MYVEGAS Magazine is proud to bring you our special feature section, where each issue we ask readers to submit questions to our Top Lawyers for their opinions and input on topics you want answered.
Steve Dimopoulos of Dimopoulos Injury Law
Q: I was involved in a T-Bone accident that was not my fault. The accident happened three months ago, but I was involved in a very bad slip and fall at my work a week ago, causing me to visit the ER. Will this affect my auto accident in any way?
A: To recover bodily injury compensation a plaintiff must prove not only that a defendant was negligent, but also that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Thus, the defendant in your car accident case might argue that you are unable to prove which of your injuries were sustained in your car accident, as opposed to your subsequent slip and fall, and that you therefore are unable to prove your case. Assuming your slip and fall injuries were sustained to parts of your body different than those injured in the car accident, proving which injuries were the result of the car accident shouldn’t be an issue. In fact, it is often possible to prove apportionment even where the same body part was injured in both incidents. This is frequently accomplished by comparing medical imaging scans (such as MRIs) that occurred between the first and second incident with scans conducted subsequent to the second incident. A more interesting issue arises if you are able to prove you injured the same part of your body in both the car accident and slip and fall, but unable to prove the extent to which the injury is attributable to each incident. In this situation the burden of proof as to apportionment shifts to the defendants. If the defendants are unable to prove the extent to which their respective negligence contributed to your injuries, then each defendant is jointly and severally liable for the entirety of your injuries (assuming liability can be established as to each defendant). Your question raises many more interesting issues than can be discussed here. Please consult with an attorney as I cannot provide legal advice based upon the limited facts presented
Samira Knight of Tarkanian & Knight Law Group
Q: I have a 3 year old daughter. I have been in the process of talking with the man I had her with and he agreed to help me with taking care of her financially. I just filed for child support and now he refuses to pay anything. What’s my next step?
A: The most simplistic answer, is that if he is the biological father of the minor child he doesn’t get to choose his financial obligations to the minor child. He is obligated under the Nevada Revised Statute to pay child support. If you have opened a case with the child support division, then they will begin garnishing his wages for the amount required by statute. From my experience it could take up to three (3) months for the garnishment to begin, if they have identified his employer. I would contact your case worker and see where your case is, and see if they need any additional information from you.
Q: I was with my ex-boyfriend for 10 years and I was in an abusive relationship. I got pregnant by another man and absolutely couldn't tell him in fear of mine and the babies life. My abusive ex signed the birth certificate. Now that I am a single mom I don’t know if I can go after the real father for child support, or my ex who is on the certificate. Will I qualify for child support if the mother did not sign the birth certificate?
A: Only the biological father is going to be responsible for child support payments, unless there were other type legal parenting documents created. Also, another question the courts will have to address is the questions if you have ever had paternity testing done to confirm, and if you still are in possession of those documents. Unfortunately, you question cannot be simply untangled and answered solely on the information provided. Your first step maybe opening a case with the child support division, and see how much they can help. This all assuming, although you didn’t sign the birth certificate you are the biological mother of the minor child.