/what-happens-during-injury-and-in-early-stages-of-recovery

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20378557

Filed under: Blog

July 31, 2020

LAWSUITS ALLEGE JUUL E-CIGARETTE MARKETING TARGETED TEENS

Juul Labs, maker of the popular e-cigarette product is the target of over 700 lawsuits in the federal court system, claiming that the manufacturer’s marketing was intentionally targeted toward teens in order to addict them…

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Juul Labs, maker of the popular e-cigarette product is the target of over 700 lawsuits in the federal court system, claiming that the manufacturer’s marketing was intentionally targeted toward teens in order to addict them to nicotine.  Among the plaintiffs in these actions are school districts and other entities from across the country who have incurred damages from the nationwide vaping trend, which has gained huge popularity among non-smokers particularly among teens.  Also represented amongst the plaintiffs are individuals who have become addicted to nicotine and who have suffered injury or other damages from the use of the company’s products.

Plaintiff’s lawsuits consolidated

Due to the similarity of many of the claims, the 700+ JUUL cases have been consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) where cases are heard as a group for pre-trial discovery and motions, but which settle as individual cases based on the merits of the case at hand.  This MDL is being heard in the U.S. District Court of Northern California and presided over by judge William H. Orrick III.  It is expected that several thousand cases will be filed against JUUL Labs over the next several years.

Hundreds of additional claims also have been filed in state and local courts throughout the country and a claim has been filed by 11 state attorneys general from Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC.

All of these cases present a similar narrative, that JUUL Labs engaged in an intentional scheme to target teens, young adults, and non-smokers with their highly addictive vaping products while suppressing information about the excessive levels of nicotine in their products and the dangers of nicotine addiction.

The cases claim that the JUUL device is shaped like a USB drive and is easy to conceal from parents and other authority figures.  Furthermore, that fruity and trendy flavors of the JUUL vape pods appealed to young people who may or may not have been smokers already, and that JUUL marketed their product as being healthier than cigarettes, among many other charges.

Lawsuit by former executive of the company

As if the groundswell of plaintiffs’ cases isn’t enough, JUUL was hit by a new lawsuit in October 2019, by JUUL’s former senior vice president of global finance, Siddharth Breja, whose lawsuit alleges that JUUL Labs knowingly sold over a million contaminated mint flavored nicotine pods, and further claims that he was wrongfully terminated when he raised concerns internally over the sale.

With this first Whistleblower lawsuit showing that former employees are willing to testify against the company, JUUL Labs will be laying off 500 employees in 2020.  It is expected that many of the former employees may provide more information to regulators and state attorneys general regarding wrongdoing within the company.

The Richard Harris Law Firm will sue JUUL Labs on your behalf

With market share within the vaping space largely controlled by JUUL Labs, you would expect a large proportion of the vaping liability cases to be directed at JUUL.  Lawyers across the country are fielding requests from potential clients against vaping companies, and JUUL Labs in particular, for injury from defective devices, and for an alleged deceptive marketing campaign designed to attract users from middle schools and high schools and addict them to nicotine.  If you have suffered injury, such as lung or respiratory distress after vaping a JUUL product, if the device itself has overheated and burned you, or are suffering from addiction to nicotine products after use of a JUUL product, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.   Call the lawyers of The Richard Harris Law Firm today at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://time.com/5713970/juul-lawsuits-regulations-bans/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/e-cigarette-giant-juul-accused-of-marketing-to-teens-in-new-lawsuit/

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/vaping/juul-hit-another-state-lawsuit-allegedly-targeting-kids-n1085901

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/how-new-juul-lawsuits-could-affect-altria-stock/ar-BB15vPjJ

https://www.cpr.org/2020/01/31/denver-joins-suit-against-e-cigarette-giant-juul-saying-it-marketed-to-teens/

Reno, NV - Crash on Whitfield Wy Leaves Four Critically Injured

Filed under: Blog

July 27, 2020

Auto Accidents on Private Property

Moving from public thoroughfare to private property can be quite seamless.  In the Las Vegas area, shopping malls may have large parking areas surrounding the stores, and many Casinos have large parking lots surrounding the…

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Moving from public thoroughfare to private property can be quite seamless.  In the Las Vegas area, shopping malls may have large parking areas surrounding the stores, and many Casinos have large parking lots surrounding the hospitality areas of the casinos.  Making things more confusing is often these large lots are surrounded by businesses on out-pads, which are a part of the private property, but may have street exposure and are leased out to supporting businesses which may or may not have any connections to the casino or shopping mall.

In such situations, the parking lots may have perimeter lanes linking the various out-pad businesses with each other and other traffic lanes which move traffic closer to the shopping area or casino itself.  In many cases such lanes are marked and controlled by stop signs and lane markings which may look and act identical to public roads.  It may be difficult to determine where the public road ends and the private property begins.

The point is, that private parking lots themselves can present complex driving situations.  In remote areas of parking lots away from the businesses themselves, many drivers may use the parking lot as short-cuts, and speeds may approach that of highway speeds.  Most parking lots have posted speeds of 10-15 mph; however, these speeds are not honored in many cases.  Injuries from accidents on private property are more likely under such situations.

Fortunately, the same liability laws which govern vehicle accidents on public thoroughfares apply to accidents which occur on private property as well.  Two major differences that you may encounter with accidents on private property: Police may not respond to an accident on private property unless someone is injured or substantial property damage has taken place; and police may decline to issue citations and provide an accident report for a private property accident unless an injury has occurred, due to not having jurisdiction on private property.

This places the responsibility on the vehicle owner to more fully document an accident on private property in order to provide evidence to support the claim.  The first step in any injury accident is to call 911 to report the accident and request medical support for the injuries.

First responders and police will respond to injury cases, or cases of substantial property damage, regardless of whether the accident occurred on public or private property.  Depending on the severity of the injuries, you may be transported for medical treatment you and your passengers need for treatment of injuries received.

If you were injured due to a vehicle accident on private property, due to the complexities of accident law, you should consult an attorney to file your claim and represent you with the applicable insurance companies.

On public roads, the state, the owner of the property, assumes no liability for road conditions and other conditions which may lead to an accident.  On private property, the private owner of the property may be held liable for missing street signs, missing lane markings, blind spots, and other factors which may have led to the accident.  A traffic accident on private property may include some elements of a premise liability case if the property owners can be shown to be negligent.

Private property is also more likely to have CCTV cameras surveilling the parking and traffic areas of the property than public roads.  Having this type of documentation of an accident can be helpful to support your case.

The Richard Harris Law Firm sues negligent drivers

In the aftermath of an injury accident on private property, the complexities of the law may be confusing.  Don’t attempt to navigate the complexities of such an accident on your own.  The lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm have the experience and skills to handle such claims.  They will investigate your claim and determine all liable parties and file claims with the applicable insurance companies.  You don’t need to go it alone…if you’ve been injured due to the negligence of others, call us today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Filed under: Blog

July 15, 2020

Business Interruption Insurance: Is COVID-19 covered?

Business Interruption Insurance is added as a policy rider or add on to a property insurance policy and is meant to replace business income lost due to a natural disaster.  Business Interruption Insurance can pay…

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Business Interruption Insurance is added as a policy rider or add on to a property insurance policy and is meant to replace business income lost due to a natural disaster.  Business Interruption Insurance can pay benefits for:

  • Lost profits
  • Fixed costs
  • Temporary Location (if needed to continue operations)
  • Sales Commission and Training Costs
  • Civil Authority ingress/egress
  • Employee Wages
  • Taxes
  • Loan payments

It can be a critical piece of insurance protection in case the business is required to close due to circumstances beyond the control of the business owner, to keep the business up and running.   The premiums for Business interruption Insurance are not inexpensive and may be a significant element of a small business’s income.

While the above is true, business interruption insurance may be part of a matrix of protection which may keep many businesses in operation during difficult times.  That’s why in the aftermath of the COVID-19 business closings, many business owners were unable to access benefits under their business interruption policies due to a Bacteria/Virus Exclusion.  Many business owners have sought legal action against insurers due to these exclusions and are filing lawsuits in state and federal courts for failure to pay benefits.

Why a Bacteria/Virus Exclusion?

Any insurance agreement is made up a policy which sets forth basic coverages and a set of riders which expand coverage, and exclusions, which limit coverage.  As insurance companies moved through the SARS outbreak in 2003, it became clear to insurance companies, many of which had lost billions due payouts made during that outbreak, that an exclusion was needed limiting the insurance companies’ payouts due to a future outbreak of either a bacteria, viral, or other microorganism capable of inducing physical stress, illness or disease.

Hence the Bacteria/Viral exclusion was written which excludes benefits to be paid under business interruption insurance when the cause of the business interruption is viral or bacterial.  Not all policies contain this exclusion, and even the exclusion itself is under question under the current circumstances of the COVID-19 breakout.  About 500 cases have been filed at the federal level and are in the process of working their way through the courts.

Will Cases be consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation?

It is unclear at this time these cases will be consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL).  There are several on both sides of the debate who are both pro and anti-consolidation so it is unclear as to whether the MDL process will become a part of this litigation, however, the JPML has currently schedule arguments for late July 2020 to consider the question.  After arguments, a decision will be made by the JPML and pretrial motions and discovery for cases at the federal level may be consolidated at that time.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents Business Owners who incurred losses due to COVID-19

If you have suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were covered by Business Interruption Insurance coverage, our firm is evaluating such cases currently.  Please call our firm today for a no-cost consultation and evaluation of your case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/business-interruption-insurance.asp

https://generalliabilityinsure.com/does-business-interruption-insurance-cover-covid-19-coronavirus.html

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2020/04/08/563723.htm

https://www.reuters.com/article/legal-us-otc-insurance-idUSKCN2233CN

https://richardharrislaw.com/business-interruption-insurance-lawsuits/