How the Type of Injury Can Affect the Timing of a Personal Injury Settlement

 

How the Timing of Your Settlement is Affected by Your Injury-Type

Transcript:

Hi, I’m Jared Richards and I’m one of the partners at Clear Counsel Law Group. One of our readers has asked: does the type of the injury that you get after being in a car accident affect how long it takes to settle? The answer is yes. Settlement deals with various different factors. Depending on how those play out, your settlement might take a month or two or might take years. The general principle is when you make a claim against an insurance company, you want to make a claim for the full size of your injury.

You don’t really know what the size of your injury is until you’re done treating. Because, one, you don’t know how much you’re going to be out of pocket for medical bills, or how much your medical bills are going to be. You don’t know whether or not you’re going to get better in a timely manner. There may be complications that occur midway through treatment that you don’t anticipate at the beginning. Until your injuries have either, one, resolved, or two, your doctors have said there’s nothing more we can do so we need to start planning what the expense of your future care is going to be, then it’s generally not ripe to settle the case.

 

settlement, personal injury, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Now there is an exception to this. Let’s imagine that you have a horrendous injury. Let’s imagine you get into a car accident and you lose your leg. You know that the other side has only $15,000 of insurance and you also know that that other side doesn’t have money outside of insurance to pay the claim. That case actually might settle very, very quickly because the insurance company is very motivated to get that off their books and to make sure that they are protecting their insured. Sometimes a very big and complicated injury can lead to a very quick settlement.

However, if it was, say, a taxi company that hit you instead or a Walmart truck, or some truck that has a large insurance policy, that probably will lead to a longer settlement, often litigation, because the sides are not going to agree on how serious your injury is and how much you should actually be compensated for it.

Anyway, there are a lot of factors. Big injury, small policy, generally means you’re going to be settling quickly. Big injury, big policy, generally means that you’re going to be in it for a while. Anyway, we’re happy to help. If you have any questions, give us a call and take a look at our other videos. We’ve got lots of answers for you. Thanks.

What to do after a Slip and Fall at a Franchise Establishment

 

Whom to Sue after a Slip and Fall at a Franchise Store

Transcript:

Hi. I’m Jared Richards. I’m one of the partners at Clear Council Law Group and one of our readers has asked if I slip and fall at a franchise restaurant, who should I make the claim against? Should I make the claim against the local franchise owner or should I make a claim against the larger company?

The answer is, you have to make the claim against the person who’s responsible. Sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly who’s responsible, whether it’s a general company’s policy that made the dangerous condition, or whether it’s that individual franchise owner that made the dangerous condition. Sometimes you’ll sue both, but as a general principal, often it is the local franchise owner that is in direct control of the store and is most at fault.

 

franchise, slip and fall, personal injury lawyer, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

One of the things you also want to consider is whether you want to sue multiple parties or just sue the smallest party that’s large enough to actually pay the claim. It sometimes will simplify the lawsuit. It sometimes will decrease the number for attorneys involved. Although, I think that generally if you’re talking about a franchise, local versus national, they may be represented by the same attorney, so I’m not sure it would matter too much.

Anyway, that’s the long answer. The shorter answer is contact an attorney and that attorney is going to have to make the decision as to whether they sue the local franchise, which I think will happen most of the time, or whether they will sue the national brand, which could happen sometimes.

Anyway, if you have any questions, give us a call and we’re happy to help.

Your Personal Auto Insurance and Rental Cars

 

Does Your Personal Auto Insurance Include Coverage for Driving a Rental Car?

 

Transcript:

 

Hi. My name is Jared Richards and I’m one of the partners here at Clear Counsel Law Group. One of our readers has asked if a person is driving a rental car, and that person’s not listed on the rental car’s insurance, will that person’s personal insurance cover any responsibility for the car accident?

The answer is yes. If you have rented a car, and you let somebody else drive it, then generally the car insurance, or the car rental company. They all carry insurance, but generally minimal insurance, but generally that insurance will refuse to cover anybody who was not an allowed driver; an allowed driver by the rental company.

 

rental car, car accident, Nevada, Las Vegas

 

The next question is, is there any other insurance to use? Yes, that driver’s own car insurance should cover the accident. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a car insurance policy that’s related to that person as an individual that wouldn’t have covered it.

Now, there may be other factors: if he’s driving for reasons of work, or other things that may affect coverage, but in general, if a person is driving a rental vehicle and they’re not an allowed driver, they’re not listed with the car company, then their personal insurance, yes, should still cover the accident.

If you’re in that situation or you’ve been hurt by somebody like that, give us a call, we’re happy to help. You could otherwise explore our website. We’ve got lots of videos to answer all of your questions. Thanks, and have a good day.

You Should Not Represent Yourself in a Deposition

 

Why You Should Not Represent Yourself in a Deposition

Transcript:

Hi. I’m Jared Richards, one of the partners here at Clear Counsel Law Group, and one of our readers has asked, “Is it a bad idea to represent myself in my own deposition for my own personal injury case?” The answer is yeah, it’s a bad idea. The basic concept of this is the rules of this whole procedure, the laws related to injury or really any area of law, they can get complex. Sometimes there are minutia that you don’t think about, little details that attorneys are trained to think about because we’ve done it before, and we’ve been down that road, and we have experience, and we identify these problems and traps that you don’t necessarily know.

In defending a deposition, it’s going to be somebody’s job, either your job or the attorney’s job, to make objections to improper questions, and if you don’t make the right objections, then sometimes your case can run into trouble. In addition, there’s an art to technique to taking a deposition, and it’s really helpful to work with an attorney to learn what it is that you should say, what it is you shouldn’t say. I mean you should always tell the truth, but generally it is both the defense and plaintiffs will tell their people not to volunteer more information that’s not actually asked, and that’s something that an attorney can help you with during a deposition.

 

deposition, personal injury, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

The other thing is that it’s always nice to have somebody else as a sounding board, who when you take a break, can tell you how you’re doing, whether your demeanor is good, and whether there’s anything that you ought to be doing to make your deposition even a better experience. That’s something that you can’t really do by yourself because it’s really tough to sit outside your body and watch yourself act or talk and see how your body language is. That’s something that an attorney is good at.

Really, I would never recommend for somebody to, one, represent themselves in a serious lawsuit, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend them to go into a deposition without an attorney. If you’re in that situation, give us a call and let’s see if I can help you or one of my attorneys can help represent you in that. Regardless, if you have any questions, just give us a call and we’re happy to help.

You May Still Sue if You are in a Car Accident and not Wearing a Seat Belt

 

How Wearing a Seat Belt Affects Liability in a Car Accident

Transcript:

Jared: Hi, I’m Jared Richards. I’m one of the partners here at Clear Counsel Law Group. One of our readers has said that his son was … he has a handicapped son. His son was a passenger in somebody else’s vehicle. The passenger slammed on the brakes. They didn’t actually get into an accident, but slamming on the brakes threw the handicapped son forward and the son was not wearing his seat belt. The father was asking if he can make a claim against the driver. The answer is yes, probably.

There are two things here that caused the injury. One was the slamming on the brakes. Two was the lack of a seat belt. Now on the first one, it depends on whose fault it was that the person had to slam on the brakes. If the person just was not anticipating traffic properly and had to slam on the brakes to prevent hitting the person in front of him, then the driver may be at fault here. If the driver had to slam on the brakes to avoid an unanticipated accident, something there’s no way he could have anticipated, then the driver probably isn’t responsible.

What we do here is we compare the son’s negligence which for the accident, which is nothing because he’s just sitting there, and the driver’s negligence for the accident. If the driver is at all negligent for slamming on the brakes, if it at all wasn’t a good idea, if there was something other option he could have done to prevent the need to slam on the brakes, then that driver should be responsible for the injury.

 

seat belt, las vegas, car accident, Nevada, injury

 

The next question is the seat belt. That actually gets into a very interesting question, because in the state of Nevada you can’t use the lack of seat belt use as a defendant to show that you’re not responsible for the injury. Quite frankly, this is a really good example because the son’s lack of wearing a seat belt did not actually cause the mechanism of the injury. The mechanism of the injury was a sudden stop by the car. His lack of using a seat belt is not responsible for that.

Normally, in most instances, evidence of seat belts do not come in. This is an interesting question, and I’m not completely sure how a court would address it. I can tell you what I think a court ought to do. If the issue is who is responsible for putting on the seat belt, we look at the handicapped son. If he’s so handicapped that he really can’t put on the seat belt himself, then I think a court should hold that the driver’s responsible for not putting on the seat belt. I think the driver had probably the duty to do it. However, there’s a possibility that a court might say no, no, no. The statute says I can’t consider seat belt use, so they wouldn’t do it.

I’m really not sure how that plays out. If the son is able to put on the seat belt himself, then of course it’s not the driver’s responsibility if the son didn’t. Brian, it looks like you have a question.

 

Brian: Would be there a difference if the driver is a paid employee of the family as opposed to just a friend of the family?

 

Jared: Not necessarily. It might make a difference as to what the driver’s duties are. You might have different duties as an employee, as a driver, than you would as just simply a friend who’s picking up the friend’s son. We just use common sense here and we look and see whose responsibility was it truly for the son to wear the seat belt.

Anyway, the short answer is if the person was negligent for slamming on the brakes, then regardless of seat belt use, the driver is responsible for the injury. The second tier is let’s say the driver had no control. It’s not his fault for needing to slam on the brakes. Is it anybody’s fault that the son was hurt? I think that fairness says that if it was the driver’s responsibility to use the seat belt, then the driver probably should be responsible, but I’m not 100% sure on how a court’s going to address that. Anyway, if you have any other questions, give us a call. We’re happy to help.

Car Accidents When the Police do not Arrive

 

 

What to do in a Car Accident if the Police do not Arrive in Time

Transcript:

Jared: Hi, my name is Jared Richards. I’m one of the partners here at Clear Counsel Law Group and one of our readers has asked, “What should I do if I’ve been in a car accident and the police don’t come?” I guess the real question is who’s fault is it? Assuming that it’s not your fault, it’s the other sides fault, then you want to make sure everything is properly documented. You all have phones. Everybody these days tends to have a phone in their pocket. Take pictures. Make sure you take pictures of the other person’s insurance card. If that other person’s willing to make a statement saying that they were in the accident and they understand that they were at fault, then by all means, take the recording. Make sure that if you’re injured, go see a doctor. Go get treatment. Don’t wait. Do it that day.

 

Car accident, Nevada, police, Las Vegas

 

It’s helpful when the police come because the police can often document the injury and the accident and the police often get it right, but quite frankly, the police sometimes get it wrong, even when they come out. Having the police come out is not the end of the world, but just make sure you use your phone. Document everything careful. Looks like Brian has a question.

 

Brian: What if the offending party won’t share their insurance information?

 

Jared: They’re required by law to share their insurance information. They have to stay at the scene of the accident and exchange information at a bare minimum. If they won’t share, take a picture of their license plate number. Use your phone. It is your best friend after an accident. Anyway, if you have any more questions, give us a call and we’re happy to help.

 

Can You be Held Liable for a Car Accident if You were not Issued a Ticket?

 

 

No Traffic Ticket Does Not Mean that You are not Liable for a Car Accident

Transcript:

Hi, My name is Jared Richards, and I am one of the partners here at Clear Counsel Law Group.

One of our readers has asked if he can be held liable if he has a passenger that was injured in an accident, but he didn’t receive a citation. He didn’t get a traffic ticket.

The answer is yes. Traffic tickets don’t determine liability. You can technically be following the law and still get somebody hurt. Even so, the courts do not rely exclusively on the cops to determine who’s more at fault. The real question is … It’s not a question of traffic tickets, because cops sometimes don’t give them. Sometimes, quite frankly, cops get them all wrong.

 

traffic ticket, Las Vegas, car accident, Nevada

 

The real question is; did the driver do something that was negligent? Did the driver breach his duty of care to drive carefully? If he did, then he’s going to be responsible for any injuries that he causes. Since the passengers in his car generally are fault free, unless they’re being stupid and grabbing the steering wheel, I suppose. Mostly, 99.99% of the time, the passenger is absolutely fault free. So, yes. Even without a traffic ticket, you can be responsible for your passenger’s injuries.

Thanks. If you have any questions, give us a call.

Recovering Damages for Injuries to your Pet in a Car Accident

 

 

You can Recover Damages for Injuries Suffered by Your Pet in a Car Accident

Transcript:

Jared: Hi, I’m Jared Richards. I’m one of the partners here at Clear Counsel Law Group. One of our readers has asked whether they can be reimbursed or compensated for injuries to their pet in a motor vehicle accident. The answer is yes. Yes, you can. Now the question is really what type of injuries can you be compensated for. Now the law looks at a pet as property. The legal term is chattel. You don’t get emotional damages for loss of property, loss of chattel, but you do get compensated for the actual damage done. If the pet was killed, then you would be reimbursed the value of the pet. If the pet is injured, you’d be reimbursed the value of the medical bills for the dog. Yes, you can be compensated.  However, even though that dog may have been like your child, you’re not going to receive emotional damages for the loss of the dog.

 

pet, car accident, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Now you may be able to wrap in emotional damages into your other injuries and a jury, quite frankly, might think about the loss of the pet while deciding that, but as a technical matter, emotional damages for loss of pet is a no go. Brian, looks like you have a question.

 

Brian: If you nurse your own dog back to health, will you be able to claim any damages?

 

Jared: That’s an interesting question. I suppose yeah, maybe. The amount of time that you spent nursing and if you had to go out of pocket for anything additional if there are any special medicines or other equipment needed to give care, then yes, I suppose you could. It would be a more difficult claim. It’s a lot easier claim just to say here’s my vet bill. Pay the vet bill. If you have any more questions, give us a call.

Can You Recover Damages from a Car Accident if You are Speeding?

 

 

Speeding Won’t Necessarily Preclude You from Recovering Damages in a Car Accident

Transcript:

Jared: Hi, I’m Jared Richards. I’m one of the partners here at Clear Counsel Law Group. One of our readers has asked if they could be held responsible for a motor vehicle accident if they were speeding but it was the other person who pulled out in front of them when our reader had the right of way. The answer is that’s an interesting question. Most of the time I think most people would look and say the person who pulled out of a driveway, out of a parking lot or changed lanes without looking is primarily responsible. But, if you’re speeding, then you might have contributed to that because it is possible that the person who was pulling out really had no idea that you were there. You might have had to have been speeding 100 miles an hour, but …

The real question that you have to ask is if this were to go to a jury, if you just go to random eight people on the street and you were to tell them all the facts, who would they find more at fault. I think most of the time they’re going to find at fault the person who was cutting off the other person, the person who pulled out. They may find some amount of negligence on the part of the person who was speeding. Let’s say that the person who was speeding has a $100 claim, was 20% at fault because he was speeding. Then any sort of award or settlement would probably be reduced by 20%, the amount that person was at fault.

 

speeding, car accident, Las Vegas, Nevada, personal injury

 

Most of the time, it’s the person who pulled out and cut off the other person. There was a reverse case of that several years ago where somebody ran a red light but the police were speeding. The person who ran the red light was injured and sued the police for speeding. Although I think most people would tend to agree that the person who ran the red light is more at fault, the Supreme Court actually sent the case back down and said, “No no no no no, judge. You can’t just decide that the cops are not at fault. They were speeding, so you need to at least let the jury decide who is more at fault.” The answer is it’s not a clear cut, but use common sense, and usually common sense can accurately guide you. Looks like Brian has a question.

 

Brian: What happens if a jury thinks that each party’s equally at fault?

 

Jared: If each part is equally at fault, then the jury’s going to cut the judgment in half, or the judge will cut the judgment in half and give half to the injured party. Now if it turns out that the injured party is more at fault than the other side, then the injured party gets nothing. You don’t get anything if you’re the primary person at fault. If it’s equal or if you’re lesser at fault, then you’ll get something but it is going to be decreased by the percentage of your fault. Thanks. Call me if you have any questions, or watch our other videos. We’re here to help. Thanks.

Can a Spouse that Cares for an Injured Partner be Compensated for Her Time?

 

 

Will a Spouse be Compensated for her Time in Caring for her Injured Partner?

Transcript:

Jared: Hi. I’m Jared Richards. I’m one of the partners here at Clear Counsel Law Group. One of our readers has asked, can my spouse who cared for me while I was injured get compensated for her time and for the amount that she has to take off of work? The answer is, yes. In law whenever we tell the court we want to recover some sort of money we have legal theory, we give the legal theory name. This legal theory’s name is loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is a claim made by the spouse of an injured party.

Loss of consortium includes the pain and suffering of the spouse from changes in the marital relationship and also for the loss of probable support or anything that that spouse is out of pocket. If that spouse had to pay money, if that spouse had to stay home from work, if that spouse had to hire a maid or somebody to come in and help around the house, that spouse is entitled to be reimbursed for that. If the spouse has suffered from loss of marital relationship, and that means a lot of different things.

 

personal injury, spouse, Las Vegas, Nevada, loss of consortium

 

Injuries can do different things to different people. People think loss of marital relationship just means their relationship in the bedroom and it does include that, but it also means that the injured spouse is now irritable. The injured spouse is not able to cope with stress in the same way that he used to. All of those things can have a negative effect on their relationship. The law does protect the spouse that has to make adjustments in her life to deal with that.

It looks like Brian has a question.

 

Brian: Do folks have to be married to claim loss of consortium?

 

Jared: Generally yes. In the state of Nevada loss of consortium will apply to spouses. For example, there’s been case law on whether or not it applies to children because clearly children are affected as well. The Nevada Supreme Court has decided that it’s going to limit it to spouses. There is a legal theory that I suppose might work but I’ve never tested it. There’s a doctrine in California that says that people … It’s almost like a common law partner, often people who live together and hold themselves out as spouses can inherit from each other. It’s called the Mycroft Doctrine.

Maybe a judge would be sympathetic and allow the Mycroft Doctrine to bleed over to the loss of consortium but it’s all something that I wouldn’t necessarily rely on. Maybe a judge would be sympathetic. It would be nice if they would. But otherwise, no. I think that the safest route is that they’re married. That’s the sure fire way under the law. Anyway, if you have any more questions, give us a call. We’re happy to help any way we can. Thanks.

 

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