LEGAL LIABILITY OF FOR POOL ACCIDENTS

Top Reasons Liability Can be Found Against a Pool Owner

  1. A Public Pool owner  Fails to maintain proper safety equipment;
  2. A Public Pool Owner Fail to have adequate lifeguards;
  3. A Private Pool Owner invites and fails to supervise children;
  4. A Private Pool Owner fails to warn of any Malfunctioning equipment;

Sadly in the United States, statistics show that nine people are United States drowned. Another harsh reality is that drowning is the second leading accidental injury related death for children ages 1 to 14 years of age. For each child lost, there are up to four nonfatal pool accidents that result in serious injuries to the victims requiring hospitalization and often resulting in paralysis and brain damage. In most of these personal injury situations, the drowning of a child results when he or she was being not being supervised in the pool

The question often arises who is liable for these tragic accidents. Liability for a swimming pool accident is very state specific. Meaning that liability in each state will vary depending on the premises liability laws of the state. Pool owner, including private pool owners in residential areas and owners of pools in a public setting such as a municipality or a hotel can be held liable when a swimmer is injured. This liability stems from the general rules of premises liability in the state where the pool is located.  There are also federal regulations in place to keep public pools safe and insure that the appropriate safety equipment is installed.

Liability of a public pool

Public pool owners can be held liable for failing to provide the proper safety equipment in case of emergency if an invited guest is injured. A public pool owner can also be held liable for equipment that is in disrepair or broken or for the failure to have adequate supervision of lifeguards.  If an accident or injury occurs from broken equipment at a public pool that can be considered negligence per se meaning in the law negligence on its face. In addition to maintaining all equipment in working order, public pools must comply with state and federal regulations. A public pool owner may need to warn of any hidden dangers such as a pool being too shallow for diving. Failure to warn invitees or guests of these hidden dangers can result in liability for a public pool owner

Liability of A private pool Owner

An owner of a private pool must be sure to warn any guests or people at his pool of any dangers that he knows exist.  An example would be a ladder or slide that is not properly secured or is broken. In addition to a private owner’s liability for failure to warn of any hazardous conditions at the pool, a private pool owner can be held liable for injuries to children who are invited to use the pool if they are not adequately supervised or there is not a proper barrier. This is extremely important.  If you are planning to have a party or children over to swim from your neighborhood you are liable for injuries that happen to those children as a result of not supervising them. Therefore, if you plan to have children at your home to swim you must have a qualified person supervising those children at all times or you could be liable for injuries that occur to them from such a lack of supervision. Personal injuries sustained in pool accidents can be serious and even fatal. It is a responsibility that all pool owners must take a seriously. 

Nevada Pool Regulations

The Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) Sections 444.010 – 444.546 previously served as the Southern Nevada Health District’s governing document to regulate the operation of public pools. Due to changes to industry the Southern Nevada Health District developed and proposed new regulations based on the CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code. The new regulations were approved by the Board of Health in April 2018 and approved by the Nevada State Board of Health on June 8, 2018, and go into effect July 1, 2019. 

These regulations encompass swimming pools, bath houses and nudist colonies. This gave me a chuckle in that I did not know we had nudist colonies in Nevada and this article will not discuss the same. Perhaps a future blog post topic.  However, the swimming pool regulations are encompassed in these rules. These rules cover everything including the definition of a public pool, the inspection of public pools, permits required for public pools, the competency of lifeguards on duty and the penalties for a violation of these rules.  According to the statute, a lifeguard on duty at a facility of the state or operated by the state of Nevada or any political subdivision where a recreational swim pool is available, must have satisfactorily completed an advanced lifesaving course offered by the Red Cross or equivalent course. Said lifeguard must be certified and present proof that he has completed such a course and such certifications must be posted at the lifeguards workstations during all business hours. The rules further state that a violation of any of these rules can constitute a misdemeanor. 

Also included in these rules are provisions for disabled persons. Such provision state that a person with the physical disability cannot be prohibited from using a life-saving device in a public swimming pool if the person is using the device in regards to their disability   These rules also give the Southern Nevada Health District permission to supervise the sanitation healthfulness, cleanliness and safety of public swimming pools in Nevada.

Nevada Law Regarding Landlord/ Pool Owner Liability in General

The best way to sum up landlord liability of a pool owner in Nevada is to refer to Supreme Court Case Sargent v. Ross, 308 A2d 528, 534 (1973), where the Nevada Supreme Court stated as follows:

Henceforth landlords and other persons must exercise reasonable care not to subject others to an unreasonable risk of harm.  A landlord must act as a reasonable person under all of the circumstances including the likelihood of injury to others, the probable seriousness of such injuries, and the burden of reducing or avoiding the risk.  We think this basic principle of responsibility for landlords as for others ‘best express the principles of justice and reasonableness upon which our law of torts is founded.’ The questions of control, hidden defects and common or public use, which formerly had to be established as a prerequisite to even considering the negligence of a landlord, will now be relevant only inasmuch as they bear on the basis tort issues such as foreseeability and unreasonableness on the particular risk of harm.  Moody v. Manny’s Auto Repair, 101 Nev. 35, 692 P2d 1290 (1985).

Based on these decisions, a landowner must act “reasonably” under the circumstances.  Obviously, the relationship between a landowner and the injured party will very likely play an important role in determining if the landowner’s conduct or lack thereof, was reasonable.

     The Court Nevada Courts have relied on Section 343A (1) of the Restatement, Second, of Torts which states that, to determine landlord liability.  They have stated that “A possessor of land is not liable to his invitees for physical harm caused to them by any activity or condition on the land whose danger is known or obvious to them, unless the possessor should anticipate the harm despite such knowledge or obviousness.  Comment F. to Section 343(1) of the Restatement, Second, of Torts discusses one possible exception to the general rule. That comment states, “There are cases, however, in which the possessor of land can and should anticipate that the dangerous condition will cause physical harm to the invitee notwithstanding its known or obvious danger.”  A pool is such an example of a dangerous condition that a landowner knows can cause care to guests.

If you have a question about liability for a pool accident and/or any questions regarding a personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

          At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

Las Vegas POOL SAFETY FOR SUMMER FUN

TOP TIPS FOR POOL SAFEY

  1. Assign someone as lifeguard to closely watch the pool at all times during a gathering
  2. Stay in arm’s reach of young children who are not good swimmers
  3.  Secure your pool with appropriate fencing
  4. Install anti-entrapment drain covers and safety release systems to protect against drain entrapment.
  5. Beware of black bottom pools because you cannot see a person on the bottom of the pool

In Las Vegas in the heat of the summer, a favorite activity is to take to the water. When considering water safety, there are different types of water to consider. There are home swimming pools, public swimming pools and open water safety. Whether it is a trip to the lake, the community pool or the pool in your own backyard, these tips will help keep you and your family safe this summer season.

It is important to make sure your child learns these Seven water survival skills as soon as they are ready:

1) Children should learn how to float or tread water for at least one minute

2) Children should know how to swim in a full circle to find the exit

3) Children should be able to swim at least 25 yards to exit the water

4) Children should know how to jump or step into water that is over their head and pull themselves to the surface

5) Although it may seem obvious, Children need to learn how to exit the water. Whether it is finding a ladder on the pool or learning how to pull themselves from the side of the pool

6) it is extremely important to teach children about swimming in open water because it is not the same as swimming in the pool. We need understand current weather and the oceans undertow. Children should always stay close to shore and near an adult within reaching distance. Children can be sucked under the water in a current very easily. Always always always always make sure any child in open water is wearing a life jacket; there should be no exception to this rule

7) Finally it is important that adults who are frequently around children in water learn basic water rescue skills and CPR to help save a child’s life.

Sadly, statistical data shows that drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 to 4 years old. Children 1-4 years of age are most likely to drown in a swimming pool. Children five years and older are more likely to drown in natural water such as a lake or reservoir.  The risk of drowning in open water like the ocean increases with age. For example, the average 10-year-old is three times more likely to drown in open water than in a backyard pool. At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, we urge you to closely watch children when they are in or around water without being distracted. It is important to keep young children at arm’s reach of an adult and make sure older children swim with a partner every time. No one should be swimming alone.

These tragic accidents are more common than you may expect.  In fact, recent headlines have sadly shown that when safety is not first, tragedy can occur quickly.  The recent tragic death of popular country music singer’s Granger Smith’s 3-year-old son, River in a drowning accident illustrates that this sad tragedy can occur anywhere to anyone.  Olympic skier Bode Miller and his wife, Morgan Beck Miller lost their 19-month-old daughter in a home pool accident just last year. 

It is extremely important to teach young children to swim. Every child is different, however, it is imperative to enroll them in swimming lessons as soon as they are ready. It is important to consider their age, their state of development and especially how frequently they are around water when deciding when young children are ready for swimming lessons. If you have a backyard pool, children should be taught to swim at the infant stage. Babies can actually be taught how to float and there are classes for infant swimming at the Henderson Parks and Recreation Centers.  Swimming lessons will teach children valuable skills for preventing water accidents.

If you have a question about pool safety, pool accidents or any questions regarding a personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

          At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

LAS VEGAS AND HENDERSON EVENTS FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY

Join the City of Henderon’s Fourth of July Celebration on Thursday, July 4, 2019, form 6:00 pm to 9:00pm at 350 E. Racetrack Road.  Parking and Admission are Free.

https://www.cityofhenderson.com/henderson-happenings/events/special-events/fourth-of-july-celebration

CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY

For our Nations 242 birthday, there are many options for residents of Clark County, including Las Vegas and Henderson, to celebrate.  The following are a list of events:

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4

Boulder City Damboree

The event heads into its 70th annual celebration Wednesday morning with a Rotary Pancake Breakfast at Bicentennial Park at 7 a.m. on 1100 Colorado Street. A parade is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and will travel down Nevada Highway to Fifth Street, ending at Broadbent Memorial Park.

Broadbent Memorial Park hosts their own Damboree ceremonies, including entertainment, games, and contests from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Games, food, music, and fireworks were scheduled from 4 to 11 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. Admission is free.

Fireworks at Mandalay Bay

The reggae-fusion group Mystic Roots Band performs at Mandalay Bay on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. The show features a live fireworks show. Tickets are priced at $20.

Fireworks at Station Casinos

Station Casinos features their “July 4th Fireworks Blast,” a nine-minute fireworks show that begins at 9 p.m. Fireworks will be launched from three Station Casino properties: Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort and a shared location between Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station in North Las Vegas.

Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station also host a block party that features food vendors, entertainment, a Kids Fun Zone and shopping from 4 to 11 p.m. Admission is free.

Fireworks at Stratosphere

The “Red, White & Boom!” fireworks display begins at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday night. Doors open at 8 p.m. for a viewing party at Elation rooftop pool. During the day, tower admission is free for locals from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Crafted Buffet offers locals a buy one, get one admission.

City of Henderson Independence Day celebration

The City of Henderson hosts their Fourth of July celebrations at Heritage Park on 350 East Racetrack Road on Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. The event features food vendors, games and various activities. Fireworks are scheduled to launch at 9 p.m.

Sundance Helicopter fireworks viewing

Sundance Helicopters offers two flight plans for an aerial view of the city’s various firework launches. An exclusive picnic option is also available for guests to land atop a secluded scenic overlook of the Las Vegas skyline. Guests have the option of choosing either the Fourth of July Aerial plan or the Fourth of July Twilight Picnic plan.

Pahrump Firework Show

Pahrump’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular starts at 9 p.m. Wednesday at Petrack Park on Highway 160 and Basin Avenue. Admission is free. As the longest fireworks display in southern Nevada, guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or a lawn chair to watch the show.

Star Spangled Spectacular

The Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates its 20th anniversary with an outdoor concert, fireworks, food and more. Gates open at 5 p.m. Wednesday at TPC Summerlin on 1700 Village Center Circle. Tickets are $10 or $25 for a family four-pack. Reserved lawn chair seating is $125 and VIP admission is $250.

Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade

The 24th annual Fourth of July parade features floats, balloons, bands and more. Parade-goers experience the debut of a new float in this year’s lineup, the “Vegas Golden Knights: Vegas Born, Vegas Strong.” The escort and dignitary parade begins at 8:30 a.m. with the parade starting at 9 a.m.

The parade starts at Hillpointe Road and Hills Center Drive in The Trails village and travels south toward Village Center Circle before heading west on Trailwood Drive and ending near the corner of Trailwood Drive and Spring Gate Lane.

and more. Gates open at 5 p.m. Wednesday at TPC Summerlin on 1700 Village Center Circle.

Tickets are $10 or $25 for a family four-pack. Reserved lawn chair seating is $125 and VIP admission is $250.

Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade

The 24th annual Fourth of July parade features floats, balloons, bands and more. Parade-goers experience the debut of a new float in this year’s lineup, the “Vegas Golden Knights: Vegas Born, Vegas Strong.” The escort and dignitary parade begins at 8:30 a.m. with the parade starting at 9 a.m.

The parade starts at Hillpointe Road and Hills Center Drive in The Trails village and travels south toward Village Center Circle before heading west on Trailwood Drive and ending near the corner of Trailwood Drive and Spring Gate Lane.

Independence Day at The Linq

If you are one of many that enjoy a barbeque at home or a block party with fireworks, it is important to know our local rules regarding fireworks in Las Vegas and Henderson:

City Of Henderson and Clark County Fireworks Laws 

Legal Use of Fireworks in the City of Henderson and Clark County

Only fireworks labeled as “Safe and Sane” are legal for use on private property for one week of the year, from June 28 until 11:59 p.m. on July 4. Safe and Sane fireworks can only be used on private property and cannot be used on the street or sidewalk, or on public property such as parks, schools, or federal land.

Safe and Sane fireworks  should only be used by adults and should be kept away from children. Safe and Sane fireworks can cause serious injury or death to adults and children and can cause fires.  At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt, we urge you and your family exercise extreme caution when using Safe and Sane fireworks. 

What are Illegal Fireworks In the City of Henderson and Clark County

Fireworks that shoot  through the air, explode, or rotate on the ground are illegal throughout Clark County, including the City of Henderson. They have been declared to be unsafe because the fireworks user does not have control over where they land, which can potentially cause a fire. Illegal fireworks are usually sold outside Clark County and including on  the Indian Reservation. Those fireworks purchased on the Indian Reservation are expected to be used on the Reservation at a special designated area and should not be transported off the property. If you bring illegal fireworks brought into Clark County or the City of Henderson, they can be confiscated, and a person possessing or using them can be ticketed. The penalty is a $1,000 fine and/or a maximum of six months in jail.  Private use of fireworks of any kind is not allowed on public property, such as those owned by the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, Lake Mead Recreational Area, or City of Henderson parks, trail facilities, streets or sidewalks. The use of fireworks on public property can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and a year in jail as well as the costs associated with resource damage, suppression costs, and injuries. Safe and Sane fireworks are illegal at any time of year other than the week of  June 28 until July 4 at 11:59 p.m.. on July 4. http://www.cityofhenderson.com/fire/community-programs/fireworks-safety

If you have a question about an injury over the holiday and/or any questions regarding any personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

          At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

DID YOU KNOW YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY MUST OFFER YOU COVERAGE FOR YOUR MEDICAL BILLS?

Three Things your insurance company is required to do:

  1. Offer you UIM/UM benefits equal to your liability coverage;
  2. Offer you  medical payments coverage in the amount of $1,000.00;
  3. Obtain your written rejections if you do not purchase these coverages.

Auto insurance is complex and multi-faceted. There are a number of coverages that make up what people call their auto insurance. Throughout my  blogs, I have focused on different areas of insurance law. This blog will focus on what is known as the “higher offer rule” in Nevada. This rule requires auto insurance companies to offer you underinsured motorist coverage in the same limits and amounts as your comprehensive collision coverage.  It also requires insurance companies to offer $1,000.00 in medical payments coverage to you for your medical bills.

As of July 1, 2018, the minimum motor vehicle liability coverage for Nevada increased to $25,000 in bodily injury per person and $50,000.00 per accident and $20,000 in property damage per accident. This is commonly cited as 25/50/20. It is highly recommended by the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt to purchase limits greater than that if you are able to. This insurance is called liability insurance and protects you if you are liable for an accident against damage to other people. However, you also have the option of purchasing UIM coverage which covers your own injuries in the event that the other driver does not have enough insurance or has no insurance at all. 

http://doi.nv.gov/Consumers/Automobile-Insurance/

The law is very clear and specific regarding this issue in the state of Nevada.  The legislature enacted the following statute to allow consumers to understand their options when it comes to purchasing auto insurance in Nevada: 

NRS 687B.145  Provisions in policies of casualty insurance: Proration of recovery or benefits; uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage; coverage for medical expenses; insurer not entitled to subrogation upon payment made because of underinsured vehicle coverage.

. . . 

2.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5, insurance companies transacting motor vehicle insurance in this State must offer, on a form approved by the Commissioner, uninsured and underinsured vehicle coverage in an amount equal to the limits of coverage for bodily injury sold to an insured under a policy of insurance covering the use of a passenger car. The insurer is not required to reoffer the coverage to the insured in any replacement, reinstatement, substitute or amended policy, but the insured may purchase the coverage by requesting it in writing from the insurer. Each renewal must include a copy of the form offering such coverage. Uninsured and underinsured vehicle coverage must include a provision which enables the insured to recover up to the limits of the insured’s own coverage any amount of damages for bodily injury from the insured’s insurer which the insured is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of the other vehicle to the extent that those damages exceed the limits of the coverage for bodily injury carried by that owner or operator. If an insured suffers actual damages subject to the limitation of liability provided pursuant to NRS 41.035, underinsured vehicle coverage must include a provision which enables the insured to recover up to the limits of the insured’s own coverage any amount of damages for bodily injury from the insured’s insurer for the actual damages suffered by the insured that exceed that limitation of liability.

3.  An insurance company transacting motor vehicle insurance in this State must offer an insured under a policy covering the use of a passenger car, the option of purchasing coverage in an amount of at least $1,000 for the payment of reasonable and necessary medical expenses resulting from a crash. The offer must be made on a form approved by the Commissioner. The insurer is not required to reoffer the coverage to the insured in any replacement, reinstatement, substitute or amended policy, but the insured may purchase the coverage by requesting it in writing from the insurer. Each renewal must include a copy of the form offering such coverage.

       . . . 

This statute requires an auto insurer to give their customer notice on an approved form that they can purchase medical payments coverage and underinsured motorist benefits. It is important to point out that they are required to offer you $1000.00 in medical payments coverage but you can purchase much higher limits than that.  At the personal injury Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, we highly advise our clients to purchase a minimum of $5,000.00 in medical payments coverage. 

The statute mandates the insurance company  offer IUIM/UM coverage to an insured person in the amount equal to the limits of their liability bodily injury coverage.  This means that if you purchase liability limits in the amount of 100/300, they insurance company must offer you UIM/UM coverage in the amount of 100/300.  The insurance company has the duty to prove that they made this offer at the time insurance was purchased and to maintain the appropriate forms. The insurance company is also required to use language understandable  to the layman in these forms. 

 In Nevada, all carriers generally use the same form because it needs to be approved by the Nevada Department of insurance.  After the policy is purchased, although the insurance company is not required to re-offer the coverage at the time of renewal, “Each renewal must include a copy of the form offering these coverages.“.   It is important to review your insurance policies regularly to make sure that the coverage that you have is the best needed for your family. If you have any questions regarding any insurance policies or coverages,  please don’t please feel free to call the personal injury Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt. We have been practicing in insurance more for over 20 years and can answer any questions that you have regarding your auto insurance policies and coverages.

Although insurance companies do not like to publish their rates, the chart below, from Insure.com identified the average annual UM coverage rate of the 20 most popular cars in seven states using available rates from eight national insurance carriers.   This cost can vary based on your vehicles, other policies, age of drivers, and a number of other underwriting factors.  However, this chart gives a general idea of cost of obtaining UIM/UM insurance.  

State Average price of UM coverage
California$105
Florida$267
Massachusetts$18
Maine$23
Ohio$46
Texas$110
Oregon$49

As you can see, the difference between Massachusetts and Florida is significant.  The cost of UIM/UM coverage can vary dramatically by location. This is because Massachusetts has the lowest percentage of uninsured motorists in the country at around 4 percent.  However, Florida has the second-worst, ranking with 24 percent of their drivers uninsured. Insurance companies rates differ state to state based upon numerous factors. In order to get the best rate for your family, comparing companies is critical. Do your research.   There are numerous websites that can help you check and compare rates of different insurance companies. I highly recommend that you only go with a larger carrier. At the personal injury Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq., I tell my clients, “if you have not seen a commercial for the company, don’t buy insurance from them”!

If you have a question regarding UIM/UM coverage and/or any questions regarding any personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

          At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

SAFETY TIPS TO AVOID INJURY AND HAVE A HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION

City of Henderson Fourth of July Celebration will be Thursday July 4, 2019, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Heritage Park at 350 E. Racetrack Road.  Admission and Parking are Free

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, we urge all of our fellow city of Henderson and Las Vegas community members to prevent injuries and have a safe and happy Fourth of July. https://www.cityofhenderson.com/henderson-happenings/events/special-events/fourth-of-july-celebration 

The following safety tips can reduce the risk of injuries:

  • Always follow the directions on the fireworks package very carefully;
  • Be sure not to set off fireworks near fire hazards such as tall grass, dry leaves, and other dry debris.
  • Do not try to re-ignite used or malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergency purposes, and soak any used or misfired fireworks before discarding to prevent fires or accidental ignitions.
  • Never allow children use fireworks without adult supervision. Even simple fireworks like sparklers have been known to cause injury
  • Never alter or modify or experiment with homemade fireworks.

WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE IS INJURED BY A FIREWORK

Fireworks injuries can be catastrophic and an attorney should be contacted immediately.  If injury occurs, it is important to immediately take the following steps:

  1. Immediately take as many photos as possible of the scene, the debris, and  the injury. 
  2. Take the name, address and phone number of every person present who witnessed the accident. 
  3.  Most importantly, keep all remnants of the firework including the packaging and the receipt if available. If not, find out where it was purchased and when.

In  July 2017, (the last stats available as of this writing)  eight people lost their lives in fireworks mishaps  and a staggering 12,900 sought care for injuries at hospital emergency rooms.  Children under 15 years of age accounted for about 36 percent of the injuries, and males of all ages were involved in 70 percent of injury accidents involving fireworks.  The most common injuries from fireworks are burns to fingers, hands and arms. 

Sadly, the deaths included a four-year old Wisconsin girl who was killed by shrapnel when a metal tube filled with sparklers exploded after being set off by her father in their yard.  I can’t imagine the grief of that family. At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. we urge you to use extreme caution with fireworks and make sure all children are at a safe distance.  Last year an11-year-old boy was left home alone in Kansas and died from playing with fireworks when one exploded and lodged in his neck.

WHAT TYPE OF FIREWORKS CAUSE THE MOST INJURIES

Of all of the different kind of fireworks, sparklers caused approximately 14 percent of the estimated injuries during the July Fourth period last year.  This is most likely do to the fact that children are the most frequent users of sparklers. Reloadable shells were involved in 12 percent of the estimated injuries; and firecrackers were associated with 10 percent. Bottle rockets and homemade/altered devices were involved in three percent of the injuries each.

If you are injured by Fireworks, Know your Legal Rights

Whether a spectator at a fireworks show gone wrong or the user of a malfunctioning firework, victims may be able to recover damages for their injuries. Depending on the circumstances of the firework injury, a number of legal theories may apply. It is important to contact an attorney immediately if you have been injured by fireworks.   

If you are injured as a spectator, you may be able to hold the person or company setting off the fireworks liable through negligence.  This may include the organizers of the shows such as cities or hotels that may be liable for failing to properly supervise the activity. Although a city’s liability may be limited by state law, entities hiring fireworks companies still have a duty to protect attendee’s from injuries. Cities and hotels and other show organizers can be negligent in fulfilling their duty to supervise and open the door to liability if they are negligence.

         When fireworks malfunction and cause injury, the injured person may be able to recover substantial damages from the manufacturer, the importer of foreign-made fireworks, or the local retail seller. All of these entities have a duty to sell products that function properly.  Under the theory of products liability, they may be liable for any injuries caused by a defective firework. http://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/fireworks-injuries.html.  Over the past decade, thousands of people in the United States have been injured by fireworks.

Who Is Liable to Pay for Your Medical Bills

Injuries from fireworks can be serious and the medical bills to treat such injuries can be substantial.  Homeowners’ insurance protection liability coverage is often available, but is it extremely important to contact an attorney first to discuss the facts of your case and determine if coverage applies.  If you or a loved one is injured in a firework accident, do not give any statements until you speak with an attorney. Criminal laws and contractual provisions apply in every instance. Liability coverage under a homeowner’s policy can cover the medical expenses, pain and suffering  and property damages. This means that if someone other than you or a family member sustains an injury in your home or on your property, your insurance policy may pay for their medical expenses. Health insurance will cover any injuries you or a family member may have sustained in a firework accident and should be used first.

Your homeowner’s insurance policy may also protect you in the event you are sued for an accident involving fireworks you are lighting which causes injury to a guest or passerby.  For a covered loss, your homeowner’s policy will pay the cost of litigation including attorney’s fees and a judgment, should the person suing you succeed in getting the lawsuit to court. The Insurance Information Institute (III) has found that the typical homeowner’s insurance policy has a liability limit of $100,000. I would advise you to check your policy to make sure you have enough coverage if you typically put on a large fireworks display.  


            However, if  your state or county has made firework shows illegal in your jurisdiction, and you put on a private show in spite of the law, your insurance company may not be responsible to pay for any damages that you may incur as a result of a firework caused fire or injury. It is important to review your policy for an “illegal acts” exclusion. Because the use of certain fireworks was illegal, you should not have been using them.  Unlike the coverage on your home, the law of negligence would apply to your guests and they would be covered by your policy for your gross negligence in setting off illegal fireworks. 

 At the personal injury Law Offices Of Laura Payne Hunt in Henderson, Nevada we urge you to use extreme caution to avoid injury with fireworks. By following the safety tips listed above we hope that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday. A few extra steps can avert a catastrophic injury. Most of the injuries listed above occurred by the failure of someone to take reasonable steps around children with fireworks. It is extremely important that the dangers of fireworks are recognized and that adults supervise children and use extreme caution for their own safety when handling fireworks. It can be a fun and joyous holiday if a little extra time and caution are used in handling fireworks.

If you have a question about an injury over the holiday and/or any questions regarding any personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

          At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A SOFT TISSUE INJURY

Four most common types of soft tissue injuries
1) Sprains
2) Contusions
3) Strains
4) Whiplash

One of the most common types of injuries sustained in an auto accident is referred to as a soft tissue injury. A soft tissue injury is considered an injury to a muscle or tendon. The term “ soft“ refers to areas of the body that typically become injured after undergoing some trauma such as an auto accident or other types of personal injury accidents. When a victim is involved in a serious car accident, there is generally some type of soft tissue injury as a result. When you are involved in a car accident, your body is subjected to an extreme amount of trauma. Because of the rapid change in direction that your body undergoes and the force that is absorb by the muscles and tendons, the result is a reaction known as muscle splinting. Many people involved in automobile accidents sustain a soft tissue injury as a result of the accident. One of the most common types of injury is often referred to as whiplash. However, other injuries occur in auto accidents such as sprains, contusions, and strains. Below is the definition of each of these type of injuries.

     Whiplash— The most common occurrence of whiplash is from a forceful rear end   automobile impact. When you are involved in a collision where the vehicle is struck from the rear with great force, your neck and head move forward and back in a violent motion. The most common symptoms that we are hear from clients involved in rear and motor vehicle accidents include stiffness, neck pain, back pain, and in many instances loss of memory and concentration. Sometimes the symptoms are felt immediately following the collision. However, it is important to note that you may not feel pain at the scene of the accident and your symptoms can occur several days or a week after the accident. These type of soft tissue injuries cause pain, soreness, stiffness and swelling and sometimes even bruising. Drivers and passengers of motor vehicles involved in a serious car crashe experience pain from the violent forces involved and being thrown around the vehicle in the collision.


Sprains — a sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn and these are a common injury as a result of automobile collisions. Ligaments are a strong band of connective tissue and they connect one bone to another. Our ligaments stabilize and support the joints in our body. Often the violent forces of an automobile collision cause these to be sprained or torn.

Contusions –The word bruise is the common term for what doctors usually referred to as a contusion. Contusion injuries are often caused by a force, a direct trauma, a blow, or some type of blunt impact causing the underlying muscle fibers to be crushed. A contusion is the result of fibers and connective tissues that are under the skin to break without breaking the skin. However, this type of trauma usually causes discoloration and blood pooling in the affected area which can be seen visually as a light or dark colored bruise often even red and purple in color.

Strains — people often use the term strain and sprain interchangeably but they are different injuries. Strains are injuries to the muscles and tendons of the body. As referenced, tendons are made of fiber chords of tissue and they attach our bones to our muscles. Although strains are similar to sprains, a strain occurs when your tendons are stretched or you tear a tendon or a muscle. Strains can cause cramping, muscle weakness, pain, swelling and spasms sometimes. Although a lot of these terms are used to interchangeably these injuries are different and generally result from trauma, often trauma from car accidents.  

What should you do if you sustain soft tissue injury?

The most important thing to do when you sustain a soft injury is to seek medical attention and follow the doctor‘s advice. Often doctors will recommend several methods for pain management often referred to as the RICE method or the no HARM protocol.

RICE – this is an acronym generally used to describe a treatment protocol for soft tissue injuries.  It stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Often medical providers may suggest that you take a break from your activities to rest in order to let your injury heal. Unfortunately, this is not possible for many people in the busy lives that we lead. Doctors may also recommend that ice be placed on and off the affected area in 20 minute intervals, but avoiding direct contact of ice with the skin. Many commercial ice packs can be purchased or you can put ice in a plastic bag and wrap a towel around it to avoid direct contact of the ice with your skin.

HARM- A second method of treatment for soft tissue injuries often recommended by doctors to be used within the first 48 to 72 hours of sustaining injury.  The method is also recommended to help speed recovery. The HARM method stands for heat, alcohol, re-injury, and a massage. Doctors may recommend that a patient who sustains a soft tissue injury apply heat to the injured area within 48 to 72 hours after the injury. Applying heat to the area can cause blood to flow and the swelling to decrease. Doctors may also recommend avoiding alcohol following injury because alcohol can inhibit the ability to feel and if the injury is becoming more aggravated it could increase the swelling and cause the injury to get worse.  Following an accident, like rest, doctors will advise to avoid any activities that could re-aggravate the injury and cause further damage. Finally, massaging an injured area can promote blood flow and swelling and potentially cause more damage if done too early following the injury

Although these are some at home tips to deal with the pain following an automobile crash accident, if pain persists after the first 24 hours, the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  urge you to consult with a medical professional who can help diagnose and implement a treatment plan to speed your recovery. In addition, in the State of Nevada, you cannot make a claim for personal injuries if you did not obtain any medical care. Therefore, it is imperative that you seek medical attention to substantiate and prove the injuries that you sustained as a result of a motor vehicle collision.

Recovery time

Soft tissues can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks to heal depending on your general health, prior injury status, severity of the injury, and age.  In very severe soft tissue cases, a splint or even surgery can be recommended which can take an substantially longer time to heal. Often time’s anti-inflammatory medications will be prescribed to help but these are not suitable for all people.  Sometimes, injuries initially seem to present as soft tissue injuries and as time goes on and they do not heal. In those cases, additional medical intervention is needed to determine the extent of the injury including diagnostic studies like MRI or CAT scan. At the time of the collision, the pain that you are feeling may be soft tissue or may be more extensive injuries. That is why it is extremely important to consult with a medical professional following any personal injuries sustained in an auto accident.

If you have a question regarding soft tissue injuries and/or any questions regarding any personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

The Law of a Slip and Fall- Landlord Liability

Top five things to look at the scene if you have a slip and fall accident

  1. Was there something on the floor that caused you to fall;
  2. Determine what the substance is;
  3. Determine how the substance got there;
  4. Determine if the owner knew or should’ve known about the substance;
  5. Determine if there is a defect in the floor that caused you to fall.

In Nevada, whether you can recover for a slip and fall injury is very specific on the facts and circumstances surrounding the fall itself. The law in Nevada states that although an owner of a property is not an insurer of the safety of the person on the premises.  However, it goes on to state a landowner does in fact have a duty to exercise reasonable care to persons and guests that are on the property. The fact that an accident occurs on the landlord’s property does not in and of itself establish negligence. This is likely the biggest misconception of clients.  It is a commonly held belief that if anything happens on a commercial or private property, the owner is automatically liable for the injuries. This is not true.

An accident or a fall on a property itself does not mean the owner of the location where you fell or were injured is liable. However, they are certainly liable if it was negligence on their part that caused you to fall or become injured. In Nevada, it is critical to know that if you are the victim, you will have the duty to establish that the landlord was negligent and violated his duty of care. You’re probably asking yourself “how do I do that.”  The answer is by photographing everything at the scene where you fell and documenting the entire scene and the hazardous condition. It is extremely important to document what caused you to fall. It is extremely important to document what caused you to fall. Yes, I meant to write that twice. Whether it was a foreign substance on the floor or a defect in the floor itself, you need to photograph and document the area of the fall and/or injury.

You may be asking yourself what is this legal jargon “foreign substance. “  Generally the substance on the floor is a liquid. It is important to photograph the liquid and anything around the liquid to indicate where it came from.  Whether a landlord or property owner is liable will depend on what the liquid is and how it got there. For example, if the land owner or landlord had staff recently mop the floor and water is left, they are absolutely liable because they created the hazardous condition.  If a guest walked by and dropped a soda on the floor, it will depend on the gap in time between the time so it was dropped and the time the injury occurs. Meaning that if the liquid or substance was dropped only minutes before the injury, there may not have been enough time for the landlord to clean up the debris.

However if the substance has been on the floor for a significant period of time whether captured on video, by eyewitness testimony, or by the landowners failure to conduct regular “Sweep‘s” of the area and document the same, they may be liable for the foreign substance on the floor.   This is known as constructive notice by the landlord. Under the law in Nevada, if the landlord has actual notice of the substance on the floor or there is substantial evidence from which a jury could decide that the landlord had notice and should have known that there was a substance on the floor,  liability will be found against the landlord. This is established through evidence. It is imperative to collect evidence at the scene and notify the landlord so that statements can be taken. The plaintiff, aka injured victim. will need to offer credible testimony the substance had in fact been on the floor for a long period of time. Thus, the jury could infer that the landlord had constructive notice of the object on the floor because of the length of time it was there and should have cleaned it up.

This is why it is imperative to contact a personal injury lawyer like the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  immediately when you are involved in a slip and fall accident. In order to show constructive notice, the victim must show that the defect was visible by the landowner or his employees for a sufficient amount of time prior to the accident.  The victim will need to establish that the land owner had sufficient time to discover and fix or remove the hazardous condition.

In most cases, proving  the landowner or landlord had notice  is done by gathering sufficient evidence to  how long the substance was there. It will be important to establish the substance had been on the floor for appreciable lengths of time in order allow the business or their employees to discover and remedy the defect. This is where the experience of the personal injury Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. will be invaluable.  The personal injury Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. will obtain evidence to establish this fact. We obtain documents through discovery from the landowner regarding his employees, his processes and procedures that allow us to establish his negligence.

We can also obtain video surveillance footage that may show an employee in the area of the hazard who should’ve noticed and removed the hazard. The issue of constructive notice and the landlords negligence is generally a question of fact and that is why it is so critical to obtain a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas Nevada or Henderson Nevada to assist you with a slip and fall injury.  

There can be other substances on a surface that can cause a fall, such as sand or food particles so that is why it is critical that you document by photographing with your phone the entire area and the specific area where you fell. It is also very important to notify the landlord at the time that you fall so that the proper steps of investigation can be taken.

If it can be proven that the business owner or one of his agents caused the substance to be on the floor, the landlord or landowner may be strictly liable.   It is outside the standard of ordinary care to have liquid or foreign substances on a walking surface.

Special provisions exist for condominium associations and they are contained in the Nevada Revised Statutes at 116.3107. The statutes place a duty of a condominium association to maintain the common areas.   There is not a lot of law on the association’s duty. However, the statute clearly establishes the association has a duty to maintain the common areas including sidewalks, landscapes and other amenities of the community. There is a small body of law regarding a condominium association’s requirement to maintain security on the premises and this is an issue that will be dealt with in a subsequent blog.

If you have a question about a slip and fall injury and/or any questions regarding a personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

I was Bitten by a Dog, What are my Rights?

FIVE THINGS TO DO WHEN BITTEN BY A DOG

  1. Get the Dog Owners full name, address, and phone number
  2. Call Animal Control to the scene immediately
  3. Call the Police
  4. Take photos of your injury, the location and the dog if possible
  5. Seek Medical attention.

Dog Bite Victims In Nevada Need to Obtain Legal Counsel Immediately to Preserve the Evidence.

In Nevada, the dog owner is not automatically considered liable for your injuries. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/nrs-202.html#NRS202Sec500     For this reason, it is extremely important to obtain counsel immediately following a dog bite so that the proper evidence can be gathered to establish the owners liability for injuries sustained.  The Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt,Esq. can immediately take steps to preserve the evidence in your case.

The personal injury victim has the burden to establish the dog owner was negligent.  The required evidence and documentation must be gathered immediately to establish the owners liability for injuries sustained. If you or a loved one has been attacked or bitten by a dog that is not yours Henderson personal injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. can help you recover your medical bills and money for the pain and suffering and trauma you have endured.   

 If the owner was negligent in maintaining their dog, for instance the dog was loose or not on a leash, the owner can be liable for injuries sustained by the victim. As a practical matter, if your injury does not warrant medical attention, it is not likely worth pursuing a claim for injury against the owner of the dog.  However, is your injury is severe, the owner should be held liable for your injuries.

If the dog owner has homeowners insurance that does not exclude the breed involved in the attack, it can take time to settle your claim since negotiations cannot begin until the extent of the scaring is known.  Meanwhile, the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. can assist you in deferring payment of some of your bills, and/or getting ongoing treatment.

Tell Your Homeowners Insurance Company about all Dogs you own

In cases where the dog owner owns a home, the personal injuries sustained by the victim are covered by homeowner’s liability insurance policy. It is important to note that many homeowners’ policies are starting to exclude specific breeds of dogs and considering them dangerous animals such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Chows,  Dobermans etc. When purchasing homeowners insurance, it is extremely important to list any pets you have and their breed. Failure to advise your homeowner’s insurance company that you have a specific breed of dog can result in you being personally liable for the injuries your dog may cause. If you fail to advise your homeowner’s insurance company of the pet that you own in your home, they may deny coverage for the injuries.   It is important to remember to call your homeowners insurance company each time you get a new dog to advise them of the breed to confirm you are protected from personal liability in the event your dog injuries someone.

How Many Dog Bites are there every year?

  In the United States, approximately 90 million dogs are owned as pets, according to a survey by the American pet products Association from 2017 to 2018. The centers for disease control and prevention have estimated that approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year. Sadly, the rate of dog bite claims is highest for children 5 to 9 years old. The centers for disease control also estimate that over half of the dog bite injuries occur at the home where the dog lives.  

According to The Insurance Information Institute, it is estimated that insurers paid approximately $675 million in liability claims related to dog bites in 2018. An analysis of insurance data by the Insurance Information Institute found that there was a decrease in dog bite claims to 17,297 in 2018 down from 18,522 in 2017 which was a 6.6% decrease.  The Insurance Information Institute also found that the cost per claim had risen 5.3% in 2018. According to their analysis, the average cost payout for a dog bite claim nationwide was $39,017 in 2018.

Interestingly, approximately 20% of all dog bite claims arose in the states of Florida and California. All of these injury claims are not solely attributed to dog bites. Often a dog can knock down a child, a bicyclist or an elderly person which can result in potentially severe injury to the victim.

https://www.iii.org/article/spotlight-on-dog-bite-liability

What Kind of Medical Attention Should I get?

It is important that you obtain medical care if necessary right away for your dog bite injury or dog related injury. It is also important to call animal control if the dog involves an injury where you are knocked off a bicycle or knocked down by an animal but not actually bitten. Liability can still attached to the dog owner for your injuries. If your injuries are severe you should seek treatment at the emergency room. If your injuries are moderate you should seek treatment adequate care to document your injury and obtain stitches that you may need or x-rays. It is  very important to photograph your injury daily following the accident. Most dog bites involve residual scarring and it is important to have the evidence of the initial wound and how long it took to heal and the scarring that remains when the injury is healed. Often times, dog bite injuries will necessitate a scar revision surgery. At the personal injury Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt we work with very skilled doctors and plastic surgeons to find the right medical care for you to minimize any scarring you have sustained as a result of a dog bite injury. As in any personal injury claim, documentation and proof is key to maximizing your recovery for the pain, suffering and loss that you sustain. At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, Esq., we will guide you and assist you through the entire process and make sure that you get the care that you need for the personal injury you sustained.  

Criminal penalties for dog owners

Although it is uncommon, there can be criminal penalties on behalf of the dog owner. In January 2001 the tragic death of Diane Whipple resulted from being attacked in the doorway of her San Francisco apartment by two pit bulls owned by Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel. Both of the owners were convicted of manslaughter for harboring a mischievous dog that killed a person. Although they were convicted on different charges both were sentenced to a four year prison sentence. They became the first Californians convicted of murder for their dog’s actions.

This was only the third time that such charges have been upheld in the United States.  The first conviction was in Kansas in 1997. It is important to understand that criminal liability can attach for ownership of certain pets. If you are severely attacked by an animal, you should call the police and animal control both and you should be willing to press charges as a personal injury victim. At The Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq., Laura and her staff love dogs and dog owners.  Over the years we have donated to various animal welfare organizations. We understand the nature of pet ownership and we believe that a responsibility attaches with such ownership. Pet owners should be held accountable for the actions of their pets if they injure residents of their community including Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. At the personal injury Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. we will also assist all regulatory departments investigating the incident and if criminal charges should be brought, we will push for such charges to be brought against the negligent pet owner.

Contact Us If you or a loved is the victim of a Dog related injury

Often times we see clients and they want to minimize their injury and get on with their life. At the personal injury Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, we will help you quickly get back on track while also healing and recovering from your injuries. We will assist you in documenting your injuries and make sure that you get the proper medical care you need at the most convenient location and time for you. We understand at the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt that victims of personal injury need to go on with their life in spite of the injury that they sustained. We specialize in helping victims of personal injuries in all aspects of their recovery as well as preserving evidence of the injury itself.

  Dog bites can cause traumatic, painful, emotional, and residual injuries for which monetary compensation is warranted and allowed under the law. If you have a question about a dog bite injury and/or any questions regarding a personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE AND ACCIDENT WHILE I AM ON VACATION?

BEFORE YOU GO ON VACATION, TAKE THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS WITH YOUR PHONE:

  1. Your Family health insurance cards
  2. Lists of any family allergies
  3. Your auto insurance card

DON’T LET A CAR ACCIDENT RUIN YOUR VACATION

Vacations are best for getting away from everything stressful. You can enjoy the sun and the beach or get away the snowy slopes and fireside hot chocolate, or anything that your family enjoys.  Often on vacation, you may try new adventures like jet skiing, snorkeling, snowboarding, or any other type of vacation fun. Unfortunately, we don’t often consider that accidents can happen anywhere, even on vacation.  Armed with information and a few necessities like your family health insurance cards, your auto insurance card (whether you are driving your own car or renting a car) along with shorts and sun block, can reduce stress in the event of an accident. It’s also a good idea to have the name of an experienced and trusted local attorney in your contacts.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, we are Henderson Accident Attorneys with over 20 years of experience, 10 of those representing insurance companies.

It’s not something we want to think about when packing for a vacation.  It’s likely last thing we want to think about. However, a couple clicks of your phone and you will not have to think about it again unless it happens. It is important to know your rights and responsibilities while traveling any time, including on vacation.  One call to Henderson Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt can put into motion all of the steps needed to preserve your rights and claims without losing sleep on your vacation.

Summer is a great time to take a trip to more open, cooler, prettier places like the beach or the mountains, or a visit with family in old hometowns or living it up on the Las Vegas Strip. Road trips are exciting, and air travel can get us their much quicker, and renting a car can save time.

An accident is likely the last thing on your mind as you prepare for your trip, and not something you want to think about.  However, a little bit of knowledge can make a stressful situation, easier and not end a great vacation. I hope to answer the most important questions you will have if you find yourself in an accident while on vacation. Whether you are driving your own car or renting a vehicle for an out-of-town vacation, the following is a list items you will want to know to be prepared in the event of an accident:

  1. Make sure the police or on-site security is called to the scene immediately.  This will likely be your only opportunity to gather critical information.
  2. Take pictures of everything including the people themselves involved, the weather, the cars, the road, driver’s licenses, insurance cards, license plates, witness’s and their vehicles, any traffic signals or signs in place, the location of the accident, any article like a ride that caused injury, the floor in a slip and fall, all signs in the area.
  3. If anyone is injured, get medical help at a hospital or quick care and if you have your own health insurance, use it.  Provide the medical provider all of your information and make sure to obtain any records you can while you are there.
  4. Take photos immediately of any injuries sustained such as bruising and lacerations.  

TYPES OF CASES HANDLED BY HUNT LAW OFFICES

  • Swimming pool and spa drowning accidents and slip and fall accidents.
  • Injuries due to violence caused by negligent security or inadequate security.
  • Acts of crime by employees leading to injuries including sexual assaults and assault and battery.
  • Vehicle accidents involving transportation companies or rental cars.
  • Accidents on busses and/or public transportation accidents.
  • Accidents resulting from the use of personal watercraft, jet-skis, and water ski accidents.
  • Accidents involving amusement parks, theme park rides and attractions, equipment failure or maintenance accidents at theme parks.
  • Accidents involving hotel escalators and/or elevator accidents and slip and fall accidents.
  • Scuba diving and parasailing accidents resulting from faulty equipment.

Business owners, hotel owners, rental companies, and theme parks owners who cater to vacationers have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for visitors and their attractions working properly. They must provide a safe premises, and protection from dangers. Rides and rental equipment must function as intended.  Unfortunately, some vacation destinations and resorts do not pay attention to the safety measures that they are required to implement for the protection of their guests. Due to this type of negligence, an attorney is often needed to protect your rights. Laura Hunt, Esq. is dedicated to helping tourists and vacationers injured in accidents, find justice, while visiting Las Vegas and California.  To tell us about your case or concern, please email lhuntlaw@cox.net or call 702-600-0032 24 hours a day and on weekends.

ISSUES OF VACATION ACCIDENTS

Wherever your flight, drive or voyage may take you, an attorney can you help if you’re injured on your journey.  The following is important to keep in mind:

  • State Law in Different States– An attorney can Laura Hunt, Esq. can answer questions regarding laws that vary by state including traffic laws, statutes of limitations, helmet laws, floatation device laws, etc.
  • How Does Insurance work Out of State– What happens if you’re in an auto accident in a different state – or country for that matter? What state’s insurance laws do you follow? The answer is usually yes on your own policies with certain exceptions.  An experienced attorney can answer these important questions.
  • Rental Cars — With a rental, you will likely need to deal with additional paperwork. As soon as you can, you should contact the rental company and inform them of what happened. Most rental cars are equipped with a sticker in the glove box that has emergency information on it. You will usually be covered on your own auto policy and you also need to contact your own insurance company as soon as possible

WHAT ABOUT GETTING THE CAR FIXED?

To help make things easier, here is are few issues you may be faced with dealing with:

  • Your insurance may advise you to fix your car locally. An insurance company will not want to pay to have your damaged car towed to your home town. If the car is drivable, take the vehicle home for repairs.
  • The body shop may not perform quality work, so double check the work before leaving the shop. If the body shop knows you are not local, they may not give your vehicle the treatment you would receive at your local repair shop.  This is why you may want to wait for repairs until you get home. Don’t let a dent ruin a vacation.
  • You will be responsible for picking up from the shop when repairs are done. It is not likely that the insurance company will deliver your repaired vehicle back to your home town.
  • Obtain a police report. Find out from the officer where the records office is and request it as soon as you get home.  It usually takes 10-14 days for them to have the report ready anyway.
  • If repairs are necessary, find a facility with a nationwide warranty plan. If you have to have your car repaired before you can drive it home, look for a body shop that has nationwide warranty coverage. By using a body that has nationwide locations, you can avoid a problem when you get home.
  • If anyone calls you to take a recorded statement besides your own insurance company, do not provide a recorded statement to them.  Sometimes the at fault company will try to call you right away and ask slanted questions and get you to give information that you have not received yet.  They will take advantage of your stressed state.

Being in an automobile accident is never headache free and being in one while away from home and on vacation is even worse. Hopefully with this information, you will be able to avoid some of the headache that people experience and continue enjoying your getaway.  

An accident is frightening and more difficult when you are far from home. If injuries happen, it complicates your vacation and adds stress to the entire family.  If you or one of your family members is seriously injured, an attorney can take care of paper work associated with medical bills as well as all the paperwork associated a repair the vehicle.

If you or a loved one have been injured any type of accident while on vacation, an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else, you should contact an experienced attorney about your case in addition to your insurance or rental car company.

Free Initial Legal Consultation – and We Aren’t Paid unless you collect

Hunt Law Offices has handled hundreds of auto accident, slip and fall cases, catastrophic injury cases, personal injury cases, and have recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients. Henderson Injury Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt’s consultation with vacation accident and resort accidents clients is free. If we take your case, we are only paid fees and costs of suit if we are successful in obtaining money for you. We advance the costs of your case, too, so there’s no cost to you of bringing your claim. To tell us about your case or concern, please email us at lhuntlaw@cox.net or call or text  702-600-0032 24 hours a day and on weekends.

Who Pays for My Rental Care When I Get in An Accident?

THREE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RENTAL CAR COVERAGE

  1. Always Purchase Rental Car Coverage on your own Policy;
  2. Make sure your coverage will cover the vehicle you need;
  3. The other driver’s insurance company may take weeks to authorize a rental car

One of the most frustrating parts of getting into an automobile accident is often being without transportation. Some clients have additional vehicles that they have access to following an accident and they are not quite as burdened. Unfortunately, many of our clients have one vehicle and when that vehicle is wrecked, it compounds the frustration, stress, anxiety, pain and suffering already involved in an auto mobile vehicle accident

When clients are involved in an accident that is not their fault, they automatically assume that they will instantaneously be placed in a rental vehicle at the expense of the at fault driver. Unfortunately, this is very far from the truth. The at fault driver‘s insurance company will investigate the accident to determine fault even if fault on the part of the other driver appears obvious at the time.  At the Law Office of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq., we have seen this situation many times as Henderson personal injury attorneys. This process can often take a week and sometimes even up to 30 days. You do have the option to rent a vehicle at your own expense during that time to be in reimbursed when and if the other insurance company finds that their insured driver is at fault.

That is why it is of critical importance that you have rental car coverage on your own policy. Your insurance company will place you in a rental vehicle immediately following the accident regardless of who is at fault. When purchasing rental car coverage, it is important to understand the options. Sometimes they limit you to the cost per day.  I often have clients very frustrated that they are used to driving in SUV or truck and they are placed in a small economy vehicle as their rental vehicle.

When purchasing rental car coverage, there is usually an option to the cost per day or/and the total amount of rental allowed.  If you are a person who is concerned about what your temporary vehicle may be, it is important that you review this coverage at the time you purchase the coverage.  This is a coverage to be used when your car is being repaired or is deemed a total loss. It’s also important to note that your insurance company will pay for the rental until your vehicle is repaired. 

These polices will have a limit on how much will be paid per day and/or how much total it will pay per claim. The limit per claim might be a maximum dollar amount or a maximum number of days of coverage. For example on my own insurance policy, I also am a person who drives a large vehicle to accommodate my three sons. Therefore, a small compact vehicle would not work for my family. For a minimal additional cost, I raised my rental car coverage to a total of $50 per day for rental coverage.  That way, if I need a rental vehicle I can be placed in a larger car to accommodate my family.

Under most policies, you can only purchase rental reimbursement insurance if you also have collision and comprehensive coverage on your policy.  These are the two most common types of auto insurance offered for property damage to your vehicle. Although they are generally sold together, the type of damage they covers very different:

Collision Insurance provides coverage for damage to your vehicle in the event of a covered accident involving a collision with another vehicle. This includes repairs or a full replacement of your covered vehicle if your vehicle is deemed a total loss.

Comprehensive car insurance pays for damage to your vehicle that is caused by covered events such as theft, crime, or weather events like hail, which are not collision-related. 

WHY IS MY INSURANCE PAYING WHEN IT’S NOT MY FAULT

It is also often frustrating for clients that their insurance company is paying for their rental car when they are not at fault for the accident. You should not allow this to be a frustration. If it is found that you are not at fault for causing the collision, the at fault driver‘s insurance company will pay back your company for the cost of your property damage including the cost of your rental car. Purchasing rental insurance is covering you and your family for losses that may occur. It is important to realize as well that many drivers on the road do not even have insurance. The last estimate available in Las Vegas estimated that approximately 15% of all drivers on the road in Las Vegas and Henderson do not have auto insurance coverage at all. That means if you are unfortunately involved in an accident with one of those drivers your insurance company will have to cover your losses.  Please note that in those situations, most of the large insurance companies are aggressive at going after the at fault driver personally to reimburse them for the damage paid.

The most important thing to remember and to take away from this blog is to protect you and your family by purchasing insurance that will cover you in the event of an accident.  The cost of adding rental car coverage to your policy is generally $2.00 to $20.00 per month depending on your carrier and your other coverages. Considering that the average cost of a rental car is $30.00 to $45.00 per day, this coverage is well worth the small additional expense.

PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY

Don’t let your self be in a position where you are stranded without a vehicle. Not being able to get into a rental car immediately following the accident causes more grief to accident victims sometimes than the injuries themselves. We live in a society where you cannot depend on the perpetrator to pay for your damages. If you do not have rental insurance on your auto policy you are at the complete mercy of the adverse driver’s insurance company or possibly lack thereof. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  we have been helping our clients review their insurance policies for over 15 years. Please do not hesitate to contact our office and we will be happy to give you a consultation regarding what coverages you currently have and likely need. A brief review of your auto insurance policy can protect you and your family from additional losses in the future at a very minimal cost. Please call the personal injury Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt to review your automobile insurance policy today. This consultation is free to anyone who calls the personal injury Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. and it only takes a few minutes.  These few minutes could save you a great deal of grief, headache, and distress in the event you are in an accident

If you have a question about rental car coverage and/or any questions regarding a personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

         At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.