When you have been injured, a lot is at stake. You probably have a lot of questions. You’ll find some of the most commonly asked questions about hiring a personal injury lawyer here.
To help you determine whether you should hire an attorney to represent you in your injury case, we’ll need to examine your situation. If you were injured in an accident, give us a call for a free case evaluation. We’ll discuss the details surrounding your injury to determine if you have a valid claim.
Education is always an important part of an attorney’s background, so an attorney’s educational success should factor into your hiring decision. Every attorney is required to pass a stringent standardized licensing exam prior to receiving a license to practice law. The number of years an attorney has practiced, however, can help you determine whether they are better equipped to handle your case. It is always good to ask if the attorney has handled cases similar to yours in the past and if they had a successful outcome.
David Boehrer Law Firm handles all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee means there is no up-front payment. We get paid only after we win your case. You should check with any firm you decide to hire to make sure they work on a contingency fee basis, as not all personal injury lawyers in Henderson will extend this payment service.
If you were seriously injured, you should consider hiring an attorney early on in your case. You can enlist our help at any point during the injury claim process, however. Working with an injury attorney from the very beginning helps ensure that your case gets started off on the right foot.
When the law is plain and the evidence is clear, you may have no need for an accident lawyer. The responsible party may agree to an appropriate settlement fairly quickly. Determining a fair settlement amount, however, can be tricky because some losses may not be immediately evident. Deciding to settle your case on your own is always your right, but we recommend that you consult with an attorney at David Boehrer Law Firm to help ensure that you make an informed decision about how to proceed.
Throughout your relationship, you will be expected to forward pertinent correspondence about your case to your attorney and be available for questions and clarification throughout the development of your case. You, your attorney and their legal staff will work together throughout your settlement process. It is important to remember that your attorney will be most effective so long as you provide support in the form of information and communication throughout the settlement/trial process.
Should you find yourself questioning whether you should hire a personal injury lawyer, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to discuss your case with you so you can make an informed decision regarding representation.
For most cases, an injured person will look to an attorney to protect their interests and prepare a strong argument. In other cases, the best decision may be for the client to handle the case independently. Even amongst clients who prefer self-representation, there are benefits to hiring an experienced accident lawyer. Some of these benefits include:
• Less stress during the settlement process
• Higher settlement and award amounts
• Higher insurance payouts for injuries received
• More time and energy to devote to the recovery process
The advantages of retaining a legal professional are really the same as hiring any professional. If you want the best possible outcome for your case, hiring an attorney could be the wisest investment you will ever make. Schedule a no-obligation, complimentary consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys today. 702-750-0750.
It is always possible for a personal injury case to go to trial. Although many personal injury cases never see the inside of a courtroom, we prepare each case as if it will go to trial. Even when we believe an out of court settlement is likely, we will prepare for the possibility of a trial hearing. Should your case go to trial, it still does not mean you will have to testify in front of a jury. Should it become necessary to testify in front of a jury, your attorney will prepare you for the process well in advance.
There is no way to know in advance how long it will take to settle your case. Your attorney may be able to provide you with an educated guess based on prior similar cases, but since no two cases are alike, it is impossible to provide you with a definitive answer.
Your accident lawyer will work with you to gather details regarding the accident, discuss your injuries, talk about your lifestyle before and after the accident, go over evidence, and develop a case strategy. One of the most important things only you can control is continuing to see your medical provider. You may also need to attend mediation meetings, court dates, and legal proceedings.
You will be expected to forward pertinent correspondence about your case to your attorney and be available for questions and clarification throughout the development of your case. You, your attorney, and their legal staff will work together as your case proceeds. Your attorney will be most effective so long as you provide information and maintain communication throughout the settlement/trial process.
Call (702) 750-0750 today fill out our online form for a no-obligation evaluation of your personal injury claim.
Nevada’s wrongful death law outlines who can recover for a wrongful death and what types of damages are recoverable. These statutes are strictly construed, so it is important to seek counsel from an experienced accident lawyer who is skilled in building and presenting solid cases involving death by negligence.
Find out the answers to frequently asked questions about wrongful death in Nevada.
The simple definition is a death that was caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another party. For example, a construction company fails to follow safety regulations and a worker dies after falling off of a scaffold or a drunk driver kills a passenger in a crash.
Nevada’s wrongful death law recognizes two different types or classes of plaintiffs – the estate of the deceased and the heirs of the deceased. Each class of plaintiff can recover different types of damages. The personal representative of the estate can recover special damages, such as medical expenses incurred or sustained before death, and funeral expenses. The personal representative can also recover exemplary or punitive damages that the deceased could have recovered if the person had lived. The monies recovered by the personal representative go to the estate and are distributed according to the terms of the will, or Nevada intestacy laws if the person died without a will.
Each heir of the deceased (spouse, children, parents, siblings, etc.) may also bring a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for causing the death. Heirs can recover for their personal grief or sorrow, and their loss of probable support, companionship, society, comfort and consortium. Heirs can also recover compensation for the pain, suffering or disfigurement of the deceased.
Claims must generally be filed within two years of the date of death. Surviving family members may be consumed with grief and the difficult task of putting their lives back in order after the loss of a loved one, and personal representatives may be occupied with the myriad tasks of inventorying and settling a person’s estate: resolving claims, paying taxes, managing investments, etc.
It is crucial not to miss the filing deadline. Failing to meet the applicable statute of limitations can mean the heirs or personal representative will be kept from pursuing their valid wrongful death claims.
If the negligent party has also died, a wrongful death claim can be brought against the wrongdoer’s estate, or against the wrongdoer’s employer, if applicable.
Proving the facts of a wrongful death claim in situations like these can be particularly challenging, so it is especially important to retain the services of a skilled personal injury lawyer. David Boehrer Law Firm is ready to help. Schedule your free consultation by filling out our online form or calling 702-750-0750.
A spinal cord injury can forever change the way you live your life. Because spinal cord injury victims are often partially or completely paralyzed, this type of injury can hinder a victim’s ability to live independently. Extensive ongoing medical treatment, numerous surgeries, rehabilitation, medications, and residential nursing care are common. To help ensure you are able to make the most of your recovery, David Boehrer Law Firm provides a list of a few commonly asked questions and answers regarding spinal cord injuries.
Not all spinal cord injuries are permanent. We are fortunate that there are some spinal cord injuries which can be repaired, and some patients are eventually able to regain some functionality through extensive occupational and physical therapy. Medical science is constantly evolving, and new treatments are developed each year to assist spinal cord injury patients in obtaining a higher level of functionality. That said, many spinal injuries are permanent. Your medical doctor can help you determine the longevity of your condition.
Some patients will experience limited movement and feeling in their extremities for the rest of their lives. Others may experience a type of neuropathy that feels like the lower extremities are “on pins and needles” all the time. For some patients, this is permanent. For others, the effects of a spinal cord injury may be only temporary.
Many spinal cord injury patients face unique health concerns as a result of their injury. These involve pressure ulcers, or bedsores, which result from decreased circulation and feeling, as well as from the constant body weight over bony prominences. This type of pressure occurs in a healthy person, but when pressure on these areas causes pain, they can just shift their weight or turn over in bed to get their circulation going again. For a spinal cord injury patient, the sensation of pain is decreased, delayed or blocked from reaching the brain. And turning over in bed is not as simple as it would be for a non-injured patient, because the spinal injury patient may find it difficult or impossible to accomplish without assistance.
Bladder and kidney infections are also common complications of spinal cord injury. These infections occur because many spinal cord injuries affect the injured patient’s ability to urinate. To compensate, a small tube is generally inserted into the bladder to empty the patient’s urine.
When you are told your spinal cord injury is incomplete, it means your spinal cord is not severed, or is still intact, but that it has been damaged. This condition is likened to bending an electrical cord in half, resulting in some of the wires losing the ability to fully conduct an electrical current. The spinal cord is part of the nervous system and it works much like the electrical wiring in your house – it functions to conduct nerve impulses from the brain and the body.
The spinal cord can be compared to a tree; it has a primary trunk of nerve fibers that is protected by the vertebrae (or bones) along your spine, and like a tree, there are many branches of nerves shooting off to the sides to communicate with the other parts of the body.
Nerve fibers work as a kind of super highway, letting information travel between the brain and the rest of your body. If some part of your highway is broken (i.e., spinal cord), the sensory information is cut off from any part of your body located below the location of the injury and communication from the brain to the affected areas can’t reach their destination. This disruption in communication is why the injured area determines whether a person will be able to walk, use their arms or breathe independently.
Misconceptions about slip and fall accidents can leave victims with painful injuries, costly medical expenses, missed work, and crippling debt. Learn the answers to some commonly-asked questions about slip-and-fall cases below.
Not every victim of a slip and fall accident will have the right to collect damages through a premises liability lawsuit. You must prove certain elements to be awarded compensation for your injuries in a Nevada court. Most importantly, you must prove the owner of the property where the accident occurred was primarily negligent in allowing a dangerous condition to develop.
Proving the property owner was negligent requires you to use evidence that shows:
• There was an unsafe condition on the property
• The owner of the property knew or should have known about the unsafe condition
• The property owner failed to either fix the unsafe condition or warn visitors of its existence
• The unsafe condition caused your injuries
Proving the elements of a premises liability lawsuit is not easy. For example, the property owner may argue that another customer created the hazard immediately before you were injured, thereby making it impossible for the owner to eliminate the dangerous condition that existed. The property owner may also argue that your injuries existed prior to the accident and were not caused by the fall.
Additionally, Nevada law allows the property owner to argue that you are partially responsible for your injuries. In legal terminology, this is known as “comparative negligence.” If the property owner demonstrates that you are more than 50 percent responsible for your injuries, you may be prevented from recovering any compensation from the owner.
Slip and fall accident victims often use the following types of evidence to prove their right to receive monetary damages for their injuries:
• Eyewitness testimony from other customers, visitors, or employees of the business where the accident occurred
• Security camera footage of the accident
• Accident recreation experts
• Medical experts
Motorcycles have become more popular with people in recent years, but their small size and lack of any protective frame makes them a higher-risk choice of transportation. The Governors Highway Safety Association reported 74 fatal accidents involving motorcycles during the year 2016 within the state of Nevada.
The legal system can be biased against motorcycle riders who are involved in crashes, relying on stereotypes that motorcyclists are reckless and always responsible for accidents. However, many motorcycle accidents are caused by careless or distracted passenger vehicle drivers.
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, read on for answers to some of the most common questions victims like you ask injury lawyers.
Motorcycle accidents are most often caused by:
• Other drivers failing to yield the right of way at intersections
• Distracted driving
• Other motorists failing to check blind spots for motorcycles in neighboring lanes
• Unsafe road conditions, such as potholes or debris in the road
You should report your crash to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Provide honest and accurate details of your accident, but do not agree to make a sworn statement to an insurer—even your own—immediately after a crash. Without knowing it, you could end up saying something that will be used against you in the future. Speak with a personal injury lawyer before agreeing to make a statement on the record about your crash or accepting a settlement offer that may prevent you from collecting greater damages in the future.
Nevada law allows accident victims to recover compensation for their injuries even if they were partially responsible for the accident. Motorcyclists can seek damages from the other driver so long as they were not found to be more responsible for the crash than the other driver. In other words, if a judge or jury found that a motorcyclist was 60 percent responsible for a crash, and the driver of the truck that hit him was found 40 percent responsible for the crash, then the motorcyclist would not be able to collect damages.
Whether riding for recreation, fitness or transportation, Henderson, Nevada is arguably one of the best places in the U.S. for bicycling. Unfortunately, bicycling always carries risks. Especially these days, when drivers spend less time with their eyes on the road and more time looking at their phones or in-vehicle information systems, bike riders are in danger of suffering serious or fatal injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states 840 bicyclists died in 2016 as the result of traffic accidents. Bicyclists and pedestrians are among the groups most at risk of becoming injured in a distracted driving accident, since they are less likely to be noticed by a driver in time to avoid a crash.
After a bicycle accident, figuring out what to do next, how to handle a claim, and how to make the most of the victim’s losses can be confusing. To help ensure you make choices that optimize your chance of obtaining a fair settlement, we’ve provided you with the answers to frequently asked questions about safe bicycling and bicycle accident claims in Nevada.
Nevada motor vehicle laws specifically exclude devices moved by human power from the definition of a vehicle. However, many Nevada motor vehicle laws apply to bicycles nevertheless. When traveling on the roadway, cyclists have the same rights and the same duties as motor vehicle drivers, with some exceptions. Just like drivers, bicycle riders can get ticketed for traffic violations.
Headlamps are required from a half hour after sundown to a half hour before sunup, as well as during the day when required by weather conditions for visibility. Bicycles in Nevada must also have a red rear reflector and reflectors on each side. Having a rear tail light does not remove the requirement for a red rear reflector.
On multi-lane roads, cars should stay a lane apart from bicycles. On single-lane roads, cars are required to give bicycles three feet of space when passing. Drivers are required to use due care in passing a bicycle, and they can be held liable for accidents which result from their negligent violation of the law.
Bicyclists are encouraged to use bike lanes whenever they are available, and they are allowed to ride on the shoulder, but cyclists are not required by law to use either. Cyclists may choose to take a lane instead. If riding in a lane of traffic, cyclists are supposed to ride as far to the right as practicable, except when making a left turn, traveling at a speed commensurate with the traffic flow, or when it would not be safe to do so.
A cyclist can lawfully occupy the lane and ride in the center of the lane when the lane is marked with a bicycle and double arrow, indicating the lane is to be shared equally by cars and bikes. If there is only one lane for travel and five or more vehicles are lined up behind the bicycle, the cyclist must leave the roadway where it is safe to do so, to allow the vehicles to pass. This rule applies to all slow-moving vehicles as well as bicycles.
Riding two abreast is not prohibited on bicycle paths or bike lanes, but it is prohibited on roadways.
Bicycles have the right-of-way in bike lanes. Cars are prohibited from occupying bike lanes except in limited circumstances.
Nevada law does not require bicycle riders to wear helmets. However, helmets can help protect you from serious injury if you are struck by a motor vehicle driven by a negligent or distracted driver. Always ride in the direction of traffic when on the roadway, stay alert to your surroundings and signal your intentions before turning.
It’s not unusual for victims to have a multitude of questions following a personal injury accident. Misconceptions about personal injury claims can lead to victims making poor decisions that cost them time and money, and often hinder their ability to receive advanced medical treatment. To help ensure that you, the victim, are able to make informed decisions about your personal injury case, our attorneys have chosen to provide you with the answers to the most frequently asked questions in personal injury cases.
The insurance adjuster is not your friend. The insurance adjuster does not work for you. The insurance adjuster gets paid, promoted, and earns bonuses by saving money for the insurance company. Dealing with an insurance adjuster is one of the many obstacles you’ll face if you are injured in a car accident.
Insurance companies are for-profit organizations. Their purpose is to make money for their shareholders. Every dollar an insurance company saves by holding back on your claim is profit for them. No matter how nice the adjuster may seem or what he or she tells you, the adjuster is not concerned with fairness, making you whole again, or determining where liability actually falls.
Insurance adjusters are trained to do what is necessary to pay out as little as possible on your claim. The “nice guy” act is one of the tricks used to make adjusters seem trustworthy so they can convince you to divulge information you might not do otherwise. They do this so they can use the information against you during your settlement. Adjusters often record your statement, which they can later use out of context. Therefore, you should refrain from permitting recordings of your statements unless you have consulted with your attorney. You should not grant access to your past records before consulting with an attorney. When given access, insurance companies will work to uncover any information in an attempt to disqualify a person from getting their due in claims.
Studies by insurance companies have shown injured people employing the services of an attorney receive much more in settlement than those without representation (even after the legal fees have been paid).
While you should file your injury claim in a timely manner because of the time limitations imposed by the law, you should not rush to settle your claim. Timing is vitally important when settling a claim. Settling too early could result in a smaller settlement.
The full extent of your injuries may not be known early in treatment, especially in a serious accident. Knowing this may encourage insurance adjusters to settle your claim early to save their company money.
Sometimes people rush to settle their claim and accept payment when they question the role they may have had in causing their accident. It may be necessary to pursue tests, investigations or re-enactments to determine who is actually at fault for the accident. Victims often discover they could have received a larger settlement by waiting until the investigation process is complete to settle their claims.
Once you have accepted payment for your claim, you cannot renegotiate the settlement – even for lasting injuries or an injury that may have worsened with time. In many instances, a person may settle for a very small award, only to discover the injury progressed to a debilitating or incapacitating level. Please do not get swept away by the immediate gratification of cash in hand. It is in your best interests to be patient and make certain you have taken care of your health before deciding you are ready to settle your claim.
Of course, waiting too long can hinder your ability to recover damages at all. There is a “statute of limitations” or an expiration date for filing a claim. If you exceed this time, you may not be able to recover anything from the insurance company despite your injuries. In Nevada, the time limit to file most injury claims is just two years.
It is your attorney’s job to counsel you about your legal rights. Lawyers are not responsible for selecting your doctor or dictating your medical treatment plan. That is your doctor’s job. It is always your right and responsibility to choose your medical treatment. If you believe you need to see a specialist, you should consult with your family doctor to help you find the right professional to help you resolve your medical issues.
Keeping track of your expenses, loss of work, and property destruction, and maintaining notes on your pain, stress, and mental anguish can help ensure that you, as the victim, receive an appropriate damage award. Your own record keeping will help provide a clear and accurate picture of the losses you’ve suffered after an accident. Keeping detailed and accurate notes memorializing your losses—both economic and non-economic—will help maximize your settlement.
You should keep records for your economic damages like medical bills, lost wages, tax returns, receipts for purchases (including those paid by insurance), and services you are unable to perform as a result of your injuries and lost property. Economic damages are costs you have to pay and income you have lost as a result of the injury. It is often necessary for an expert to calculate your expected lost earnings.
Maintaining records of all non-economic damages, including things not easily identified in terms of money lost, is important as well. You might include physical and emotional pain you’ve endured and the stress caused by your accident. Humiliation and loss of companionship should also be taken into account. You should also make note of opportunities you missed out on because of your injury. Include trips you were planning but are no longer able to take, or experiences you can no longer enjoy.
Make sure you are honest when recording your losses. Exaggerating your damages can be detrimental to your case in the eyes of a jury. It is always best to state the truth and let the jury evaluate your losses.
Remember, an insurance adjuster is not on your side. Insurance adjusters are trained to pay out as little money as possible. As an accident victim, your goal is to receive the highest settlement possible. This leaves you and the adjuster with conflicting interests. If you should decide to settle your injury case without an attorney, you must be knowledgeable in preparing and negotiating your claim.
To prepare for negotiations you must be able to ask and answer these five basic questions:
• What is the strength (evidence) of your claim?
• When similar claims are resolved, how much do victims generally receive?
• What is your settlement goal?
• What is your settlement bottom line?
• What alternatives do you have if you don’t settle?
The strength of your claim lies in the evidence. Witness statements, police reports, photos, and documentation of your losses all play a role in strengthening your claim. Once you have compiled the evidence, you must prepare a demand letter. In this letter you will list damages and summarize the evidence. You’ll also ask for the amount you wish to receive for your losses.
To get a good idea of how much to request, research the value of claims that are similar to your own. This can be done through your local law library. You can make copies of the cases you find. Make sure you reference these cases when negotiating your claim. It may also be a good idea to consult with a licensed accident lawyer to get a professional opinion as well.
Ask yourself what amount you would like to walk away with (within reason). This is called your settlement goal. After you have determined this figure, you can focus your strategy around your target settlement. Be prepared to justify your claim with any evidence you have prepared.
What is your settlement bottom line? If this amount is denied, you will need to seek alternative methods.
If your injuries and resulting medical bills are relatively minor (less than $10,000), you may be able to file a lawsuit in small claims court. This generally takes at least two trips to the courthouse, plus a filing and service-of-process fee. Trial will take place six to eight weeks after you have filed. The judge could award you more money, less money or nothing at all in a trial. If the wrongdoer appeals the verdict, you may have to repeat this process again.
If you suffered serious injuries that resulted in ongoing medical treatment, surgery, or rehabilitation, or if your injuries are permanent, you will probably need to hire a personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit in a higher court in Nevada.
Wait and do nothing. In Nevada, you have two years to settle a claim or file a lawsuit from the time of injury. If you wait and do nothing, an adjuster may accept your bottom line. Adjusters do not like their claims to accrue. They are judged based on how much money they save the company as well as how quickly they resolve claims.
On the other hand, waiting to file your claim could cause you to lose your right to recover any damages at all.
Negotiating a Nevada accident claim requires some skill on your part. You must be aggressive, patient, intelligent, and be able to maintain your composure. Should you decide to settle your own personal injury claim, you should:
• Submit your demand after the adjuster’s first offer. Wait for the initial figure, then you may demand the policy limit or total your damages and forward them to the adjuster.
• Ask questions. Ask your adjuster about his authority. Get specific figures that explain where funds were allotted. Go over the figures with the adjuster to confirm accuracy. For non-economic damages, ask the adjuster to explain how the insurer arrived at the amount they proposed for pain and suffering. Keep notes on everything.
• Make small concessions. The best negotiators make their concessions in small increments. This often works in your favor and can result in a larger overall settlement.
• Be patient. Don’t accept or counter an offer in the same meeting. If you push the adjuster toward a quick settlement, they will sense you are in a hurry to settle and may conclude you are desperate for money.
• Maintain your composure. Your demeanor can impact the outcome of a deal.
• Refrain from showing outward interest in an offer. Appear reluctant to settle. After all, Nevada allows two years to settle a personal injury claim.
• Confer with a higher authority. Inform the adjuster that you will not make a final decision before consulting with another party. Tell the adjuster you will be consulting with a spouse or attorney friend prior to making your decision.
Following these guidelines will help you achieve a higher settlement for your personal injury claim. If you find yourself facing a personal injury loss, we urge you to talk to our accident lawyers before making any decisions. Initial consultations are free and confidential.
Victims who believe they can settle their own case when there are significant injuries are often making a grave mistake. Most victims are not experienced enough to recover a fair settlement for their injuries. If you are seeking justice and compensation, you need to have an experienced legal team behind you. Don’t handle your own case when doing so is not in your best interests. Making this mistake could cost you in the long run.
Take advantage of free consultations offered by attorneys with successful track records. You may have a complex claim that is worth a considerable amount of money. Not hiring an injury attorney may result in a vastly reduced award after your claim is settled.
Knowing when to consult with an attorney can be compared to knowing when you need to see the doctor. If you have a sprained wrist you could treat it yourself without visiting the doctor. If you broke your ankle on the other hand, it would be a good idea to seek professional treatment from a trained physician. The same is true with an injury claim. If you have a serious injury, you need professional representation. A personal injury settlement often depends on intangibles not always evident to the average person. Inconspicuous issues can dramatically change a settlement if uncovered. This type of finding is possible through the efforts of diligent accident lawyers.