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Personal Injury

Legal Blog by Las Vegas based Richard Harris Law Firm

green valley nv schools and pedestrians

Filed under: Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Uncategorized

October 19, 2020

CHILD INJURY ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

Off to school! An integral part of your daily life as a parent is sending your child to school. In fact, it is the law. For children ages 6 to 16, it is compulsory to…

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Child Injury on School PropertyOff to school! An integral part of your daily life as a parent is sending your child to school. In fact, it is the law. For children ages 6 to 16, it is compulsory to be enrolled in school whether it is public, private, or homeschool. Schools are designed to be a place of safety and security for our children. Once they are on school property, the school has a responsibility to their students for a reasonable duty of care – school staff and administration are charged with students’ well-being and with protecting them from foreseeable harm. There is even a specific term referring to the school’s role as acting in loco parentis, or “in place of the parent.” In the State of Nevada, children spend approximately 180 days per year in school. With that, it is inevitable that accidents will occur. Understandably so, when your child comes home with a scrape or bruise, we tend to dismiss it as the usual wear and tear from kids being kids. But what happens if your child is seriously injured on school property? Who is responsible and where do you turn? There are so many questions you may have.

Can you sue the school if your child is injured on school property?
Yes, you can. The injury must have occurred on school property during school hours. An attorney may be able to recover the financial cost of medical bills, the emotional cost of pain and suffering, and more depending on the nature of the accident and the extent of the child’s injuries. The law varies based on whether a school is public or private when it comes to what steps you must take in order to hold the school accountable for the incident.

Child Injury in a Private School
When a child is injured in a private school, parents are able to sue the school itself.

Child Injury in a Public School
Public schools are government entities, therefore, if your child is injured in a Nevada public school, you must follow very specific procedures in order to file a claim. There must first be a report of the incident filed with the school district within a 60- to 90-day window. In order to proceed with filing a lawsuit, you must then wait until either the school denies your claim, or the school takes no action within a three- to six-month time period.

Nevada school districts are liable for incidents on school property due to negligence, including, but not limited to:

  • Premises liability violations resulting in bodily injury such as slip and falls.
  • Harassment by a teacher in the form of bullying or sexual harassment.
  • Bus accidents caused by the negligence of the bus driver violating the laws of the road.
  • Injuries sustained during school sports or activities.
  • Neglecting to provide medications.
  • Discrimination of a student based on (but not limited to) race, gender, or gender identity.
  • Inadequate security on the premises to keep students safe from outside harm.

What if my child was injured by a teacher?
Nevada’s school districts can be held liable for teacher’s actions in certain instances under its waiver of sovereign immunity law, which gives people the ability to sue the school for the negligence of a teacher or its staff member. When a teacher is doing their job as it is intended, and an accident occurs due to their carelessness or negligence, the school is responsible. One of the conditions under the sovereign immunity waiver protects Nevada schools from being sued for more than $100,000 for employee negligence. They are also protected from paying out punitive damages. On the other hand, in cases of intentional misconduct by a Nevada school employee, those conditions do not apply if the school is found negligent. It is the school’s responsibility to perform their due diligence when hiring teachers and staff by conducting thorough background checks. Furthermore, if a teacher is found to be unfit for their position and no action is taken and they commit an intentional wrongful act, the school itself can be deemed negligent. Nevada schools are charged with proper supervision and disciplinary action for their employees. If the school fails to carry out this duty and a student is injured due to a teacher’s intentional improper behavior, the school can then become the responsible party.

Unlike public schools, private schools do not have a cap on the amount that can be paid out for recovery of damages if an employee is found negligent. They can also be sued for punitive damages.

What if my child was injured by another child at school?
In most cases where a child is injured by another child at school, the parents are the liable party. If there is negligence on the part of school staff such as inadequate supervision, the school may be liable.

If my child was injured on school property after school hours, who is responsible?
Nevada schools are not liable for accidents that happen on school property after hours.

Is the school liable if my child becomes ill or gets food poisoning from school cafeteria food?
In many cases, school food is provided by an outside vendor. If that food then causes your child to become ill, the manufacturer would ultimately be liable for their product’s safety. On the other hand, if the cafeteria is serving food provided directly by the school, the school is liable and its negligence may be grounds for a lawsuit.

Do I need a lawyer to represent me in a lawsuit if my child is injured on school property?
The procedures you must follow before ever filing a lawsuit with a Nevada school are very specific. An experienced attorney is necessary to navigate these strict guidelines and bring the school and/or its employee to justice for the negligence that caused your child’s injury. The Richard Harris Law Firm has represented thousands of Nevada families in the last 40 years. Contact us immediately so we can help your family, too.

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.

Las Vegas injury lawyers

Filed under: Auto Accident, Blog, Personal Injury

November 20, 2019

What should I do if I’m a victim of a Road Rage Accident?

One of the most disturbing trends in driving is the increase in incidents of road rage.  Road rage can be frightening and can cause serious injuries, and even death, if a collision occurs.  Statistics indicate…

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One of the most disturbing trends in driving is the increase in incidents of road rage.  Las Vegas injury lawyersRoad rage can be frightening and can cause serious injuries, and even death, if a collision occurs.  Statistics indicate that road rage accidents are increasing nationwide.  In addition to civil actions you can take after a road rage accident, the offending driver may be subject to criminal penalties as well.

Road rage takes many forms and can range from exchanging of hand signals, to excessive speeding, to tailgating, to passing and then braking drastically, to running other drivers off the road.  All these actions are done to show the displeasure one driver has for another driver who has offended them in some real or imagined way.  In extreme cases road rage incidents have resulted in physical altercations on the roadway.  At highway speeds road rage accidents can be deadly.

Most cases of road rage do not cause an accident and are unreported.  However, in some cases the actions of a raging driver cause an accident which results in serious injury or even death.  If you have been injured in a road rage incident what legal remedies are available?  You should consult with a personal injury attorney to determine the issues specific to your case and what factors support your case.

What is needed to file a claim against a Raging driver?

Evidence of a road rage incident may take several forms.  If you’ve been involved in a road rage injury accident, as with any other auto accident claim, the greater the evidence to support your claim the greater the likelihood of success in your case.

In addition to the police report of the accident, there may be other drivers who witnessed the incident, and their statements will assist is establishing the facts of the case.  A medical report showing treatments at the time of the accident and since will support your claim against the other driver.  Photo evidence of the scene will bolster your claim.  Additionally, if the accident occurred on a road with traffic cameras, evidence of the other driver’s behavior may be able to be able to be established by video evidence.

Damages which may be available if involved in a Road Rage accident

In addition to compensatory damages, such as medical bills, time lost at work, damage to your vehicle, Pain and Suffering damages may attach to a road rage injury accident.  Many victims of road rage are fearful of driving after such an incident, and even PTSD can result among other aftereffects of the incident.

Punitive damages may also be available due to the reckless behavior the offending driver showed in causing the accident.  The behavior shown by a raging driver shows intent to hurt someone else, or at least reasonable disregard for others’ safety.  Your attorney will know how to proceed in such cases.

The Richard Harris Law Firm sues Raging Drivers who injure others

In a civil society reasonable regard for others safety must be shown, especially on the roadways where accidents can occur quickly causing serious injury and even death to others.  While driving, in a moment, lack of control can quickly spiral into devastating results for others.  Our lawyers will aggressively pursue all avenues of compensation for our clients who have been injured due to the negligence and disregard for safety shown by out of control drivers.  If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by road rage, call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/AggDrivingEnf/pages/Introduction.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/18/road-rage-is-getting-uglier-angrier-and-a-lot-more-deadly/

https://www.thezebra.com/road-rage-statistics/#state

Car Accident Lawyers Las Vegas

Filed under: Auto Accident, Personal Injury

August 12, 2019

Auto Accident Series (Part 9) – Negotiating your Auto Accident Claim

Once a well-structured and strong Demand for Settlement has been filed as part of your Auto Accident Case, negotiations begin to obtain a fair settlement for your case.  The demand is actually the first step…

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Once a well-structured and strong Demand for Settlement has been filed as part of your Auto Accident Case, negotiations begin to obtain a fair settlement for your case.Car Accident Lawyers Las Vegas  The demand is actually the first step in negotiating your claim and sets the conditions for the remainder of the process to obtain a reasonable and fair settlement for you.

Your lawyer has evaluated your case and set a value range for a fair and equitable settlement to take place, based on experience with similar claims and knowing that the insurance company would rather settle the case than go through the expensive and potentially lengthy process of litigation.  Having an attorney negotiate your claim adds value to your settlement due to the implied threat of litigation if negotiations fail.  Your lawyer also knows the tactics employed by the insurance company to discourage you during this phase of obtaining a fair settlement and is prepared to counter those tactics.

Negotiations can be frustrating when an individual attempts to take on the insurance company without legal counsel.  Remember that the insurance company’s objective is to settle to case quickly and unreasonably for you and having a lawyer act as your negotiator places you in a much stronger position.

What to expect when negotiating a claim

The negotiation process can take weeks to months.  Once the Demand is received by the insurance company an adjuster will be assigned to the case by the insurance company.  Due to the ethical rules under which attorneys practice, all offers of settlement either reasonable or not, must be presented to you, the client.

You can expect initial offers to be ridiculously low, or the insurance company may respond with a Reservation of Rights Letter, which is a delaying tactic, however this letter informs you that the company is investigating the claim and may pay you nothing if they find that their policy doesn’t cover this claim.  At this point in the process, your lawyer knows what the insurance policy covers and has organized the demand within the policy’s limits of liability.  Your lawyer will recommend to either accept the offer or make a counter-claim.  If you decide to counter-claim, your lawyer will communicate the counter offer to the insurance company.

During this time, keep in mind that the adjuster’s job is to settle cases or, if unable to do so send the case on to the insurance company’s legal department.  Litigation increases the costs of settling the claim for the insurance company and the adjuster’s job performance relies on settling cases with a minimum of expense.  Patience is key to obtaining a fair settlement for you, and once your lawyer receives a settlement offer within the pre-determined value range, they will recommend settlement.  If this does not occur, the legal system provides other means to determine liability and damages, and your lawyer will not hesitate to use them.

You can expect a few offers from the insurance company and counter-offers from your lawyer to take place during this phase of your auto accident claim.  Once the process is exhausted, you will either receive an acceptable settlement offer, or after considering several factors such as increased expenses of litigation, and the time it may take to successfully litigate your claim, you and your attorney may determine to file a lawsuit as a means to receive fair treatment for your claim.

Our next installment in this series will discuss the settlement, and subsequent articles will detail steps in the litigation process.  90 percent of the auto accident cases at our firm successfully settle during the pre-litigation phase.  Negotiations with the insurance company consider what is best for you the client, to provide compensation for applicable out-of-pocket expenses such as medical care and prescriptions for your recovery, wages lost due to missed work during your recovery, and the pain and suffering caused by being involved in an accident that was caused by the negligent driver.

The Richard Harris Law Firm will Negotiate your claim with the Insurance Company

The lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm successfully negotiate hundreds of car accident claims every year.  We are highly qualified to negotiate yours.  If you’ve been injured in an Auto Accident caused by a negligent driver, call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

Richard Harris discusses negotiating a case

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Filed under: Auto Accident, Legal Information, Litigation, Personal Injury

July 22, 2019

Auto Accident Series (Part 6) – The Legal Process of an Accident Claim

Once you’ve retained an attorney for your Auto Accident Case, continue seeing your doctor and follow their instructions regarding treatments, taking your medications, visiting with specialists if needed, obtaining needed physical therapy, and concentrate on…

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Once you’ve retained an attorney for your Auto Accident Case, continue seeing your doctor and follow their instructions regarding treatments, taking your medications, visiting with specialists if needed, obtaining needed physical therapy, and concentrate on the processes which will allow your body to heal.  It’s important to your case, that all instructions from your doctor be followed to the letter.

Once you’ve retained our firm, your case will be entering the first phase of the legal process, with an Investigation of the accident, which may include requesting police reports, taking pictures of the scene, identifying and taking witness statements, verifying insurance coverages from all sources, performing defendant asset searches, and other critical investigative activities.  During this process, your case manager or lawyer may need additional information from you and may reach out via phone or email.  You may have questions regarding your case status, and you should feel free to reach out to your case manager or lawyer and ask questions as needed.

As your treatment progresses, your lawyer and case manager will be coordinating and obtaining progress reports from your medical provider(s) to begin the process of Documentation of your claim in order to build a presentation to the defendant’s insurance company.  Included in this documentation will be medical bills, prescription drug receipts, receipts for travel to and from your medical providers, obtaining statements from employers regarding time off and potential lost wages, statements from other interested parties regarding other losses supporting any claim of pain and suffering, or loss of consortium which may become part of the claim.

Once you have been discharged from medical treatment, all documentation is assembled, and an Evaluation is done by your attorney to ascertain the value of your claim.  This value is a range which will be used in the process of negotiating a settlement with the insurance company.  Once all documentation is gathered, a Demand against the insurance company is compiled which represents your lawyer’s best judgement of a fair settlement of the accident claim, with all supporting documentation of expenses and losses connected to the accident.

The Demand will be forwarded to the insurance company and Negotiations will begin.  Nearly 90% of our cases settle as part of this negotiation with the insurance company.  Your lawyer will defend our demand against attempts by the insurance company to negate the claim.  If negotiations succeed, there will be a fair Settlement of your claim and proceeds will be distributed between the lawyer, any liens against the case, such as unpaid medical bills, with the remaining proceeds distributed to you.

If on the other hand, your lawyer determines that the best settlement obtainable from the insurance company via out of court negotiations, will not represent a fair settlement, if questions of who is liable for the damages surface from the other party, or if neither side can arrive at an acceptable value for a settlement, then a lawsuit is filed, and litigation begins.

Litigation is a more formal continuation of the negotiations already begun, with increasing stakes for the participants.  A settlement can occur anytime during pretrial proceedings and up to and including during trial.  Pretrial steps differ from case to case, but the processes follow a pattern.  During the Discovery phase of a lawsuit your lawyer and the adverse party’s lawyer will establish a framework for Coordination between both parties.  This will involve setting deadlines for Production of case documents, and the obtaining of written answers to questions under oath, called Interrogatories.

Depositions may be required to establish the facts of a case, in which both parties can examine any party relevant to the case, to verbally give sworn testimony and answer questions under oath, with a court reporter recording the proceedings.  This may include witnesses to the accident, police officers and other first responders involved, medical providers, who can testify in detail regarding injuries and treatment claims made in the lawsuit, and other involved parties.  You will be called upon to testify in a deposition, as to how the accident has affected you in terms of the injuries, pain and suffering, lost earnings and other losses.

Parties to the case may ask for an Examination by neutral medical providers of their choice, in an attempt to establish the facts of injuries and treatments to date.

Arbitration Proceedings may take place during the Pretrial phase where both parties meet in an attempt to settle the case before appearing before a judge and jury.  Mediation Proceedings may take place, in which both parties meet with a neutral Mediator who will assist in attempting to arrive at a fair settlement before trial.  If all attempts fail to resolve the dispute, then Preparations for the jury trial will begin, and ultimately the trial itself.

Adjudication of the case by a jury trial will involve presenting the case before judge and jury by lawyers representing both parties in an adversarial format. Both parties will call witnesses to testify before judge and jury by questioning and cross-examining relevant witnesses and involved parties. Once both sides have called and questioned their witnesses, the jury will deliberate and attempt to assess liability and arrive at a fair settlement based on their understandings of the evidence obtained.  The court will be the final forum to determine fair settlement of claims and has the legal authority to enforce its decisions upon the disputing parties to obtain a fair settlement for you, the client.

The Lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm will take your case to trial

If all attempts at resolution of your claim fail, our lawyers have no hesitation to prepare your case and present it before a judge and jury to obtain a fair settlement.  Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience and trial results to pursue a just and fair settlement through all phases of the legal process.  If you’ve been injured in a car accident, call us today at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

Richard Harris discusses the Legal Process

https://richardharrislaw.com/steps-car-accident-claim/

 

 

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Filed under: About RHLF, Auto Accident, Personal Injury

July 15, 2019

Auto Accident Series (Part 5) – Communications with our firm

Once you have retained our firm to represent you in your Auto Accident case, the need for ongoing communications between you, your lawyer, and our staff becomes critical.  It is important that our lawyers and…

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Once you have retained our firm to represent you in your Auto Accident case, the need for ongoing communications between you, your lawyer, and our staff becomes critical.  It is important that our lawyers and staff obtain all needed documentation that wasn’t submitted during the Initial Consultation.  Much of the additional information will be obtained from the information given in the Initial Consultation.

In the first few days after your case opens, many activities take place establishing our firm as your representative for future communication related to the case.   Your Case Manager will send notifications to relevant insurance companies establishing that our firm is now representing you in this claim and all future communications with them in regard to this claim, should be forwarded to our firm.  They may refer you to medical providers if needed and follow up with medical providers on your current medical condition and treatments to date.

Communications is critical to your case

It’s important that you forward needed documents as noted during the first meeting as soon as possible, so that your Case Manager can update our files for use in the case.  Your case manager may call you during these initial days after retention to follow up on medical treatments and any other business related to the case.

Certainly, phone calls and possibly emails between you and your case manager or lawyer are considered normal during this time.  Our firm notes all contacts with you and any documents exchanged, on an automated case management computer program.  Documents are scanned into electronic format and are available for retrieval for lawyers and staff of the firm.

Our firm has developed an additional channel of communications with our clients, which allows you to follow up on activity as it occurs.  If you have internet access, you can check your case file at any time 24/7 to see the most recent updates to your case.  On the firm internet site  at the top left corner above our logo, is a link called “Client Login.”  In your Initial Consultation, you should have been given your login credentials to access your case.  Once you click on the Client Login link, you will be presented with the login to the Client Site.  Enter your credentials and you will arrive at the dashboard.

Client Site functions

From the dashboard, you will some instructions, and below the instructions you will see a list of cases.  If this is your first case with our firm, you will only see your new case listed with a blue button called “Manage This Case” at the right.  If you have had previous personal injury cases with Richard Harris Law Firm or made use of our other divisions, Ticket Busters, or The Defenders, you may see links for those past cases as well.  Select the relevant case, and click the blue Manage button.

Once you have accessed your auto accident case, you will see Client Info, which has your legal name addresses and contact information.  You can contact your Case Manager at any time by clicking the green “Contact Us” button.  You should confirm that all information is correct and contact us with corrections if needed.

At the top of the page you will see a row of tabs labelled Client Info, Case Details, Dates, Providers, Documents, and Notes.  Clicking on these links will show a different aspect of your case.  Again, during the initial stages of your case, check the information as displayed and make corrections by clicking the Contact Us button.

The NOTES tab, in particular will show actions taken by your Case Manager or Lawyer concerning your case.  These notes will display the day after they take place: A nightly process gathers all updates to your case file and posts them for display the next day.

If you have questions about how to access this client site, or have not received your credentials, or have lost them, contact your Case Manager for direction.

The Richard Harris Law Firm provides information to our clients

We believe in using all technologies available to make your experience with our firm as transparent as possible and to keep you informed as your case progresses.  In addition to these technologies, we believe the most important part of your experience is the person to person relationships you have with our lawyers and staff.  If you’ve been injured through no fault or your own in a Car Accident, call us today at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://www.richardharrislaw.com

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Filed under: Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Uncategorized

July 8, 2019

AUTO ACCIDENT SERIES (PART 4) – THE INITIAL CONSULTATION

After a car accident which resulted in injuries to you, you’ve now determined to hire a lawyer to assist with your case.  When you call the Richard Harris Law Firm, you will talk with a…

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After a car accident which resulted in injuries to you, you’ve now determined to hire a lawyer to assist with your case.  When you call the Richard Harris Law Firm, you will talk with a Legal Assistant known as an Intake Specialist who will gather and record general information about your accident and will discuss with a lawyer whether our firm can assist you, based on the circumstances of the case.  Then an appointment will be set for the Initial

Consultation.

Perhaps your first experience with a law firm is the Initial Consultation.  Many questions may be in your mind as to how to prepare for this meeting in a way that presents your case and gives your lawyer the information, he or she needs to pursue further legal action on your behalf.  Will I be required to pay to discuss my case with the attorney?  What documents do I need to bring to the meeting?  We will answer these and other questions you may have concerning the initial consultation.

Will I need to pay for the consultation?

The answer to this question at the Richard Harris Law Firm is no.  This consultation and all other aspects of your personal injury case will be handled under a contingency fee agreement.

What documents should I bring to the meeting?

Several documents are helpful to begin the process of a car accident claim.  First, you should bring your identification to the meeting.  This includes Driver’s License or State ID, Passport, Visa, Work Authorization or Military ID among others.  You should also have received an information print out from the police officer at the scene of the accident.  On this form, will be the names of all parties to the accident, including the vehicle owners, and drivers of all involved vehicles.

Information about your insurance company, such as a policy declarations page are very helpful.  An insurance card would be sufficient.  At the very least, your insurance company and policy number will allow us to obtain your coverages from your insurance company.

All of the information you recorded at the scene, including names of other drivers, registered owners of involved vehicles, insurance companies covering those vehicles; photos of the scene, damage to vehicles, and injuries received; and written accounts you may have made of the accident are very helpful to building your case.

Medical bills for injuries received, such as emergency room and subsequent doctor visits should be included in this meeting if you have them.  Names of your doctors and medical facilities you have visited for your injury treatments will be collected during the interview.

Law Enforcement will file an Accident Report usually within 10 days of the accident.  We will request the accident report from the appropriate police agency as part of our investigation.  If you don’t have this document at the time of the initial consultation, we will inquire to the relevant parties to obtain this information.

The Initial Consultation Meeting

When you arrive at our office, you will be accompanied to a conference room and will initially meet with an Intake Specialist who will spend several minutes gathering more detailed information regarding your case.  You should feel free to ask any questions you have during this meeting.  Any required information that we need that can’t be answered at the meeting will be noted and an information page will be given to you in the case packet you’ll be given at the end of the meeting.  You should forward these items to the Intake Specialist as soon as possible.  Once the Intake Specialist has completed gathering the initial information needed, your lawyer and case manager will then join the meeting.

Your lawyer will ask questions as needed, to help him or her understand your case and the circumstances of the accident and your injuries and treatments to date.  He or she will explain basic legal proceedings associated with your case and will explain step by step the process of your claim, and what to expect.  They will go over in detail the retainer agreement and ask if you have questions regarding the retainer and contingency fee.  Once the retainer agreement is signed by both you and your attorney, our firm will officially represent you in all aspects of your claim until settlement.

You will be given a copy of the of the retainer agreement in your case packet.  Your case manager or attorney will also have you sign releases of information and authorizations needed to act on your behalf.  You will be given a copy of all signed documents in the case packet.  You should ask any questions you have about this claim and the process during this meeting and establish a comfort level with your attorney and case manager.

At the end of the meeting, your will be given your case packet, which contains information about the firm and business cards for your lawyer and case manager and all signed documents.  During the initial stages particularly, but during all steps of your case, communications between you and firm personnel are very important.  You will also be given access to the Client Portal during this meeting.  We will cover information about the Client Portal in our next installment.  Check back often for additions to this series.

The Richard Harris Law Firm is different because We Care

At our firm, we want you to understand as much about the process of pursuing your case as possible.  If at any point during your case, if you have questions or concerns, give your attorney or case manager a call.  This is a time when you should be able to concentrate on medical treatments to aid in your recovery from an accident.  We will handle to details of your case and will communicate with you through phone calls and our Client Portal to give you as much information as you need.  If you’ve been injured in an auto accident by a negligent driver, call us today to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

Richard Harris discusses the Initial Consultation

Contingency Fee arraignment explained

Filed under: Auto Accident, Personal Injury

May 29, 2019

3 Work Zone Safety Tips

Roadways in Nevada receive frequent repairs and alterations. When that happens, road work crews may be present for weeks or even months at a time. Driving through active work zones requires focus and caution, as…

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Roadways in Nevada receive frequent repairs and alterations. When that happens, road work crews may be present for weeks or even months at a time. Driving through active work zones requires focus and caution, as they can pose threats to both drivers and workers.

The Nevada Department of Transportation says that work zone crashes claim three lives every day nationwide. To do your part in making Nevada’s work zones safer, be sure to follow these tips:

  1. Avoid distractions—Work zones can be unpredictable. Workers may be in or near the roadway, lanes may shift or end, and heavy equipment may be entering or exiting work areas. Keeping your eyes and mind focused on the road can help you avoid an accident.
  2. Increase your following distance—Lanes are often narrow in work zones, and there may be no shoulders to pull over on. That means traffic can suddenly slow down or stop. If you follow the vehicle in front of you too closely, you may be unable to reduce your speed to avoid a collision.
  3. Reduce your speed—Speed limits in work zones are often much lower than they are on nearby stretches of highway. Slow down as you approach an active work zone, and maintain your reduced speed until signs indicate that you can increase your speed after leaving the area.

Work zones can be set up on highways and interstates with little or no warning to drivers. To avoid a surprise on your daily commute, dial 511 on your cell phone or visit www.nvroads.com.

Injured in a Work Zone? You May Be Eligible for Compensation.

Because of the increased risks that drivers and workers face, police often enforce stricter traffic laws in work zones. If you were injured in a work zone crash that was caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible for compensation.

The Las Vegas auto accident lawyers at the Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm want to help you get the money you deserve for your injury-related expenses. Contact us today to find out how we may be able to help.

Filed under: Auto Accident, Personal Injury

May 16, 2019

What Should You Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident?

When another driver causes an auto accident that results in you or your loved ones suffering injuries, you can file a compensation claim against their auto insurance provider. But what are you supposed to do…

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When another driver causes an auto accident that results in you or your loved ones suffering injuries, you can file a compensation claim against their auto insurance provider. But what are you supposed to do after a crash where the other driver leaves the scene?

Hit-and-run accidents are more common than you might think in Nevada, and victims of those crashes often feel like they don’t have any recourse for getting money for their accident-related expenses. However, the following steps can help you protect your health and your rights to compensation—even if the other driver left the scene:

  • Call 911—Calling 911 not only dispatches emergency medical responders to the crash scene, but it also dispatches police who can look for the at-fault driver. If you, your loved ones, or any accident witnesses can provide a description of the other vehicle, police may be able to apprehend the driver before they leave the surrounding area.
  • Report the accident to your insurance provider—Almost all insurance providers require notification of crashes within a day or two after they occur. If the other driver isn’t located, you may be able to file a claim against your own insurance, especially if you have personal injury protection coverage or underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage.
  • Contact a Las Vegas auto accident lawyer—Having a lawyer on your side from day one after a hit-and-run accident can help you maximize your chances of getting compensation. Even if you have insurance coverage that protects you in such scenarios, your own insurer may be reluctant to pay you the money you deserve—but a lawyer can help protect your rights.

Having a lawyer on your side can also make it easier to pursue punitive damages if the other driver was intoxicated and fled the scene of the crash.

Let Us Help You Explore All Options for Compensation After the Accident

At the Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, we’ve helped many hit-and-run auto accident victims get fair compensation for their medical bills and lost wages—even when the other drivers were never caught.

You shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for a crash that wasn’t your fault. Contact us today, and let us put our experience to work for your family.

 

Filed under: Personal Injury

February 28, 2019

Social Media and Your Personal Injury Claim

If you’re like most active people today, you’ve got a busy life. In most cases, that busy life is being documented by communicating with friends on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn,…

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If you’re like most active people today, you’ve got a busy life. In most cases, that busy life is being documented by communicating with friends on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, with every post and every picture or video posted, you are building a very detailed record of your life in the public domain.

Through the years, we’ve all built records of our lives through photo albums, journals, and by telling stories among friends and loved ones about experiences in our lives. The difference is all of those life records have the highest possible privacy setting. Since the age of social media, the standard of what is public and what is private has become blurred. And this becomes important if you are involved in an accident that leaves you seriously injured.

If you have retained an attorney to assist with your personal injury claim, you should discuss with your attorney some ground rules for social media participation during and after the case. We’ve discussed social media previously on this blog, and our website has a page discussing some of the ramifications of social media use and how it can be detrimental to a personal injury case. It all goes back to this thing in the law called discovery.

What is discovery and what are its limits?

Discovery is the process used in a lawsuit to gather evidence. This process is governed by statute and case law, and eventually the information is exchanged between the opposing attorneys. Discovery uses many methods, from internet searches to background checks, and depending on the stakes of the case, it may include private investigators.

During your case, both sides will accumulate raw data through collections of answers to written questions called interrogatories, as well as document requests and possibly depositions. This will all become a part of the discovery of your case. The courts have established rules to govern discovery, and while methods may be governed, the courts have some discretion as to what kind of evidence is admissible, as long as it is related to proving or disproving the claims of the case in question.

Social Media Evidence is Commonplace Today

While many forms of evidence, such as medical bills and wage records, are sufficient to establish credibility for that aspect of the claim, other claims such as pain and suffering are based on more subjective criteria and may be more easily tainted by evidence which seems to tell a different story.

An investigation of a plaintiff’s social media postings can be a very important step towards invalidating a claim in a personal injury lawsuit. In a personal injury case, a large part of the settlement has to do with the severity of the injuries and how that has affected your life.

In claims for pain and suffering, posting photos of activities which may seem to be at variance with the claims made in your lawsuit can have a serious detrimental effect on that aspect of your settlement. While a photo doesn’t show any more than a moment in time, the perceptions of a judge or jury of your credibility may hinge on social media evidence which doesn’t seem to support the details of your claim, even if it’s something that seems relatively innocuous to you.

The Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm is Committed to Obtaining the Highest Settlements

In order to obtain the highest settlement in your case, you need to know how social media can affect it. Discuss this with your attorney and follow that advice to the letter. It could have a huge impact on your potential settlement. If you’ve been injured because of the negligence of another, whether in a vehicle accident or premises liability claim, call our office today to discuss your potential case at .

 

Filed under: Personal Injury

January 28, 2019

How We Determine the Value of Your Claim

Suffering an injury because of another person’s negligence can be devastating, especially if it results in big medical bills and extended time away from work. You know that you can file a claim for compensation,…

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Suffering an injury because of another person’s negligence can be devastating, especially if it results in big medical bills and extended time away from work. You know that you can file a claim for compensation, but how much money are you eligible to receive?

The insurance company may have contacted you in the days or weeks after your accident, and you may have even received a seemingly substantial settlement offer. However, the insurance company’s offer may not even come close to covering all of your expenses. At Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, we know that insurance companies often lowball victims like you, and it’s our job to help our clients get the money they deserve.

3 Factors We Consider When Calculating Claims

Our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers always look at three important factors to determine how much money our clients deserve:

  1. Current and future medical bills—The initial medical bills associated with injuries can be enormous. But they’re often just the tip of the iceberg. You may need additional care, including surgeries and physical rehabilitation, for months or even years to come.
  2. Current and future lost wages—Being out of work is frustrating and stressful, but some injuries can cause long-term disability. That means months or even years without the paycheck your family depends on.
  3. Pain and suffering—Insurance companies rarely consider the ways that injuries affect victims and their families. But your life may never be the same after your accident due to physical and emotional trauma and pain.

At Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, we don’t think you should settle for anything less than what your claim is worth. Our Nevada injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience to calculate the true value of injury claims, and we’re ready to help you if you were injured through no fault of your own. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Filed under: Blog, Personal Injury

August 31, 2018

Seven Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer at the Richard Harris Law Firm

When you’ve been injured in an accident you should only be preoccupied with one thing: recovering from your injuries. Dealing with insurance companies and other liable parties should be the last thing on your mind…

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When you’ve been injured in an accident you should only be preoccupied with one thing: recovering from your injuries. Dealing with insurance companies and other liable parties should be the last thing on your mind at this time. Knowing that insurance companies’ goals are to pay the bare minimum, you need an advocate who will look after your needs, who knows the legal terrain, and who will claim and negotiate the highest possible compensation on your behalf. The following are the top reasons why you should hire a personal injury lawyer if you are injured in an accident:

  1. If there’s no settlement, you will not be charged a fee: We discussed fee arrangements previously. The Richard Harris Law Firm most often employs the contingency method, which places a higher responsibility on the lawyer to settle and demand the highest legal settlements, because their fee is directly linked to your settlement. If there’s no settlement, you won’t be charged a fee.
  2. Knowledge and Experience with the legal territory: The lawyers at the Richard Harris Law Firm deal with insurance companies and make thousands of claims a year. They know this area of the law and know what is and is not a legitimate claim. They know how the paperwork must be filed with each insurance company and the courts, and the best way to present your case in order to obtain the best settlement. They also know how to counter insurance company tactics which will often delay and minimize your claim.
  3. Your lawyer will properly investigate your claim: From obtaining police or accident reports to obtaining video evidence (if available) to investigating all areas of insurance coverage, to finding assets of adverse parties, the lawyers at the Richard Harris Law Firm will leave no stone unturned in building your case.
  4. We will collect, organize, present and negotiate your claim: A serious accident may result in significant medical treatment over a period of time, which may be confusing to you during your time of recovery. Our lawyers and case managers will obtain all documentation of medical treatment and billings, and will also consider pain and suffering, lost income, loss of consortium, and other important losses you suffered due to the accident and will organize the information to present a demand to all insurance and other entities which are liable in your accident. Once presented, our lawyers will negotiate with all parties to obtain a fair and equitable settlement for you.
  5. The Richard Harris Law Firm will pursue alternate dispute resolution methods: If negotiations with liable parties fails to yield a fair settlement for you, we are prepared to pursue alternate dispute resolution methods, short of a trial, to bring maximum pressure on negligent parties to settle fairly. Whether its mediation or arbitration, our lawyers know when these methods need to be employed to obtain the best settlement.
  6. We will take your case to trial: If all other negotiation methods fail, our lawyers will take your case to court. We are proud at the Richard Harris Law Firm to have some of the best litigators, with records of presenting cases before juries, and obtaining large settlements for our clients, and will not hesitate to present your case in a court of law. Our firm has assembled at talented team of paralegals and litigators who know how to organize and present evidence before a jury which is most likely to result in a positive outcome for you.
  7. Higher settlements are obtained when you are represented by an attorney: Research shows that accident victims who are represented by a lawyer receive higher settlements than individuals who represent themselves with insurance companies and other liable parties, even considering the attorney fee. Whether your case settles at the demand stage or requires the additional efforts of alternate dispute resolution methods, or even a trial, you are more likely to obtain a fair settlement when represented by the lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm than what you could obtain by yourself.

The Richard Harris Law Firm will aggressively represent you after an injury accident

Our firm has the knowledge, the talented lawyers, and the skills to properly represent you after you are injured due to the negligence of others. If you have been injured in an accident for which you were not at fault, the lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm are available to skillfully pursue your claim to obtain a fair settlement for you to compensate you for losses due to the accident. If you’ve been in an accident due to no fault of your own, and are considering hiring a lawyer to represent you, call our firm today to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.

meniscus tear

Filed under: Blog, Personal Injury

June 25, 2018

Types of Discovery for an Injury Claim

After you’ve been hurt through no fault of your own, it’s our goal to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Unfortunately, the insurance company doesn’t always put your best interests first.…

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After you’ve been hurt through no fault of your own, it’s our goal to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Unfortunately, the insurance company doesn’t always put your best interests first. When they don’t offer you a fair settlement, we’re prepared to fight for your rights to the compensation you’re owed.

After we help you file a lawsuit, one of the ways we protect your rights is through a process called discovery. What, exactly, is discovery? We’ve created this post to help you better understand this step of the legal process.

Discovery is the process by which we gather and exchange relevant case information with the opposing party, such as facts, evidence, and witnesses. There are four main types of discovery:

  1. Interrogatories – Interrogatories are sets of questions exchanged between both parties. These questions help gather relevant facts, such as when and where your injury or accident occurred, the contact information of any witnesses or involved parties, the injuries you suffered as a result of the incident, the medical treatment you received for your injuries, and any important medical history.
  1. Request for Production of Documents – This type of discovery is exactly what it sounds like. You may request documents from the opposing party such as medical records, medical receipts, photographs of your injuries, photographs of property damage, and any other related documents.
  1. Request for Admission – Requesting admission asks the opposing party to admit certain facts. You can admit, deny, or explain why you can neither admit nor deny these facts. This can help save time if your case goes to court. Once a fact has been admitted, it no longer needs to be called into question during trial.
  1. Depositions – Depositions are recorded, under-oath testimonies obtained outside of court. This gives both parties the opportunity to ask the opposing side, witnesses, or experts questions pertaining to the facts of the case. Depositions may be recorded via transcript or video and are sometimes used during trial.

If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, we want to fight for you. For nearly 40 years, the attorneys at the Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm have helped accident victims pursue the maximum compensation they deserve. We want to do the same for you.

 

Filed under: Blog, Community, Personal Injury

June 21, 2018

Route 91 Shooting Healing Gardens

Less than a week after the horrendous events of October 1, 2017, when 58 concert goers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival were brutally cut down by a mass shooter, Las Vegans came together to…

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Less than a week after the horrendous events of October 1, 2017, when 58 concert goers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival were brutally cut down by a mass shooter, Las Vegans came together to open a place of remembrance for the victims. The Las Vegas Healing Garden, located at 1015 S Casino Center Blvd in downtown Las Vegas, was the brainchild of Jay Pleggenkuhle, a landscaper, who drew out his first few ideas for the memorial on a dinner napkin.

Things moved fast from there, with the City of Las Vegas donating a ¼-acre unused lot on Casino Center Blvd near Charleston, and individuals, volunteers, and businesses from around the valley donating their time, efforts, and products to put together what is now the Las Vegas Healing Garden.

What is the Healing Garden?

The empty lot became a place for the community to pour their angst in order to be in solidarity with survivors in remembering the innocent victims who were senselessly cut down. Three days after construction began, the Garden opened on October 6, 2017 as part of the First Friday Monthly Art Festival in October.

The garden consists of a brick paver sidewalk, which encircles a heart-shaped planter for a single large tree, designated the “Tree of Life.” The entire site is surrounded by 58 trees, one for every victim of the shooting. At the far end of the walkway is the Remembrance Wall, which consists of slats of wood with notes, photos, flowers, painted stones, and other mementos placed to remember the victims.

It is a place of reverence and remembrance to counter the injury received by the entire Las Vegas community as a result of the October 1 shootings.

Future of the Garden

The original garden came together organically, not necessarily intended as a permanent shrine. The City of Las Vegas owns the land, and once the Garden came together, the city established the Community Healing Fund to maintain the site. This fund is being managed by the nonprofit Nevada Community Foundation.

However, plans are now in place to add more permanent monuments to the location, including replacing the temporary Remembrance Wall with 5 walls of increasing height and incorporating remnants of the current wall into a steel frame with back lighting.

Get Outdoors Nevada (GON), the group taking charge of fundraising for the new memorial, presented plans to Las Vegas City Council in early May. GON has budgeted $150,000 for the project and has seen an outpouring of support. They have since collected $25,000 from a single source along with other donations from others in the community.

Plans are to dedicate the new Remembrance Wall on October 1, 2018, with a dedication ceremony followed by music performances of pop and country. Links to donate to both funds are found below.

Learn More:

https://getoutdoorsnevada.org/lv-healing-garden/

https://getoutdoorsnevada.org/support/

https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/las-vegas/fund-will-maintain-healing-garden-created-after-las-vegas-shooting/

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/first-look-at-permanent-healing-garden-memorial/1154953016

https://www.facebook.com/lvhealinggarden/

Filed under: Blog, Personal Injury

June 11, 2018

What to Expect When Your Case Goes to Trial

Although most personal injury cases are settled before the trial stage, a small percentage of them still make it into the courtroom. At Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, we know that the thought of…

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Although most personal injury cases are settled before the trial stage, a small percentage of them still make it into the courtroom. At Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, we know that the thought of going to trial may seem intimidating. That’s why we want to remove some of the mystery that surrounds taking a case to court.

To make sure you’re as informed as possible throughout the injury-claim process, let’s take a closer look at what you can expect when your case goes to trial.

The Steps of a Personal Injury Trial

If you’ve reached the trial phase, chances are that your case could not be settled via mediation or arbitration. The purpose of a trial is to give you the opportunity to present your case in hopes of obtaining a favorable verdict. The trial also gives the defendant a chance to tell his or her side of the story. The judge or jury ultimately decides who is liable for the plaintiff’s injuries and the amount of damages they are owed.

A typical personal injury trial consists of the following stages:

  • Jury selection–Before the trial begins, a jury must be chosen. During this process, the judge, as well as the plaintiff’s and defendant’s respective attorneys, interview potential jurors. The prospective jurors answer questions designed to reveal any reasons that would prevent them from fairly deciding the case.
  • Opening statements–This is the first opportunity for both parties to present their side of the story. Your lawyer presents the facts of the accident or injury and explains how the evidence shows the defendant’s liability. The defendant’s lawyer is then given the chance to present the facts from their perspective.
  • Witness testimony and cross-examination–During this stage of the trial, evidence is presented to the jury—including physical evidence such as photographs, medical records, and testimonies from witnesses and experts. These witnesses and experts answer questions from the plaintiff’s attorney (direct examination) and then by the defendant’s attorney (cross-examination).
  • Closing arguments–After the presentation of evidence and examination of witnesses, both sides are given one last chance to convince the jury to rule in their favor.
  • Jury instruction and deliberation–Before the jury is sent to deliberate, the judge provides instructions that must be considered by the jury in deciding a case. These instructions are unique to the case itself. After listening to the judge, the jury meets to decide the final verdict.

Trial-Ready Nevada Personal Injury Lawyers

The personal injury attorneys at Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm have nearly four decades of experience fighting for injury victims like you—and we’re no strangers to the courtroom. If you or a loved one was injured through no fault of your own, contact us today.

complete an incident report after vegas injury

Filed under: Blog, Personal Injury

June 4, 2018

How the Insurance Company Tries to Deny Your Claim

In addition to being traumatic, painful, and disabling, auto accidents are also expensive. Victims often face big medical bills for post-accident treatments, including surgeries, prescription medications, and ongoing physical rehabilitation. To make matters worse, many…

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In addition to being traumatic, painful, and disabling, auto accidents are also expensive. Victims often face big medical bills for post-accident treatments, including surgeries, prescription medications, and ongoing physical rehabilitation.

To make matters worse, many victims are unable to go back to work for long periods of time. And when they’re not working, they’re not earning the paychecks they need to keep up with their families’ living expenses—let alone pay the big medical bills that pile-up week after week.

Filing claims for compensation can help victims recoup some or all of the money that their accidents cost them, but many victims find that the process isn’t as easy as the insurance company makes it out to be. The unfortunate truth about insurance companies is that they’re in business to make big profits for themselves, and paying out settlements to people who were hurt in accidents isn’t part of that plan.

3 Ways the Insurance Company May Work Against You

If you were recently hurt in an accident, it’s important to remember that the insurance company isn’t necessarily on your side. In fact, insurance companies employ teams of adjusters whose sole job is to reduce or deny claims. They achieve that by using three common tactics against victims like you:

  1. Using your own words against you—Whether it’s statements you made at the accident scene, posts you made on social media, or comments you made to the adjusters themselves, insurance companies are notorious for twisting victims’ words into admissions of guilt or liability. When they think they have enough evidence to suggest that victims were responsible for their own injuries, they’ll deny their claims without hesitation.
  2. Claiming your injuries were pre-existing—Insurance companies dig through victims’ medical records and even their social media posts to find out whether there’s any history of similar injuries in their pasts. If they find any evidence that the injuries you suffered during your accident are similar to previous injuries—even if those occurred years ago—they may use that information to deny your claim.
  3. Pointing out small oversights or mistakes in your claim—Filing a claim involves plenty of paperwork and the submission of evidence, including medical records and even police reports. Insurance companies look closely at every claim they receive, and even minor omissions or mistakes are enough for them to outright deny otherwise valid claims from innocent victims.

After being jerked around by insurance companies or having their claims denied due to technicalities, many victims feel like the system is rigged against them—and in some ways, it is. However, having an experienced lawyer on your side can help you level the playing field and even gain a major advantage.

At Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, we know what you’re going through, and we know what it takes to help you get the money you deserve. Call us at (702) 444-4444 today or fill out an online form to get a free consultation and to find out how we may be able to help you and your loved ones.

Filed under: Auto Accident, Blog, Personal Injury

December 7, 2017

Motorists: Allow Three Feet for Bicycles… It’s the Law

Pete Makowski was killed when a gravel truck hit him from behind while riding his bicycle in June 2013. Roger Swain survived when a car hit him on his way to work in June 2015.…

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Pete Makowski was killed when a gravel truck hit him from behind while riding his bicycle in June 2013. Roger Swain survived when a car hit him on his way to work in June 2015. He was wearing protective gear including a helmet, but sustained multiple injuries that required surgery. In April 2017, a prominent Las Vegas hand surgeon, Kayvan Khiabani, was killed, when he lost control of his bicycle and collided with a charter bus. He was the Chief of Hand Surgery at UMC at the time. During 2015, 10 bicyclists were killed on Nevada roads, up 25 percent from 2014. Eight of the 10 fatalities were in Clark County.

In 2011, Nevada passed the Vulnerable User Law, which mandates that at least 3 feet of clearance is required between a bicycle and a motor vehicle. Rules of the Road laws concerning bicycles go further than that by requiring drivers on a multi-lane road who encounter a bicyclist going the same direction to safely move to the next lane of traffic to the left, if available, to allow clearance to the bicyclist. If changing lanes is not possible, the law requires when passing a bicycle, the motorist must allow at least 3 feet of clearance between any part of the vehicle and the bicycle, and not move to the right until safely clear of the bicycle. The law also requires motor vehicles not operate within a designated bike lane.

What is the Vulnerable User Law?

While Nevada law does not define what a vulnerable road user is, the term has been used in Europe by roadway planners and safety organizations to designate any user of the road who is not protected by an enclosed vehicle. This would include bicycle riders and pedestrians.

Nevada laws, however, does require additional penalties if a driver violates the three-foot rule, and then causes a collision with a bicycle rider. These penalties are higher if the collision occurs in a school zone. For a first-time violator, drivers can be charged with a misdemeanor, with fines up to $275, and possible loss of driving privileges. Subsequent violations have higher penalties.

The Nevada DMV has published an information sheet that sets forth rules for motorists when encountering a bicycle rider. Additionally, many organizations have emerged as proponents of vulnerable users, specifically bicycle riders. One such national organization, the League of American Bicyclists ranks states by bike friendliness, and finds Nevada to rank 31 out of the 50 states in terms of safety for bicycle riders.

Local Resources for Safe Biking

Locally, the Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition and the Las Vegas Valley Bicycle Club are active in lobbying efforts to increase bike safety in the state. The Three Feet for Pete organization, commemorates Pete Makowski’s unfortunate death by sponsoring an annual Safety Ride each year.

Also, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) publishes the Bike Map showing bicycle routes throughout the Las Vegas valley.

The Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm is Your Bicycle Personal Injury Lawyer

Nevada is a beautiful state, and the temperate weather during fall and spring bring out many bicyclists who wish to see many of the sites. Furthermore, many have adopted the healthy lifestyle bicycling provides, and ride their bikes to work rather than drive. Motorists need to share the road with bicyclists, and need to be aware of the protections afforded to cyclists under Nevada law. If you, or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bicycling accident, we want to represent you to obtain the fairest settlement that the law allows. Call us today to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.

Read More:

https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/summerlin/push-to-enforce-3-feet-rule-personal-for-some-bicyclists/

Nevada law firm, Law firm Las Vegas

Filed under: Blog, Personal Injury, Workers Compensation

April 20, 2017

With Las Vegas Construction on the Rebound, So are Worker’s Compensation Claims

​ By most objective measures the economy of Southern Nevada is coming to life, and leading the way is the construction industry. Read nearly any newspaper or trade journal and you’ll see articles regarding the…

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Nevada law firm, Law firm Las Vegas

By most objective measures the economy of Southern Nevada is coming to life, and leading the way is the construction industry. Read nearly any newspaper or trade journal and you’ll see articles regarding the boom of new projects in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada. New projects are being announced, from the Resorts World project to the Convention Center expansion, to construction of the new NFL stadium to house the Raiders, to new apartment projects around the valley. Construction jobs around Vegas are on the rebound.

“A dead industry during the recession, construction now is the Silver State’s fastest growing sector. Construction employment as of October was up 13 percent year over year,” touted Nevada Business in a January 2017 article.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal in a March 3 article indicates that home purchase loans are on the rise. “More than 36,000 home-purchase loans were issued in the Las Vegas area last year, up 8.5 percent from 2015 and the third consecutive annual increase.”

Construction union locals are also seeing the trend and getting their workers ready for work.

With this growth in major new projects for Las Vegas, however, comes a potential increase in on-the-job injuries. It’s our hope that all employers will provide a safe workplace for their employees, but inevitably construction accidents will occur. It’s important that all employees understand their worker’s compensation benefits and know how to file for them when these situations occur.

Workers Compensation Basics

Worker’s Compensation was put in place in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century as a means of limiting employers’ liability when workers were injured on the job, beginning with the Federal Employers Liability Acts of 1906 and 1908, and ending when Mississippi became the last state to pass state laws implementing Workers Compensation for that state in 1948. Worker’s Compensation exchanges a worker’s ability to sue their employers for job injuries, in return for employers providing medical benefits and wage replacement when injuries occur.

In Nevada, all employers of at least 1 employee are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance with few exceptions. Sole proprietors are not required to do so, if they are the only employee but can carry coverage for themselves, if they choose. Certain casual employees are not required to be covered, if the employment is for less than 20 days with a labor cost of less than $500.

If your employer is located outside of Nevada, but you work in Nevada, you will be covered by the worker’s compensation plan of the State where your employer is headquartered, in most cases. Temporary employees who come into Nevada but are insured in another state are not required to be covered under Nevada worker’s compensation, with the exception of the construction trades.

How to Claim Benefits

If you are injured on the job, in almost all cases, the injury must be reported within 7 days of the occurrence of the injury. This can be done by filing a C-1 Incident Report with your employer. Your employer will then refer you to a medical provider where a C-4 form, or Report of Initial Treatment, will be completed. Copies of these forms are available from your employer, but can also be found online at the Nevada Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) site.

The medical provider will assess the injury, provide treatment, and instructions for further treatment and when you can return to work. The company’s worker’s compensation insurance provider will pay these medical benefits.

Most worker’s compensation claims can be handled between you and your employer in this fashion. A description of worker’s rights and benefits is also available on the Nevada DIR site, which gives a comprehensive outline of benefits available to you.

In cases where the injuries are serious and may require long-term recovery and care, and a long period where you can’t work, or if you employer does not provide the benefits as described, you may wish to consult with a Worker’s Compensation attorney to assist with your claim.

The Richard Harris Law Firm Can Help with Your Worker’s Compensation Claim

If you’ve been injured on the job and will be disabled and unable to work for an extended period, call us today to discuss your situation. We have highly qualified attorneys who are fully knowledgeable in all aspects of Worker’s Compensation policies and procedures. We can ensure that your rights are protected, and that you receive all benefits you are eligible for.

Call us today to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.

Nevada law firm, Law firm Las Vegas

Filed under: Personal Injury, Workers Compensation

June 7, 2016

More Work Means More Work Injuries

When driving around Las Vegas or any part of the great State of Nevada, you’ve noticed happily consistent sights and growing sounds: new construction projects. Construction is finally picking up in Nevada with the nation’s…

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Welcome to Fabulous Las VegasWhen driving around Las Vegas or any part of the great State of Nevada, you’ve noticed happily consistent sights and growing sounds: new construction projects. Construction is finally picking up in Nevada with the nation’s seventh highest percentage gain in construction jobs from 2014 to 2015. This welcome news indicates the economy in Nevada is finally seeing signs of recovery the rest of the country has been experiencing after the Great Recession. With an improving economy, most Nevadans are getting back to work. The State is expected to return to its pre-recession high of nearly 1.4 million jobs in all industries by mid-2016.

But at what cost?

Unfortunately, with more construction in Nevada, more construction accidents will occur. From slip and fall accidents, auto accidents in company vehicles, malfunctioning machinery and the mental and physical demands of the job, the probability of an on-the-job injury is high. Construction workers receive more workers’ compensation benefits than workers in all industries nationwide, and the same is true for Nevada.

Work injuries can have a lasting effect on the lives of workers and their families. Between lost wages and medical bills, on-the-job injuries are expensive setbacks. Workers’ compensation programs were adopted to reduce litigation for work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths, but maximum benefits rarely come without a fight. Workers’ compensation laws are complex and give insurance companies many loopholes for denying benefits.

Although Nevadans are excited and relieved by the economic recovery, the threat of a serious work injury should not be taken lightly. Richard Harris Law Firm has a strong background in helping workers get all the benefits they deserve. When you’ve suffered a work injury, it’s your responsibility to immediately inform your employer of the incident, seek proper medical care and concentrate on your recovery; the rest is up to us. The Richard Harris Law Firm will be the voice for you and your family, so you can focus on getting better. You work hard for your family – so let us work hard for you if you’re injured on the job.

Nevada law firm, Law firm Las Vegas

Filed under: Personal Injury

July 8, 2015

John Doe Defendant: How to Sue an Unknown Person

Many people don't know how to name all of the responsible parties in a lawsuit when they do not know who they are. Fortunately, there is a way around this: naming a John Doe defendant. This…

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Many people don’t know how to name all of the responsible parties in a lawsuit when they do not know who they are. Fortunately, there is a way around this: naming a John Doe defendant. This article will help you understand what steps are done if one can’t identify each defendant in your lawsuit.

The John Doe Defendant

Sometimes, there are situations where the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit isn’t sure if there were other parties involved in the incident that caused their injuries. This makes it more difficult to know who to hold liable.

If this is the case in your situation, you may be able to name a John Doe defendant (also known as fictitious defendant) depending upon the laws of your state. When you do this, you will include a statement in the complaint that indicates that the actual names of the liable parties will be added when they are discovered.

Here’s an example. You are injured while trying to make your way into a store during a doorbuster sale. Your injuries were caused by some of the other shoppers who were rushing to get inside.

In this case, you would likely name the owners of the store as defendants. However, you would also name the people who caused your injury even though you may not know their names.

Why?

The reason plaintiffs will name John Doe defendants in their complaint is because it can keep the statute of limitations from expiring. Naming a John Doe defendant will help you ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable.

How It Works

After you file your complaint, the case will go into the discovery period. It is during this time that the identities of the John Doe defendants can be discovered. After you identify the people who were previously unknown, you can amend the complaint and add the person’s name.

After the complaint is amended, you will have between 2 and 4 months to serve the defendant. If the identity of the John Doe defendant is not discovered before the date of the trial, they will be dismissed.

Now that you know how to name an unknown party in your lawsuit, it should make it easier to hold all parties liable. Consult with an attorney who can help you be successful in your lawsuit.