social host liability

Bar and Social Host Liability

It is common knowledge that an intoxicated person may be held liable for causing injury to another.  The question arises, however, if a purveyor of alcohol or social host would be held liable for the harm caused by a person consuming alcohol on their premises.  The laws vary quite a bit from state to state; this commentary will focus on the liability for Nevada businesses and social hosts.


Social Host Liability is Limited

Unlike many other States, Nevada does not hold purveyors or social hosts liable for the behavior of their guests, so long as the guests are at least twenty-one years of age.  Because there are so many different places where a guest could drink without a bar employee or social host having actual knowledge of how much liquor the guest has consumed, the legislature could not find a reasonable basis to declare these third parties liable for the actions of their patrons.

There is an exception.  If a minor (person less than twenty-one years old) consumes alcohol at a residence or business, the host or seller may be held liable for the damage caused by the underage individual.  NRS 41.1305 is instructive:


 NRS 41.1305  Liability of person who serves, sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages for damages caused as a result of consumption of alcoholic beverage: No liability if person served is 21 years of age or older; liability in certain circumstances if person served is under 21 years of age; exception to liability; damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

      1.  A person who serves, sells or otherwise furnishes an alcoholic beverage to another person who is 21 years of age or older is not liable in a civil action for any damages caused by the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was served, sold or furnished as a result of the consumption of the alcoholic beverage.

      2.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person who:

      (a) Knowingly serves, sells or otherwise furnishes an alcoholic beverage to an underage person; or

      (b) Knowingly allows an underage person to consume an alcoholic beverage on premises or in a conveyance belonging to the person or over which the person has control, is liable in a civil action for any damages caused by the underage person as a result of the consumption of the alcoholic beverage.



But what does “knowingly” mean? If construed in its most strict sense, so long as the dram shop (the old legal term for alcohol sellers) had no actual knowledge that the patron is underage (meaning, that the minor never actually informed the bar employee that he is not at least twenty-one), then there would be no liability for the establishment or the employee.  This is an incorrect reading of the law.

The Legislative Counsel’s Digest (This is where the legislature leaves notes so that the public can have a better understanding of what they intend a law to mean), from 29 May 2007, is helpful:


 [The legislation] makes a person liable in a civil action for damages caused as a result of the consumption of alcohol by an underage person if he knowingly served, sold or furnished alcohol to the underage person or allowed the underage person to consume alcohol on premises or in a conveyance belonging to him or over which he had control. (Emphasis added).


I think we can safely say that a strict construction of the term “knowingly” is inappropriate.  By assigning civil liability to those who “allow” minors to consume alcohol on his or her premises, the legislature requires hosts and servers of alcohol to take reasonable care in preventing minors from drinking at their establishments.  This includes, but is not limited to, verifying the age of guests or patrons.

Since the Gaming Board does not look kindly upon serving underage individuals, there is a strong incentive for businesses to verify the age of their bar patrons.  However, for a regular person just hosting a few (dozen?) folks at his or her home, he or she will want to verify the age of the guests before serving them.  Although the Gaming Board has no power to take a license away from you, the potential for being sued because of the irresponsibility of one of your underage guests, should be plenty of incentive to ensure everyone is of age.

dog bite liability

Dog Bite Liability

With more and more folks keeping their dogs off the leash, (I have come across at least three-dozen unleashed dogs in the past year in my outdoor activities, luckily all those pups were kind and loving), questions arise about dog bite liability in our community.

Below I have provided a summary of Nevada law regarding dog bite liability.

Different Classifications of Dog Caretakers

The state of Nevada classifies dog caretakers into three distinct categories to help assign liability. The different categories are listed in decreasing levels of assigned responsibility:

Dog Owner:

               The person who purchased/cares for the dog and provides living quarters.

Dog Keeper:

The person who cares, controls and provides shelter for a dog, with or without permission of the owner.

Dog Harborer:

The person who, although not performing enough functions for the dog to be considered a keeper or owner, still provides food and refuge for a dog. Providing a meal for a stray or allowing a dog to wonder on your property is not be enough possession to be classified as a harborer.

Usually, harboring takes place for a limited amount of time, keeping for a more indefinite period.

If your dog bites another individual, and are an owner, keeper, or harborer, then you may be liable for the damages.


Dog Bite Liability in Nevada

Nevada, unlike many other states, has very little legislation with reference to dog injuries. The majority of dog bite cases will be adjudicated through the common law (meaning evaluated and compared with past Nevada case law).

A dog’s first bite will likely be decided under the scienter or negligence framework. If your dog has a biting history, there is a statute that applies.  Each will be explained in turn.



Meaning, “knowingly” in Latin, it refers to what you may know as the “one-bite rule.”

That is, in particular cases, you will not be held liable for your dog’s first incident of causing harm to another person. This is not a steadfast rule! If your dog is found to have a “dangerous propensity,” then this defense will not apply.

Dangerous Propensity means that you have or had reason to believe that the dog would cause harm to another. For example, if the dog in the past has lunged at and tried to attack strangers.



It is still possible, however, if the biting incident is your dog’s first, that you still may be negligent. Unincorporated Clark County and the municipalities of Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas all have leash laws requiring dogs to be on a leash at all times outside of the household.

If your dog bites someone while off the leash, you may very well be subject to dog bite liability. The lesson here is to keep your dog on the leash while out and about to avoid unnecessary exposure to dog bite liability.


Statutory Law

NRS 202.500 is the only relevant law on the books, and it concerns so called “vicious dogs.” The statute states as follows:


NRS 202.500  Dangerous or vicious dogs: Unlawful acts; penalties.

1.  For the purposes of this section, a dog is:

(a) “Dangerous” if:

(1) It is so declared pursuant to subsection 2; or

(2) Without provocation, on two separate occasions within 18 months, it behaved menacingly, to a degree that would lead a reasonable person to defend himself or herself against substantial bodily harm, when the dog was:

(I) Off the premises of its owner or keeper; or

(II) Not confined in a cage, pen or vehicle.

(b) “Provoked” when it is tormented or subjected to pain.

(c) “Vicious” if:

(1) Without being provoked, it killed or inflicted substantial bodily harm upon a human being; or

(2) After its owner or keeper had been notified by a law enforcement agency that the dog is dangerous, the dog continued the behavior described in paragraph (a).

2.  A dog may be declared dangerous by a law enforcement agency if it is used in the commission of a crime by its owner or keeper.

3.  A dog may not be found dangerous or vicious:

(a) Based solely on the breed of the dog; or

(b) Because of a defensive act against a person who was committing or attempting to commit a crime or who provoked the dog.

4.  A person who knowingly:

(a) Owns or keeps a vicious dog, for more than 7 days after the person has actual notice that the dog is vicious; or

(b) Transfers ownership of a vicious dog after the person has actual notice that the dog is vicious, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

5.  If substantial bodily harm results from an attack by a dog known to be vicious, its owner or keeper is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130. In lieu of, or in addition to, a penalty provided in this subsection, the judge may order the vicious dog to be humanely destroyed.



For legal mumbo-jumbo, that was not too painful.  There are a couple of takeaways.

First, if your dog has two incidents within an eighteen month period of injuring another person, unprovoked, he or she will be declared “vicious.”

This might subject you to a felony charge if there was another incident after the "vicious" declaration,  and perhaps worse, the state may opt to “humanely destroy” your dog.

If your dog is classified as vicious, please do all you can to prevent another incident.

This could include, but is not limited to, using a strong leach, using a muzzle, posting clear signs on your property, and keeping the dog in a secure area while you gone.

If you are the victim of the dog bite, please contact our personal injury department at (702) 522-0696 and schedule a free consultation.



parental responsibility, children, nevada

Parental Responsibility: How Your Child’s Actions Could Put You In the Poor House

Did you know that an act by your child could leave you liable for up to $10,000? Scary, right?  Before you decide to lock up little Steven until he turns eighteen, a small, parental responsibility discussion may be in order so you will have a better idea if and how you might become liable for your child’s actions.


Parental Responsibility Law for Willful Acts of a Minor

The relevant statute is NRS 41.470, which states:

  1.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 424.085 , any act of willful misconduct of a minor which results in any injury or death to another person or injury to the private property of another or to public property is imputed to the parents or guardian having custody and control of the minor for all purposes of civil damages, and the parents or guardian having custody or control are jointly and severally liable with the minor for all damages resulting from the willful misconduct.
  2.  The joint and several liability of one or both parents or guardian having custody or control of a minor under this section must not exceed $10,000 for any such act of willful misconduct of the minor.
  3.  The liability imposed by this section is in addition to any other liability imposed by law.


What does all that legalese mean? The key terms are “willful misconduct.”  In this context, your child expresses “willful misconduct” when he or she is aware, or should have been aware that the action in question would cause harm to another person or property.  Luckily, this means that if your child makes a mistake in good faith that is not willful misconduct.

However, if the harm done by your child is purposeful, or if he or she should have known better, you will be held “jointly and severally liable”; this means you, as the parent, will likely have to cover the cost of the damages up to $10,000 (unless your child also happens to have independent wealth).


Harm Caused by Firearm Use

NRS 41.472 controls for harms done by a minor with a firearm.  It states that the parent, guardian, or any adult legally responsible for the minor will be held liable for the harm if he or she:

  1. Know[s] the minor has been adjudicated delinquent or been convicted of a crime, or
  2. Know[s] the minor has a propensity toward violence, or
  3. Know[s], or ha[s] reason to know, the minor intends to use the firearm for unlawful purposes and
  4. Allow[s] the minor to use or possess the firearm.

Similar to the willful acts statute, the parent, guardian, or legally responsible adult will be jointly and severally liable for the harm caused.  However, NRS 41.472 does not cap the potential damages at $10,000; the adult held responsible will then have to pay for any damages (medical and all other costs).


Harm Caused by Driving

NRS 483.300 states that if a teenager under eighteen-years-old wants a driver’s license or permit, he or she must have the application signed by a parent or guardian.  If, while driving, the teenager is then negligent or demonstrates willful misconduct, then the adult who signed the application will be held jointly and severally liable for the harm caused.  Note that this is a lower standard than the “willful acts” of NRS 41.470.  If there is one conclusion to be drawn from this parental responsibility discussion, it is that little Steven should not be permitted to get behind the wheel before he is mature enough to do so.

legal rights of bikes

Legal Rights of Bikes and Cars, What to Know

With the growing popularity of the biking, there have been more and more accidents involving automobiles and bicycles.  The following is a simple discussion of the legal rules and regulations that apply to bicyclists and motorists.


Rules Regulating Motorists/Legal Rights of Bikes

The Nevada Revised Statute below explains the duties and responsibilities motorists have with respect to cyclists.

      NRS484B.270  Vehicles, bicycles and electric bicycles: Driver’s duty of due care; additional penalty if driver is proximate cause of collision with person riding bicycle.

 1.  The driver of a motor vehicle shall not intentionally interfere with the movement of a person lawfully riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle.

2.  When overtaking or passing a bicycle or electric bicycle proceeding in the same direction, the driver of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care and:

(a) If there is more than one lane for traffic proceeding in the same direction, move the vehicle to the lane to the immediate left, if the lane is available and moving into the lane is reasonably safe; or

(b) If there is only one lane for traffic proceeding in the same direction, pass to the left of the bicycle or electric bicycle at a safe distance, which must be not less than 3 feet between any portion of the vehicle and the bicycle or electric bicycle, and shall not move again to the right side of the highway until the vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken bicycle or electric bicycle.

3.  The driver of a motor vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any person riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle on the pathway or lane. The driver of a motor vehicle shall not enter, stop, stand, park or drive within a pathway or lane provided for bicycles or electric bicycles except:

(a) When entering or exiting an alley or driveway;

(b) When operating or parking a disabled vehicle;

(c) To avoid conflict with other traffic;

(d) In the performance of official duties;

(e) In compliance with the directions of a police officer; or

(f) In an emergency.

4.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, the driver of a motor vehicle shall not enter or proceed through an intersection while driving within a pathway or lane provided for bicycles or electric bicycles.

5.  The driver of a motor vehicle shall:

(a) Exercise due care to avoid a collision with a person riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle; and

(b) Give an audible warning with the horn of the vehicle if appropriate and when necessary to avoid such a collision.

6.  If, while violating any provision of subsections 1 to 5, inclusive, the driver of a motor vehicle is the proximate cause of a collision with a person riding a bicycle, the driver is subject to the additional penalty set forth in subsection 4 of NRS 484B.653

7.  The operator of a bicycle or an electric bicycle shall not:

(a) Intentionally interfere with the movement of a motor vehicle; or

(b) Overtake and pass a motor vehicle unless the operator can do so safely without endangering himself or herself or the occupants of the motor vehicle.


Sorry to subject you to all that legalese.  Yet the statute provides some good information! Automobile drivers have a responsibility to “exercise due care” in their interactions with bicyclists.  This means that drivers not only may not force bikes off the road at their pleasure, but in fact, do everything possible within reason, to protect bicyclists as fellow motorists.  For example, when a motorist wants to pass a bicyclist, he or she must (if possible) move into the left lane of the road, or pass with at least three feet of clearance.


Rules Regulating Cyclists

Because Nevada law considers bicycles to be vehicles, cyclists are subject to rules of the road in a similar way.  The Nevada DMV advises cyclists to:

  1. Ride on the right side of the road. Although riding two abreast is permitted, it is advised that you ride single-file in high traffic areas.
  2. Obey the traffics laws as if you were driving a car.
  3. Ensure they have functioning brakes.
  4. Not cling to vehicles.
  5. Use hand signals when appropriate.
  6. Ride at least three feet away from parked cars.
  7. At night,
    1. Have a white lamp in front of the bike visible from five hundred feet.
    2. Have a red tail reflector visible from three hundred feet.
    3. Have reflective material on the side of the bike visible from 600 feet.

In addition, Nevada law does not require cyclists to wear a helmet, although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says wearing a helmet may reduce head injury by up to 85%.  Anyone living in Las Vegas has to like those kind of odds.

nursing home abuse

Nursing Home Abuse: The Facts

There are federal and state laws regulating nursing home abuse and neglect.  The most relevant federal law is the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987.


Nursing Home Abuse and the Nursing Home Reform Act

Under the Nursing Home Reform Act, nursing homes are not eligible to receive funds from Medicaid and Medicare unless they are certified by the state to be in compliance with the act.  The act includes a Residents’ Bill of Rights which states residents have:


  • The right to freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect
  • The right to freedom from physical restraints
  • The right to privacy
  • The right to accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs
  • The right to participate in resident and family groups
  • The right to be treated with dignity
  • The right to exercise self-determination
  • The right to communicate freely
  • The right to participate in the review of one's care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility
  • The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal.


Although the Nursing Home Reform Act is federal law, enforcement of the provisions is done by the state of Nevada’s Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance (HCQC).  The complaints are prioritized by determining the potential harm to the resident in question.  The three classifications of harm are:

  1. Substantial harm: when the senior is in immediate jeopardy, the investigation will begin within 48 hours of receiving the complaint.
  2. Minimal harm: This type of complaint is given “medium priority” by the HCQC and will be investigated within 45 days.
  3. No harm: This classification is given the lowest priority and is investigated by the HCQC as their resources become available.


The HCQC classifies the type of harm based upon an evaluation of the abuse described in the complaint.

Nevada law defines abuse as “the willful and unjustified infliction of pain, injury or mental anguish or deprivation of food, shelter, clothing, or services necessary to maintain the physical or mental health of an older (60+) person.”  NRS 200.5092


  • Nevada law classifies four types of nursing home abuse: Abuse (physical and mental), neglect, exploitation, and isolation.
    • Abuse
      • Physical abuse is defined as
        • Serious or unexplained injury
        • Sexual assault
        • Inappropriate physical or chemical restraint
        • Over or under medicating a resident
      • Psychological abuse is defined as verbal
        • Assaults
        • Threats
        • Harassment
        • Humiliation
        • Intimidation
    • Neglect is an intentional or unintentional failure to provide necessities such as
      • Food
      • Clothing
      • Shelter
      • Necessary services like medical care and personal hygiene
    • Exploitation is a violation of trust in the relationship between a resident and a person responsible to care for his or her financial well-being.
      • Where a guardian may use deception, intimidation, or undue influence to obtain control of assets illegitimately.
    • Isolation is intentionally preventing, without justification, of residents from
      • Receiving phone calls
      • Receiving mail
      • Receiving visitors


Employees of nursing homes are required by law to report any of the violations listed above.  If you need to file a complaint to the HCQC, you can do so online at this link: HCQC Complaint Form

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us at Clear Counsel Law Group at (702) 522-0696.


What Is a Personal Injury Case?

Unfortunately, accidents can  happen just about anywhere. Who has not slipped on their own kitchen floor when it was wet? However, when those accidents happen with someone else at fault, and you suffer an injury or harm, there may be a personal injury case. In addition, harm may not necessarily be physical, it can be emotional or mental. What constitutes such a case, and what should you know?


First and foremost, there must be grounds for the case. That is, the injury or harm you sustained was the fault of another party, whether another individual, a business, an organization or a government agency. Generally, the fault comes from something like negligent actions – not clearly marking a wet floor, for instance. However, there are other possibilities, including intentionally causing harm through threat or violence, for example.

Establishing Negligence

Many, not all, personal injury cases are negligence actions. In this situation, you must prove that the other party was negligent, which requires that all four specific elements of a negligence case be present. These are duty, breach, causation and damages. Duty is the legal obligation of an individual or company to provide a standard of reasonable care. Breach is the act of failing in that duty. Causation is proof of harm stemming from the breach of duty. Damages refer to the extent of harm caused.

Statute of Limitations

All personal injury lawsuits are subject to the statute of limitations. There is a time limit after which you will no longer be permitted to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Each state sets its own statute of limitations; Nevada, for example, requires the lawsuit to be filed within two years of most injuries, (this does not apply to all personal injury cases, consult an attorney with your specific facts and questions). It is always best to contact legal counsel soon after your incident to ensure any necessary legal action is taken in a timely manner.

How Do These Cases Move Forward?

In personal injury cases, the injured party will consult an attorney, after which the attorney will determine the best course of action to make the injured party whole again.  The attorney will contact the legal counsel of the person who caused the harm, and they will try to reach a settlement.  A majority of cases are resolved through this type of negotiated settlement.  However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the attorneys will go to court to argue the case before a judge.

Have You Been Injured?

If you have been injured through little, or no fault of your own, you may have a personal injury case. A qualified personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and help you determine if legal action is the right decision for your specific situation. Make sure you choose the right attorney, though. Consider their history, experience, expertise and the results they have obtained for past clients before making your final choice.


Evaluating Personal Injury Damages

Those who suffer personal injury as a result of a slip and fall accident, a car accident, medical malpractice, etc., may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the offender, and might also be wondering whether the case is even worth pursuing. Putting a monetary value on the physical, psychological, and emotional damages the injury caused can be a daunting task. The first step when looking to file a personal injury lawsuit, due to the complex nature of the process, is to seek legal advice from a qualified lawyer.

In cases of personal injury, the injured person receives monetary compensation for the damages the injury caused if the offender is found to be guilty for the accident, whether due to negligence or any other valid reason. The negotiation of the settlement among the insurance companies, parties, and attorneys involved may be modified by the court system based on what the judge believes is a fair arrangement.

Types of Damages in Personal Injury

The first type of damages in cases of personal injury is compensatory damages. This means that the victim is to be restored financially from the damages the accident caused; in other words, he is rewarded with a set monetary amount that should, as much as possible, make up for the consequences of the accident.

There are some compensatory damages that are easier to put a dollar amount on. For example, damages to property and healthcare bills acquired as a result of the personal injury. Pain and suffering damages, for example, are more subjective and are harder to quantify.

Some of the most common personal injury damages are:

• Medical treatment and rehabilitation: This is a very common form of compensation in these cases, and includes repayment of previous and payment of future medical expenses and rehab caused by the personal injury.

• Lost wages: This is also a very common compensation in personal injury cases, and it entails the repayment of lost income and income the victim would have made in the future but now can’t make due to the accident.

• Loss of property: This is the repayment of damages to personal property, such as clothing, vehicles, etc., that became damaged due to the accident. Fair market value is used to determine the monetary reward for lost property.

• Pain and suffering: This is an intangible situation that is also rewarded with monetary compensation. Pain and suffering can include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, anxiety, and such.

Another form of personal injury damages is punitive damages. Punitive damages are a form of punishment to the defendant, if found guilty, to discourage the offensive action in the future. Punitive damages are given on top of compensatory damages in some cases. Most states do have a cap on how much money a plaintiff can get for punitive damages.

Since personal injury cases can be so complex, it’s always advisable to hire an experienced attorney to handle your case. If you were hurt due to the negligence of another individual or entity, you deserve to get compensation. A personal injury lawsuit might help you get the compensation you deserve.


FTCA (Tort Claims) and Administrative Filing

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows the government to be sued in cases of negligence that involve a federal employee. While you are still essentially filing a personal injury claim, when you are suing the government, the process must be handled differently. If you think you have been injured due to carelessness on the part of a government employee, your first step is to determine whether you can make a claim under FTCA.

Permitted Claims

The FTCA provides numerous exceptions, limitations, and regulations, but there are a few specific guidelines that will help you determine whether your tort claim might be permitted:

  • The person that caused the injury has to be directly employed by the federal government.
  • The employee in question must have been displaying wrongful or negligent conduct within the capacity of his or her position.
  • The laws in the state in which the wrongful conduct took place must permit the claim.
  • The injury had to occur due to negligence of the employee.

While there are many other limitations that may apply, if your situation fits within these guidelines, you may be able to file a claim. However, your first step in the process is to file an administrative claim.

Administrative Claim Filing

Under FTCA, you are required to file an administrative claim, known as the Standard Form 95, with the agency at which the employee worked. For example, if an FBI agent was responsible for your injuries, you would file with the FBI. The claims process is somewhat lengthy, but the following is an overview of what you need to do, and what you can expect:

  • Statute of Limitations – Your claim must be submitted within two years of the date of your injury.
  • Facts and Damages – You must detail the facts of your injury, and include the total amount of the damages that you are trying to recover.
  • Agency Response – The agency with which you filed has up to six months to provide you with a ruling. If the ruling given is “admit,” this means your claim was accepted as valid and court hearings may not be required.
  • Filing a Lawsuit – If your claim is rejected, or you disagree with the amount the agency agrees to pay, you must file your lawsuit within six months of the decision.
  • Delays – If the agency takes longer than six months to make a ruling, you can either choose to move forward with your lawsuit, or continue waiting for a ruling on your administrative claim.

If you decide to file a lawsuit, it will have to be filed in the United States District Court. The rest of the process will follow the normal steps involved with any other personal injury lawsuit, just at a higher court. Keep in mind that you will not be able to add damages to your claim in the lawsuit.

If you believe you are eligible to file a claim under FTCA, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to help you with the process, especially if you file a lawsuit.


Personal Injury Due to Airplane Turbulence

Injuries due to airplane turbulence are extremely rare, although they do happen from time to time. Every year, a number of passengers get injured on airplanes. Some injuries can be minor, such as a cut or scrape, and others can even be fatal. The most common cause of in-flight injuries is baggage that moves inside the overhead compartment during the flight and falls on someone in cases of severe turbulence. Another common injury, slip and falls may occur when a passenger heads to the bathroom.

Passengers who suffer injuries during an airplane flight may get compensated for damages if a claim against an airline staff member, the Federal Aviation Administration, or the airline itself is submitted and any of the parties mentioned are found to be responsible for the injury.

What Causes Airplane Injuries

During flights, the baggage that is stored in the overhead compartments moves out of place and may fall on someone’s head when the compartment is opened. In other cases of turbulent weather, the compartments might open by themselves, and the luggage might fall on the passengers, causing injuries. Approximately 4,500 passengers get injured every year due to baggage falling on them.

Injuries on airplanes can also be due to food carts that are rolling in the airplane’s hallway that might ram a shoulder or hit a passenger in another way. There’s also the possibility of objects left around the cabin causing a passenger to trip and to get hurt.

The Federal Aviation Administration published statistics that state that every year 58 passengers are injured inside airplanes due to severe turbulent weather. This mostly happens if the passenger is not wearing a seatbelt.

Filing a Legal Claim Due to an In-Flight Accident

The legal implications of an in-flight accident personal injury claim will depend on who or what is found to be the cause of the accident. For instance, if the accident was found to have been caused by a careless or negligent act on the part of a staff member (pilot, ground crew member, flight attendant, etc.), then the airline or the staff member might be liable for damages.

Airlines are part of the category of common carriers, which means they are organizations that transport people for a fee. For these types of carriers, the law enforces a heightened duty of care. This entails a high degree of care and very thorough watchfulness of the aircraft and all the processes that are part of a flight. This duty of care is in effect while passengers are boarding, traveling, and getting off the airplane. Once a passenger is off the airplane, the duty of care ends. Individuals looking for compensation due to the negligence of an airline or airline staff member should seek immediate legal counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney in order to estimate whether the case is worth pursuing and what type of compensation can be expected. These cases can be extremely complex, thus legal help is absolutely necessary.


Personal Injury – Understanding Defamation Claims

Defamation claims are those that are brought against someone who has spoken or written fallacious statements about another party that has caused damage to his or her reputation. In civil law, statements of this nature that are written are libel, and those that are spoken are slander. While it may sound like filing and winning a defamation claim is easy, it really isn’t. The victim in the case must provide proof that the defamation occurred, that the statements were untrue, and that damage was suffered as a result.

Establishing Proof

While each state may have its own defamation laws, there are some rules that typically apply across all cases. In order for you to prove that defamation has occurred, you will have to prove that the statement meets certain guidelines.


The statement--which can be written, spoken, gestured, or pictured--has to be false. You can’t bring a defamation claim against someone simply because they said something that you did not like, or did not want others to know. If the statement is in any way true, defamation can’t be proven.


In the case of defamation, published means that someone other than you and the person who made the statement heard, read, or in some way saw what was said. This can occur through direct interaction, radio, television, speeches, newspapers, books, picket signs, gossip, or any other means that allows another person to become aware of the statement.


The information in the statement, even if it is proven false, was made under terms that are deemed “privileged,” such as those given in court, in a judge’s chambers, or other similar circumstances. This ruling is in place so that people who are called to testify do not have to fear reprisal for the statements they make under oath.


In order for defamation to be proven in a personal injury case, you will have to prove that the statement in question actually caused harm in some way. This can be in the form of being shunned in your community, dealing with harassment from the press, or losing opportunities for work as a result of the defamatory statement. If none of this can be proven, the statement will not be considered as bringing harm to you or your reputation.

If you are able to prove these four requirements, you still have not necessarily won the case. Courts typically review the circumstances and context surrounding when the statement was made, which can lead to two similar statements ending up with differing outcomes.

Another important element in defamation cases is that it does not matter if the person was mentioned by name. If there is sufficient evidence to support the belief that you were the person about which the statement was made, you may still have a defamation claim.

If you believe you have been the victim of libel or slander, and you want to see if you have enough evidence for a personal injury claim, you should contact an attorney to go over your information with you.

Clear Counsel Law group

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