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Wrongful Death Claims in Las Vegas, Nevada

 

What is a wrongful death?

As a legal term of art, it is a death that has been caused by the fault or negligence of another person or entity. For example, deaths caused by drunk driving, a dangerous or defective product, the construction of an unsound structure or building, nursing home negligence, or failing to diagnose a fatal disease, may all be considered "wrongful deaths" under the applicable law of a particular state.

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The loss of a domestic partner, parent, spouse or child can be devastating in many ways. When a loved one has been killed due to the fault of another person, Nevada law provides the surviving relatives and partners with the right to bring a wrongful death claim for their own financial loss as well as the loss of the intangible benefits of their relationship.

The term wrongful death refers to the civil court claim for financial compensation for the death of a loved one caused by the negligent actions of another person. The wrongful death of a loved one is often the most painful emotional experiences someone has to endure. However, this damage is compounded when they are deprived of the wages and other sources of income that were previously generated by the victim.

Wrongful death may occur in a wide range of situations, including motor vehicle accidents, defective premises accidents, defective product accidents, medical and dental malpractice, aviation-related accidents, construction site accidents, fires, and instances of negligent security, among others.

Generally, children and spouses of the deceased may seek damages in wrongful death cases. Examples of damages sought include compensation for lost wages and income, companionship, property damages, medical expenses, future services, and punitive damages.

If your family has recently lost a loved one in Nevada as the result of someone else's negligence or carelessness, it is best to contact the attorneys at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright to discuss your legal options as soon as possible.

How do you choose a lawyer to handle your case?

We understand that families may not know where to turn after the sudden or unexpected loss of a loved one. When choosing a wrongful death lawyer, it is crucial that you look for a law firm that has both the experience and resources needed to litigate even the most complex wrongful death lawsuits. Our outstanding results since 1970 have earned us the reputation as one of the top law firms in Nevada, along with the respect of both our adversaries and peers.

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Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Wrongful death lawsuits or claims are generally filed by family members or beneficiaries of the person who died. Our Las Vegas attorneys at Albright Stoddard will help you to determine who in your family may file the wrongful death lawsuit. In some instances, these claims are filed to obtain monetary damages in order to cover the earnings the deceased person would have provided to his family. Other damages that may be recovered include:

  • Expenses associated with the death, such as medical and funeral bills
  • Lost benefits, such as insurance, from the death
  • Loss of inheritance from an untimely death
  • Pain, suffering or mental anguish suffered by the survivor of the decedent
  • Loss of companionship, care or protection
  • Punitive damages, intended to punish wrongdoers and prevent them from harming others

The person who died cannot be replaced, but there can often be some fair and just compensation awarded for the damages that losing that person causes upon the survivors or their estate. A Nevada wrongful death attorney can assist the survivors in getting through the financial damage and difficult times following that wrongful death.

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What Types of Claims Qualify for Wrongful Death?

Whether the death was caused by a car accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, truck accident, pedestrian accident, medical mistake, work related accident or any other type of mishap or negligence, damages may be recovered from the responsible individuals, companies and organizations, and/or their insurance companies, for the survivors’ loss of the financial support, love, care, comfort, supervision, guidance, solace, support, affection, moral support, protection, benefits, household assistance, and general society which would have been provided by the deceased, as well as death and burial expenses. In appropriate cases, such as those involving intentional acts or reckless conduct such as drunk driving, punitive damages may be recovered for the claimant’s as well.

The Law Office of Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright has decades of experience bringing compassionate, caring support to the families of loved ones, coupled with an aggressive, efficient pursuit of financial compensation and accountability from those responsible for the wrongful death. In the difficult time following the loss of a loved one, we want to relieve you of as much burden as possible. In order to make the responsible parties and their insurers fully and deeply understand the impact of your loss, we will, when you are ready, personally sit down with you privately for as long as it takes to get a full understanding of your deceased loved one, what they meant to you, and what you have suffered due to their death.

Who Can Assert such a Claim?

There are two main plaintiffs for a Nevada wrongful death case:

  • The victim’s estate can bring a case, which includes compensation for conscious pain and suffering, medical expenses and burial expenses.
  • Family members can bring a claim for loss of love, companionship and affection, lost income, loss of services to the family and other damages.

At Albright Stoddard, we will examine the facts of your case and bring together a team of lawyers, paralegals, investigators and other experts best suited to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

Of course, no monetary value can be placed on the life of a loved one. But it is important to think through the pain of your loss and consult an experienced attorney qualified to help you protect your rights and the rights of your family.

The pain of the sudden loss of a loved one will last forever. An experienced Nevada wrongful death lawyer can help ensure the financial and legal consequences are not an added burden.

If you wait too long to speak with a lawyer, you run the risk that evidence in the case may be lost and witnesses may disappear. Once we accept your wrongful death claim, we immediately begin an investigation and take swift action to secure and preserve evidence relevant to the case. If your family is struggling through the pain and confusion of dealing with the loss of a loved one, we offer free appointments to discuss your case. Call Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright today at 702-384-7111, or you can e-mail us at gma@albrightstoddard.com.

About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys named Mark Albright as one of the Top 10 Personal Pnjury attorneys in Nevada in 2014. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 702-384-7111.

Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should i t be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Head-On Auto Collisions and Accidents In Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Head-on auto collisions and accidents in Nevada

A head-on collision is a traffic collision/accident where the front ends of two vehicles hit each other, as opposed to a side collision or rear-end collision. Head-on collisions often result in a fatal road traffic accident. U.S. statistics show that in 2005, head-on crashes constituted only 2.0% of all crashes, yet accounted for 10.1% of our country’s fatal crashes.

Head-on collisions, sideswipes, and run-off-road crashes all belong to a category of crashes called lane-departure or road-departure crashes. The driver of a vehicle fails to stay centered in their lane, and either leaves the roadway, or crosses the centerline, possibly resulting in a head-on or sideswipe collision, or, if the vehicle avoids oncoming traffic, a run-off-road crash on the far side of the road.

Preventive measures include traffic signs and road surface markings to help guide drivers through curves, as well as separating opposing lanes of traffic with wide central reservation (or median) and median barriers to prevent crossover incidents. Median barriers are physical barriers between the lanes of traffic, such as concrete barriers or cable barriers. These are actually roadside hazards in their own right, but on high speed roads, the severity of a collision with a median barrier is usually lower than the severity of a head-on crash.

Another form of head-on crash is the wrong-way entry crash, where a driver on a surface road turns onto an off-ramp from a motorway or freeway, instead of the on-ramp. They can also happen on divided arterials if a driver turns into the wrong side of the road. Considerable importance is placed on designing ramp terminals and intersections to prevent these incidents.

Intriguing Statistics on Head-On Collisions

Here are a few intriguing statistics on head-on collisions offered in hopes of informing and protecting you:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->95 percent of all car crashes are cause by driver error

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->Current federal regulations require that a car be able to sufficiently withstand head-on collisions at 30 and 35 mph

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->One study has found that 86% of head-on collisions took place between intersections

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->Head-on collisions make up 7% of all fatal urban crashes and 13% of all fatal rural crashes

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->28.6% of head-on collisions result in fatality; 15.3% result in minor injuries; 9.1% lead to incapacitating injuries

Head-On Collisions and Negligence in Las Vegas, Nevada

Head-on collisions typically involve one vehicle crashing into a stationary object or another vehicle. Contrary to popular belief, head-on collisions do not always happen alone; many result from a chain reaction of events that cause a car to swerve into opposing traffic or to avoid another crash. But like all preventable accidents, head-on collisions are always caused by negligence. Whether they involve one or more vehicles, there is at least one party at fault.

Head-On Collision Injuries in Nevada

Head-on collisions cause extensive and often irreparable damage to people and property. With the core of the car in front, these parts absorb the impact and distribute the transferred force. But in serious accidents, there is little separating the driver from an oncoming motorist. In fact, batteries, engines, and combustible fluids expose the innocent driver to more danger, including:

  • Toxic fumes
  • Hazardous leaks
  • Deep lacerations
  • Third-degree burns
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Chemical explosion
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Broken bones and teeth
  • Paralysis, coma, organ loss
  • Permanent scars, disfigurement

Causes of Head-On Collisions and Negligence in Las Vegas

Negligent driving refers to any careless operation of a vehicle, endangering others. When reckless conduct on the road causes an accident, the negligent parties are responsible for any resulting damage or injury. Even if multiple parties are at fault, liability is shared among the parties to compensate the victims. Head-on collisions caused by negligence often involve:

  • Speeding
  • Rollovers
  • DUI, DWI
  • Driver fatigue
  • Illegal passing
  • Crossing median
  • Rear-end reaction
  • Distracted driving
  • One-way highways
  • Construction detours
  • Wrong freeway entrance

Product Defect Causing Head-On Collisions

Drivers clearly do not intend to ram into other vehicles or hit stationary objects head-on. The accident may happen due to defective vehicles or flawed parts. Millions of dangerous products leave the floor each day, resulting in recalls that come too late. Defects may include: defective brakes, sticky pedals, engine malfunction, electrical defects, etc.

Flaws may appear in a vehicle model, make, or design. Mistakes in construction, assembly, or inspection can be costly. Because manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the safety of their products before they leave the floor, they are also liable for injuries caused by defects.

The Myth of Head on Collision Speed Calculations

The common myth, recently dispelled, is that if two cars are travelling at the same speed, say 50 mph and collide head-on, the effect and damage is the same as one car colliding with a solid, immovable object at 100 mph. A common misconception is that the over-representation of fatalities from head-on accidents is because the relative velocity of vehicles traveling in opposite directions is high, equal to the combined speed of the two vehicles.

At first it seems to make sense since the closing speed of the two vehicles would be double at the moment of impact. However, what’s being overlooked is Newton's "Third Law of Motion", which states: "The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear." In its more common form, it's known as, "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." With that in mind, if two objects traveling at the same speed collide head-on, the energy released would be evenly and oppositely distributed between both objects. Therefore, if both are traveling at X, the closing speed would be X times 2 but since equal and opposite forces will apply (both forward and back), the energy released will still equal to a single vehicle colliding with a solid object at speed X.

This was recently dramatically shown on the popular TV show "MythBusters". The show started off with small scale tests using clay and then moved to full scale. They got six identical cars in make and model for the various speed tests. First, they collided one car traveling 50 mph into a solid, immovable slab of cement and observed the damage. Of course the car was a total write-off. Then, they collided the second car into the same slab at 100 mph and the results were nothing short of catastrophic. The car was barely recognizable as a vehicle at all anymore. Keep in mind that although they used miles per hour, the units of measure aren't important, just that the speeds are doubled.

The third test was to collide two of the remaining vehicles into each other head-on, with each traveling at 50 mph (closing speed of 100 mph), and the damage suffered to each car was the same as the single car slammed into the cement slab at 50 mph. Even the hosts of the show were apparently surprised at the results.

The fourth and final test was to collide the last two cars into each other head-on, each traveling at 100 mph, and although the closing speed was a whopping 200 mph, the damage observed to each car was the same as in test #2 with the single vehicle colliding into the cement block at 100 mph.

This was a very dramatic display of Newton's Third Law and clearly demonstrates that the myth is false. Of course, just because the myth is false, the injuries that would be sustained from a head-on collision (or a solid and immovable object) would likely still be very severe, even at 50 mph. (MythBusters: Mythssion Control - Head-on Collision Experiment". Retrieved 6 May 2010.)

Recovering Compensation for Injury and Loss

Victims of head-on collisions in Nevada are entitled to compensation for damages arising out of the accident. This may require filing claims against multiple parties, including the negligent driver, manufacturer, and insurers. When a head-on-collision results in bodily injury or death, the at-fault parties and drivers must compensate injured victims and their surviving family members for several losses, including:

  • Property damage
  • Replacement vehicle
  • Emergency treatment
  • Medical, hospital bills
  • Funeral, burial expense
  • Loss of income and past/future earnings
  • Pain, suffering, and trauma
  • Damages for lost relationship

Seek Legal Counsel to Recoup Expenses

If you are involved in a head-on collision, your interests will be best represented by a Nevada law firm that not only understands the law but medical terminology, road conditions, and legal procedures as well. Some studies suggest that an injured party who retains counsel averages a recovery 3 to 5 times higher than those who do not. Call the attorneys at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright today at 702-384-7111 so that we can begin the process of getting you back on the road to recovery, or email us at gma@albrightstoddard.com.

About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys named Mark Albright as one of the Top 10 Personal Pnjury attorneys in Nevada in 2014. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 702-384-7111.

Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

T-Bone or Side Impact Auto Accidents in Las Vegas, Nevada

 

T-Bone or Side Impact Crashes in Las Vegas, Nevada

What is a T-bone Accident?

An accident that occurs at an intersection is often called a t-bone accident or a right angle collision. These accidents are also referred to as a side impact crash.  This type of accident is where the front end of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle, either the front, middle or rear side. Depending upon the size and speed of the two vehicles involved, these side impact or t-bone accidents can cause minimal, moderate or severe (and even fatal) injuries.

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The common causes of a t-bone accident include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Running a red light
  • Texting or other distraction while driving
  • Intoxication
  • Inattentive driving

Injuries in T-Bone Accidents

The victims of t-bone accidents are at greater risk for injury than in many other types of vehicle accidents due to the nature of the collisions. T-bone collisions typically occur at intersections or when two vehicles pass on a multi-lane highway or road. In most collisions, the vehicles are turned or spun from their original directions, and in the worst cases, may be spun or rolled over, or even hit by other speeding vehicles. Rollover accidents also have a high potential for causing injury to drivers, passengers and even pedestrians and other vehicles that are nearby and unable to avoid a collision.

A t-bone accident can be notoriously dangerous because when the vehicle is hit on its side it produces an effect that is totally different from a head-on collision or rear-end crash. The side of a vehicle has far less protection than the front or the back as there is a hood (with engine) at the front and a trunk at the rear, either of which can offer a collision buffer on impact. T-boned accidents often place the driver and passengers at a greater risk of serious injury because the only protection is the door and occasionally a side air bag. Another factor is the speed and size of the other vehicle.

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Side impact car accidents result in very high trauma injuries for another reason. This is because side impacts are usually caused by a party whom runs a stop sign or stoplight without braking or vehicle slowing. The energy from the speeds of both cars is then transferred to the occupants, including rear passengers. The dramatic reduction in force when a vehicle is caused to decelerate in an instant causes body parts to mechanically move direction causing tearing, ripping, and jolting of muscle tissues. Resulting neck injuries are very prominent as well as major bone injuries such as fractured ribs, broken pelvis, lumbar spine injuries, fractured legs and arms, and serious head trauma.

Fortunately, many newer vehicles have side-impact airbags that are designed to protect passengers in t-bone and/or side collisions. Typically, an occupant on the struck side of the vehicle is the most susceptible to injury. However, side-impact airbags are limited in the amount of protection they can provide in these accidents. Airbags are only able to provide protection during the initial impact, but since t-bone accidents often produce multiple, individual impacts, drivers and passengers are often unprotected during subsequent impacts.

Common Injuries

Sometimes, the injuries in a t-bone accident are fatal, while those accident victims who survive may experience a spinal cord injury, a head injury, broken or fractured bones and severe cuts and bruises. Other common injuries to drivers and passengers include the following:

  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Neck injuries
  • Shoulder, joint, muscle and bone injuries
  • Burns, scars and disfigurement
  • Fatal injuries

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Reasons for T-Bone Accidents

It is fairly easy to guess the major causes of t-bone accidents at intersections. It is when a car is running a light or failing to stop at a stop sign. The negligent driver runs a risk of hitting an innocent driver directly on the side. In either of the situations described, vehicles will be passing so their sides are vulnerable to a t-bone incident if a careless driver is not paying attention to road rules and who has the right of way. These sorts of accidents take place when a driver is either in a hurry and doesn’t want to wait for passing traffic or has something else on his or her mind and simply fails to stop. Even if someone is driving defensively, there is not always adequate time and opportunity to notice that another driver is not going to brake when approaching an intersection. The consequences of a t-bone accident can be devastating to the victims…all because a careless driver did not follow some rules of the road that are well displayed and obvious.

Life Changing Situation

In any automobile accident, there are normally some inevitable scratches and bruises, but the likely outcome of a t-bone accident could be life changing. Any serious injury can result in a visit to a hospital or time taken off work to recover. This brings about financial hardships and pressure on family members to find time to provide care for the injured as well as tightening up the budget to allow for these additional expenses.

Side impact car accidents often seal doors shut on the impacted vehicle due to dented and twisted metal.  Emergency extrusion tools, such as the “jaws of life”, are sometimes necessary to free the passengers. Modern day side-impact air bags attempt to cushion the blows from side impacts, but the forces are often so great that air bags will not totally help the deceleration forces impacting the body. The area of the intrusion can tell investigators whom may have entered the intersection first and skid marks can also help determine speeds. Modern day vehicle recorders also help police determine exact speeds at time of impact. We at Albright Stoddard also try to locate and obtain statements from key witnesses.

Some of Clark County's busiest and most dangerous intersections:

  • Desert Inn Road & Maryland Parkway
  • Tropicana Avenue & Paradise Road
  • Charleston Boulevard & Lamb Boulevard
  • Losee Road & Craig Road
  • Losee Road & Cheyenne Avenue

Of course, statistics are interesting, but the most dangerous intersection to you is the one where your accident occurs.

Conclusion

Injuries from car accidents caused by an angle approach can cause serious injuries. Left sided impacts naturally may have left sided trauma and vice-versa. Often the force of the impact causes the body to move in the opposite direction of the hit. Thus, a right side impact will cause the body to, at first, go right with body extremities going the opposite direction given the forward momentum they had prior to and during the impact. The twisting and turning of the body joints cause major core injuries around the muscular skeletal system. Call the attorneys at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright today at 702-384-7111 for a free, no obligation consultation regarding your Las Vegas car accident, or feel free to e-mail us at gma@albrightstoddard.com.

About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 702-384-7111.

Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Bike Accidents In Las Vegas and Southern Nevada; Personal Injury Lawyers in Las Vegas

 

National Bike Accident Statistics

Now that spring is here, Southern Nevadans are out in large numbers on their bicycles. Danger is in the air. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bicyclist deaths comprise around 2% of all traffic-related fatalities that occur on U.S. roads. Bike accidents and deaths tend to afflict young children disproportionately. Since such historical traffic records started in the early 1930s, more than 53,000 cyclists have been killed in traffic accidents in our country – that's around the same amount of people who died fighting in the Vietnam War.

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Some additional statistics about bicycle accidents:

  • Around a quarter million children are hospitalized every year for bicycle injuries.
  • A strongly disproportionate number of bicyclists hurt/killed are male (figures suggest anywhere from 80% to 90% are male riders).
  • Around 700 people annually die in bike accidents on U.S. roads.
  • Around 33% of bicycle accidents involve alcohol or drugs.
  • Bike accidents and deaths are more common during the evening rush hour (5 pm to 9 pm); during the summer; and in urban/city regions.

Cycling Accident Injuries

Although every accident is unique, bike injuries present several readily foreseeable injuries. First of all, bicyclists do not wear seatbelts. Thus, they are easily thrown off their bikes and land on their hands and forearms. As a result, a disproportionate number of bike-related accidents cause wrist sprains, fractures, lacerations, and soft tissue injuries.

The presence or absence of a bicycle helmet can be a strong predictor of the nature of possible head injuries. Obviously, bicyclists who wear helmets are somewhat protected against serious head injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, whiplash, and shock. But a helmet does not always protect the bike rider. A bicyclist is more exposed on the roads than the driver of a car, and automobile-bike collisions typically lead to more serious injuries for cyclists.

As bike riders know, drivers of cars and trucks often do not pay adequate attention to their surroundings, do not respect the rights of cyclists, and do not look for cyclists before making moves that can endanger their lives. All too often, bike riders are injured or killed by motorists who fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes, make right turns directly in front of oncoming bicyclists, sideswipe them traveling on the shoulder, open doors in front of them, drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fail to stop at stop signs, pull out from driveways or side streets without looking, or otherwise proceed in a manner which risks the lives of cyclists. Most motorists are not familiar with Nevada laws that protect bicyclists and give them the same rights to use Nevada streets as motorists.

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When handling your case, we will hire the best available accident reconstruction experts to prove that the motorist or other culpable party is at fault; utilize specialized medical experts to support your claim for the full extent of your injuries; and work expeditiously to obtain the maximum compensation allowed by law. We will personally interview every individual who witnessed the incident and thoroughly investigate every case. We will also bike and drive the same section of road ourselves to further strengthen our ability to vigorously advocate on your behalf.

At what point should you consult a bike accident lawyer?

Due to our many sunny days, Las Vegans are fortunate to be able to bike almost every day; the Red Rock National Park is a favorite spot. Clark County and Las Vegas have been trying for years to add more bike paths to make our metro area safer for avid cyclists. Even the local transit company has followed suit with bike racks on their busses.  But accidents happen to even the most careful riders. Following an injury accident, it is very important to consult with a qualified bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible. If you let too much time go by before consulting a lawyer, valuable evidence may be lost, witnesses may disappear, and the other party's insurance company may take advantage of you. As soon as we take on your bicycle accident injury case, we begin a full and thorough investigation and take swift action to secure and protect relevant evidence.

What types of compensation are recoverable in my bicycle accident claim?

Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright is a proficient and experienced personal injury law firm with a long history of obtaining for clients the compensation and accountability they deserve. An individual who injures a cyclist may be held liable for a wide variety of damages, including past and future medical and rehabilitation costs, lost earnings and earning potential, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, loss of parental or spousal financial support, loss of spousal relations, property damage, incidental expenses, and many other types of physical, economic, and sometimes even punitive damages that result from the accident. We will work relentlessly to obtain the financial compensation you deserve, to make the legal process as simple and painless as possible, and do our utmost to take pressure off you and your family, so that you may concentrate on recovering.

Why you need a bike accident attorney

Some people who have been injured in accidents wrongfully believe that they can handle resolving their claim without hiring a qualified bicycle accident lawyer. They may be tempted to try and work out a settlement directly with insurance companies. This is not advisable! Insurance companies are in the business of making money by collecting premiums and paying out as little money as possible for injury claims. If a victim is not represented by a qualified bike accident attorney, an insurance company will almost always try to settle the claim to the insurance company's advantage.

Until an injured person hires a personal injury attorney, the insurance company knows that the injured person is not prepared to take the case to court. When dealing with accident victims, insurance companies usually pretend at the outset that they want to fairly compensate the victim but then take advantage of them by taking a recorded statement from the victim, have them examined by their doctors, and otherwise build their case against them. And then end up offering an unfairly low settlement amount. Avoid letting this happen to you by contacting a bicycle accident attorney at a qualified personal injury law firm. If you do talk to the insurance company, do not allow yourself to be recorded and do not sign any papers. It is best to leave all communications and dealings to an experienced bicycle injury lawyer.

Remember that Cyclists Have Rights Too!

Unfortunately for cyclists, many motorists don't seem to understand that bike riders have the same rights as any other vehicle on the road. Nevadans love cycling, and we ride our bikes for leisure, for sport, and for transportation. However, accidents involving cyclists continue to increase. The attorneys at Albright Stoddard aggressively defend the rights of our clients and assist to obtain full compensation for our clients' injuries and damages.

COLLISION DETAILS: On February 12, 2013, at approximately 12:47 PM, an Auto/ Bicycle fatal injury traffic collision occurred on Charleston Boulevard in the intersection of Pecos Street. Witness statements and evidence at the scene indicate the 1998 Mercury was traveling westbound in the center travel lane of Charleston Boulevard approaching the intersection of Pecos Street.  The Huffy bicycle was crossing Charleston Boulevard from the north to the south at the intersection of Pecos Street. The Huffy failed to yield the right of way, from a posted stop sign, by entering the roadway into the path of the Mercury. The driver of the Mercury was unable to avoid colliding with the left side of the bicycle.  The rider of the Huffy bicycle was pronounced dead at the scene by responding medical personnel. The driver of the Mercury sustained minor injuries. This is the 18th traffic related fatality in LVMPD's jurisdiction for 2013. The collision remains under investigation by the LVMPD Accident Investigations Section.

You Need Protection from the Driver’s Insurance Company

There are many and varied causes of bicycle accidents in Nevada. While most collisions between bicycles and cars occur at intersections and involve driver inattention or failing to yield the right of away to the slower cyclist, there are many other reasons accidents happen. In fact, it is not unusual for a typical auto accident to have multiple causes. These may include driver negligence, dangerous conditions, or a driver operating a vehicle while drunk or under the influence of intoxicants. Typically, the bicyclist has no warning and little time to react before being struck by a motor vehicle. After being injured, the cyclist is often helpless and confused after speaking with law enforcement officers, witnesses, and "friendly" representatives from various insurance companies. When the cause of an accident is unclear, and liability is in doubt, an injured cyclist needs an experienced bicycle attorney advocate to make sure his or her rights are protected.

What to do if your injuries are serious

When cyclists collide with much heavier cars and trucks, riders can experience life altering injuries such as: brain trauma, compound fractures, severe multiple fractures, spinal injuries and paralysis, or burns and bruises. These are serious medical conditions that often require extensive medical care and rehabilitation services. Give the attorney at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright a call today at 702-384-7111 to protect your rights, or email us at gma@albrightstoddard.com.

About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys named Mark Albright as one of the Top 10 Personal Pnjury attorneys in Nevada in 2014.  Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 877-625-8069.

Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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Distracted Driving and Personal Injuries from Auto Accidents; Las Vegas Accident Lawyers

 

Distracted Driving with Children

The subject of distracted driving has heavily focused on the dangers of texting while driving, particularly among teenagers. Now two new studies, one from North American and one from Australia, show that parents driving their kids are also guilty of being distracted at the wheel. The studies indicate that distracted-driver parents are more likely to have been in a car accident than parents who drive without distractions.

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In the University of Michigan study, more than 600 parents revealed they often multitask while driving their 1 to 12 year old children. Almost 90 percent of the parents surveyed reported engaging in at least one technology-based distraction while driving their child in the past month. The most common distractions were from phone calls (hand-held and hands-free) and text messages being the least common.   

The studies also show that these drivers were more likely to have been in a crash in their lifetime. The Michigan study revealed that drivers of children not riding in an age-appropriate car seat or booster seat were 2.5 times more likely to report a child-related distraction than drivers of children who were restrained in accordance with the law. Other kinds of distracting behaviors surveyed were surfing the Internet, self-care (grooming and eating), child care (picking up a toy, etc.), getting directions and changing a CD or DVD.

Incredibly, the studies show that more accidents are caused by distracted driving than by drunk driving. ABC News reported recently that there are 5 million auto accidents each year in the U.S. That equals 10 accidents per minute. The importance of focusing on driving is shown by the fact that 80% of these accidents nationwide are due to distracted driving. Children cause some 12% of all distracted driving behavior. Sadly, in 2010, over 172,000 children were killed or injured in car accidents from all causes. 

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People have been caught doing all sorts of things that distract them behind the wheel -- from eating an ice cream cone to talking on a cell phone to driving drunk -- but one of the worst distractions might be something parents do every day…driving with kids in the backseat of the car.

In a first-of-its-kind study, an Australian study found that children are 12 times more distracting to the driver than talking on a cell phone while at the wheel. According to their findings, the average parent takes their eyes off the road for a staggering three minutes and 22 seconds during a 16-minute trip. The Australian study estimated 50% of all accidents are caused by distracted driving. 

When kids are in the car, parents are often breaking up fights between squabbling siblings and calming fussy babies. By the way, those babies are eight times more distracting to the driver than adult passengers, according to the American Automobile Association.

Charlie Klauer, a transportation engineer for Virginia Tech's Transportation Institute and a distracted-driving expert, along with her team analyze dangerous driving habits, what they call "eyes-off-the-road" moments. They agreed to evaluate the footage of ABC News’ Paula Faris driving with her children in the back seat.

PHOTO: Driver distracted by children

ABC News' Paula Faris mounted cameras to her van to capture a typical Saturday morning of driving her two children around, and then had distracted driving experts analyzed her habits behind the wheel.

In one instance, Klauer pointed out that Paula was driving 55 to 60 miles per hour on the highway and her "eyes-off-the-road" time to glance at the kids was four seconds. In another, Klauer noted that Paula was distracted when one of her kids handed her his empty snack wrapper. In another example, Paula reached for her cell phone, taking her eyes off the road for six seconds.

Fathers are supposed to be the worst offenders. According the Australian study, children distract the men more often and for longer periods of time.

There are solutions. Experts say the first thing to do is set up car rules so your kids know what to expect. If they drop something, parents need to make sure they know the driver cannot pick it up until the car stops.

If you are tempted to take a phone call, which puts the kids in even more danger, consider using an app like Zoom Safer. It blocks incoming calls and text messages by sending an automated response saying you are driving and will answer when you can.

And if you can't feed the kids before you leave, keep a snack bag close by.

About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys named Mark Albright as one of the Top 10 Personal Pnjury attorneys in Nevada in 2014. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 702-384-7111.

Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Drunk Driving Accidents and Personal Injuries in Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of auto accidents in the United States, as well as in Nevada. It is estimated that one in three Americans will be involved in a drunk driving related accident at some time during their lives.  According to figures released by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 16,694 people were killed in 2004 in alcohol-related crashes in the United States. This figure represents 39% of all traffic deaths in our country. In fact, more than 500,000 Americans are injured annually in drunk driving accidents in the U.S.

Las Vegas is often called an "adult playground" and has become famous worldwide for its night clubs and abundance of alcohol, which is available at a variety of outlets 24/7. It is no surprise then that it is commonplace to see drivers negligently get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Although many residents and visitors will take advantage of the abundance of taxi cabs to help avoid accidents, it offers little consolation if you are one of the unfortunate ones to be hit by a drunk driver.

Important Tips for the Scene of the Accident

If you are hit by a drunk driver, remember these key things to protect you during the legal process:

  • If you are hit by a drunk driver, call police to the scene immediately. Be cautious about speaking to the driver as they could become violent. Mention to the police that you believe they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you feel okay. Keep a detailed journal of any pain you may notice. Do NOT wait until it’s too late to collect on your injuries.
  • Collect on the diminished value of your vehicle – a car that has been in an accident suffers a substantial loss in value. Your settlement should compensate for the loss of value in your vehicle, called "diminished value".
  • See if you qualify to seek punitive damages – if the driver was intoxicated and therefore egregiously negligent then you may be entitled to compensation for the unnecessary pain and suffering you were caused.

Talk to a Lawyer

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you achieve the full value of your claim.

A lawyer will be aware of all the monies you are owed and will help you collect them in cases where the driver is difficult or hit-and-runs your car. Even if the driver flees the scene, if you have uninsured motorist coverage your insurance company will pay for your injuries as if it was the other car's insurance company. This will also protect you in cases where the other driver is underinsured and their policy limits are unsatisfactory and not commensurate with your injuries. A lawyer may also help you receive medical attention and a rental vehicle if you do not have medical insurance.

There is a Criminal as Well as Your Civil Case

A drunk driving personal injury claim is a serious matter and involves proving negligence of the other driver against their public defender or criminal defense attorney. A personal injury lawyer will also help you collect on a wrongful death claim if someone you love was killed as a result of the drunk driving accident. Although your relative or spouse's life could never be replaced by any sum of cash, a personal injury claim could be life saving in the event they were the head-of-household.

Don't be concerned if you can't afford an attorney; most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis – meaning there are no upfront payments and no payment if the case is not won. This allows you to have the very best attorney represent you, no matter your income level.

Blood Alcohol Concentration Limit

The illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Nevada is:

  • 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21
  • 0.04% for commercial license holders
  • 0.08% for the general public

The BAC applies only to alcohol. If any detectable amount of an illegal substance―like cocaine or marijuana―is found in your blood, you'll receive at least the same penalties as you would for alcohol, and perhaps even more.

DUI Laws

The Illegal Per Se Law simply means that driving with a BAC at or above the legally prescribed limit is an offense in and of itself. However, because the BAC limits are just a guide, you can also be arrested or cited for having a lower―but still detectable―amount of alcohol in your system.

The Implied Consent Law means that you must submit to BAC testing when requested by a police officer. Getting into the car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol already "implies" your consent to being tested. If you resist, law enforcement has been given permission to use reasonable force. You can also be arrested immediately for resisting (this is the more likely result).

Driving while intoxicated is arguably the most negligent and reckless traffic violation a person can commit. Every year, thousands of individuals suffer serious injury in accidents caused by drunk drivers.

More than 33% of fatal accidents involve a driver who has a BAC of 0.08 or higher – the legal limit to drive in the state of Nevada.

Not only is your chance of getting into an accident quadrupled at this amount, the chances of causing serious injury are equally as high.

Recovering Full Compensation for a Drunk Driving Accident

In Nevada, an individual must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher in order to be considered legally incapable of operating a vehicle. In order to receive fair compensation for your drunk driving accident injuries and other damages, it is vital that you obtain documentation of the liable party's intoxication. This includes police and witness statements, contact information of all involved parties, photographs, videos, and any other possible evidence. The legal team at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright can help you establish liability, so call now to schedule an initial consultation.

Drunk driving accidents are also notorious causes of wrongful death. If one of your immediate family members was killed by a drunk driver, our firm can help you win fair compensation for their death. Attorney Mark Albright lost his sister-in-law and nephew in a case where alcohol was suspected on a Las Vegas freeway, but the hit and run driver hid out in a local hotel until it was impossible for the police to prove intoxication. The driver was eventually convicted of hit and run and sent to prison for several years.

Recover Your Damages with Legal Help

The Law Office of Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright has been in practice for over 40 years and has more than 165 years of collective legal experience. We've handled all kinds of personal injury cases. Our goal is to assist anyone who has been injured due to the negligence of another person, so contact our firm today to get started. We offer a free consultation to help you make an educated decision regarding your legal case. You have limited time to file a claim under the statute of limitations, so call now!

The Nevada Department of Public Safety recently released the following statistics showing that in 2012 Nevada experienced 170 accident fatalities, of which 30 were related to alcohol:

COUNTY 2011 Crashes 2012 Crashes % Change 2011  Fatalities 2012 Fatalities % Change 2011 Alcohol Crashes 2012 Alcohol Crashes % Change 2011 Alcohol Fatalities 2012 Alcohol Fatalities % Change
CARSON 2 1 -50% 3 1 -67%     0%     0%
CHURCHILL 8 4 -50% 13 4 -69% 3   -100% 3   -100%
CLARK 112 152 36% 117 170 45% 41 27 -34% 44 30 -32%
DOUGLAS 12 5 -58% 12 7 -42% 4 2 -50% 4 4 0%
ELKO 14 10 -29% 18 11 -39% 4 2 -50% 4 2 -50%
ESMERALDA 3 2 -33% 5 2 -60%     0%     0%
EUREKA 2 1 -50% 2 1 -50%     0%     0%
HUMBOLDT 3 5 200% 3 5 200% 1 1 0% 1 1 0%
LANDER 4 4 0% 4 4 0%   1 100%   1 100%
LINCOLN 3 2 -33% 3 2 -33%     0%     0%
LYON 11 4 -64% 16 7 -56% 4   -100% 5   -100%
MINERAL 1 2 100% 1 2 100%     0%     0%
NYE 15 8 -47% 15 8 -47% 3   -100% 3   -100%
PERSHING 2 1 0% 2 1 -50% 1 1 0% 1 1 0%
STOREY     0%     0%     0%     0%
WASHOE 29 31 7% 30 31 3% 10 3 -70% 10 3 -70%
WHITE PINE 2 2 0% 2 2 0%     0%     0%
YTD 223 234 5% 246 258 5% 71 37 -48% 75 42 -44%
TOTAL 11 223 ----- 5% 246 ----- 5% 71   -48% 75 ----- -44%

Despite public pressure and strong laws, people still drive while intoxicated and cause wrecks that have tragic results. Across the country, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That means one drunk driving fatality occurred every 51 minutes. Although an improvement over prior years, we still have a long way to go.

What does “Blood-Alcohol Content – BAC” Mean?

Alcohol is a depressant. This means it slows your breathing rate and heart rate. It also impairs mental activity (cognitive skills) like your driving reaction time, and it affects your physical activities, including eye-hand coordination (psychomotor skills), according to the nonprofit DUI Foundation.

A person’s BAC – blood-alcohol content or concentration – is the amount of alcohol in his or her blood. When you consume alcohol, it stays in your bloodstream until it is broken down by the liver, the National Institute of Health explains on its PubMed Health website. If you drink alcohol faster than the liver can break it down, your BAC will rise. The effects of alcohol may appear within 10 minutes and peak around 40 to 60 minutes after taking a drink.

The DUI Foundation describes the symptoms of increased BAC levels:

  • 0.03 – 0.59 percent – Reduced inhibitions, impaired alertness, judgment, coordination, and concentration
  • 0.06 – 0.10 – Impaired reflexes, reasoning, depth perception and vision
  • 0.11 – 0.20 – Motor impairment, including decreased reaction time and motor control, staggering and slurred speech
  • 0.21 – 0.29 – Confusion, stupor, loss of understanding, impaired sensations, possible loss of consciousness and memory blackout
  • 0.30 – Bladder function, breathing and heart rate are seriously impaired; severe depression, unconsciousness and even death are a risk.

Since 2002, it has been illegal in all 50 states to drive with a BAC that is 0.08 percent or higher.

Drunk driving is an extremely reckless decision. Drunk drivers often cause serious and fatal accidents. If you have a concern that you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to another driver’s negligence, particularly caused by driving impaired, please call one of the attorneys at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright in Las Vegas, Nevada at 702-384-7111.

About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 888-927-8551.

Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Truck Accidents in Las Vegas, Nevada and on the 1-15 Corridor causing wrongful death and personal injuries

 

Truck (big rig) accidents have an entirely different complexity to them than traditional automobile accidents. Due to the nature of big rigs carrying large and heavy loads over many hours each day, the federal government has  imposed strict regulations on truck drivers such as how many hours a truck driver may drive without rest.  These strict federal and state guidelines require truck drivers to maintain driving logs with exact driving times and corresponding rest times.  When you see a truck driver at a truck stop working on paper work,  you can be assured that generally one of the items on their to do list while refilling or shortly afterwards is to fill out their driving log booklet.

 

The surface streets and highways of Nevada have heavy traffic.  At all times of day and night the roads and freeways through and around Las Vegas, Nevada, are crowded with hundreds of trucks moving fast and loaded with goods.  Some of the goods are delivered in Las Vegas, some goods are stored or warehoused here, but much of the truck traffic along interstate highway I-15 is moving south to Southern California or north to other states.  Clearly I-15 is the lifeblood of the West.  Innumerable work trucks, SUVs, big rigs, delivery trucks and semi’s move along the roads of Nevada, all requiring greater stopping distance than a passenger vehicle.  This may result in major truck accidents causing serious injuries or even death.  Because some of our interstate highway system in Southern Nevada is long and straight, with few cities in between, driver fatigue and falling asleep at the wheel are major concerns.  Other common routes for common carriers include Alamo, Pioche, Mesquite, Nye County, Lincoln County and Clark County. 

There are a number of causes for the truck accidents that take place in Nevada.  A number of trucks engaged in delivering goods travel the same route each day or week.  Due to this, the drivers become inattentive and negligent in their driving.  Such drivers are responsible for major accidents that take place on the highways and streets of Southern Nevada.

In addition to the federal trucking regulations,  large trucks, commonly referred to as "big rigs", "semis" or "tractor trailers" (or even just 18-wheelers) typically weigh some 80,000 pounds when fully loaded (and around 32,000 pounds when empty)  and range from about 67 to 75 feet in length.  Even though big rigs represent only 3% of all the registered vehicles on U.S. roads, they account for over 25% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in multiple vehicle accidents.  The tremendous difference in size and weight between passenger vehicles and large trucks make it easy to understand the validity behind these statistics.

Stopping distances are another critical factor.  For example, it takes  a 40 ton 18-wheeler traveling at a legal speed of 65 miles per hour an additional 100 feet to stop than if it were traveling at just 55 miles per hour.  Given this, it is not surprising that semi truck accidents often involve rear-end collisions.  Jack-knifed trailers, right hand turning collisions, and break failures are also common accidents involving large trucks.

Many of the major truck accidents throughout our country involve truck drivers who have violated the minimum federal sleep regulations.  With the help of appropriate expert witnesses, violations that many attorneys normally might miss can be discovered, and these negligent errors by the driver often can lead to large settlements.  There is almost no such thing as a minor accident involving a big rig.   The attorneys at Albright Stoddard can assist in getting to the bottom of what caused a big rig or semi truck accident, including but not limited to the following:

  • Improper sleep and driving periods
  • Driver stress resulting in inattention
  • Poor driving skills or inadequate training of the truck driver
  • Exceeding maximum weight load limits for a truck on a particular highway
  • Delivery deadlines that are unreasonable for the truckers to fulfill, forcing the driver to exceed the posted speed limits
  • Inappropriate breaking distance between truck and automobiles

Federal crash statistics have shown that at least 20% of large trucking accidents are due to excessive speed.  Nonetheless, while mechanical failures, reckless driving and improper driver training account for many of the crashes, the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that driver fatigue is responsible for between 30% and 40% of all big rig crashes and is the probable cause in over 30% of the crashes that resulted in the truck driver’s death.  Every 16 minutes another person in the United States will be injured or killed in a trucking-related accident.

It is not surprising that at least one-third of the injured suffer catastrophic harm and damage when their vehicle is involved in a collision with a big rig.  For example, in 2003 alone, over 450,000 large trucks were involved in crashes.  In a survey done that year, almost 20% of truckers admitted that they had fallen asleep at the wheel of their semi truck at least once in the previous three-month period.  Statistics also show that each year there are around 500,000 big rig accidents in the United States.  Every year, around 5,000 people will die from those accidents

Persons involved in accidents with an 18 wheeler, big rig truck or bus can end up with severe bodily injury, paralysis, life-changing disability or even death.  An involved automobile may easily be totaled in such an accident.  For long term expenses, injured persons will have loss of income, high medical bills, rehabilitation therapy, equipment expense and many other related financial bills that need to be covered by the company at fault.  Attorneys at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright will work diligently to help you recover from 18 wheeler/big rig accidents.  We will investigate with our experts not only the cause of the crash and accident, but also the insurance coverage available.  Big rig companies typically carry multiple layers of insurance, with umbrella policies or excess policies if the damages exceed the coverage provided by their main or primary insurance policy.  Our attorneys will work closely with you, start to finish, helping you gain fair compensation for personal injuries you have sustained due to your involvement in an accident.  In Nevada, it may still be possible to recover some damages, even if you were in some small way negligent (in an amount less than 51%).  Call now for a case review and to begin your recovery.  Contact the attorneys at Albright Stoddard for a free consultation at 702-384-7111 or email us at gma@albrightstoddard.com.

About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 888-927-8551.

Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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