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.

SHOULD I BUY THE EXTENDED WARRANTY WHEN I BUY A CAR?

What to look for when buying an extended warranty for your vehicle

1) Length of time of the plan

2) Mileage the plan covers

3) The combination of time versus mileage (make sure it works for you)

4) The reputability of the provider of the plan

5) What the plan covers (read the fine print carefully!)

Extended service warranties, often called vehicle service contracts, are often an investment in peace of mind for a car buyer. However, there are several things to consider before you purchase such a policy. It is important to understand that an extended service contract is really an insurance policy on the mechanics of your vehicle and, like any insurance policy, will cover certain issues and will not cover others. Therefore, when buying such a policy it is important that you investigate the source of the coverage and the company.

This blog will briefly outline what to look for when purchasing an extended contract for your vehicle. For many car buyers, purchasing the extended warranty or vehicle service contract can reduce the financial worry of costly repairs. These are often more cost-effective on higher end vehicles in which repairs can be costly, even a simple repair.  

Where can I Purchase an Extended Warranty

Extended warranty plans, also called mechanical breakdown insurance, are available from various sources. The dealership will often want you to purchase the extended warranty when you buy your vehicle. They are also available through auto clubs like AAA and various insurance companies. Since these plans can vary in the length of time, the price, and the coverage that is provided for your vehicle, the small print really matters in these policies. In addition, these are aftermarket programs and they usually have specific limitations as to what repairs they will cover and where the work could be done. This is extremely important, especially if you are a person who likes to take your vehicle to a specific mechanic or dealership. Be very careful to review the policy you are purchasing to make sure that you can take your vehicle to the dealership or to your own mechanic.  In fact, take this blog with you if you are going to buy a vehicle and make the finance representative circle the provisions in the warranty policy regarding these issues before you purchase the policy.

When purchasing your extended warranty from the dealership, they might offer you various warranty programs from different companies. If you are going to purchase the extended vehicle warranty at the dealership, you should make sure it is backed by the manufacture of the car and not just the dealership or a third-party company. A manufacturer backed extended warranty can be used at any dealership in the United Stated.   Again, it is important that you have a choice to take your vehicle to the dealership. In addition, many warranty policies are only honored at the dealership where the vehicle was sold or certain mechanics.

Some policies are definitely better than others.

For example, AAA offers a vehicle service contract that includes warranty protections and also extra services such as battery placement, reimbursement for travel expenses if you are on a trip and rental coverage while your vehicle is being fixed.  If you do your research and look for the right plan, you can really get more bang for your buck. But also be careful to purchase from a large reputable company. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. we strongly urge consumers of extended warranty protection programs to only purchase them through a large dealership, a national auto club, an insurance company like AAA or Farmers or State Farm, or the manufacturer such as General Motors or Ford. There are a large number of “fly-by-night “extended warranty service companies and you will get many letters and even crank phone calls from these companies. Do not purchase an extended warranty policy from a vendor you have never heard of or who calls you on the phone or sends you an unsolicited letter. Many consumers have been burned by these companies. However, there are reputable, extended warranty programs for your vehicle available that can bring you peace of mind and possibly save you significant repair costs.

For example General Motors offers an extended warranty plan that can only be purchased with a new car. The cost of that plan can be rolled into the financing and is transferable, which could boost the cars value. However, it is important to note when financing a warranty policy on a new vehicle, if your vehicle becomes a total loss that may be a cost that is not reimbursable. Therefore, you should ask the dealership when purchasing that policy if the car is totaled before the term of the policy where will there be a refund of the remaining balance. Sometimes they are nonrefundable and sometimes they are refundable if the car is totaled before the term of the policy. This is an important question to ask the dealership and make sure you see that in writing in the policy. Make the finance representative point out and circle that provision of the policy for you.

Shop for the best price before you go to the dealership.

Extended warranty policies are often put in front of the car buyer at the time of purchase of the vehicle. It is likely that you have not thought about this piece of your purchase or compared rates at that time. The finance manager will put the paperwork in front of you and make it sound like it is the best deal available. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, we are skilled in personal injury law and contract law. We urge you to research this contract before you purchase an extended warranty vehicle policy. Before you go to the dealership to purchase a new car, call AAA, go online to check with the manufactures, and shop for the warranty so that you are familiar with what a reasonable cost is before you get to the dealership. It is not likely that the dealership is going to offer you the best deal at the time you purchase your vehicle. You should understand that the price of that extended warranty policy from the dealership is often negotiable. They might tell you that the price is not negotiable. However, when you see that is being offered a lower price from other vendors you’ll understand that is not the case, and can effectively negotiate a fair price for the coverage.

Understand what is covered

I touched on this earlier, but it is extremely important that you understand what you are buying at the time you purchase an extended vehicle warranty contract. Not all warranties are the same and some are not even close.  The very greatly in the time the policy lasts and the mileage that is covered. Often, wear and tear parts such as brakes brake pads, lightbulbs, and tires are not covered under extended warranties. However, there are further complications and usually levels of packages offered in these warranties, each with a different price and each with a different coverage –similar to health insurance. Take the time to read the fine print and know what is not covered. Often times you will be shocked at certain mechanical conditions they will claim are not covered and you do not want to find that out at the time the repair is needed. Also, check the deductibles offered.  Different packages are also based on different deductibles. Understand what your finances can afford and what the average cost of repair is for your vehicle. If you were buying a more modest vehicle, then a smaller deductible would probably be more cost-effective. On higher end vehicles where repair costs are generally over $500, it may be cost-effective to get a policy with a higher deductible.

If you have a question about an extended warranty policy 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 if I am Injured in two different accidents close together, Can I recover?

What Do I do if I am involved in 2 injury accidents close in time?

  1. Seek medical care for the second accident immediately;
  2. Explain clearly any new symptoms you are having;
  3. Document the difference in your condition after the second accident;
  4. See the same doctor so she can document your new injuries or exaserbation of your previous injuries;
  5. Be open and honest with all your doctors about both of your injury accidents.

The answer to the question, “What if I am injured in two different accidents close together, Can I recover”  is yes! It’s not an uncommon scenario. An individual is injured in an auto accident and two months later is injured in a second car accident involving different defendants.  Insurance companies for the defendants will want to point the finger at the injuries coming from the second accident. The case is now more complex due to the multiple injuries. The question becomes, how is the fact finder supposed to handle the apportionment of the injuries when there were two accidents causing the same or similar injury? It is important to contact an attorney after any injury accident. At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, Henderson Injury attorneys, we will make sure your rights are protected.  With nearly ten years of experience representing the insurance companies, Henderson Injury Accident attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. has the experience you need to fight the insurance company. The law is well settled regarding burden of proof regarding a victim who is involved in multiple car accidents. The Nevada Supreme Court ruled on the issue of multiple injuries from multiple car accidents.

The Nevada Supreme Court addressed the issue of injuries from multiple accidents in the case of Kleitz v. Raskin, 738 P.2d 508 (1987). In the Kleitz case, appellant Kleitz was injured in an automobile accident on December 23, 1981. His treating doctor examined Kleitz and determined that he was suffering from a loss of lumbar curve due to muscle spasms.  The doctor saw Kleitz on January 25, 1982 and believed that Kleitz should be hospitalized. Hi doctor opined that Kleitz may have suffered a herniated disc from the December 23, 1981, accident.

              Unfortunately, while Kleitz was driving to the hospital on January 25th, Kleitz after his doctor’s appointment, was involved in a second automobile accident. The driver of the at fault vehicle  in the second accident was respondent, Ellen Raskin. In 1985, Kleitz brought suit against the persons involved in both the first accident and the second accident. Kleitz settled with the first accident defendants but reserved his rights against Raskin. Raskin then moved for summary judgment alleging that the second accident did not cause additional injury to Kleitz. Summary judgment is when a party asks a court to make a finding as a matter of law, rather than allowing a jury to decide the facts.  Raskin used the doctor’s testimony who stated that he had examined Kleitz before and after the second accident and found that his condition was unchanged in support of the motion for summary judgment . Kleitz moved for partial summary judgment on a legal issue asking the trial court if two unrelated at fault drivers in two separate automobile accidents produce an injury to the plaintiff which cannot be apportioned between the two impacts, are both jointly and severally liable to the plaintiff?

The trial court granted Raskin’s motion for summary judgment concluding that “Inasmuch as plaintiff cannot apportion damages as between tortfeasors, the jury would have nothing upon which to base a reasoned opinion as to damages to be awarded in the event liability was established.”  On appeal, the Nevada Supreme Court concluded that under the facts presented, the plaintiff must prove that the second accident defendant’s actions were the cause of the injury. Once this is shown by the Plaintiff, the burden of proof then shifts to the defendant to apportion damages. If the defendant fails to meet his burden, then he is jointly and severally liable for the entire amount of the plaintiff’s damages attributable to the injury.

In reaching this decision, the Nevada Supreme Court relied upon the Washington Supreme Court case of Phennah v. Whalen, 621 P. 2d 1304 (1980). In Phennah, the plaintiff was injured in two automobile accidents that took place about four months apart. Trial testimony of the doctors established that both accidents caused the plaintiff’s injury, but there was no basis for segregating or apportioning damages among the causes. The issue before the court in Phennah was whether the plaintiff was required to offer an evidentiary basis for the segregation of damages among successive defendants. The Wisconsin Supreme Court made the following ruling:

“Once a plaintiff has proved that each successive negligent defendant has caused some damage, the burden of proving allocation of those damages among themselves is upon the defendants; if the jury finds that the harm is indivisible, than the defendants are jointly and severally liable for the entire harm. Id. 1310.”

The Nevada Supreme Court expressly concurred with the findings and result in the Phennah decision and noted that a similar legal principle is also found in section 433B(2) of the Restatement of Torts, which explains that the rational for placing upon the defendant the burden of apportioning damages as follows:

“As between the proved tortfeasors who has clearly caused some harm, and the entirely innocent plaintiff, any hardship due to lack of evidence as to the extent of the harm caused, should fall upon the former.” Restatement (Second) of Torts, Section 433B Comment D (1965).

As stated in both the Restatement and the Phennah decision, the plaintiff must first establish that both the defendant’s actions were the cause of his/her injuries and then the burden shifts to the defendant to apportion damages.  The Nevada Supreme Court reversed summary judgment but stated that Raskin may renew his motion for summary judgment at which time Kleitz must demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether the second accident contributed to his injury.

The best way to protect your claim if you are involved in two injury accidents of any kind is to be candid and honest with your attorney and your doctors about these conditions at your first consultation. Henderson Auto Accident Injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, have handled hundreds of cases involving victims of multiple car accidents. Your truthfulness about your medical conditions and injuries will allow your doctors to understand your new injuries.  It is important to be open about your past medical history. This honesty will put you in the best position possible for a maximum recovery in your case. Insurance companies and defense attorneys will have access to past accident history whether or not you are candid. It can damage your case if they find it be other means. That is why it is important to remember all of your past injuries when discussing your case with your attorney and your doctor and let your attorney and doctors know about these issues. If you are not honest in disclosing these conditions in the beginning, you are setting yourself up for many different problems including harming your credibility, ruining your entire case, and even subjecting yourself to legal action.

If you have a question about a prior accident or multiple injuries, 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 IS A ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE POLICY?

Three things to consider when purchasing a roadside assistance policy

1) Know what the policy you’re buying includes;

2) Consider if you do a lot of driving;

3) Compare companies that offer roadside assistance and the benefits they include.

What is roadside Assistance?

The most common and widely used roadside assistance policy is through AAA. Roadside assistance is serviced by a professional to make minor mechanical repairs and adjustments in order to get your vehicle drivable again when you become stranded on the road.  These policies usually include things like changing a tire, getting keys locked in the car out of the vehicle, changing the battery, extrication, etc. Most of these policies also include towing.

https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-driving/what-to-consider-when-buying-roadside-assistance-plan/

With the infinite number of things that can go wrong with a vehicle at any given time, these policies can be a huge relief in a breakdown situation. I personally have had a roadside assistance policy ever since I started driving. There have been countless occasions that I have been very grateful that this is a policy that I purchased. They are generally relatively inexpensive and they are usually offered through your primary insurance company. You never know when an emergency will arise.

For example, once I was driving back from Utah and I had two of my sons in the vehicle who were very young at the time.  We got a flat tire somewhere between Cedar City and St. George. Thank goodness I was able to safely pull the vehicle to the side of the road. However, driving a large SUV makes it very difficult to change the tire in the dark. The vehicle has 22 in tires that are heavy and the spare is mounted up underneath the vehicle. Fortunately, my roadside assistance company, which was AAA, sent someone within 45 minutes to my location. He was friendly, professional, and he changed my tire in less than 10 minutes.  I can recall another time when I was at the fishing hole with my three young sons enjoying a lovely evening of fishing in a small town pond. Suddenly, the weather started to change and clouds and lightening started to roll in. I started to load our supplies into my vehicle and started the vehicle. Then, one of my sons decided to shut all the doors to the car. This was at a time when it was very easy to lock the keys in the car. He shut the doors to the vehicle while the car was running and vehicle locked.  I was stranded at the fishing pond with my sons. Fortunately, a neighbor was kind enough to let us use their phone, since my phone was also locked in the vehicle, and my roadside assistance company sent someone from Cedar City within the hour to unlock the vehicle.

https://calstate.aaa.com

Hopefully, your luck is better than mine and you have not found yourselves in these type of situations. However, speaking from experience and understanding the nature of the unexpected events that happened in our lives as an insurance lawyer and a personal injury lawyer in Henderson Nevada for over 15 years, I know that many situations cannot be foreseeable. What can be foreseeable is planning for the unknown. A roadside assistance policy is generally under $200 a year and can be an absolute lifesaver literally in certain situations.

Most common situations requiring roadside assistance

Towing service

Roadside assistance policies generally provide towing service if they are unable to make your vehicle drivable safely. It is important to look at your roadside assistance policy and evaluate their different options. I did find out the hard way that the standard roadside assistance policy that I had only provided for 10 miles of towing. However, for an extra $15 a year it increased to 100 miles. You can see that that it would be a big deal if you were stranded on the highway.   Ten miles is not very far when you leave Mesquite. Look at the policy you are purchasing and make sure that you are buying the best policy for your needs. They won’t leave you stranded at 10 miles; however, you will be at the mercy of the towing company per mile for the remainder of the distance which can cost more than the policy itself would have cost in the first place.

Battery jumpstart service.

In addition to towing, often times, especially in the heat of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada, batteries can die or lose their charge. This is especially important for people driving electric cars since those vehicles can require special service. That is also important when looking at a policy to purchase; make sure that they have capabilities to charge or jump an electric vehicle. Generally, standard vehicles that use standard batteries can be jumpstarted relatively easily when service technician arrives.

Flat Tires

A flat tire can occur at any time. With the amount of construction on our roadways, it is even possible to get a flat tire with a new tire. Most vehicles have a spare tire and can be changed at the scene. However, although I do have the skills to change a tire, it can be difficult, depending on your vehicle. With the roadside assistance policy they will send someone out to change your tire and you will be back on the road in no time. I can tell you firsthand that can be well worth $200 a year to change a flat tire that can occur at any time

Locksmith service

Although many of the newer vehicles cannot have the keys locked in them, there are still many makes and models on the road where the keys can be inadvertently locked inside the vehicle. A roadside assistance technician can generally gain entry into the vehicle through the window with a special tool. If the roadside assistance professional cannot gain entry to your vehicle they will call a locksmith. Make sure you check the policy that you are purchasing to see if they cover locksmith services.

Fuel delivery service

Although I personally have never had a situation of running out of gas, it is not an uncommon occurrence and even the most diligent driver can forget to fill up timely. A roadside assistance company will bring fuel to your vehicle and get you back on the road. There may be a charge for the fuel itself, but you would pay for that in any event. Having someone bring 5 gallons of gas to you as a stranded motorist on the side of the road is well worth the cost of the roadside assistance policy.

Extrication

This is not as uncommon as it sounds. It is not uncommon to have a vehicle slide off the road especially in icy conditions. If you find yourself in a ditch or in a location where your vehicle is stuck, a roadside assistance company can send a tow truck to pull your vehicle back to the road.

An embarrassing story for me … Years ago, I went to pick my son up at school one day,  and the parking lot was not paved at his school. I pulled my large SUV into a parking space and the front portion of this parking space physically gave way and my vehicle was left on three wheels in the space. Picture a dirt mound and part of it sliding away from one of the tires LOL. And of course in front of my vehicle was a 30 foot drop off and that is why part of the dirt gave way.  Although the roadside assistance driver was a little perplexed when he arrived, he was fortunately able to wench rocks under the front tire to stabilize the vehicle in order to pull it out of the space. Hopefully, you will not find yourself in this embarrassing situation, with every parent you know staring at your vehicle wondering who that incompetent driver is was who parked there to begin with, but again, your roadside assistance company will be invaluable in a situation like that

Numerous  road side assistance polices are available. Insurance companies such as AAA, State Farm, Progressive, Allstate, AARP, OnStar, and Nationwide offer these polices.   https://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/roadside-assistance-services/# If you have a question about a roadside assistance policy 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.

https://www.aarproadside.com/aarp/about-us

https://www.allstate.com/roadside-assistance.aspx https://www.nationwide.com/personal/insurance/auto/coverages/types/roadside-assistance

What You Need to Know About Auto Insurance Coverages

FIVE MOST COMMON COVERAGES ON YOUR POLICY

  1. Liability – covers the other driver
  2. Comprehensive/ collision- covers your vehicle repairs
  3. UIM/UM – covers your medical if you are not at fault and the other driver has no or too little coverage
  4. Rental – covers your rental car immediately
  5. Medical Payments- covers your medical bills whether or not you are at fault

One of the most frequently asked questions I get  from friends and family members as an insurance attorney handling peoples injury and property claims is “what kind of insurance do I have?”  At the Henderson Auto Accident Injury offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, we have over 20 years’ experience dealing with insurance policies and coverages.

The most common statement a client makes when they come in the offices usually is, “I have full coverage.”  However after reviewing thousands of insurance policies, it has become clear that most people don’t know what “Full coverage” is. In past years, many people used insurance agents who were helpful in explaining what types of coverages people needed.  Agents would have assisted them in purchasing their insurance. If you are able to use an insurance agent that you know and trust, I would highly recommend that. Understanding insurance coverages can be complex, and often times a large increase in coverage comes with a very small rate increase.

For that reason, it is extremely important to understand what insurance coverages for your automobile are available and what the different coverages mean in the event that you are injured or your property is damaged or you have injured someone else.   Most auto insurance policies are relatively simple to understand if you know the terminology they use. I think insurance companies intentionally use vague and ambiguous language so that people don’t know what they’re really buying. The following are the type of coverages that you will be asked if you buy insurance online or by an agent when you go to purchase insurance. Your responses and your purchases can be critical to your well-being in the event that you or someone you love is injured in an accident.

The more you know, the better buyer you can be.  The following is a brief outline of these coverages to help you understand what you are buying when you are buying insurance:

Liability Coverage (often called bodily injury coverage).  

The first coverage that you purchase, which is required by law, is called liability coverage (often called bodily injury coverage).   What that means is the amount of money that your insurance company will pay for property damage and bodily injury for the adverse driver and passengers ( a.k.a. third-parties) in the event you cause an automobile accident. In Nevada, state minimum is 15/30/10. Most people do not know what that means either. When there are three numbers, the first number is the amount your insurance company will pay per person for bodily injury and the second number is the amount your insurance company will pay per accident for bodily injury. For example if you get into an automobile collision and it is your fault and there’s one person in the other vehicle they can only obtain $15,000 from your insurance company. If there were two people in the vehicle they could obtain $15,000 each. However if they were three or more people in that vehicle, the $30,000 would be split between those people if they were injured. It is not rocket science to know that in today’s exorbitant world of medical billing, $15,000 does not go very far. The third number is the total amount your insurance company will pay for property damage to the other vehicle or property such as a damaged road sign as a result of the accident. If you purchase a minimum insurance policy you could wind up being personally exposed. Meaning, if there’s not enough insurance coverage, the other driver could sue you and obtain a judgment against your personal assets to recover their damages. For this reason, it is extremely important to insure yourself and your family as high as you can afford to in order to protect your personal assets. Meaning if you own your home, and you have savings accounts, you want to make sure that you have enough insurance. I often recommended umbrella policy to people which is usually a cost of approximately $12-$15 per month and will protect your assets.  An Umbrella policy provides a higher layer of coverage for your auto, home, boat, etc. on top of your limits, usually in the amount of a million dollars.

https://www.thezebra.com/insurance-guide/liability-insurance/

Collision Coverage

The second type of coverage which most people consider to be “full coverage” is collision coverage. Collision coverage means that payments will be made to fix your vehicle in the event that your car is damaged in an accident. If you purchase collision coverage, that coverage will cover damage to your automobile. It is extremely important to know what your deductible is. Often times, changing your deductible from $1000.00 down to $500.00 is as little as $8.00 to $10.00 on your overall premium. It is important that you check what you’re paying for and what you could get for just a little bit more. When you go to Target, you can see all the items on the shelf and you can see what all the items cost and their value so you can choose accordingly. Unfortunately, with buying insurance, they don’t make it that simple.   You have to ask these questions either of the agent or when you’re buying online you need to change the deductibles and change your coverages and see how it affects your premium.

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/insurance/auto/car-insurance-collision-coverage/

Medical Payments Coverage

A little known coverage that many agents don’t even mention or offer is called Medical Payments coverage and this can be extraordinarily important for you if you are in an accident. Medical Payments Coverage is usually a fixed amount anywhere from $1000.00, or $2,000.00, or $5,000.00 on up. It means that your insurance company will pay your medical bills regardless of whether you have health insurance if you are in an automobile accident and you’re injured. Medical payments coverage can be very important because often times you may have large co-pays, especially for ambulance bills, from an accident. Health insurance often will not cover things like physical therapy as much as you need or you may have large deductible on your health insurance policy. Medical payments coverage is generally an inexpensive coverage which will protect you from out of pocket medical expenses if you are in an accident. It’s important to know that even if it is not your fault, it can take months or years to recover from the other driver. Your medical providers, (hospitals, ambulances, quick cares, etc.) will not wait until the claim is final to send you to collections. When purchasing insurance always look at what medical payments coverage is available and the cost. If it fits your budget, you should purchase medical payments to protect yourself. Another important issue to know about medical payments is that it is not an at fault coverage, meaning if you use your medical payments coverage on your policy,  it is not counted as a claim against you for your rates.

https://www.valuepenguin.com/medical-payments-car-insurance-coverage

UM/UIM Coverage

Another extremely important coverage that people often drop to save money is called UM/UIM. This means uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured is self-explanatory, it means that if someone without insurance hits you, you have coverage for your medical bills and injuries. Underinsured coverage means that if someone with a small policy, like the state minimum of $15,000 hits you and you are seriously injured, you can recover against your own policy after the $15,000.00 is paid from the other driver. In the state of Nevada, it is estimated that 13% of all drivers on the road do not have car insurance.  It is extremely important to protect yourself and your assets from reckless and illegal drivers. In the state of Nevada, when you purchase insurance, the insurance company is required to offer you UM/UIM benefits and if you reject the same they must have you sign a waiver. Think carefully before you reject these benefits because if you are in a serious accident these benefits could protect you and your loved ones from undue financial burden. https://www.insure.com/car-insurance/uninsured.html

Rental Car Coverage

Also, there is the coverage for rental car benefits and towing. These are somewhat self-explanatory, however, there are a few tricks. When looking at your towing coverage always check the amount of miles that they will tow your vehicle. Sometimes they have separate towing packages where they’ll only tow your vehicle 5 -10 miles and then you are at the mercy of the tow truck company for the rest of the bill. It’s often pennies to change the policy to a better towing policy where they will tow you up to 100 miles.  It is similar with rental coverage. If you, like me, drive a large vehicle to take your family places and haul groceries, and you are need of a rental car from an auto accident, most policies will offer you the $20 a day, very basic economy car. This may not fit your needs, and if it does not, it can be very costly to you to rent a larger vehicle. When purchasing rental insurance you usually have the option of $20-$30 a day or $50 a day in rental coverage. Again, this is generally a very inexpensive change on the policy and when purchasing rental insurance, check to see the cost of having a better vehicle in the event that you need a rental car. Often it is less than twenty dollars. https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/rental-car-insurance/

I hope this information was helpful and if you ever have questions when purchasing auto insurance, please do not hesitate to contact the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury  Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC. The Law Offices of Laura Hunt is a boutique law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving insurance and auto accidents. Please feel free to call if you have questions when purchasing your auto insurance at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of  Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. 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 the Henderson Auto Accident and Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of  Laura Payne Hunt, PC today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to receive. 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. Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening her boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people.  During her time working for an insurance company, Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Henderson Auto Accident and 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 offices. The Henderson Auto Accident and Injury 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 Henderson Auto Accident Attorney Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. 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.

My health insurance won’t pay my medical bills from an auto accident

WHEN YOUR ARE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT AND YOU HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE, REMEMBER THESE THREE TIPS:

  1. Use your health insurance for all emergency care
  2. Retain an attorney immediately to handle subrogation and injuries claims
  3. Do not give any medical provider your auto insurance information.

When you have a personal injury claim after being involved in an accident, the at fault driver often has a limited auto insurance policy.  Your health insurance will have more coverage and allows you to get the emergency care you need. Although they will have a subrogation lien, meaning they will get paid back, that amount will be at their negotiated rates instead of the entire bill.  It often comes as a surprise to our clients that they need to pay back their health insurance company.

As a long time personal injury attorney in Henderson, Nevada, Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. will address these claims on your behalf.   The funds to pay back the health insurance company will come out of your settlement the same as if you paid those bills directly.  However, it will be much less to pay back the subrogation lien than to pay the bills directly. In addition, there is the serious issue of collections.  Your health insurance will pay them timely and is contractually bound to wait for repayment until your personal injury lawsuit is settled. The hospital will not wait until your personal injury lawsuit is settled and will demand payment in full within 30 days.  

How the Subrogation Process Works

The term subrogation is often used in discussing personal injury settlements. Often, clients are not familiar with this term. Subrogation is commonly used as a synonym for reimbursement. However, they are actually contractually different. But for purposes of resolving your personal injury claim they act with the same outcome. Below I will summarize the process of subrogation as it affects personal injury claims that arise from your health insurance plan.

Notice of Subrogation Notice Letters

At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, as experience personal injury attorneys we advise our clients at their first visit if they obtained emergency room care that they will be receiving a letter from their health insurance company that will request details of the accident. We ask that our clients bring that letter or send that letter to us immediately. This is the health insurance companies attempt to deny your claim. They can seek reimbursement or have a subrogation claim on your recovery if you obtain one but they cannot deny your claim because it was an accident. However, they often will make the attempt.

Their initial letter will request additional information from you –the injured person. It is important that you provide that letter to your attorney immediately. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. we contact the health insurance timely.   We handle personal injury matters and respond to the health inaurance company’s letters. The Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt will advise the health insurance company that we will honor their subrogation lien, but that all claims need to be paid timely.  We will work with the health inaurance company to timely respond to their requests for information so that our client is in complaince with the responsibitiles she has under the contract. Health insurance companies will often attempt to deny claims on the basis that the insured breached  the contract by failing to provide requested information, forms and documentation to the inaurance company.

The initial letter from the health insurance company will usually point out provisions of your insurance policy that entitles them to be paid back out of your personal injury recovery.  The policy will not have provisions that they do not have to pay at all based on a third party at fault. Often times, an automobile policy will not cover your medical bills and you could be stuck with additional bills that your insurance company did not pay. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  we will make sure that your health insurance company honors the terms and conditions of their health insurance policy which is a contract with you and pay your claims timely.

Why do you have to worry about subrogation?

Whether you realize it or not, you are contractually bound on the subrogation claim by the very reason of having health insurance. The concept of subrogation is that health insurance companies do not believe they should have to pay for injuries that someone else is liable for and this is also part of Federal Law for some policies.  A health insurance policy is a contract that clearly states that if a third-party injury pays for your medical bills, the health insurance company is entitled to receive reimbursement for those bills that they have already paid.

The health insurance company will attempt to assert that the at fault parties liability insurance policy is liable for your medical bills and expenses for your personal injury claim. That is why it is important to obtain counsel. At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. we have handled thousands of personal injury matters for over 15 years and are very experienced in handling the subrogation portion of your claim. It usually is contractually complex and not something that you want to navigate on your own. Failure to properly handle the subrogation claim in a personal injury accident can cost you money out of your pocket and possibly prevent you from obtaining a recovery at all.

Your lawyer will obtain a copy of your insurance policy

If you do not have a copy of your health insurance policy, the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  will obtain a copy on your behalf. In the plan, the health insurance company’s reimbursement and subrogation rights will be identified. This is often difficult to find in a voluminous health insurance policy. It is important to understand what your rights are involving your health insurance company.   It is also important that you understand the policy and Federal Law. This is why it is important to obtain counsel. At the law offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. we are experienced in subrogation matters under federal law and under state law. There have been certain circumstances where the policy fails to outline the right of subrogation or reimbursement and they are contractually prevented from seeking the same.

Do not let your health insurance company take advantage of you or put you in a situation where your bills are not paid and going to collections. Contact the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. as soon as you have been involved in an auto injury accident and we can assist you with all of these contractual situations and make sure you get the medical care you need and deserve.

An Attorney Can Often Obtain a Reduction for Attorneys’ Fees

By retaining a Henderson Personal Injury Attorney to handle your case and the health plan does not state otherwise, your attorney can demand a reduction of the lien for the cost of attorney’s fees.  Meaning that if the Henderson Personal Injury attorney charges a 33 percent fee, she would seek a 33 percent reduction in the reimbursement or subrogation claim.

If you have a question about your health insurance and claims from an auto accident, 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.