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HOSPITAL BILLING PRACTICES THEY MUST FOLLOW

FIVE FACTS ABOUT HOSPITAL BILLING PRACTICES THEY MUST FOLLOW

  1. Hospitals Must Bill your Health Insurance Before They Can Bill you on a Hospital Bill;
  1.  Interest on Past Due Medical Mills Cannot Exceed the Prime Interest Rate;

3) Hospitals Cannot Charge you Late Fees for the Unpaid Amount;

4) Unfortunately they Can Charge Collection or Attorney’s Fees if They Make Efforts to Recover;

5) Most Importantly Hospitals Cannot move to Collect Against your car Insurance or 

Any Other Insurance or Monies that you have if They are Contracted with Your Health Insurer;

As a personal injury attorney in Henderson,  Nevada in Las Vegas Nevada for over 20 years, I am still shocked at the tactics that hospitals use against patients. Never provide your car insurance information or any other insurance information or personal information (with the exception of name, address, date of birth, social security number) Only provide  your health insurance information to a hospital. I have seen hospitals take clients medical payments coverage and still bill the insurance many times and it’s illegal but that does not mean anything to some hospitals. The Nevada Revised Statutes clearly prohibit this behavior. Even though this is an illegal practice in the state of Nevada, it happens. Unfortunately, It happens a lot because patients don’t know the law . I have seen hospitals immediately send a bill to a client’s medical payments coverage repeatedly. 

As a quick review from past blogs, “medical payments coverage” is a coverage you can purchase with your car insurance. It is coverage that pays for your medical bills directly without co-pays or wait. It is a very helpful coverage to have and we urge all of our clients at TheOneLawyer.com  to have this coverage on their policy. It is usually for a limited amount , generally anywhere from $1000 we’ve seen as high as $50,000, and it pays your medical bills or copays. Fortunately , it is generally a somewhat inexpensive coverage to add to your policy similar to rental coverage.  We also urge our clients to have rental coverage. Medical payments coverage is important as it will cover all of your co-pays and if you are taken to an out of network facility it will cover bills related there too. 

Sadly, we have seen unscrupulous hospitals immediately send a bill to client’s medical payments coverage carrier demanding the entire amount of the policy and the insurer will send the entire policy amount to the hospital.  Coverage that is supposed to cover all of your co-pays and deductibles. In addition, the hospital turns around and bills the health insurance company and takes those funds as well. Don’t let this happen. That is why it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at TheOneLawyer.com  and talk to attorney Laura Payne-Hunt , Esq. who will not let this happen to her clients. We immediately put the hospital and the insurance company on notice not to bill medical payments coverage. We also notify the auto medical payments coverage insurer that no funds are to be paid on our client’s behalf from the  medical payments policy without the direct express authorization of our office.

 If you are in an automobile accident it is important to contact counsel immediately to maximize the coverage that you have in place.  At TheOneLawyer.com , we will make sure that you will receive the maximum award possible for your pain and suffering as well as your medical bills. The statutes outlined below show the rights and remedies that you have under Nevada law against the hospital that renders treatment.  Watch for our future blog regarding recent legislation signed into law by governor Steve Sisolak further protecting Nevadans against unscrupulous hospital billing practices.

NRS 449.757  Limitations on efforts of hospitals to collect; date for accrual of interest; rate of interest; limitations on additional fees.

1.  When a person receives hospital care, the hospital must not proceed with any efforts to collect on any amount owed to the hospital for the hospital care from the responsible party, other than for any copayment or deductible, if the responsible party has health insurance or may be eligible for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or any other public program which may pay all or part of the bill, until the hospital has submitted a bill to the health insurance company or public program and the health insurance company or public program has made a determination concerning payment of the claim.

2.  Collection efforts may begin and interest may begin to accrue on any amount owed to the hospital for hospital care which remains unpaid by the responsible party not sooner than 30 days after the responsible party is sent a bill by mail stating the amount that he or she is responsible to pay which has been established after receiving a determination concerning payment of the claim by any insurer or public program and after applying any discounts. Interest must accrue at a rate which does not exceed the prime rate at the largest bank in Nevada as ascertained by the Commissioner of Financial Institutions on January 1 or July 1, as the case may be, immediately preceding the date on which the payment becomes due, plus 2 percent. The rate must be adjusted accordingly on each January 1 and July 1 thereafter until the payment is satisfied.

3.  Except for the interest authorized pursuant to subsection 2 and any court costs and attorney’s fees awarded by a court, no other fees may be charged concerning the amount that remains unpaid, including, without limitation, collection fees, other attorney’s fees or any other fees or costs.

      (Added to NRS by 2007, 1497; A 2011, 1525)

      NRS 449.758  Limitations on efforts of hospital to collect when hospital has contractual agreement with third party that provides health coverage for care provided; exception.

1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, if a hospital provides hospital care to a person who has a policy of health insurance issued by a third party that provides health coverage for care provided at that hospital and the hospital has a contractual agreement with the third party, the hospital shall proceed with any efforts to collect on any amount owed to the hospital for the hospital care in accordance with the provisions of NRS 449.757 and shall not collect or attempt to collect that amount from:

(a) Any proceeds or potential proceeds of a civil action brought by or on behalf of the patient, including, without limitation, any amount awarded for medical expenses; or

(b) An insurer other than a health insurer, including, without limitation, an insurer that provides coverage under a policy of casualty or property insurance.

      2.  This section does not apply to:

      (a) Amounts owed to the hospital under the policy of health insurance that are not collectible; or

      (b) Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or any other public program which may pay all or part of the bill.

3.  This section does not limit any rights of a patient to contest an attempt to collect an amount owed to a hospital, including, without limitation, contesting a lien obtained by a hospital.

      4.  As used in this section, “third party” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 439B.260.

      (Added to NRS by 2011, 1524)

NRS 449.759  Manner of collection.  A hospital, or any person acting on its behalf who seeks to collect a debt from a responsible party for any amount owed to the hospital for hospital care must collect the debt in a professional, fair and lawful manner. When collecting such a debt, the hospital or other person acting on its behalf must act in accordance with sections 803 to 812, inclusive, of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692a to 1692j, inclusive, even if the hospital or person acting on its behalf is not otherwise subject to the provisions of that Act.

      (Added to NRS by 2007, 1498)

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or 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.  

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 have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff 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 offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, 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. 

Hope You are Following our YouTube Channel “Ask My Lawyer Mom”

We are 6 weeks into our YouTube channel, “Ask my Lawyer Mom” at TheOneLawyer.com and we are excited about the feedback we are getting.  With large scale marketing filling the airways and billboards line the roadways, we hope to provide real legal information backed by 20 years’ experience in a fun, short, entertaining format.  These large scale and expensive advertising tools try to push consumers to make decisions based on image rather than character, experience and integrity. When choosing a professional, it is critical to choose someone that is experienced, has your best interests at the forefront and someone living in the same community with similar issues and concerns.   When advertising costs exceed seven figures, the practice becomes less about clients and more about money.

In keeping with our mantra, we hope to provide information to keep our clients informed on the laws that impact their lives, while at the same time, providing information to assist in keeping you and your family safe. In the spirit of providing information to our current and potential clients, our YouTube channel provides thru the series will be entitled “Ask My Lawyer Mom.”  Our channel will consist of short interview videos on specific topics that impact our clients. We will welcome input from our viewers for any questions you have and hope to make our channel interactive and informative while at the same time entertaining. Our videos will be supplemented by the blogs on our website TheOneLawyer.com to provide more detailed information.

At the Henderson accident injury law offices of TheOneLawyer.com we are excited to start this new chapter of video blogging. Finding accurate and relevant information on the Internet can be difficult with the sea of advertising and misinformation out there. It is our hope that you will turn to our channel for a source of reliable and accurate information to answer your questions. We also look forward to questions from our viewers. We will provide accurate and helpful consumer tips to allow you to make informed decisions when traveling or should you become involved in an accident.  We are excited to reach a large number of potential clients and assist you and your family in locating the right legal services and answering your consumer questions regarding the law. As long time community members, we have been asked thousands of questions by clients and potential clients over the years and provided volumes of information. It is my hope that this information can be presented to our clients for easy access and assistance in a fun, family-friendly, entertaining format.  

A mass tort is a class action lawsuit where someone has been impacted by a product that was found to be unsafe to be in the marketplace.  We handle these claims and partner with national firms to provide our clients the best representation possible at the local level and national level at no additional cost to our clients.  It is a sad reality that companies often put profits before consumer safety. This can be anything from pharmaceutical companies to cosmetic companies to every day products and even to professional‘s such as attorneys and investment companies.  As a small law firm we have a tradition of putting our individual client’s interests first and we look forward to continuing that tradition into the new decade. 

At TheOneLawyer.com, we look forward to providing information in helping our clients stay safe and informed. Even more so, we look forward to continuing our long-standing tradition of representing every client on a personal, compassionate, and professional level. We strive to treat every client as though they are our only client. Your safety and that of your families is important to us and it is our hope that if you or  a loved one is in need of an attorney you will contact our office. Even if you need an attorney in another field we have a great network of trusted professionals and are happy to make a referral.

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. 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.  

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or 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.  

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 have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff 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 offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, 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. 

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN NEVADA, YES REALLY

States Where Corporal Punishment is Legal and Percentage of Schools that report Using Corporal Punishment

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5766273/

FIVE FACTS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN NEVADA

  1. Corporal punishment in Nevada Public Schools was legal until 1993;
  2.  Corporal punishment by parents is legal in Nevada;
  3. Growing up in Nevada teachers used to have paddles at their desk;
  4. Corporal punishment should never inflict substantial bodily harm on a child Restraint should be use by parents using corporal punishment;
  5. Corporal punishment is currently legal in  Nevada Private Schools ;

The United States is one of only two industrialized nations that currently  allow corporal punishment in schools in some states. Although it has not been  legal in Nevada since 1993, public schools in 19 states and in private schools in 48 states still allow corporal punishment.  According to reports, over 160,000 children, from preschool through 12th grade, were subjected to corporal punishment in public schools in the 2013-2014 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.  It is more common in some states with 85 percent of school districts in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi reporting that they used corporal punishment that year. Corporal punishment remains legal in the United States  because of a Supreme Court decision that is over 40 years old. In 1977, the Supreme Court ruled in Ingraham v. Wright that corporal punishment in public schools was constitutional, which meant that each state could make its own rules when physically disciplining students. No other case regarding corporal punishment in schools has made it to the Supreme Court since then.   The practice remains legal in nineteen states shown on the map above.  

What is Corporal Punishment in Nevada? 

Corporal punishment is defined by the  Nevada Revised Statutes at NRS 433.546 as follows:

Corporal punishment” means the intentional infliction of physical pain, including, without limitation, hitting, pinching or striking.  (Added to NRS by 1999, 3230)

Growing up in Nevada, corporal punishment in schools was accepted.  In fact, when I was a kid in the eighties, some teachers and the principal had paddles to be used on students hanging in plain sight for students to see.  Some teachers even had paddles with holes drilled in them for a little added velocity. In 1960, the statute (which was in effect until 1993) read as follows:

 Section 1.  Chapter 392 of NRS is hereby amended by adding thereto a new section which shall read as follows:

      1.  The legislature declares:

      (a) That the use of corporal punishment is to be discouraged in the public schools, and only after all other methods of discipline have proven ineffective should a pupil be administered corporal punishment.

      (b) That judgment and discretion are to be used in all punishment, corporal and otherwise, and maximum use should be made of available school counseling and psychological services.

      2.  Subject to the limitations contained in this section, the board of trustees of every school district shall adopt rules and regulations authorizing teachers, principals and other certificated personnel to administer reasonable corporal or other punishment to pupils when such action is deemed an appropriate corrective measure.

      3.  Parents and guardians shall be notified before, or as soon as possible after, corporal punishment is administered.

      4.  No corporal punishment shall be administered on or about the head or face of any pupil, but this limitation shall not prohibit any teacher, principal or other certificated person from defending himself if attacked by a pupil.

      5.  Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or interpreted to indicate that the teachers, principals and other certificated personnel have not heretofore had the authority and the right to administer reasonable corporal or other punishment to pupils.

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Statutes/50th1960/Stats196001.html#Stats196001page60

This statute remained in effect with minor alterations allowing corporal punishment in public schools until 1993 when it was amended as follows:

NRS 392.4633 is hereby amended to read as follows:

      392.4633  1.  Corporal punishment [may] must not be administered upon a pupil in any public school.

      2.  Subsection 1 does not prohibit any teacher, principal or other licensed person from defending himself if attacked by a pupil.

      3.  A person may report the use of corporal punishment on a pupil to the agency which provides child welfare services in the county in which the school district is located. If the agency determines that the complaint is substantiated, the agency shall forward the complaint to the Department, the appropriate local law enforcement agency within the county and the district attorney’s office within the county for further investigation.

      4.  As used in this section [, “corporal punishment”] :

      (a) “Agency which provides child welfare services” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 432B.030.

      (b) “Corporal punishment” means the intentional infliction of physical pain upon or the physical restraint of a pupil for disciplinary purposes. The term does not include the use of reasonable and necessary force:

      [(a)](1) To quell a disturbance that threatens physical injury to any person or the destruction of property;

      [(b)](2) To obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object within a pupil’s control;

      [(c)](3) For the purpose of self-defense or the defense of another person; or

      [(d)](4) To escort a disruptive pupil who refuses to go voluntarily with the proper authorities.

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Statutes/75th1993/Stats199310.html#Stats199310page921

MODERN USE OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

However, parents have the right to discipline their children as long as it is reasonable and does not rise to the level of child abuse  by inflicting substantial bodily harm. Corporal punishment in Nevada is defined as a form of child discipline that involves physical pain. This is traditionally considered to be spanking or hitting  a child using certain objects meant to sting or cause temporary pain. In Nevada, although this type of punishment was legal in public schools while I was growing up, it became illegal in schools in 1993.  Many are shocked that corporal punishment was legal in Nevada schools, although not really used at that point, until 1993.  

https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/sites/default/files/discipline-compendium/Nevada%20School%20Discipline%20Laws%20and%20Regulations.pdf

Although corporal punishment was outlawed in schools in Nevada in 1993, it is legal to use in the home.  NRS 392.4633 states that   that “no corporal punishment shall be imposed in a pupil in any school. “  Therefore, this law applies to discipline in the schools but not in the home.   Although in this modern age, it is sad but necessary to distinguish that physical attacked is not classified as corporal punishment if physical force or infliction of pain was used to obtain a deadly weapon from a student, stop a student from harming another person, or for self-defense.

Difference between corporal punishment and child abuse in Nevada

Parents are permitted to discipline their children by spanking as long as  you don’t cause injury to the child.  Corporal punishment is justified discipline for unacceptable behavior.  Child abuse is inflicting significant bodily injury upon a child. It is important to be cautious and restrained in using corporal punishment sparingly without great force.   

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters. Although we handle personal injury matters, with 20 years’ experience, we can refer you to specialists in most fields of law that we have personal knowledge regarding their ability.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years. Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or 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.  

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 have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff 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 offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, 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 PATENT AND HOW TO I GET ONE?

Basis for Protection of Patents and Copyright in the U.S. US Constitution:

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 –“Congress shall have the power … to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

FIVE FACTS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT PATENTS

  1. The right to a Patent is as old as the US itself;
  2.  Patents are issued by the USPTO (US patent and trademark office)
  3. There are basically three types of patents, utility, design and plant patents;
  4. Avoid online scams to “help” you file your patent application;
  5. Patent applications are complex and take a lot of time and a knowledgeable patent attorney is well worth the investment.

WHAT IS A PATENT

Patents are basically licenses issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office that protect inventions and new discoveries. There are basically three types of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.  The statute states that , any person who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent,” subject to the conditions and requirements of the law. The word “process” is defined by law as a process, act, or method, and primarily includes industrial or technical processes. The term “machine” used in the statute means a mechanical device. The term “manufacture” refers to articles that are made, and includes all manufactured articles. The term “composition of matter” relates to chemical compositions and may include mixtures of ingredients as well as new chemical compounds. These classes of subject matter taken together include practically everything that is made by man and the processes for making the products.  Over the last 240 years plus, many interpretations of the statute have been rendered by the courts that have defined the limits of the field of subject matter that can be patented. The courts ruled that “the laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable subject matter.” A patent cannot be obtained upon an idea. It is necessary to provide a complete and detailed description of the actual machine or other subject matter for which a patent is sought is required.

THE THREE TYPES OF PATENTS 

There are three basic types of patents and each type has its own eligibility requirements and protects a specific type of invention or discovery inventions  cross over and need two patents one for design and one for function.  The following are the three basic types of patents:

Utility Patents

utility patent is the most common type of patent  sought to protect inventions. This type of patent protects processes, machines , compositions of matter like formulas, and manufacturing processes.  A utility patent can also be obtained for new and useful improvements to patents that already exist for machines, compositions of matter and manufactures. Processes refer to any acts or methods of doing something, usually concerning industrial or technical processes. Compositions of matter are chemical compositions, like a mixture of ingredients or new chemical compounds. Machines include things that are generally defined as a machine, such as a blender, while manufactures are defined as goods that are or made.

Design Patents

To obtain a design patent, a design is defined as the “surface ornamentation” of an object, which can include the shape or configuration of an object. In order to be able to  obtain design patent protection, “the design must be inseparable from the object.” Although the object and its design must be inseparable, a design patent will only protect the object’s look aka design, and not the function.   To protect the functional component of an object, an inventor must also file for a utility patent.

Plant Patents

plant patent is just as it sounds and can be obtained to protect new and different varieties of plants. The requirements to obtain this type of patent are as follows:

  1. The plant cannot be a tuber propagated plant ; 
  2. the plant is not found in an uncultivated state;
  3. The plant can be reproduced by grafting or cutting the plant. 

How to Obtain Patent Protection

Patent protection is obtained by filing an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for any of these three patent types.  There are two types of patents, a provisional and non-provisional  and both patent applications are available to patent-seekers. A provisional patent application protects your idea for a year while a permanent application is being finalized and it  gives the applicant more time to determine the details of the invention while still protecting the invention or discovery from being patented by someone else. An inventor who files a provisional patent application has one year from the date of filing to file the appropriate non-provisional application.

https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/patent-basics/types-patent-applications/provisional-application-patent

The process of obtaining a patent starts with the  non-provisional patent application being sent to the USPTO to determine if an invention or discovery is eligible to receive patent protection. The information that is required to be included in the patent application is contingent on the type of patent that is being requested.  The non-provisional patent application only needs to include a description and claim of the invention or discovery, drawings, an oath or declaration, and the appropriate fees. As per the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), a person can also file an international patent application at the same time to obtain international protection in certain countries. It is important to point out that a public disclosure (e.g., publication, public use, offer for sale) that is more  than one year before the provisional application is filed with the USPTO would prevent the patenting in the United States. Please remember that a “publication, use, sale, or other activity” only has to be made available to the public to qualify as a public disclosure meaning if you publicize your invention you may be barred from obtaining a patent. 

FEES

Fees are subject to change yearly. To locate the current fees, see current fees (37 CFR 1.16(d)) at www.uspto.gov or call the USPTO Contact Center (UCC) Monday to Friday (except federal holidays) at 800-786-9199 for fee information. Payment by check or money order must be made payable to “Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.” Or paid online.

HOW TO FILE YOUR PATENT APPLICATION

The provisional application papers (written description and drawings), filing fee and cover sheet can be filed electronically using EFS-Web or filed by mail with the USPTO.  Your application will be processed faster if you file online. To file online:

Electronically Using EFS-Web: The provisional application can be filed electronically only if EFS-Web is used. EFS-Web allows patent applications, including provisional applications, to be filed securely via the Internet. Applicants prepare documents in Portable Document Format (PDF), attach the documents, validate that the PDF documents will be compatible with USPTO internal automated information systems, submit the documents, and pay fees with real-time payment processing. When fillable EFS-Web forms are used, the data entered into the forms is automatically loaded into USPTO information systems. Further information on EFS-Web is available at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/guidance.”

To File By Mail: The provisional application and filing fee can be mailed to:


Commissioner for Patents
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

Filing for a patent is a complex process and there are numerous resources online to help new inventors.  However, avoid online scams offering to help for a low fee. Feel free to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. for a referral to a reputable attorney.  If you are doing it yourself, take advantage of books ( I recommend the Nolo series) and free webinars. 

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients. Although we handle personal injury matters, with 20 years’ experience, we can refer you to specialists in most fields of law that we have personal knowledge regarding their ability.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years. Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or 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.  

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 have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff 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 offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, 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.

FIVE FACTS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT A TRADEMARK

  1. A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services  that distinguish one business from others in the market; 
  2. A trademark puts the public on legal notice of ownership of the mark;
  3. Trademark protection gives you the legal right to be the sole user of  your trademark in commerce;
  4. Trademark protection gives you the right to bring legal action against anyone who improperly uses your mark symbol;
  5. Registering gives you the right to use the symbol “R” with the 

circle around it to designate that your trademark is registered and cannot be used by others.

What is the definition of a Trademark under the Law?

A trademark is a generally what we think of as a brand name. “A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.” It establishes the brand of the goods and its origin or source. It can be a word, slogan, symbol, script, display and format combination of wording and design and combination thereof.  It can also be a sound, color, or smell. A trademark establishes the source of goods and a service mark identifying the source of services like accounting or landscaping. However, the terms are used interchangeably and provide the same protections and use the same process to obtain.

https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics

Exactly What Types of Things does a Trademarks Protect?

At the time you start a business and begin using a name and/or logo or symbol, you have common law trademark protection for the use of your slogan.  This protection may be of some help if someone infringes your trademark in your area or local market. However, it will not protect you if your business expands out of your limited local area.  Someone in another state could start using your slogan and symbol in their area or on the internet. In order to have nationwide protection, you should register your marks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Your application can be rejected if there is already a trademark in use that is too similar to yours for the same or similar goods or services.  

How Do I search to see if my Trademark is already being used ?

The Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)

 (found at http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4802:5qno0v.1.1)  

is a database of all  U.S. trademarks that have been registered or applied for to date. Many of  the records in the TESS database include important elements of the mark and you should search each element. This allows you to find any marks that have common elements.  In order to do this, you must choose from three “search options,” or interfaces. They have different features, but all search the complete database. To start, choose your search option based on the specifics of your business and your mark.  There are three categories to choose from and they are as follows:

  1. Basic word mark search

Use this option if you are searching based only on the words in the mark, the serial number, the registration number, or the owner name.  This is a limited search option, likely searching a mark in use is registered. 

  1. Word and/or design mark search (structured)

This option is easy to use for a beginning TESS user and has all the functions of the advance option.  This will help you build your search and search in any field to help you format your last search criteria.     

  1. Word and/or design mark search (free-form)

For the final search, you will use the information from the word/ design search for this portion.   Detailed instructions are available in TESS. This requires you to use the prior options to set up your search.  This is where an attorney can be of great assistance. 

What is the difference between a Trademark and a Copyright?

A trademark protects “words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others”  whereas Copyright protects “original works of authorship” Think of it like this, a book or movie is protected by Copyright, and a symbol like the Apple with a bite out like iphone or the swoosh of Nike is are trademarks.  Check out my previous blog on Copyright law for more information about Copyrights. A trademark is used to protect a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes “any symbol, word, name, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.” 

https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics

What is the Benefit of Registering my Work for a Trademark?

You may ask is federal registration of my Mark required.    The short answer is no, but it will absolutely increase your rights when using your trademark in commerce.  There are, with certain goods and services being used in trade, legal rights in the mark known as common law rights. However,  those common law rights are meant to be limited and to only cover a limited geographic area. Also, it may likely be more difficult to enforce those rights than it would be if you have a federal registration.  Registering your Mark and obtaining Federal registration protection greatly enhances your rights. Specifically, federal registration of your trademark on the principal registry provides the following rights and advantages: 

1) It gives you a legal presumption of the exclusive right to use your mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and services identified in your registration; in contrast to a state trademark registration that only gives rights within the borders of that particular state.  Federal registration will give you a presumption of rights throughout the United States and its territories

2) As the owner of the Mark, that’s a real advantage if you need to enforce your registration either in or out of court. However, be aware that even with that legal presumption of ownership, someone else could prove that they are the rightful owner because they started using the mark before you. This means a possibility exists that you might have to stop using your Mark

3) It puts the public on notice that you are the owner of the Mark.  If there’s a question as to ownership of the mark, it can be looked up in the US PTOs online database.

4) The fourth benefit is being listed in the United States PTO database.  This means that others considering the potential mark can find you or Mark when they search the US PTO database to see if their Mark is available. Existence of your mark in the database can help others avoid selecting a mark that is too similar to yours.  In addition, the US PTO relies on the same database for its own search and will find your Mark when examining someone else’s application. The US PTO will site your registration against a confusingly similar Mark later filed, preventing a potentially conflicting trademark from registering. But remember, you’re only searching in the US PTO database of pending, federally registered marks. It is not a search for state registrations from works that are not federally registered owners of unregistered marks may have superior Common law rights

5) A federal trademark registration gives you the ability to record your trademark with US customs and border protection. That agency will use your trademark registration to help prevent importation of infringing or counterfeit for a good.

6) You have the right to bring legal action concerning the registered mark in federal court; keep in mind that the US PTO cannot enforce your trademark rights or bring legal action against any infringement. It is your legal responsibility to police your trademark and protect it from infringement. Only your attorney may bring legal action against others infringing on your mark.

7) You have the ability to use your federal trademark Registration as a basis for applying for a trademark registration in many foreign countries.  It is a great benefit when your business takes off and you become a global phenomenon.

8) A  federal trademark registration means that you have the coveted  right to use the R in the circle symbol with your mark, something you cannot do unless your work is federally  registered. That symbol is typically placed on the right side of the mark and indicates that you have federally registered your trademark with the United States patent and trademark office.  It puts the public on notice that your mark is registered and that you have nationwide rights to the Mark. 

Registration provides a lot of benefits.  Millions of trademarks are registered with the United States trademark and patent office. If you need protection for your business trademark or symbol, I highly recommend applying for a trademark to protect your intellectual property.

What is a Trademark Clearance Search and Why should I do one?

The answer is definitely yes  A trademark clearance search is necessary to determine if  your trademark has already been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  When searching, you should look for existing trademarks, common law or unregistered trademarks (search the internet for your business to look for others that my use a similar mark), look for expired marks and pending applications, and abandoned marks as well.  

When assessing a trademark’s availability, pay close attention to any similar marks that may be used in association with any related services or goods. Assessing the similarity of a mark is accomplished by analyzing the aural, visual, and connotative likeness of the mark. Before applying for trademark registration or using a mark, it is recommended that you perform an adequate search to see if others are using the same trademark as your own or one that is comparable.

The USPTO grants trademark rights based solely on use alone and not necessarily on registration. Therefore, only researching the USPTO trademark database is not sufficient to determine whether your desired mark is free to use.

Will my Trademark be Recognized in other Countries?

The answer is no, a U.S. trademark registration will not protect your trademark in a foreign country. Trademarks are considered territorial  and owners of the marks must file in each country where they are seeking protection. . However, there is a way for qualified owners of trademarks to obtain registration in any of the countries that have joined the Madrid Protocol by filing a single application. The application is called the  “international application,” and it is filed with the International Bureau of the World Property Intellectual Organization (WIPO), through the USPTO.  As of April 2014, U.S. applicants can apply for protection in up to 92 countries in one application. For more information on filing an international application, see the Madrid Protocol at https://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/registration/madrid_protocol/

To file with a specific country, check WIPO’s list of international trademark offices at https://www.wipo.int/directory/en/urls.jsp .  It is important to consider registering transliterations (representations of words in the corresponding characters of another alphabet) when making trademark decisions in foreign countries.  The WIPO Madrid Protocol Fee Calculator found at https://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/fees/calculator.jsp is a tool for estimating filing costs using the Madrid Protocol.  It is an average of $200 per country or about $25,000 to register in all which is not likely necessary.

Your personal information will be available to the public when you receive your Trademark.

All information that is submitted to the USPTO  during the application and/or registration process will become public record, and this includes your name, phone number, e-mail address, and street address.  When you file the application, you will be required to acknowledge that YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO CONFIDENTIALITY in the information submitted. Anyone will be able to view this information in the USPTO’s on-line databases. This information will remain public even if the application is later abandoned, surrendered, cancelled, or expired. https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/trademark-updates-and-announcements/trademark-data-available-public

Can a domain name be Trademarked?

Yes. A mark that contains  a domain name may be registered as a trademark or service mark in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The domain name is registrable as a trademark only if it serves to identify a certain source of goods or services offered. 

How Long does the Process Take? 

The process generally takes about three to six months if your application is successful.  The time depends on a number of factors that can include: Difficulty level of material; Whether physical deposit was online or paper; Whether the Copyright Office needs additional information; and The Number of staff available at any given time.

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients. Although we handle personal injury matters, with 20 years’ experience, we can refer you to specialists in most fields of law that we have personal knowledge regarding their ability.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years. Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or 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.  

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 have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff 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 offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, 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. 

Ask My Lawyer Mom: What do I do if There is More then two Cars Involved in an Accident?

What do I do if There is More then two Cars Involved in an Accident – Ask My Lawyer Mom https://accidentlawyerhenderson.com/https://theonelawyer.com/ Key words accident attorney henderson henderson accident attorney the one lawyer henderson car accident lawyer henderson bicycle accident lawyer henderson motorcycle accident lawyer henderson wrongful death attorney truck accident attorney henderson henderson injury attorney henderson personal injury attorney car wreck lawyer las vegas las vegas auto accident lawyer auto accident lawyer las vegas las vegas car accident lawyer car accident lawyer las vegas las vegas accident attorney las vegas car wreck lawyer las vegas wrongful death attorney injury attorney las vegas las vegas personal injury attorney henderson attorney female attorney las vegas female lawyer las vegas las vegas attorneySHOW MORE

The nuts and bolts of a Medical Malpractice claim in Nevada

FIVE MOST IMPORTANT TAKE AWAYS REGARDING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS

  1. Call an Attorney immediately if you are the victim of Medical Malpractice
  2. Damages for Pain and suffering are capped in Nevada
  3. Damages for medical bills, lost income and future medical needs are not capped.
  4. The time to bring your claim is strict and short.
  5. You must have a medical expert before you file your claim.  Call TheOnelawyer.com now. 702-450-4868

As patients we look to our medical professionals to help us make critical decisions about our health. We want to trust the doctors and their staff. Unfortunately, sometimes their treatment and opinions may fall below the standard of care; often causing grave injury or even death to the patients they are sworn to serve. This does not mean that every time there is a bad result in medical care that it rises to the standard of medical negligence. However, there are circumstances when a Doctor’s negligence contributes to or causes serious injuries and sometimes even fatal injuries to their patients. In these cases,  you need to seek legal advice immediately. You need an attorney to file a claim against doctors for professional negligence due to the complexity of the laws. A lot of people do not realize how critical the timeline is when you are the victim of medical malpractice. Nevada’s medical negligence claims are governed by NRS chapter 41A and there are numerous requirements under the statute that the plaintiff must meet to go forward. Without significant legal training, medical malpractice is one area that you cannot handle yourself. If you believe that you have been a victim of medical malpractice call our office today. TheOneLawyer.com, Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  has been helping injured people for over 15 years and we are available 7 days a week for a free consultation to discuss your possible medical negligence action. 

Under NRS 41A, there are many parts to the statute that are required to be followed to bring your claim against your medical professional. The following are the basic requirements and elements of bringing a medical malpractice claim in Nevada under the statute.

 Professional negligence defined 

In Nevada, professional negligence is defined as the failure of a provider of healthcare, such as a doctor, specialist, or licensed medical professional, to “use the reasonable care, skill, or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances by similarly trained and experience providers of healthcare.“ NRS 41 A.015.  This may sound like a simple test however there are volumes of case law that govern whether a providers actions were “reasonable“ and that will be the subject of expert testimony.

Experts are necessary

In Nevada, the statute requires that a plaintiff obtain a medical expert to establish that their treating provider was negligent under the statute. NRS 418A.071 requires plaintiffs to submit an affidavit signed by a professional who works in the same field of medicine as the accused provider. The affidavit must be detailed and must provide a basis to substantiate the claim of negligence against your treating provider in detail. The affidavit cannot simply state that the provider was negligent. The affidavit must meet criteria that establishes that the doctor who treated you fell below the standard of care. In addition, the professional or doctor signing the affidavit that will be attached to the complaint must be properly qualified to render such opinions. Sometimes it is necessary to find an expert physician who is from out of state to critique the treating doctor and state that their care fell below the standard. A claim cannot be originated or filed in Nevada against a treating doctor without such an affidavit. This is contrary to most every other area of negligence in Nevada law. 

Usually, you can file your lawsuit and obtain information before having to retain experts. In the field of medical malpractice it is just the opposite. You have to obtain an expert affidavit to establish that your treating doctor was negligent before you filed a lawsuit. At TheOneLawyer.com, Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  has worked with hundreds of injured victims over the years to obtain compensation for injuries sustained as a result of negligence. If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice call our office today for a free consultation. 

 Causation 

The injured victim must have evidence that the medical negligence caused their injury. In order to win a lawsuit as an injured victim, the expert testimony of one or more doctors must establish that the injuries you sustained are a direct and proximate result of your doctors’ negligence.  NRS 41A .100 states that expert testimony must establish that the defendant doctor fell below the accepted standard of care and that breach, in fact, caused the injury sustained by the plaintiff. It will not be enough for an expert to simply state that the doctor was negligent. They must be willing to testify and state in their affidavit that the negligence of the doctor caused the injuries sustained.

Time allowed to bring a lawsuit. 

Perhaps one of the most critical elements of the medical malpractice statutes in the state of Nevada is that a medical malpractice claim must be filed within three years of the injury or one year of its discovery.  NRS 41 a .097 is very clear on these timelines. Often time’s medical malpractice is not discovered for a significant period of time. For example a missed diagnosis of cancer may not be caught for several years until the cancer grows and causes symptoms. A missed diagnosis of a disease similarly may not be revealed until the injured victim suffers violent symptoms which are recognized by a new medical provider. 

In instances where the medical negligence is not realized until years after, it is critical to contact an attorney as soon as you are diagnosed. One year may seem like a long time but the clock ticks quickly and most people are so overwhelmed dealing with the medical care and injury that they are suffering from that calling an attorney is not first on their list. An attorney can start working on your case right away while you are receiving treatment. It takes time to find the right expert and collect the necessary records to prepare a complaint on your behalf against the original negligent doctor. Therefore, if you are diagnosed with an injury or illness that you believe should have been diagnosed or addressed by a prior doctor called Law Offices Of TheOneLawyer.com, Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. immediately. We can evaluate and assist you regarding your possible medical Malpractice claim at no charge for the consultation.

Damages allowed to compensate victims of medical negligence

Unfortunately Nevada voted years ago to allow caps on non-economic damages in the state of Nevada. You are still entitled to any of your wage loss, all of your medical bills and most importantly all of your future medical care. However pain and suffering is limited to $350,000. Although most people and attorneys agree this number is ridiculously low to compensate some of the heinous medical malpractice cases that are brought, it is nonetheless the law in Nevada. An attorney can retain the proper experts that can demonstrate your future lost income as well as your future medical bills to establish the full extent of your injury in order to establish the damages you are legally entitled and make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve. Under NRS 41 8.35, the scope of economic damages suffered as a result of medical negligence are the cost of medical bills, lost wages and future medical bills and there is no cap on these economic damages. It is only damages for pain and suffering that you are capped in the state of Nevada at $350,000. This is another reason it is extremely important to obtain counsel to handle your medical negligence claim. At TheOneLawyer.com, we have helped thousands of people recover damages for injuries they have sustained as a result of the negligence of someone else or a medical professional. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice and sustained an injury call our office immediately to set up a free consultation. 

Special cases where negligence is automatic

In Nevada, there are some situations that are so egregious that the legislature decided they will be considered negligent automatically. In that case, that means that the defendant has to prove why he should not be held liable. In every other area, the plaintiff must carry the burden of truth and prove their case. Under NRS 41A 100(1) the following situations are instances where the negligent medical provider or doctor is considered to be at fault under the law

1) Situations where a surgical procedure is conducted on the wrong patient or a wrong part of the patient’s body. For example a surgeon removes the good kidney and leaves the bad kidney in the patient.  This sounds like it cannot happen in this day and age but unfortunately it does.

2) A situation where a patient who sustains an injury to a part of their body other than the part being treated. For example an incision is made in the wrong area and sutured up prior to the real procedure. Or a situation where a patient is transferred to a gurney for surgery and a limb is broken in the process.

3) There must have been someone in the legislature who sustained some kind of burn during a treatment because there are two types of instances that involve automatic negligence regarding burns. The first is where a burn is caused by heat, radiation or chemicals during any type of medical treatment. In such a situation, you are automatically entitled to your medical bills and pain and suffering.

4) Another situation where negligence is automatically assumed involving a burn is when there is an explosion or a fire started by a substance used during your treatment. This would be a rare circumstance however it has happened.

5) The most common automatic negligence is invoked when a foreign substance other than medication or a prosthetic is accidentally left in the patient’s body. You have probably seen x-rays (there are numerous examples on the Internet) where surgical instruments and sponges etc. are left inside the patient’s body during a surgical procedure. If this happens, you are entitled to all medical costs to remove the foreign item, the pain and suffering associated therewith and any future medical needs that are required as a result of the instrumentation being left inside the patient.


CONTACT TheOneLawyer.com

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients. Medical malpractice cases can require lengthy litigation and are complex in nature.  The stakes are very high for the doctors accused in these cases and they will fight for their reputation. Laura Payne-Hunt., Esq. the one at TheOneLawyer.com has many years of experience representing injured plaintiffs and can provide aggressive representation. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice call TheOne Lawyer.com today

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or 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.  

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 have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff 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 offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, 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. 

PREVENTING CHRISTMAS TREE FIRES

TOP FIVE CHRISTMAS TREE SAFETY TIPS

  1. Do not allow the tree to dry out;
  2. Use only single extension cords;
  3. Turn off the lights when you go to bed;
  4. Use UL approved lights and cords;
  5. Make sure lights have  cracked lamps or frayed cords

Fires Due to Christmas Trees

In January of 2015, tragedy stuck a family near Washington DC.  It happened when a  15-foot Christmas tree became dried out and  powered a massive mansion fire that killed Maryland  grandparents and four of their young grandchildren. Although other family members advised authorities that the family had intended  to remove the tree from the house the day after the fire, it was too late. Instead, wiring that was underneath the dried-out Christmas tree powered a fire that spread so quickly the family couldn’t escape.

Reports show that between the years of 2013and 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in property damage yearly. On average, one of every 52 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 135 total reported home fires. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires. In one-quarter (25%) of the Christmas tree fires, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree. One-fifth (21%) of Christmas tree fires were intentional.  Roughly three-quarters of Christmas tree fires occurred in December or January. Two of every five (39%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room. It is a sad reality that the holidays bring hidden dangers that we need to be aware of and protect our families against.  https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Winter-holidays/Holiday-fires-by-the-numbers

Fortunately, through the use of due diligence and following the safety tips of the experts, many of these accidents can be avoided.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq., TheOneLawyer.com, we are committed to providing information and expert advice to help our readers keep their families safe all year round and avoid the perils of the Holiday season.  By reading this blog, you will gain valuable information and tips that many of us don’t even think about to keep you and your loved ones safe during the holiday season. As an accident injury attorney in Henderson and Las Vegas for the past 18 years, I have seen a lot of tragedies that could have been avoided.  Although we are available 24/7 to help injured victims, at TheOneLawyer.com, we are also committed to helping prevent tragedies and keep our clients and readers healthy to enjoy the Holiday season. As a direct result of so many Holiday accidents, the experts have provided the recommendations herein to keep people safe.

The NFPA and other fire departments recommend make the following safety recommendations to prevent Holiday tragedies: 

  • Make sure string lights have no loose connections, cracked lamps or frayed cords.
  • Use only a single extension cord that can reach your home’s outlet without being too long and being tangled.
  • Use UL-approved lights and cords.
  • Make sure lights are off when you go out and before you turn in for the night.
  • Make sure all outdoor light connectors are away from metal rain gutters and off the ground.
  • Never use candles to light or decorate a tree.
  • To lessen the chance of a fire hazard, purchase a freshly cut tree.
  • Make sure to keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source.
  • Water the tree every day, and remove it from your home after Christmas or once it becomes dry. 
  • Don’t burn Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper in your fireplace.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that could burn. 

              Christmas trees aren’t the only item you’ll need to be careful with. The D.C. police also reported that two out of every five home decoration fires are started by candles. The four most common days for candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, police said. 

  The National Christmas Tree Association is the professional trade association representing farmers and sellers of Christmas Trees throughout North America. NFPA estimates that Christmas trees, both natural and artificial, were the item first ignited in an estimated average of two hundred and fifty reported home structure fires per year during 2003-2007. These fires caused an estimated fourteen civilian deaths, twenty six civilian injuries, and $13.8 million in direct property damage per year. These estimates are based on data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s) annual fire department experience survey.

During the same period, holiday lights and other decorative lighting with line voltage were involved in an estimated average of one hundred seventy  home structure fires per year. These fires caused seven civilian deaths, seventeen civilian injuries, and $7.9 million in direct property damage per year.  In order to keep you and your loved safe, our staff at TheOneLawyer.com urge you to follow the following safety measures which are listed by The National Safety Council:  

Christmas Trees

  • Try to select a fresh tree by looking for one that is green. The needles of pines and spruces should bend and not break and should be hard to pull off the branches. On fir species, a needle pulled from a fresh tree will snap when bent, much like a fresh carrot. Also, look for a trunk sticky with sap.
  • Cut off about two inches of the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly.
  • Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.
  • If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
  • An average of 210 home structure fires begin with Christmas trees and result in 24 fire deaths, 27 fire injuries and $13.3 million in property damage.

Tree lights

  • Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors). Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
  • Also, use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs.
  • Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.

Tree ornaments

  • Always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places.
  • Read labels before you use materials that come in jars, cans and spray cans.
  • Never place lighted candles on a tree or near any flammable materials.
  • Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.
  • Do not hang popcorn chains and candy canes on the tree when small children are present. They may think that other tree ornaments are also edible.

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. 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.  

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 at TheOneLaweyer.com,  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.  TheOneLawyer.com 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.