Category Archives: Truck Accidents

Top 5 Things to Consider When Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Experience – LAURA PAYNE HUNT’S EXPERIENCE and insight is the key difference in knowing how to settle, when to settle and for how much.  If you don’t know what to do next, call The Law Office of Laura Payne Hunt and let us help you get the Medical Treatment and Legal Advice you need and deserve.

 

Accessibility – As a small practice with a consistent staff we are able to treat our clients like friends and family and be there to hear their concerns. My secretary, Peggy has been with me for many years and she is extraordinarily skilled and knowledgeable in the area of personal injury law. At the law offices of Laura Payne Hunt, we take great pride in providing a service that is fading in the world of big law firm‘s big advertising and nationwide organizations. If you are looking for experience, knowledge, personal service and compassionate representation, call our office today

Knowledge of the Law — INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE NEVER ON YOUR SIDE! ATTORNEY LAURA PAYNE HUNT knows this firsthand because she spent years working as defense counsel for one of the leading insurance companies in the nation.    Laura knows what it takes to win.  She uses the insight, knowledge and expertise she acquired while helping THEM save millions to now help YOU recover the maximum personal injury compensation you deserve.

HER focus is protecting your rights so that YOUR focus can be on getting well.

 

Compassionate –insurance companies are cold and corporatized and it is important to have someone who listens to you and understands the pain, inconvenience and emotional distress that you are going through. I take great pride in being available to my clients to listen to what they need and to find specific medical providers that are best for their location, as well as the injuries they have sustained. It is important that you receive the proper care and it is equally important that your property damage is addressed. Many law firms do not assist you with your property damage. However we care about our clients and we see the case through from start to finish. Every case we take will be ready for trial if necessary. Fortunately for clients, only about two percent of cases go to trial but we handle every case as if it is one of those two percent and insurance companies know that.

 

Community Connections –As a lifelong resident of Nevada, professional connections I have built are of great benefit to the clients we represent.  Having grown up in the state of Nevada and the city of Henderson primarily, I have made many friends and have valuable professional connections that help my clients to get the proper medical care that they need as well as to have their vehicle repaired properly with the proper warranties. It takes a village sometimes to handle these matters.   Clients need medical care, vehicle repairs, and rental cars. Having practiced and worked in this city for my entire professional career and having worked for the insurance companies, I have maintain strong professional connections that are of great benefit to the clients we represent. I have been a long time sponsor of Paseo Verde Little League teams and I enjoy being active in our community.

 

 

 

ABOUT LAURA

I knew I wanted to be an attorney from the time I was seven years old. I grew up in Las Vegas and attended Tomiyasu Elementary School and Valley High School. I went to junior high school at Cannon Junior High School and was a product of 6 Grade Center being bused to a different part of town. Henderson is my home and it has been since I was five years old. I take a great deal of pride in what I do and being part of the community.

I went to UNLV undergrad and obtained a degree in Communications with an emphasis is print Journalism.  While attending UNLV I was a writer for the school paper for the entertainment section. I was also an active Disc Jockey at the school radio station KUNV,  playing my alternative favorite alternative beats. To pick up extra cash, I was also a Disc Jockey at the AM radio station where we played a variety of cultural music. Fortunately, my amateur guitar playing skills and love of Diet Coke helped keep me awake during those overnight AM radio jobs.

I went to Oklahoma City University for law school. I graduated from law school Cum Laude. While in law school, I was a member of the legal honor Society a Phi Kappa Phi as well as a participant in the moot court team.  Upon graduating from law school, I took the Nevada bar exam successfully followed by the California bar successfully. I am also admitted to practice law in the state of Texas.

I returned to Las Vegas to start my legal career and clerked for a respected District Court judge. I went on to work for a law firm that handled cases for the insurance companies for a couple of years before I became the managing attorney for a major insurance company’s in-house legal office.

During my time working as an attorney for the insurance company, I learned the ins and outs of this business first hand. I trained insurance adjusters on how to deal with attorneys and had daily interactions with claims adjusters and claims files.  I observed the nature and approach of insurance companies to accident claims and the victims involved.   This experience is invaluable in representing injured people.

I am very passionate about what I do and I take great pride in providing top legal representation for injured people. I never had a desire to be on every billboard in town and be an attorney that brings in 100 files a month.  To do that you need a lot of lawyers churning these files out to pay the massive overhead of advertising and large buildings.  Personal care and attention to clients’ needs can easily be lost in that type of environment.  I prefer to focus on the people who are my clients. I know each of my client’s case personally and I meet with every client personally. When you call my office, I will know your first name, I will know what your case is about. I will know what is going on. That is not the case with many law firms that have a high turnover rate because of low pay and often inexperienced attorneys.

The benefit of retaining a small law firm to handle your case is that you will receive personal service and you will have a relationship with your attorney. I kind of analogize this to the difference between going to a large medical center where you see someone different every time who hasn’t looked at your file and doesn’t know your name, to going to your family doctor who knows who you are remembers your conditions.  The person who is there for you to talk to about your needs. It is a choice that an injured person should make from the start of their search for a lawyer.  Whether a large firm or a small firm is the right choice for you will be very important for your mental well-being during your case.  Dealing with a large firm with constant turn over can be frustrating. THE LAW OFFICE OF LAURA PAYNE HUNT is a boutique law firm providing you with personal and compassionate representation with one goal in mind, the best care and recovery for each of our clients.

 

With over 18 years of experience helping injured people and working for the insurance companies I have a vast amount of knowledge and insight into exactly what insurance companies are looking at when reviewing your claim. Having been a member of this community for so many years, I know many good physicians and practices that provide top medical care for injured people. Connections in the community are vital in helping clients obtain the medical care they need for their specific injuries.

 

AS A SHORT TRIAL JUDGE and frequent Arbitrator, my skill is just as effective in the courtroom as it is in the conference room.  I will passionately and aggressively defend your rights and recovery whether your case settles or goes to trial.

 

If you or a loved one is ever 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 Payne 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 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.

Apology means guilt?

Is Saying I’m Sorry an Admission of Guilt?

Imagine this. You’re driving along on Eastern, trying to get to your favorite donut shop. The tunes are playing loudly on the radio and you’re not paying much attention to the road as you sing along. The light ahead of you turns red and the cars stop, but you miss it. You slam on the brakes, unexpectedly. Suddenly, your rear fender finds itself lodged in the front fender of the car behind you. Horrified, you call the police and your personal injury lawyer. Then, you get out of your car and apologize profusely. After all, your mom raised you to be polite and apologize for things. But did you just admit your guilt? And can it cause you legal difficulty if your case goes to court?

Outcomes of Apologies in Court Cases

There’s two possible outcomes when you apologize after an accident. In one case, a sincere apology can lessen a person’s anger, thus making it less likely that they will seek legal action. In the other case, it’s a question of “anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.” By apologizing, they may argue you indicate your liability in the matter and it gives the other party a compelling case against you.

Thirty-six states have recognized the detriment that an apology can cause to a potential defendant and have enacted “Apology Laws”. First applied to medical malpractice, the laws protect anyone who makes a statement of sympathy or benevolent gesture following an accident. As long as the person doesn’t actually admit guilt, such statements are not admissible as evidence. Unfortunately, Nevada is not one of those states, so legal protections for an apology are limited.

So, how do you apologize without admitting guilt?

First, think about if an apology really is important in the situation. It might be your gut reaction, even if you did nothing wrong, but is it necessary? In our example above, there was obviously a lapse in judgment by driving distractedly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should apologize for being in an accident.

Second, if you decide that an apology is worthwhile, don’t admit any fault or place any blame. It’s important to not give any indication that you are liable. You shouldn’t express any opinions or hunches about what caused the accident or how it could have been avoided.

Third, consider finding something different to say, instead of “I’m sorry.” Simply saying “I’m sorry” is relatively ambiguous and can be applied to many different situations, including accidents, funerals, and arguments. Find specific language for the sentiment you are trying to express. In our above example, you might say, “I understand how frustrating this situation is” instead of “I’m sorry I stopped so abruptly.”

Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm, a Ph.D. in persuasive strategies, gave two suggestions on how to show you are sorry: one, acknowledge pain, death, loss, and inconvenience; two, don’t let acknowledgement get confused with responsibility. In short, there are many occasions when apologizing is meaningful, and can even be beneficial, but don’t let anyone mistake saying “I’m sorry” for saying “It’s my fault.”

In general, when you’ve been in an accident, the old adage probably still holds true: “It’s better to say nothing at all.” And if you have been in an accident, please call our office today at 702-450-4868 and we can explain your legal rights and remedies under the law.

Settling Truck Accident Lawsuits

All the factors that determine how truck accidents lawsuits are settled and how insurance limits determine how fast a truck accident lawsuit is settled. Continue reading

Involved in a Truck Accident in Las Vegas? Fight Back

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Surviving an accident with a large truck can leave you injured and unable to pay your bills. Before you give up hope, find out how long you have to file and how much you may receive when working with an attorney.

Everything You Need to Know About Truck Accidents and Lawsuits

Truck accidents can happen to even the most prepared of drivers. Whether it was a larger or smaller truck, you might walk away from that accident with significant personal injuries and serious damage to your personal property. Working with a lawyer gives you the right to fight back and file a lawsuit against the responsible party, but you need to understand more about the law before you file.

How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit?

When searching for a truck accident attorney Las Vegas residents often don’t realize that they only have a limited window in which to file a lawsuit. Nevada has a two year statute of limitations, which begins on the day of the accident. If you do not file before this deadline passes, you cannot file a lawsuit against anyone involved in the crash, even if the driver was drunk or violated the law.

Is There a Damage Cap in Las Vegas?

Nevada differentiates between economic losses and emotional pain or suffering. Economic losses do not have a cap in place. You may file a lawsuit that asks the responsible party to pay for your lost wages, medical bills and any other money you can prove that you spent. Emotional pain and suffering refers to the money you might ask for regarding things you cannot show or prove. The state has a damage cap regarding emotional pain and suffering that caps the total amount you can get at $350,000.

Filing After Truck Accidents

Even if you spend weeks recovering in the hospital or at home after a truck accident, it’s important that you find a lawyer and begin the process of filing a lawsuit as quickly as possible. Though you have up to two years to file, your attorney will need some time to gather evidence to help you in court.

Laws Governing Truck Accidents Are Complicated

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Trucking accidents are very different than car accidents because they often involve multiple statutes. Your attorney should have specific experience in this area of law to ensure quality representation.

The Various Legal Issues That Truck Accidents Can Present

The trucking industry is regulated at state and federal levels. Truck drivers and trucking companies must follow all of these laws when operating a large commercial vehicle on the road. When accidents occur involving big rigs, injured victims should make sure that their accident attorney has the knowledge and experience to handle this type of case. A truck accident attorney Las Vegas can often be of assistance.

The Most Common Causes Of Truck Accidents

One of the most common causes of trucking accidents is a driver who is sleep-deprived. Drivers who have been operating these large vehicles in excess of the legally-permitted number of hours become a danger to themselves and all those around them. Your attorney should know what the legal driving limit is for commercial vehicles and be able to distinguish if the driver surpassed those limits and why. Drivers may choose to exceed these limits voluntarily, or they may be forced to by their trucking company employer. It is very important that your attorney can determine which one of these events occurred so that the right party is held responsible for this negligent action.

Injuries Occuring In Trucking Accidents Can Be Catastrophic

Injuries that occur during a trucking accident are almost always catastrophic in nature to the passengers of the smaller vehicle. The size and weight of the large vehicle can cause devastating damage. Your attorney must understand how severe the injuries are from this type of accident so that they can better represent your case.

Aggressive Legal Representation Is Necessary

When it comes to semi truck accidents, it is very important to find aggressive and knowledgeable legal representation. These cases can have many parties that are responsible for the accident.. Victims can often be best represented by an attorney that specifically handles this type of case.

Truck Accident Injury

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Vehicle accidents lead to some of the most horrific injuries known in the medical world. It’s important to enlist the services of a competent lawyer to ensure that you receive the compensation you need to recover.

Common Truck Accident Injuries and the Truck Accident Attorney

Truck accidents are among the most horrifying of all vehicle accidents in the world. The sheer size of the tractor trailer as it hurtles down the highway makes it a particularly lethal force when it comes in contact with a smaller vehicle.

Unlike vehicle collisions with regular vehicles, an accident involving a tractor trailer is much more likely to result in serious injuries and fatalities. The victim of a truck accident can sometimes walk away without a scratch, but most victims sustain relatively serious injuries. Among these are traumatic brain injuries and amputations.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury can be caused by either a closed head injury or a penetrating head injury. Closed head injuries occur when the skull and the dura matter covering the brain remain intact, but the brain is damaged. Closed head injuries include concussion, internal bleeding within the skull and cerebral bruising. Penetrating head injuries, on the other hand, involve the penetration of the skull and the dura mater, the outermost covering of the brain. Due to their severity, penetrating head injuries can result in permanent disability or death.

Amputations

A crushed limb may require amputation upon arrival at the hospital. If a limb becomes infected after the accident, amputation may be necessary to prevent the spread of the infection. An amputation can also take place during the accident itself if the limb is torn from the body rather than severed. Such an injury is called an avulsion.

Get Help to Regain Your Life

All of the above injuries can have life-altering consequences that will only become fully realized as you attempt to get back to a normal routine. The cost of recovery from such injuries can be exorbitant, especially if extensive rehabilitation is required. A competent truck accident attorney in Las Vegas can help ensure that you and your loved ones recover the highest possible amount from the truck accident.

2012 Data for Injuries and Deaths in Large Truck Accidents

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Tractor-trailer truck accidents have a higher risk of causing serious injury and death, and this shows with an increase in both numbers in 2012 compared to 2011.

Injury and Fatality Data Regarding Large Truck Accidents in 2012

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 104,000 people were injured and 3,921 people were killed in large truck crashes in 2012. Total, there were 333,000 tractor-trailer trucks involved in traffic accidents across the United States. In Nevada, 42 semi-trucks were involved in crashes, accounting for 0.5 percent of the U.S. total. Many of these people might have turned to a truck accident attorney Las Vegas for help seeking compensation.

People Injured

The 104,000 people who were injured in large truck accidents in 2012 grew 18 percent from the 88,000 reported in 2011. Among the injuries, 3 percent weren’t in a vehicle, 24 percent were in the trucks and 73 percent were in other vehicles. Compared to the prior year, the percentages of people not in a vehicle and in other vehicles increased by one point each, while the percentage of people in the trucks declined by two points.

People Killed

The 3,921 deaths involved in large truck collisions in 2012 increased 4 percent from the 3,781 reported the year prior, according to the NHTSA. Among these fatalities, 10 percent were not in a vehicle, 18 percent were in the trucks and 73 percent were in other vehicles. Compared to 2011, the number of non-occupant deaths declined by 11 percent, while the number of people killed in the trucks increased by 9 percent.

DUI Prevalence and Priors

One cause for some of these semi-truck accident injuries and fatalities was drivers under the influence of alcohol. Of the large truck drivers involved in fatal accidents, 2 percent had blood alcohol concentrations of .08 percent or higher. Among other drivers involved in fatal collisions with the same BAC levels, 22 percent were light truck drivers, 23 percent were passenger car drivers and 27 percent were motorcyclists. Additionally, 0.5 percent of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had prior DUI convictions, while 8.2 percent had prior license suspensions or revocations and 17.7 percent had prior speeding violations.