Property owners in Las Vegas have a legal duty to make sure their properties are safe from foreseeable hazards that could cause injuries. Hazardous property conditions like slippery floors often result in serious injuries.
If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident in Las Vegas, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights. Negligent property owners can be held liable for damages in a premises liability lawsuit if someone is injured due to a dangerous property condition. You can learn more about your legal rights after a slip and fall by speaking with the experienced Las Vegas slip and fall accident lawyers at the Cottle Firm.
Nevada Premises Liability Law
All property owners in Nevada are required to abide by a legal doctrine called premises liability. According to premises liability laws, the owners of residential and commercial properties must maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition and warn visitors of hazards that are not immediately apparent.
Personal injury lawsuits for slip and fall injuries are filed based on premises liability. In order to have a case for a lawsuit, you and your personal injury lawyer will need to prove the following four criteria:
- There was a dangerous property condition
- The property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition
- This dangerous condition caused your injuries
- You have suffered losses related to your injuries
Dangerous Property Conditions
Many types of dangerous property conditions can lead to a slip-and-fall accident. Some of the most common property hazards our Las Vegas slip and fall accident lawyers see in our cases include:
- Slippery floors and walking surfaces
- Damaged sidewalks and walkways
- Unmarked hazards
- Poor lighting
- Obstructions or clutter in walkways
- Defective or damaged stairways and ramps
- Loose hand railings
If you were injured in a slip and fall caused by one of these dangerous property conditions, you could have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner.
Property Owner Knowledge of Hazards
Not all slip and fall injuries are the result of negligence. To have a case for a premises liability lawsuit, you must show that the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard and that they failed to address the danger promptly.
For example, suppose you slipped and fell on a liquid spill in a supermarket right after another customer spilled the liquid on the floor. In that case, you may have trouble proving that the property owner had sufficient knowledge and time to fix the problem. However, if the spill had already been present for an hour before you fell, the property owner would likely be deemed negligent for their failure to promptly address the hazard.
Causation of Injuries
In a premises liability lawsuit for slip and fall injuries, you will need to provide proof that the dangerous condition caused your injuries and that you have suffered losses as a result of those injuries.
Property owners who are facing premises liability lawsuits often hire their own lawyers who may attempt to argue that your injuries were preexisting and not caused by the property hazard. For example, a lawyer may argue that your back injury is a chronic condition.
Providing evidence is vital in establishing the cause of your injuries. Some key pieces of evidence may include:
- Medical records and bills
- Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
- Accident reports
- Statements from witnesses
- Security camera footage
- Photos of the dangerous condition
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
A slip and fall accident can happen at any type of property, including both businesses and private homes. However, slip and fall accidents and injuries are especially common at certain types of Las Vegas properties:
- Hotels and casinos
- Grocery stores
- Shopping malls
- Office buildings
- Private homes
- Parking lots
- Sports venues
- Bars and nightclubs
- Construction job sites
- Government buildings
- Escalators, elevators, and staircases
Regardless of where the accident occurred, those who suffer slip and fall injuries due to negligence have grounds to pursue financial compensation.
What Should You Do If You Were Injured in a Slip and Fall?
The steps you take following a slip and fall accident could affect your experience of seeking financial compensation for your injuries. Taking the right actions can make it easier to build a strong case for a premises liability lawsuit against a negligent property owner.
Seek Medical Treatment
Getting treatment for injuries should be the top priority following a slip and fall accident. Prompt medical attention can help ensure that you don’t suffer any preventable complications and may make your recovery smoother.
While medical care is about your own health above all else, seeking treatment is also critical for your legal case. You will need to provide documentation of your injuries as evidence when filing a premises liability lawsuit.
Report the Accident
You should notify either the property owner or a manager of the business about your fall and injuries and ask them to compile a written incident report. This report can be used as evidence when filing a lawsuit and failing to report the accident could be used as an argument that you did not take the accident seriously at the time.
Document the Scene
You should evaluate the scene, determine what caused your accident and injuries, and then document as much of the scene and your injuries as possible.
Take photos of your immediate surroundings and the hazardous condition that caused the fall. These photos can be used as evidence in your lawsuit.
If anyone witnessed the accident, you should also talk to them and gather their contact information, including their name, phone number, address, and email address. A personal injury lawyer can also speak with these witnesses later and obtain detailed written statements from them, which will also be useful when pursuing financial compensation for your injuries.
Avoid Giving Statements
Be aware that the property owner and their insurance company will do everything they can to limit their liability. It is best to avoid providing immediate statements to either of these parties, as saying the wrong thing could affect your claim.
Although you will want to report the incident to the property owner, this report should only include the facts of the incident, such as where it occurred and the dangerous property condition that caused it. This report should not attempt to assign blame and should be written, rather than a verbal statement.
An insurance adjuster may contact you and attempt to elicit a verbal statement. These adjusters are trained to seek responses that could call your claim into question. The adjuster’s job is to limit liability for the insurance company and their client and statements can do more harm than good for your case.
You should also avoid discussing your accident on social media, as any statements you make on these platforms could also be used against you by the insurance company.
Consider Contacting an Attorney
While you are free to pursue financial compensation on your own, you should strongly consider hiring a personal injury lawyer for help with your slip and fall accident claim. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to obtain a fair settlement. Representing yourself in a personal injury case puts you at risk of accepting an unfair settlement based on the damages you suffered.
Las Vegas Slip and Fall Accident FAQ
Can an Employer Be Held Liable For a Workplace Slip-and-Fall?
In Nevada, employers are required to provide all of their employees with workers’ compensation insurance, which covers medical bills and lost wages when someone gets injured on the job. In exchange for this coverage, the employer is protected from liability for workplace injuries – even if the injury was caused by the employer’s negligence. This means that you cannot sue your employer for injuries suffered in a workplace slip and fall accident.
However, in certain situations, other third parties can be held liable for workplace slip and fall injuries. For example, a construction worker who was injured in a slip and fall on a wet surface left by a different construction company could have grounds for a lawsuit against that company.
Can I Sue My Landlord For a Slip and Fall in Nevada?
Landlords can be held liable for slip and fall injuries and are typically bound by the same legal duty of care standards as business owners. In order to hold your landlord liable for your injuries, all of the following conditions must be met:
- The landlord knew or should have known about the hazardous property condition that cause your fall. For example, you may have notified your landlord about a broken handrail.
- The landlord failed to fix the hazard or notify you of the danger.
- Your injuries were directly caused by the hazardous condition and these injuries involve damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Landlords are not responsible for all slip-and-fall accidents. In cases where the tenant’s own negligence contributed to the fall, legal action may not be an option. According to Nevada’s comparative negligence law, you may only file a lawsuit if you were less than 50 percent negligent.
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