Monday, December 30, 2013

What Happens in a Bus Accident in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Recently, the Las Vegas bus system has blossomed into a comprehensive transportation system in the Las Vegas Valley.  Although it is named the Regional Transportation Commission or the ‘RTC’ for short, the Las Vegas bus system is actually privately operated by Veolia Transportation. The Las Vegas bus system has fast lines for locals to use, such as on Sahara Avenue. In addition to locals use, the bus system is heavily relied on by tourists, as an easy and cost-effective means of transportation along the infamous Las Vegas strip.

Bus accident injuries are much different than car accident injuries. If you are riding the bus and haven’t been lucky enough to grab a seat, you may be standing when an accident happens. So, when you fall, it’s your body hitting the harsh metal of the bus interior. Also, different from a car accident, when you are injured in a bus accident while sitting, there are no seat belts protecting you from injury. 

If the bus is at fault for the accident or injuries to its passengers, then the bus company will be liable for injuries sustained by a passenger. However, if a third party, such as another car or truck was the sole cause of the accident, then you would have to make a claim against the car or truck’s driver, not the bus. 

If you are injured in a bus accident, it is important to ask for an incident card, to document that you were on the bus when the accident occurred. All of the Las Vegas buses have video cameras, which will document the accident. As part of a comprehensive handling of all bus accident cases, we notify the bus company to preserve all video evidence. 

Of course, seeking immediate medical treatment if you are injured, is also the next step you must take after a bus accident. Your bus accident lawyer at von Magdenko & Associates, PLLC will make sure you get immediate medical attention at no out of pocket cost to you.

Next time, we will discuss discovery in semi-truck/big rig accidents.

Monday, December 16, 2013

What are the Different Types of Personal Injury Cases in Las Vegas, Nevada?

I get calls everyday from people looking to hire a “personal injury” attorney. What most people do not know is that there are many different types of personal injury cases and therefore many different types of personal injury lawyers.  Today we will go over the most common types of personal injury cases, so you can make a better decision when hiring a personal injury attorney to meet your needs.
Car Accidents/Motor Vehicle Accidents. The first and most well know type of personal injury case is the car accident case. This also usually includes all accidents related to motor vehicles, such as truck/big rig accidents, bus accidents and motorcycle accidents. Also any accident dealing with a motor vehicle, such as a car hitting a bicycle or a pedestrian, is included in this case type.
Worker’s Compensation. Worker’s compensation is a specialty of personal injury cases. If you are injured on the job, and the person at fault is your employer or another co-worker, then you have a worker’s compensation case.  Sometimes you can have a worker’s compensation case with a regular personal injury component and you will generally need two specialists for each part of your case. There are attorneys who deal exclusively in the area of worker’s compensation. The reason for the specialty, is that worker’s compensation is an administrative area of law, with complex rules and regulations. Worker’s compensation has its own hearing and appeal system that a specialist in the field can navigate.
Medical Malpractice. When you or a loved one is injured through the negligence of a medical provider, then you have a medical malpractice case. You need a medical malpractice attorney to preserve your legal rights. In a medical malpractice case, there is a short time window where you can file your lawsuit. The medical malpractice arena also has special hoops that claimants must jump through, including having a physician review your case, before a lawsuit is filed. Since there are many mine fields that can present themselves in a medical malpractice case, it is best to retain in expert who regularly handles medical malpractice cases.  
Product Liability and Toxic Torts.  When you or someone you love is injured through a defective device, called product liability, or a chemical, also known as a toxic tort, then you need an attorney who can handle such complex matters. The Erin Brockovich case, is probably the most well known example of a toxic tort case. That case dealt with contaminated drinking water in California. Most personal injury attorneys do not handle these types of cases. There are many reasons for personal injury attorneys not handling these types of cases. One of the main reasons is the time and expense in prosecuting these cases. A person needs to make sure their attorney has the funding and time to put into these cases.
Be wary of an attorney who handles everything. You have probably heard the saying, that a jack of all trades can be a master of none. Next time, we will discuss bus accidents and special issues presented in bus accident cases.

Monday, December 9, 2013

What is a Recorded Statement in a Personal Injury Case?

 When you hire a skilled personal injury attorney to handle your case, they will be monitoring and working on your case throughout the process. As part of your case, your personal injury attorney may contact you, to let you know that your insurance company wants to take your recorded statement. A recorded statement is simply a short statement by you, of the accident, your current injuries and treatment.

Your personal injury attorney will advise you that recorded statements are required when you are making a UIM (under-insured motorist claim). UIM claims come into play, when the person who caused the accident does not have enough insurance to cover your claim and you are tapping into your own insurance coverage that you purchased, called UIM coverage. (Read our UIM blogpost to find out more about UIM claims.)

If you have UIM insurance coverage, your insurance company is allowed to take your recorded statement. When you sign up for insurance, you agree to ‘cooperate’ with your insurance company when you make a claim. Cooperation has been deemed, in part to mean, giving a recorded statement. By contrast, the other person's insurance company cannot require you to give a recorded statement, since you are not their insured. In other words, you did not sign an agreement with them to let them take your recorded statement.

A reputable personal injury attorney will make sure that the recorded will take place at their office and your attorney will be present. Your lawyer’s office will also make sure that the recorded statement is scheduled on a day and time that works with your schedule. The insurance company will call the attorney’s office. Your attorney will put the call on "speaker mode", so you and your attorney can both hear the questions. You as the injured person, will be providing the answers. 

Your personal injury lawyer may ask you follow up questions, if necessary, to clarify any answers you provided. A recorded statement usually only takes 15 to 30 minutes. On the day of your recorded statement, you will arrive at your personal injury attorney’s office 15 minutes early, to go over your current treatment status and the recorded statement process with you, so you are fully prepared. 

Next time, we will discuss different types of personal injury cases.

Monday, December 2, 2013

How Does Surgery Affect My Personal Injury Case?

When a person is injured a car accident or a slip and fall accident, shock is usually the first thing people feel. Your adrenaline is up and you are on alert.  It is similar to working out. You go to the gym and are feeling good. However, the next day, you cannot get out of bed! It has a formal name called “delayed onset muscle soreness”. Most people generally have the same reaction after a car accident. Immediately after the accident, they feel “okay”.  But, later that day or in the evening, when they are trying to sleep, they pain surfaces.  I cannot tell you how many times I have clients tell me that they are just a “little sore” immediately after an accident. Yet, days, weeks or months later, that soreness does not go away and becomes worse.   
After an accident, if you are feeling sore, the best course of action is to seek conservative care.  Conservative care generally consists of seeing a primary care physician, chiropractor, physical therapist and/or massage therapist. If you were injured in a car accident and sustained a strain of your neck, it generally takes 2 to 3 months for that injury to resolve with conservative treatment. 

However, if the discs in your spine were disrupted or a nerve became impinged, you will generally require more treatment, that last longer than the 2 to 3 month timeline. After this period, your treatment providers may refer you out to more invasive care, such as undergoing an MRI or having injections performed.  If those fail, your doctor may decide that you may need surgery.

The question client’s ask, is “How does having surgery affect my personal injury case? The answer is actually very simply, the cost of the surgery, as well as the pain and suffering you had to endure, associated with having surgery will be part of your damages in your personal injury case.   

Next time, we will discuss recorded statements in your personal injury case.