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Las Vegas Litigation Law Blog

Daylight Saving Time may contribute to driver fatigue

A recent AAA study highlights the potential drowsy driving side effects of Daylight Saving Time. By turning their clocks ahead, Nevada motorists could lose some valuable sleeping time. Beyond the risk of falling asleep at the wheel, fatigued drivers also suffer from lower reaction times.

According to the study, the loss of just one hour of sleep puts more drivers at risk for being involved in fatal accidents. Additionally, the time change can be disorienting for motorists who have a regular routine. This is no minor inconvenience considering a prior AAA survey indicated that drowsy driving was a contributing factor in 10 percent of all fatal collisions. Furthermore, morning road conditions will appear different to drivers given the change in available light. Drivers are recommended to be prepared for their early commutes to be significantly darker.

Device could determine if drivers were texting and driving

Although many Nevada drivers are aware that driving and texting is extremely dangerous, some drivers still look at their phone screens when they should be focusing on the road. Distracted drivers are at risk for causing accidents that can result in life-threatening or deadly injuries. However, officers often have difficulty determining if a driver was texting at the time of the crash.

The Textalyzer, a tool that works similarly to a breathalyzer, could help authorities see if the driver was using his or her smartphone when the impact happened. The device plugs directly into the smartphone and creates a minute-by-minute readout. It can note the exact time a person sent a text, opened an app or made a call.

Brain injuries could be connected to earlier dementia onset

Traumatic brain injuries can be some of the most concerning and devastating types of personal injuries, with lifelong consequences and effects that continue to be the subject of scientific research. According to research conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, traumatic brain injuries and concussions may lead to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease at an earlier age.

The research used confirmed cases of Alzheimer's disease at the time of autopsy to look into ongoing effects of brain injury. When analyzing over 2,100 cases, the researchers discovered that people with brain injuries that included a loss of consciousness for over five minutes were diagnosed earlier in their lives with dementia than those who had not suffered such injuries. On average, the difference in diagnosis date spanned two and one-half years. Concerns about TBI and other head injuries have received greater attention in recent years due to inquiries into the role of such devastating injuries in sports like football. Many former NFL players may have permanent damage as a result of concussions and head injuries.

New concussion test being questioned

Nevada residents may have access to a new blood test that can detect signs of a traumatic brain injury. Despite some reports, however, it does not determine if a person has a concussion. The test, which was recently approved by the FDA, is used to decide if a person might benefit from a CT scan by looking for proteins in the blood.

Patients who undergo CT scans are exposed to high levels of radiation that may be especially harmful to children. Of course, it's easier to order a CT scan as it can take three to four hours to obtain results of the blood test. Doctors may also be wary of waiting several hours if they believe an individual is likely experiencing bleeding in the brain. It should be noted that there can be multiple signs that a person has a concussion.

How safety tech can reduce backup collision rates

Drivers in Nevada, as elsewhere in the U.S., may be looking forward to fully automated vehicles, but before that time comes, they may want to consider the safety tech that's available right now. A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shown that rear automatic braking systems, for example, can be really effective in preventing backup collisions.

In fact, cars that are equipped with these systems were 62 percent less likely to be involved in a backup crash. Combine that system with other technologies, such as rearview cameras and sensors, and the number goes up to 78 percent. The IIHS studied several new vehicle models and found that the 2017 Subaru Outback and Cadillac XT5 SUV were especially consistent in stopping or slowing down when faced with obstacles in the rear.

Financing options for small businesses

There is a variety of reasons why a Nevada business owner may need financing. For instance, cash may be needed to keep up with a spike in demand or the doors open during the slow season. Those who need a loan may want to consider their debt-service coverage ratio (DSCR) when determining how much they need. The DSCR gauges a company's ability to pay back its debt given its current cash flow.

The type of loan that a business receives may depend on its credit and sales history. Companies that have good credit and a track record of making money may be able to secure a traditional bank loan. Other options may include invoice factoring or a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA). When applying for a loan, business owners will want to be aware of the interest rate as well as any fees associated with it.

Property negligence and what it involves

Negligence laws in Nevada include community and industry standards that property owners and entrants must live up to, punishing owners who fail to keep their property free of unreasonable dangers. These laws almost always come into play when an entrant is injured on someone else's property and wishes to sue for damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

In such cases, the injured party must show that the owner neglected the upkeep of its property. For example, the owner may have had stairs installed on the property that are steeper or narrower than the local safety guidelines recommend, or he or she may have failed to put up warning signs around a wet floor. At the same time, it must be proven that the victim used the property in a reasonable way, not engaging in reckless actions.

Costs entrepreneurs should consider when running a company

Those in Nevada and elsewhere who want to start their own company may have a lot of expenses when they first start. Some of these expenses they may plan for. However, there may be several that they fail to anticipate or don't fully understand. For instance, business owners will need to pay a self-employment tax of 15.3 percent on profits of up to $127,000.

It may also be necessary to get a permit to form an LLC or otherwise do business in a state. Local or other regulations may require a permit to renovate a building or other property that the company may own. Those who want to start their own company are advised to have a reserve fund or line of credit to help cover such costs and other related expenses. Business owners may also want to look into getting business insurance.

Important factors in a premises liability claim

Unsafe building injuries in Nevada can lead to premises liability claims. Residents should know what's involved in a premises liability claim and what steps they should take when they're injured on someone else's property.

Whether a person is injured by a falling object or on a slippery floor, they must prove that the owner, or the non-owner resident of that property, breached the duty of care due to the entrant. For instance, the owner or manager may have neglected to repair potholes and cracked pavement, forgot to warn against wet floors or failed to install adequate lighting in stairwells. On the other hand, entrants have an obligation to use a property in ordinary, reasonable ways.

Why today's vehicles may be safe enough

Those who live in Nevada or anywhere else in the United States may have heard about the potential of self-driving cars. However, it is unlikely that anyone will be able to buy one for several years. Therefore, it may be better to focus on what cars can do now to reduce accidents and generally keep everyone safer while on the road. For instance, cars may come with collision avoidance systems.

This technology may allow the vehicle to brake if it detects an object that a driver may not be able to see. Lane departure and blind spot warning systems also are available, and in some cases, they come standard on the automobile. When used in large numbers, these systems may be able to reduce the number of serious accidents that occur each year on American roads. This may help to reduce the number of fatalities that occur on American roads.

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