Category Archives: Car Accident Injuries

WHY SHOULD I HIRE A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY?

If you or a loved one is trying to decide whether to hire an attorney to handle your injury claim, this blog contains some important information for you to consider.  Hiring a professional for any job will yield a better result than doing it yourself for the first time.  The benefit of having an experienced, professional, knowledgeable advocate on your side fighting for your rights cannot be understated.  When you hire an attorney to handle your personal injury claim, you receive the following immediate benefits:

1) A HIGHER SETTLEMENT

2)  BETTER MEDICAL CARE

3) A HIGHER SETTLEMENT FOR YOUR VEHICLE

4) EXPERIENCE FIGHTING INSURANCE COMPANIES 

5) REDUCED STRESS OF NOT HAVING TO DEAL WITH THE

    INSURANCE COMPANY

EXPERIENCE

            When hiring an attorney, experience is critical.  I have over twenty years of experience in dealing with insurance companies.  I have the knowledge of the law, and personal experience in dealing with the methods used by insurance companies in handling claims.  I worked for a major insurer for nine years and trained insurance adjusters in dealing with attorneys.  This experience is critical in representing injured victims against these large corporations.

NO OUT OF POCKET COSTS

At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt, PC, we pay for all of the costs of your case including obtaining records, court costs and expert fees.  We make sure the other side pays the costs and the attorney’s fees.  No payments will come out of your pocket.   Personal injury matters often involve claims of disputed liability. A person is injured and an insurance company or corporation wants to claim that it is their fault. It is imperative to obtain the appropriate experts while evidence is still available. Without an attorney, you will not be able to have an expert inspect the premises or the scene of an accident in time to preserve your claims. Attorneys have resources to pay for these costs on behalf of their clients that can also often be substantial.  I have worked with many experts over the years and can retain the proper expert for your case while evidence is still available. Often times, the retention of experts early in the case can lead to a timely settlement and avoid a trial that would take place without such experts being retained.

WE HANDLE YOUR PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIM

I was shocked the first time I learned that many personal injury attorneys do not assist clients with their property damage claim. I have always handled this part of a claim for clients and made sure that their cars were warranted after repairs and that they received the highest amount  possible for a total loss of their vehicle in those cases. Often times we go back-and-forth many times with the insurance company on a total loss to make sure that our client receives a fair market value of their vehicle. Many law firms will tell you that you need to handle the property damage yourself because they are not taking a percentage of that matter. I have always handled this at no cost to my clients as part of their personal injury claim.

WE ALLOW YOU TO FOCUS ON RECOVERY

Dealing with insurance companies takes a great deal of time and causes you a lot of frustration.  The insurance company is not on your side.  They will try to trick you and this is a stress you do not need to deal with when you are injured.  You do not have time to collect your medical records, police records, review documents and talk to the insurance adjuster over and over again.  Let my years of experience as an insurance defense lawyer work for you.

ATTORNEYS HAVE ACCESS TO RESOURCES TO HELP YOU

Insurance companies will use every possible argument to not pay your claim.  A strong understanding of the law and access to medical, biomechanical, police and premises experts are often necessary to prove your case.  Often there are also insurance coverage issues that require an experienced understanding of insurance law.  As an insurance defense attorney for over 10 years, I have the experience to handle any coverage issue that could arise in your case.

ATTORNEYS ARE OBJECTIVE

As an injured victim, you can be frustrated and furious with the insurance process which often moves slowly and requires a ridiculous amount of duplicitous paperwork.  An attorney can handle all of those details and remain calm and focused in order to guide you seamlessly through the process.

AN ATTORNEY WILL  ADVISE YOU THE BEST WAY TO RESOLVE YOUR CASE

With many years of experience handling these matters, I know that an adjuster will not always offer a fair settlement in a timely manner.  In fact, often times, a lawsuit is necessary to obtain a fair settlement of your claim.  At my office, we prepare every case to be ready to go to trial or arbitration or  mediation and will advise you of the best option for your case.

LAWEYERS ARE EXPERIENCED IN UNDERSTANDING HOW OTHER MATTERS CAN IMPACT YOUR CASE

Often times, other matters in your life may seem unrelated but can actually impact your injury claim.  Events like a pending bankruptcy can be substantially impacted by a personal injury action.  For example if you have filed a bankruptcy within the last few years and are currently paying on the bankruptcy plan the bankruptcy court must be notified of any substantial settlement that you receive.  In fact failure to notify the bankruptcy court can be considered a fraud upon the court and you could  be required to pay back all of your debts or turn over your settlement funds to the court. Lawyers can also advise you on how to handle matters like social media during a pending personal injury matter. Insurance companies can be ruthless in their efforts to investigate and discredit claimants.   Likewise prior criminal matters can sometimes impact your case and can be handled by an attorney to minimize or avoid impact on your personal injury case.  The same holds true for prior injury claims. Insurance companies will always want to blame any injury you have on a prior claim or a work claim. Attorneys know how to handle these matters. I have worked with many people over the years who have sustained multiple injuries and we have successfully recovered for each of their injuries

YOU WILL RECEIVE MORE MONEY WITH AN ATTORNEY

It is a known fact that the clients who have attorneys receive higher settlements than Claimants who do not.  And it is not always only about how much money is paid by the insurance company, it is often about how that money is distributed. An attorney will maximize all conflicting policies including health insurance subrogation lien’s, Medicare and medical payments coverage to make sure that the expenses are as low as possible and that the client receives the maximum settlement of the funds.  An attorney can also make sure the client receives medical care desperately needed in the event that health insurance is not available or too difficult for the client to obtain the treatment needed.

AN ATTORNEY CAN HANDLE YOUR CASE TO ITS NECESSARY CONCLUSION

Finally insurance companies always know if a claimant does not have an attorney they do not have the ability to take the matter to the final stage, which is a jury trial, if a settlement cannot be agreed-upon. Unfortunately insurance companies will take advantage of people because of this fact and never offer a reasonable settlement that a jury would award in their case because they know the claimant does not have the ability to go to a jury trial without an attorney. You should protect your rights from the beginning. I have tried dozens of cases and also see it as a trial judge on a part-time basis. I have the experience in the court room that you need to receive the maximum compensation that you are entitled to receive

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident call our office immediately and we will 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 offices today.  At my 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 Law Offices of Laura Hunt 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 offices.  The Law Offices of Laura 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.

holiday accidents

Holiday Accidents and Driving

Holidays in Las Vegas are some of the best times around. Holiday parties, festivals, and other activities are in full swing around the Las Vegas valley. There are so many opportunities to enjoy the atmosphere of the season. It’s a time to reconnect with family and friends, indulge in some fabulous food and drinks, or follow some holiday traditions. Whether you are going to Ethel M’s to see the Cactus Gardens, the Motor Speedway to see the Glittering Lights display, or taking in some ice skating on the Strip, you can hopefully count on having a lot of fun, but you should do so responsibly. Nothing ruins the season like a car accident.

A study done by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, spanning 1975 to 2002, found that the deadliest days for accidents are the 4th of July, December 23rd through 25th, and New Year’s Day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2010, the economic cost of accidents reached $242 billion. This number represents actual costs, like medical bills, lost work, and other tangible things. If you add in the intangible items like lost quality-of-life, the number jumps to $836 billion. That is a significant amount of economic damage to consider when we weigh our responsibility to society.

What causes holiday car accidents?

Drunk Driving

Several things can cause accidents around the holidays. The most obvious one is alcohol-related. According to the CDC, 1,025 people died in alcohol-related accidents between the years of 2002 and 2012. 1 out of every 3 deaths in traffic accidents involves a drunk driver in the US. 7.5 percent of all accidents in the month of December are caused by alcohol-impairment. In our state, a whopping 35 percent of accidents in 2016 were caused by drunk drivers, many of them with a blood alcohol level (BAC) well above the 0.08 level allowed by law.

While the numbers seem to be lower in the last several years, there are still plenty of people who get behind the wheel while drunk. Approximately 1.8 percent of people self-reported driving drunk in the previous 30 days. Perhaps millions more over the course of the year will drive while impaired. The NHTSA said that in 2010, alcohol-related accidents cost over $44 billion. Just in the last week or so, DUI crashes have left a woman in the hospital and a UNLV student injured and property damaged. It’s not worth it, both in cost of life and economic damage, to be a part of these statistics.

Drowsy Driving

Another factor that might cause accidents is drowsy driving. In 2015, the NHTSA reports that 90,000 accidents were the result of drowsy driving. This number has gone up drastically in just a few years, as only 66,000 were reported in 2011. When you are out late, enjoying a holiday party or coming home from looking at the lights, even if you haven’t been drinking, you are still at risk of causing an accident. The National Sleep Foundation reported that as many as 37 percent of adult drivers have reported falling asleep while driving. If you aren’t awake to steer, you can’t control what your car does or does not hit.

We’ve talked about drowsy driving before. There are many notable accidents caused by drowsy driving in our town, including a Greyhound bus in 2001. If you are driving and drowsy, for whatever reason, make a phone call to a friend, get an uber or taxi, or pull over and sleep. All you are losing is time, and time and that’s better than the alternative.

Distracted Driving

Another possible cause of accidents during this holiday season is distracted driving. It’s tempting to take a picture of those Christmas lights with your phone or text your significant other with an ETA, but statistics show that cell phone use, and other forms of distracted driving, can be problematic. It’s currently against the law in Las Vegas to drive with a device in your hands, so put it down. If you want to take a picture, send a text, or even talk on the phone, pull over. You won’t be missing anything by doing so, and it might save you from tragedy.

Marijuana impaired driving

A new risk for Las Vegas during this holiday season is the possibility of marijuana-impairment. The research on the effects of driving under the influence of marijuana is still in the early stages, but the CDC does warn that the risks are real. It is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana in Nevada. While there are not currently any roadside tests for marijuana, there are several in development.

While you can control yourself and how you drive, that is not the case for other drivers on the road. Even when we aren’t thinking about it, there are always risks associated with driving. At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt we urge people to act responsibly while driving. If you or a loved one is involved in an auto accident during this holiday season, please call our office today at 702-450-4868 and we can explain your legal rights and remedies under the law.

 

Photo “Car keys and a bottle of beer” by Amanda Mills acquired from Public Health Image Library, under public domain license.

Auto Accidents and Spinal Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are life changing and can lead to emotional trauma. Because these injuries are expensive, it is important to retain the services of an attorney as soon as possible. Continue reading

Dealing with Whiplash After an Accident? Help is Here

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The whiplash that you experienced as a result of a car accident can continue affecting your life for years. Personal injury and auto accident attorneys can help you get the funds needed to recover.

Get Legal Help After Developing Whiplash

Whiplash is a type of muscle strain that commonly occurs because of the way your head and neck moves after someone strikes your vehicle. Most accident survivors diagnosed with whiplash developed the condition because of the way the neck snapped violently or abruptly back and forth. An attorney can help you get compensation from the responsible driver and/or his or her attorney to pay for you medical bills.

Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

Many people assume that they will notice the signs of whiplash at the scene of the accident, but it can take an entire day or more after the auto accident before you experience any symptoms. The most common symptom is neck pain that worsens when you move your neck or head. Some may also suffer from a stiff neck or find themselves dealing with frequent headaches. Other symptoms of whiplash can include pain in the shoulder or lower back, memory loss, loss of short-term memory, problems concentrating and difficulty sleeping.

The Importance of Seeking Compensation

The leading reason why you should look for an auto accident lawyer in Henderson with experience in whiplash cases is because treating the condition is so difficult. There isn’t a one size fits all approach to treating whiplash cases, and you may find that you need to take a combination of medications to reduce your pain. This can prevent you from playing with your children, going to work or doing any other activities that you enjoy. Car accident attorneys can help you get the money that you need in the months after that accident.

Recovering from an Accident

Recovering from a car accident that left you with whiplash is easier when you have the money necessary to make your mortgage payments and pay off your medical bills. Work with an attorney who can help you settle your case with an insurer or assist you in court to get the money you need.

Are You Facing Steep Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

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There is a wide range of injuries that you might sustain in an auto accident. Working with a good attorney helps you get the money you need to pay off those bills.

Take Care of Medical Bills After an Auto Accident

An auto accident can happen in a fraction of a second or a blink of an eye. Although you may notice signs and symptoms of injuries in the next few seconds and minutes, other injuries may take a few hours or longer to develop. It’s important that you know the type of injures you might sustain and what an attorney can and will do for you.

Types of Car Accident Injuries

The most common type of car accident injury is whiplash. This usually occurs when someone strikes you from behind and your head moves forward and back quickly. Whiplash can cause an intense pain that shoots through your neck and down your back, but many people suffering from whiplash experience constant pain as well. Broken bones and concussions are also common in auto accidents, and some suffer a traumatic brain injury or fall into a coma after striking their heads on the steering wheel or air bag.

Accident Attorneys Can Help

A car accident attorney in Las Vegas can get to work on your case right away, even if you need to spend a few weeks or more in the hospital. The law firm will contact any witnesses or law enforcement agents who were on the scene to gather all the necessary evidence, but they will also take care of getting in touch with the insurer of the responsible driver too. Even if you cannot afford to pay a retainer, some Vegas law firms will take your case on a contingency basis and receive payment when you get your compensation.

Consult with an Injury Attorney Today

Nevada has a statute of limitations that require you file within two years of the accident. The sooner you find a good attorney to fight for your rights, the sooner you can get the cash that you need to pay for the injuries and medical bills you have.

Common Car Accident Injuries That Should Never Be Ignored

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The surge of adrenaline that takes place during an auto accident can mask pain and injuries for hours or even days. Anyone involved in a collision should be mindful of their body and keep an eye out for these common injuries.

Car Accident Injuries That Should Never Be Ignored

Immediately following a car accident, drivers and passengers will often experience a wide range of emotions as adrenaline and endorphins surge through their body. While these natural chemicals are vital to our health, they can also mask injuries and lead to people feeling as if they are perfectly fine following a collision. When it comes to your health after an auto accident, however, it always pays to err on the side of caution.

Back and Neck Pain

The human spine is protected by multiple layers of soft tissue, but the sheer amount of force exerted in an auto accident can damage the neck, back, and shoulders. Any amount of discomfort felt in these areas after an accident requires immediate medical attention and a call to a car accident attorney Las Vegas. Even if the pain is mild, minor damage to the spine could require years of therapy and rehabilitation if not treated immediately.

Brain and Head Injuries

Head injuries should never be taken lightly, especially if direct trauma has taken place. These problems can range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that require comprehensive treatment. Unfortunately, brain injuries are often difficult to notice, but there are a few signs that drivers and passengers should be aware of. This includes any cuts or bruises around the face or head, confusion, dizziness, sudden fatigue, and any problems with one’s vision.

Psychological Trauma

The psychological and emotional trauma that takes place after an auto accident should never be underestimated. These events are incredibly draining on the human psyche, and it is important to seek out help as quickly as possible if you have begun to notice issues such as trouble sleeping, irritability, chronic stress, or any other emotional distress following a recent collision.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury

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Although TBI injuries can be life threatening, they are often survivable. Learn about the symptoms and causes of TBI following an auto accident.

TBI: An Auto Accident Injury

Automobile accidents are a common occurrence across the roadways of America. Most vehicle accidents do not result in death, but the injuries sustained can be life altering. One of the most severe of these accident-related injuries is traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

What is TBI?

TBI occurs when the brain is subjected to extreme external force. TBI can occur with both closed and penetrating head injuries. In closed head injuries, the skull remains intact. Penetrating head injuries, on the other hand, involve penetration into the skull and exposure of the brain. Although the initial injury may not be severe in and of itself, the cascading effects of altered cerebral blood flow and pressure changes within the skull can contribute greatly to the outcome.

The effects of TBI will vary depending on the type of injury sustained. Mild TBI can lead to headache, vomiting, difficulty sleeping and loss of consciousness from a few seconds to a few minutes. Moderate or severe TBI injuries include loss of consciousness from several minutes to more than 24 hours, seizures, drainage of clear fluids from the nose or ears and an inability to wake from sleep.

The Story of Phineas Gage

One extreme TBI case is the story of Phineas Gage, a young American railroad worker who lived during the mid to late 1800s. He sustained a severe case of TBI when a 3-foot, 7-inch iron rod 1 ¼-inches in diameter was propelled through his head following an explosion of blasting powder. The rod passed behind his left eye and exited through the top of his head. Despite this horrific injury, Gage was able to recover to the point of becoming a stagecoach driver. He died twelve years later from complications resulting from his injury. He reportedly suffered from personality changes that prevented him from resuming his original job.

What Next?

Although most TBI accidents are not as extreme as the one above, they can still have a profound impact on the life of the victim. A competent car accident lawyer in Las Vegas may be able to help victims obtain compensation for medical expenses resulting from this condition.

Auto Accidents and PTSD

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Vehicle accidents are a common cause of post-traumatic stress disorder. You may be entitled to receive compensation if the accident caused you to experience PTSD.

Auto Accidents and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

According to statistics, every driver on the roads of America is likely to be involved in an auto accident of some type every 17.9 years. The victim of an auto accident can sometimes walk away without a scratch, but there can be hidden injuries that are not immediately recognized. One type of hidden “injury” is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

PTSD: It Doesn’t Only Affect Soldiers

You may be surprised to learn that PTSD is not limited to the soldier who was in combat or the victim of a violent crime. PTSD is also a common occurrence among auto accident victims. While some people may believe the condition to be a simple anxiety disorder, it runs deeper than that. Unlike common anxiety or stress responses, PTSD is triggered by a high level of trauma and is a common part of the victim’s daily life.

What Are PTSD Symptoms?

PTSD symptoms often occur as intrusive memories, avoidance, mood/behavior changes and arousal.

Intrusion: The victim is troubled by memories of the event on a regular basis. He or she may experience flashbacks and nightmares.

Avoidance: The victim may avoid certain people, places or activities if these things tend to bring back memories. He or she may also refuse to discuss the event.

Mood/Behavior Changes: A common symptom of PTSD includes behavioral changes such as emotional numbness, despair about the future, an inability to maintain close relationships and a lack of enthusiasm. The victim of PTSD may also exhibit self-destructive behavior such as alcohol abuse or suicidal tendencies.

Arousal: PTSD is also manifested as an inability to concentrate, hyper-vigilance, poor sleep patterns and a sense of constant danger.

You’re Not Alone

PTSD can bring severe trials to the victim of the auto accident and his or her immediate family and friends. Because of the nature of PTSD, it can take several weeks for the symptoms to manifest themselves. If you or one of your loved ones has been in an auto accident recently, pay close attention to any possible signs of PTSD. You may be entitled to compensation for your treatment if your accident was the fault of a negligent driver. A competent Las Vegas auto accident attorney will be able to help you get the most out of your auto accident claim.

Dealing With Medical Expenses Following a Car Accident

Medical bills resulting from automobile accidents can cost upwards of $10,000. A good accident attorney will help their client receive compensation for their injuries.

Helping Automobile Accident Victims Deal with Medical Expenses

Medical bills are usually the biggest expense that victims of an automobile accident will face. In most circumstances, the negligent party in the accident is financially responsible for any medical expenses associated with medical treatment, medical exams, physical therapies and visits to the chiropractor that the victim will need. Automobile accident-related medical expenses usually come in two phases. The first phase is the initial diagnosis. The second phase is the ongoing care.

The Cost of Ongoing Treatment

Ongoing care is the more expensive of the two phases. In the state of Nevada, rehabilitation therapy, visits to the chiropractor and prescriptions to control pain or nervous and emotional issues that result from the accident can cost into the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars. The insurance company of the at-fault driver may be reluctant to cover these medical bills. If this is the case, the accident victim should consult with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer.

Helping Accident Victims Get Back on Their Feet

Automobile accident attorneys work with their clients to help them get back to where they were before their injury. The victim of an automobile accident has the right to heal physically and emotionally. In order to do that, they must be provided with the financial compensation they deserve. A Las Vegas car accident lawyer will work with insurance companies, forcing them to pay compensation to the accident victim. In cases where the insurance company refuses to hold up their end of the bargain, legal action may be required.

Attorneys have the responsibility to care for the rights of their clients. In addition to fighting for them in court, they work with the family and help guide them through the legal process of dealing with automobile-related injuries.

Which Injuries are Most Likely after a Car Accident?

a wrecked carCar accidents are not only mentally traumatizing to a victim but they can cause a number of physical issues. Some injuries can be minor while others can last a lifetime. Here are some of the most common injuries most likely to happen after a car accident.

Facial injuries

Car accident victims may require dental surgeries and cosmetic repairs from facial injuries. They can injure their face and jaw in the windshield, shattered glass, with the air bag, on the dashboard or with a car seat. It’s very easy to injure the face and costs thousands of dollars for surgeries to repair these injuries.

Spinal cord and neck injuries

Many people experience whip lash from a car accident. Usually, whip lash is less serious while others have experienced severe problems like disc injuries and cervical radiculopathy (a pain in the neck that can cause weakness and numbness down through the arms). These serious injuries will require rehabilitation and possible surgery to reach a full recovery. Car accident victims may not even experience pain or symptoms of a neck or back injury until some time has passed after the accident.

Brain injuries

One of the most serious injuries coming from car accidents is a brain injury. They are also the most common type of injury. What makes them so dangerous, like neck and back injuries, symptoms don’t often surface until time has passed. With a brain injury, there may not be symptoms, but there could be internal bruising, which is dangerous if untreated. Some people even get a mild concussion and don’t realize it immediately.

Another issue that some victims experience with long-term brain injuries is time missed at work and handling daily tasks. This type of injury can also lead to the need for long-term care, which can be very expensive.

Mental injuries

Not only are physical injuries prevalent in car accidents, but also psychological injuries. Sometimes death occurs and this can be psychologically dangerous to the surviving victims. Victims may have to talk to a therapist for post-traumatic stress disorder or they may experience short-term effects of the accident.

While car accidents can be stressful and frightening enough, the victims of the crash have to cope with physical and mental injuries that can occur, as well. Victims are most likely to experience facial and jaw injuries, neck and back injuries, brain injuries and psychological damage.

If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries in a car accident, contact the car accident lawyers at Hunt Law Offices today for a free consultation.

Photo By Dori