Addressing Our Clients’ Confusion and Concerns, One Question at a Time
Injury claims are by their nature confusing, and insurance companies go out of their way to make them even more so. However, we believe our clients deserve straight answers to their questions—without confusing legal jargon. This is why, to better serve you, we address common injury questions as clearly as possible.
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Can the insurance company require me to give a recorded statement after a Henderson NV car crash?
If a negligent driver caused your car accident in Henderson, you could suffer serious injuries that require expensive medical treatments and be off work for months or longer. Fortunately, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver. However, the process of filing your claim may be much more complicated than you realize, and you will have many decisions to make before reaching a settlement with the insurance company. One important decision is whether to agree to give a recorded statement.
Do Not Agree to Give a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company
Once the negligent driver notifies his insurance company about the car accident, the insurance adjuster will begin an investigation. One of the first requests he may make of you is to give a recorded statement. This is a question and answer session between you and the adjuster that is tape recorded and is transcribed into a written document. Even when you were not at all to blame and have nothing to hide, you should not agree to give a recorded statement. Here are some reasons to avoid it:
- It is not required. There is no requirement that you give a recorded statement when you make a claim following a Henderson auto crash in order to receive a settlement. In addition, giving one will not convince the insurance company to settle your claim more quickly or fairly. The adjuster is taking your statement to look for ways to deny or reduce your claim.
- Inconsistent statements. The adjuster will compare the answers you give in a recorded statement to statements you give to the police, your doctors, and others throughout the settlement process. If you make any inconsistent statements, the insurance company could try to use these inconsistencies to argue that you are not a credible witness.
- Inadvertent errors. Like attorneys, insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions about car accidents in ways to hopefully gain helpful information from the person being questioned. You could inadvertently give an incorrect answer or an answer you did not mean in response to a confusing question that could later be used against you in court or in settlement negotiations.
Do not make the mistake of other Henderson car accident victims and agree to give a recorded statement. Your best strategy is to politely refuse this request and then immediately contact an experienced car accident attorney who can take over the communications with the insurance adjuster and negotiate your settlement for you. To learn more about your legal options for compensation for your injuries, contact us online or call our Henderson office directly at 702.405.6000 today to schedule your free consultation.
I Had Back Pain Prior To My Personal Injury Accident. Can I Still File A Claim?
Many people live with some measure of back pain on a daily basis. We get up in the morning and feel the need to stretch or bend in an effort to “get the kinks” out of our backs. Some, have experienced spinal injuries to their bodies. Others simply experience degenerative conditions that impact them physically. It is important to understand how degenerative conditions are impacted when a new trauma is inflicted, like a car accident or even a slip and fall.
Most victims of motor vehicle collisions are not sure whether they have a claim as they have pain afterward, but acknowledge that they had pain prior to it as well. Or they have been told that they have “degenerative” changes, and so they are not sure whether the pain is a result from the collision, or rather from this “degenerative” condition.
It is important to understand the dynamics of back pain following a collision as many fail to get the medical attention they need due to a lack of information. Recognizing that a history of degenerative back injuries can be seriously amplified following a car wreck is a critical matter to understand. Often our clients find their pain is more intense following a collision. It's natural to wonder whether this pain is simply a degenerative condition once again rearing it's ugly head or if it was actually a result of the traumatic personal injury incident. Victims need to know that there are pain generating structures in their spinal column and surrounding musculature, and one of the most commonly injured structures after a car collision is the intervertebral disc. How degenerative backs impact that intervertebral disc is critical into truly understanding back pain.
Can A Tramautic Accident Cause Even More Damage To Your Back And Spine?
In a 2007 study By M. A. Edgar M.D., found in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Dr. Edgar studied the anatomical foundation of the lumbar spine, nerves and degenerative changes. He found that sensory nerve endings in degenerative lumbar discs run deep, but are often insensitive with respect to causing daily pain. What they have is deep running nerve structures that surround and supply each intervertebral disc of the back. The problem becomes that when a traumatic event is introduced to these deep running, degenerative, nerve endings. While they are often insensitive due to daily routines and living, when they are impacted by a trauma, Dr. Edgar found that they experience a ‘visceral pain’ reaction.
This reaction gets created and transmitted throughout the lumbar region, even though it may only be coming from one impacted intervertebral disc. Dr. Edgar noted that, “when a patient gets injured as a result of a traumatic event, not only can the disc produce pain at the point of the injury, but the deep running nerve endings will also effect the extremities, and even an entire region of the body.” Dr. Edgar’s findings demonstrate that degenerative nerves can actually increase the pain reaction that a damaged intervertebral disc experiences from a traumatic event. So while a car collision may impact a single disc in the spine, the increased visceral pain reaction from the degenerative nerves, can actually manifest itself in other areas of the body that the victim does not associate with the collision itself.
Understanding that a degenerative change in the back can actually make you more susceptible to pain is important in treating that pain following a motor vehicle collision. Experiencing a rear end collision that impacts the lumbar back and yet results in leg or hip pain, is actually not uncommon. Yet many victims are left wondering why is that pain found in that area. As we study and better understand the nerve supply structures of the lumbar spine, doctors can better address that pain, and treat victims. Having degenerative lumbar conditions does not mean that you cannot be seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision, or recover for your damages. It does not mean that you have to live with pain because you have “degenerative conditions”. No, the issue can be that you are actually more susceptible to physical pain, because of those conditions. You always want to treat with a doctor who understands the most current and scientific explanations of spine anatomy and pain patterns. When you're treated by such a doctor, you will not experience someone who merely scratches their head trying to figure out why you are experiencing the pain you have.
Do You Have Existing Back Pain That Has Worsened Following An Accident?
If you have an pre-existing degenerative back condition and have been involved in an accident you need to speak with an experienced spine injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call us directly at 866.299.0558 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
How is an Uber accident different from other car accidents?
If you are visiting Las Vegas on vacation or for business, you might find using Uber ride services more convenient than renting a vehicle. Even if you live here, you may use Uber from time to time. While using an Uber driver is usually safe, in some instances the driver could be negligent and cause a car accident. If you are injured in one of these accidents, either as a passenger in a Uber or in a vehicle hit by an Uber driver, it is important to understand how these crashes differ from traditional auto accidents.
Differences Between Uber and Auto Accidents That Could Affect Your Claim
In certain ways, an Uber auto accident is similar to other vehicle crashes. You must prove that the Uber driver or another driver was negligent in order to be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, there are some important differences in these claims:
- More complicated issues. You could face more complicated issues in an Uber accident, especially concerning insurance. It may be difficult to determine whether the Uber driver’s insurance policy or the Uber company insurance policy would cover your injuries—or both. The driver should have purchased a policy that covers him as a commercial driver, but may only have a personal insurance policy that would not cover your accident. In addition, Uber does not consider its drivers employees, and only considers itself liable in certain situations. There could be disputes regarding their responsibility, for example, if the driver was waiting to pick up a passenger or not logged into the Uber system.
- More liable parties. In a passenger vehicle accident, there is usually only one party who would be liable for compensating you—the negligent driver. In an Uber accident, the Uber driver and Uber could face liability. In addition, if both drivers involved in the accident were negligent, you may need to file claims with three insurance companies.
- More insurance. In a passenger vehicle accident, there could be much less insurance coverage to pay you what you are owed. In Nevada, the minimum liability insurance required is $15,000/$30,000 in liability coverage to compensate victims for injuries of a wreck. If you were injured in an Uber accident, you could hopefully pursue a claim under the Uber driver’s insurance policy and Uber's, which has $1,000,000 in liability coverage.
The experienced car accident attorneys at Jones Wilson Injury Lawyers handle accidents caused by Uber and taxi cab drivers as well as those caused by other negligent drivers. In addition, we gladly represent victims who live out of state or outside of the Las Vegas area as well as right here in Henderson. If you or a family member was injured in an Uber car accident contact us online or call our office directly at 702.405.6000 to schedule your free consultation.
How can I interview local attorneys if I was injured in Las Vegas but live somewhere else?
If you were injured in a slip and fall or other accident while on vacation or business in Las Vegas, hopefully you are taking a first smart step and retaining a local Las Vegas attorney to represent you. Unless you have used an attorney here before for a slip and fall claim, you should interview a few attorneys before making a final determination on who to hire. This can seem impossible when you were hurt in Las Vegas but live in another city or state. Thankfully, there are easy solutions.
How to Interview an Attorney When You Live Outside of Las Vegas
If you do not live in the Las Vegas area, you do not have to travel back here to interview attorneys, although this is certainly an option. Attorneys who accommodate clients who live elsewhere will have alternative ways to schedule an initial consultation and maintain regular communication with you throughout your case. This can include the following:
- Telephone calls
- Skype or similar Internet calls
It should be a red flag in terms of hiring a lawyer if he cannot accommodate the fact that you are not local. Ideally, you want to talk to the attorney rather than just email him because this will give you a better sense of how well he communicates with you and how much you trust him.
You should prepare a list of questions to ask the attorney during your interview. Here are some questions to include:
- What types of cases do you primarily handle?
- Have you handled cases like mine before? If so, how many and what were the results?
- Will you be the attorney working on my case? If not, who will be the attorney assigned to my case? Can I meet him?
- How many cases have you taken to trial? What were their outcomes?
- How long will it take to resolve my case?
- What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
- How will you keep me updated on the progress in my case?
- How do you prefer to communicate and how long does it take you to return calls or respond to emails?
- What investigation of my accident do you plan to conduct?
- Do you anticipate hiring any expert witnesses? If so, what type of expert and how much does he charge?
- How much will it cost me to hire you?
The experienced slip and fall attorneys at Jones Wilson Injury Lawyers are happy to represent clients outside of the Las Vegas area as well as local residents. We are committed to answering your questions and keeping you informed about your case no matter where you live. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us directly at 866.299.0558. If you live outside of Las Vegas, be sure to let us know this, and we will be glad to accommodate you.
What types of accidents could I have while having fun at a casino in Las Vegas?
Casinos in Las Vegas are a fun destination for out-of-town guests here on vacation or business and for residents who want to go out on the town. However, they can become dangerous places where guests can injure themselves when casino owners and staff do not take their duty to keep guest safe seriously enough. These accidents can happen at the casino buffet and restaurants, in the public bathrooms, at their hotels, in the parking lots, and in the casino gaming area.
What Types of Accidents Occur in Casinos?
Under Nevada law, casino owners have a duty to keep the casino reasonably safe, to anticipate and correct hazards, and to put up warning signs of dangers when necessary. Because of the high volume of guests and staff at casinos on a daily basis, this is a big job that owners often fail to fulfill. Common ways that casino guests injure themselves in accidents include:
- Slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents are probably the most common way that people injure themselves at casinos. Spills of food and drinks, dirty and wet bathrooms, poor lighting, and cracked and worn flooring are a few of the reasons slip and fall accidents occur.
- Food poisoning. Casinos offer food in restaurants, buffets, fast food services, and room service to millions of guests yearly. When food is not prepared properly, staff do not keep their hands clean, or food is left out too long, guests can become seriously ill from food poisoning.
- Injuries on shuttle buses. Many casinos offer shuttle bus services to and from airports, hotels, and casinos. People can slip and fall when steps are not clearly marked or debris or luggage is left in the aisles. In addition, if the driver causes a vehicle accident, riders can suffer catastrophic injuries or death.
- Falls from slot machine chairs. Slot machine chairs get an incredible amount of use on a daily basis, causing them to wear down and break more frequently. When casino owners fail to repair or replace them on a regular basis, an unsuspecting guest could fall and seriously injure himself if a chair breaks.
- Burns. Some casino owners allow people to smoke in the casino. Intoxicated or inattentive guests can burn others with their cigarettes. In addition, faulty irons in hotel rooms and electrical cords can cause fires that result in victims suffering horrific burns, scarring, and disfigurement.
- Assaults. Because people visiting casinos often carry large amounts of cash, they can be the victim of assaults and robberies when casinos do not provide adequate lightening and security.
Were you injured in an accident at a casino? Whether you are an out-of-town guest or a local resident, you need an experienced local attorney to help in your fight with the casino and its insurance company to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call our office directly at 866.299.0558 today to schedule a free consultation. Learn how Jones Wilson Injury Lawyers can help you.
How do I find a local attorney if I was injured on vacation in Las Vegas?
Filing a claim for compensation after a car or slip and fall accident is never easy. It can become even more stressful and complicated if you were injured while on vacation in Las Vegas. Even if you live in another state, you will need to pursue your claim here. Hiring a local attorney is essential if you want to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
How to Choose a Local Personal Injury Attorney When You Live Out of State
You must retain an attorney who is licensed in Nevada, understands the laws that apply to your case, and can file a lawsuit for you if this becomes necessary. While it can be more challenging to find an experienced attorney when you don't live then the area, it doesn't have to be as hard as you may think. However, you do not want to pick just any attorney.
You need an attorney who has lots of experience handling personal injury cases, has a track record of success, and is not afraid to take your case to trial. Here are ways to find the attorney that is right for you:
- Referral. If you know family or friends in the area who have used an attorney in the past, you may be able to get the name of an attorney from them. However, for most people on a vacation or business trip here, this is not an option.
- State bar referral. You may be able to obtain a referral from Nevada’s state or local bar association. However, you will still need to research the attorneys you are referred to.
- Internet search. You can research local attorneys on the Internet. You want to look carefully at their websites to see if they have any helpful information regarding your type of legal matter, successful results in cases similar to yours, and client reviews. Any lawyer can put up a website, but an experienced one who is successful is more likely to provide much more information for potential and current clients than just what types of cases they handle.
- Interviews. You should always take advantage of an attorney’s offer of a free consultation. This is an opportunity to interview him whether you are hiring someone where you live or out-of-state. Once you have narrowed down your list of attorneys, you should schedule your free appointments. An attorney who handles these cases for out-of-state residents will be able to conduct this consultation over the telephone. As well as learning how the attorneys believe that they can help you, you want to interview them to learn about their experience, how they communicate with clients, and how they handle cases for people who do not live in the area. Your interview will be crucial in determining whether the attorney has the experience and track record handling cases like yours and if he is someone you feel you can trust.
The experienced legal team at Jones Wilson Injury Lawyers handles cases for many victims of accidents while in Las Vegas on vacation or business as well as local residents. Review our testimonials and case results to see how we have helped clients like you, then contact us online or call us directly at 866.299.0558 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
What steps should I take after injuring myself in an accident while vacationing in Las Vegas?
If you are injured in a slip and fall, car accident, or other injury accident while in Las Vegas on vacation, getting the medical care you need for your injuries and compensation from the negligent party can seem complicated. It may be even more overwhelming if you do not know anyone in Las Vegas—common if you are a tourist. However, if you want to receive the compensation you are entitled to, you need to take certain steps to preserve evidence and strengthen your claim.
Take These Steps to Protect a Future Claim
There is really no difference between what you will have to do if you are injured on vacation and if you are injured at home. Unfortunately, the steps will be more difficult when you are away from home. Try to do the following when you are injured:
- Seek medical care. This is obvious if you know you suffered injuries, but it is also important if you do not think you were hurt. You may have hidden injuries with symptoms that will not develop for days or weeks after your accident. You may need care for these symptoms and will want to document them for your claim for compensation. Keep in mind that you will need your medical records when you file your claim.
- File an accident or police report. If you suffered a slip and fall accident, you should file an accident report with the business. You should contact the police if you were involved in a car accident. You will need to obtain a copy of the incident or police report to provide to the insurance company when you file your claim.
- Take pictures. You want to take pictures of the accident scene, any defect, spilled liquids, or other causes of a slip and fall accident, and your injuries. If you were in a car crash, be certain to take pictures of the damage to the vehicles, any skid marks, weather conditions, or other important information regarding your crash.
- Get contact information. You want to obtain the contact information for the negligent party and any witnesses to your accident. It is important to contact potential witnesses soon after your accident before they disappear or their memories of what happened fade.
- Do not give a recorded statement. You do not have to give a recorded statement to the insurance company for the negligent party and should not agree to give one. You could accidentally say something that could hurt your case.
- Follow up on your medical care. Many victims of accidents hurt their claim by failing to follow up on the medical treatment advised by their doctors. This makes it seem like their injuries are not that serious. Do not make this mistake in your case.
The Most Important Step Is to Call a Lawyer
One of your first steps after obtaining medical care and reporting your accident should be to retain an experienced personal injury attorney in the Las Vegas area. An attorney can investigate your accident, get copies of your accident or police report and medical records, and negotiate a settlement of your claim. A local attorney will be licensed to practice law in Nevada—necessary to file a lawsuit—and will understand the laws and practices unique to this area that govern your case. In addition, he will have a network of local qualified experts that you may need to prove your case.
At Jones Wilson Injury Lawyers, we gladly handle accident injury claims for tourists vacationing in the Las Vegas area as well as clients who live here. We are happy to accommodate you if you have already returned home. You will receive the same quality representation as you would if you lived here. Contact us online or call our office directly at 866.299.0558 to schedule your free consultation.
Is a business responsible for compensating me when I hurt myself in a slip and fall accident outside a building?
Slip and fall accidents outside buildings happen for many reasons. Cracked pavement, spilled liquids and food, and potholes in the parking lot a few of the hazardous conditions that could cause you to fall and suffer serious injuries. You may have a right to be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering you experience due to your injuries. However, like with many issues in slip and fall accident cases, it is not always easy to determine who is responsible for compensating you if you are hurt outside a business.
How to Determine If a Business—or Another Party—Is Liable for Your Injuries After a Fall Outside of a Building
While a business’ liability for a dangerous condition that its owner or staff knew about in the building is fairly straightforward, responsibility can be much more complicated when an injury happens outside the building. A number of factors will determine whether the business, another party, or both are responsible for compensating you. Some of the considerations include:
- Does the business own the property? If the business owns the building, the business would be responsible for the upkeep of the common areas, parking lot, and sidewalks. In this situation, it is likely that you can hold the business liable for your injuries.
- Does the business rent its space from the property owner? When a business leases its store, office, or other structure, it can become much more challenging to determine who is responsible for the upkeep of the building and the areas surrounding it. You would need to review the lease to see if the owner of the property or business had control of and was responsible for the upkeep of the outside of the property. If this was the owner’s responsibility, you may need to pursue your claim against the owner and not the business. However, if the business knew about the dangerous condition, such as a large pothole, and did nothing to warn guests of the danger or to get the property owner to correct the problem, the business could face some liability as well.
- Is there a contract with a third party to maintain the outside of the building? Some businesses or property owners will enter into a contract with a third party to maintain the outside of a building, such as landscaping, care of a parking lot, or removal of snow. If this was the situation in your case, this third party could also be at least partially responsible for compensating you. Depending on the facts in your case, you may be able to file a claim with the business’ or property owner’s insurance company as well.
An experienced slip and fall attorney can help you identify the negligent party and obtain a copy of the business’ lease, which you probably will not be able to get on your own. If you injured yourself in a slip and fall accident outside a business, fill out an online form to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys to discuss your situation with you and learn about your legal options.
What's the difference between filing a "claim" and filing a "lawsuit" in a car accident case?
Filing an insurance claim and filing a lawsuit to obtain compensation after a car accident are two distinct processes that are often connected. It is important that you understand the differences so you follow the best approach. This will also ensure that you do not miss important deadlines that apply to your car wreck case.
What Does it Mean to File A Car Accident Claim?
Filing a claim is the process of working directly with the negligent driver’s insurance company for compensation for your property and personal injuries. No legal document is filed with a court, and there is no judge overseeing the process or scheduling a trial. It is an informal settlement process which usually starts with your attorney writing a demand letter to the insurance company advising them of your claim and the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Documentation supporting your claim is usually included with the letter. An insurance adjuster will investigate your claim, and hopefully your attorney will be able to negotiate a settlement for you without the need to file a lawsuit.
How Is A Car Accident Lawsuit Different?
Most people start out by filing a claim and only file a lawsuit if they cannot reach a fair settlement with the negligent driver’s insurance company. In addition, filing a lawsuit could be essential if the statute of limitations is about to expire. The statute of limitations is the time period you have under Georgia law to sue the negligent driver. You have two years from the date of the accident to sue for personal injuries and four years for property damages. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this time period, you waive your right to do so.
A lawsuit is a formal legal document that is filed with the court where the negligent driver lives. A judge is assigned to your case. He decides disputed issues, schedules various hearings in your case to keep it progressing along, and oversees your jury trial if you are unable to settle your case. Here are some basic steps in a lawsuit:
- You file a complaint against the negligent driver in court asking that he be ordered to pay you a certain amount of compensation.
- The court issues a summons ordering the driver to answer your complaint.
- Your attorney hires a process server to personally deliver the summons and complaint to the negligent driver.
- The negligent driver has a certain number of days—usually around three weeks—to file an answer to the complaint with the court and send a copy of it to your attorney.
- Your attorney and the attorney for the negligent driver and his insurance company conduct discovery, which can be sending questions and requests for documents and depositions where you and the negligent driver are asked questions about the accident that are recorded.
- Your attorney will continue trying to settle your claim with the attorney for the other side. Most cases settle before trial. If yours is settled, a formal settlement agreement will be filed with the court.
- If you are unable to settle your case, it will be scheduled for a jury trial where a jury will decide what you are owed.
Whether you need to file a car accident claim or a car accident lawsuit, you need an experienced attorney to guide you through the process. Contact us online or call us directly at 866.299.0558 to schedule your free consultation.
What compensation am I entitled to if a family member died in a car accident?
Losing a close family member, like a spouse, child, or parent, is devastating no matter how the death happens. When your loved one died in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, however, you may be able to bring a wrongful death action against him to compensate you for the loss of your family member. While there is no amount of money that can take away the grief and loss of your loved one, it can help to obtain some sense of justice in holding the negligent driver responsible for compensating you.
What Compensation Are You Entitled to in a Car Crash Wrongful Death Action?
Generally, the spouse, domestic partner, and children are a deceased person’s dependents who are allowed to file a wrongful death action. Other family members may be entitled to compensation if the person died without having these dependents. The compensation awarded in a wrongful death case is similar to but slightly different from what your loved one could have obtained if he had survived the wreck. You may be entitled to the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses. You are entitled to compensation for the medical bills from your loved one’s injuries caused by the automobile accident.
- Funeral expenses. You can be reimbursed for your reasonable funeral and burial expenses.
- Property damage. If your family member’s property, such as his vehicle or property in the vehicle, was damaged in the crash, you should include this in your settlement request.
- Lost wages. Your lost wage claim will include not only any wages that your family member lost after the accident but before his death, but also the future earnings and benefits he would have received if he had lived.
- Loss of companionship. The biggest portion of your claim may be to compensate you for the loss of companionship, support, and affection from your family member.
An experienced car accident attorney can advise you on the value of your claim and negotiate your settlement for you so you hopefully receive what you are entitled to. Whether you are a resident of Las Vegas or from out-of-state, the legal team and Jones Wilson Injury Lawyers is here to help. Call our office today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.