In Nevada, all types of property owners have a legal obligation to keep their properties free from hazardous conditions that could end up injuring property visitors. When a visitor is injured due to a property hazard, they may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. At the Cottle Firm, our team of Las Vegas premises liability lawyers helps our clients secure the financial compensation they deserve for injuries caused by property owner negligence. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights in a free consultation.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal term that is often applied in personal injury cases involving injuries caused by hazardous or defective property conditions. Like most other types of personal injury cases, premises liability lawsuits are based on negligence. To have grounds for a claim, the injured person and their attorney must prove that the property owner was negligent regarding the maintenance of their property and that this negligence directly caused injuries.
Suffering an injury on someone else’s property does not automatically mean you have grounds for a premises liability claim. Property owners are not automatically considered negligent for injuries suffered on their premises. To have a valid claim, the injured party must prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the unsafe condition, but failed to take reasonable measures to address it.
Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Case
According to Nevada premises liability law, the plaintiff must prove the following criteria to file a premises liability lawsuit against a property owner:
- You were legally permitted to be on the property and were not trespassing
- A hazardous condition was present at the property
- The property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the condition
- An accident happened due to the hazardous property condition
- The victim suffered injuries and damages as a result of the accident
All Nevada property owners owe a duty of care to people who visit their property. According to this duty of care, property owners must ensure that visitors are not subjected to preventable dangers and must provide a reasonable amount of safety to all visitors.
Nevada Property Owner Standards of Care
The legal obligation of property owners to keep their premises safe is known as a “standard of care.” In Nevada premises liability cases, the court evaluates whether the property owner acted reasonably given the circumstances. There are three categories of property visitors under Nevada law, and the standard of care varies between them.
Invitees are people who visit a property for the benefit of the property owner, such as customers at a store or shopping mall, hotel guests, and restaurant patrons. Invitees are owed the highest duty of care from property owners, as they are on the premises for the property owner’s benefit. Businesses are required to regularly inspect their properties and follow all safety codes to ensure that invitees do not suffer preventable injuries.
A licensee is someone who visits a property for the mutual benefit of themselves and the property owner. The most common example would be friends visiting a private home for a social gathering.
Property owners owe licensees an intermediate duty of care. This means that they must warn licensees of potential dangers, but they are not obligated to conduct regular inspections in the same way that business owners are.
Trespassers are those who visit a property without the owner’s permission. As you might expect, they are owed the lowest standard of care. In most cases, trespassers cannot file a lawsuit against a property owner for injuries suffered on their property.
Common Premises Liability Cases
Slip, trip, and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability case, but there are several ways that dangerous property conditions can cause preventable accidents and injuries.
Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents
Property owners are legally obligated to keep their premises free of hazardous floor conditions, which can lead to slip and fall accidents. Some of the most common hazardous conditions in slip and fall cases include:
- Wet and slippery surfaces from spilled liquids
- Wet walking paths from recent mopping
- Uneven or broken sidewalks, pavement, and tiles
- Slick swimming pool tiles
- Loose or frayed carpet
People injured in slip and fall accidents may suffer a variety of injuries. Some of the most common slip and fall injuries in Las Vegas include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Serious sprains
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Concussions and other head injuries
- Cuts and bruises
Property owners have a legal duty to ensure their premises are reasonably protected from the risk of violent crime. While not all injuries caused by crime are the result of property owner negligence, some injuries only occur due to inadequate security and other forms of negligence.
The property owner has a responsibility to provide a reasonably safe environment for all property visitors. The risk of theft, assault, and other violent crimes can be reduced by implementing security measures, such as cameras, security guards, and proper lighting. If someone is injured due to inadequate or negligent security, they may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.
Elevator and Escalator Accidents
Elevators and escalators can be found all over Las Vegas, including in casinos, hotels, shopping malls, and other buildings. While accidents are rare, they do happen, and often because of defective design or improper maintenance.
Some common examples of negligence in elevator and escalator injury cases include:
- Defective breaks
- Elevators mistakenly opening between floors
- Elevator doors closing unexpectedly
- Jammed elevator doors
- Falls down elevator shafts
Swimming Pool Accidents
Las Vegas is known for its large swimming pool parties at hotels and nightclubs. Many of the city’s apartment complexes also have swimming pools where residents go to beat the heat. The owners of properties with swimming pools are legally obligated to keep swimmers and other visitors safe from preventable injuries.
Some common examples of pool owner negligence include:
- Inadequate supervision
- Lack of signage for swimming pool depth
- Improper chemical treatment of water
- Broken tiles in the area surrounding the pool
- Obstructions and tripping hazards around the pool
What Damages Are Available in a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
If you were injured due to the property owner’s negligence and file a premises liability lawsuit against that property owner, you may recover damages for both economic and non-economic damages related to your injuries.
Damages commonly awarded in Las Vegas premises liability lawsuits include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earning potential
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Punitive damages in cases of malice or gross negligence
- Disability and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Learn More From Our Las Vegas Premises Liability Lawyers
If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries on someone else’s property and you believe negligence was involved, you have legal rights. At the Cottle Firm, our team of experienced Las Vegas premises liability lawyers is prepared to help you recover damages for all of the difficulties you face. Contact us today to learn more in a free consultation.
Premises Liability FAQ
How Does Nevada Evaluate Negligence in Premises Liability Cases?
In Nevada personal injury cases, courts and insurance companies use a standard called modified comparative negligence. This means that in a premises liability case, both the injury victim and the property owner will be evaluated for negligence, and each will be assigned a percentage of negligence.
People who suffer injuries in premises liability cases may seek financial compensation even if they were partly at fault for causing the accident, as long as they were assigned a percentage of less than 50% If a court determines that you were more than 50% responsible for the accident and your injuries, you may not seek financial compensation.
If you are found to be partially at fault, the available damages in a lawsuit will be reduced based on your percentage of fault. For example, if you were determined to be 25% at fault for the accident and were awarded total damages of $100,000, your final amount would be reduced to $75,000.
What Is the Statute of Limitations For Nevada Premises Liability Lawsuits?
Nevada has a two-year statute of limitations for those who have suffered injuries on another person’s property. This deadline begins on the date that you discovered (or should have discovered) your injuries, which means that you must file a lawsuit within two years of the accident. This deadline is extended to three years for those who only suffered property damage, but had no physical injuries.
Can You File a Premises Liability Lawsuit For Wrongful Death?
If your loved one lost their life due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit against the property owner. The criteria for wrongful death lawsuits is the same as personal injury lawsuits for premises liability. You must prove that a dangerous property condition existed, that the owner knew of (or should have known of) the condition, and that they failed to address it, which resulted in your loved one’s death.