Thousands of locals and tourists pass through Las Vegas hotels and casinos each day. The owners of these properties are legally obligated to ensure the safety of those who visit their properties. This includes safeguarding against and addressing slip and fall hazards, which account for over 1 million hospital emergency room stays each year in the United States, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI).
When someone suffers serious injuries after a slip and fall, it is important to investigate the accident and determine what caused it. Some slip-and-fall accidents only occur due to negligence by the property owner or another third party. In such accidents, those injured may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the negligent party.
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a slip and fall on a Las Vegas property, the dedicated Las Vegas hotel and casino injury lawyers at the Cottle Firm are prepared to help. We can evaluate your case, determine if you have grounds for a claim, and guide you through each step of the legal process. Contact us today at 866-755-9111 to discuss your case.
Understanding Nevada’s Premises Liability Laws
Premises liability is the cornerstone of any personal injury case stemming from a slip and fall accident. Under this legal framework, the onus is on both residential and commercial property owners to maintain their premises in a condition that is generally safe. These property owners are also legally obligated to warn visitors of any hazards that are not immediately obvious.
If a hotel or casino guest slips, falls, and suffers injuries due to a foreseeable hazard, the property owner could potentially be held liable for damages. To file a successful premises liability claim, the injured party and their personal injury lawyer must prove the following three elements of negligence:
- A hazardous condition was present on the property
- The property owner knew or should have known about this hazardous condition
- This hazardous condition caused injuries and related damages
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Las Vegas Hotels and Casinos
Las Vegas hotels and casinos see thousands upon thousands of visitors each day, so regular maintenance is key to protecting these visitors from preventable accidents and injuries. The consequences of a slip and fall can be dire; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in five falls causes a serious injury, such as a head injury or broken bones.
There is a wide array of hazardous property conditions that can lead to slip-and-fall accidents. The Las Vegas slip-and-fall lawyers of the Cottle Firm frequently encounter the following hazards in our cases:
- Wet, slippery, or slick floors and surfaces
- Absence of proper signage indicating dangers (such as a wet floor sign)
- Sidewalks and other outdoor pathways are in disrepair
- Inadequate lighting conditions
- Obstacles cluttering walking paths
- Stairways, ramps, and railings in poor condition
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident caused by any of the above-mentioned property hazards, you could have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. An experienced Las Vegas slip-and-fall lawyer can review your case to determine if negligence was to blame for your accident and injuries.
How Can a Las Vegas Slip and Fall Lawyer Help?
The vast majority of slip and fall lawsuits end in a settlement, without the need to go to trial. This is often an ideal solution for injury victims, as trials can be unpredictable and time-consuming. At the Cottle Firm, our Las Vegas slip-and-fall lawyers help our clients fight for fair settlements, but we are also prepared to go to trial when necessary.
Establishing the Causal Relationship Between a Fall and Injuries
Proving that you sustained injuries is typically straightforward, as medical documentation can corroborate the nature and extent of your injuries. The challenge often lies in proving that these injuries directly resulted from the slip and fall accident in question. An experienced lawyer helps their clients obtain sufficient medical documentation, doctor testimony, and other evidence to prove that the injuries were caused by the accident.
Typically, healthcare providers can help establish this causal connection. While some attorneys use depositions, a more effective approach may be to obtain a medical letter during a doctor’s appointment. This written statement can identify injuries suffered during the fall.
Demonstrating Property Owner Notice of Hazardous Conditions
Certain types of evidence can be used to establish the existence of a hazardous condition at the time of the accident. However, proving that the property owner had either actual or constructive notice of this condition can be more complex.
Actual notice means the owner had been notified of the hazard, while constructive notice implies that the condition was present long enough that the owner reasonably should have discovered and addressed it before the slip and fall accident and injuries occurred.
Our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers typically use three primary methods to substantiate a claim that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard:
- Witness testimony – Witnesses can be crucial for affirming how long a hazard existed before an accident. While your own testimony is permissible, it could be viewed skeptically as self-serving. An impartial third party’s testimony can be powerful.
- Video surveillance footage – All Las Vegas hotels and casinos use security cameras, with virtually all corners of the property being recorded at all times. A lawyer can acquire this footage promptly before it is overwritten. Many properties overwrite their tapes anywhere from 7 days to one month after recording.
- Incident reports – Businesses often compile reports detailing accidents on their properties. If you are injured in a slip and fall, you should report it to ownership. These incident reports may provide insight into the type of accident, the cause, who witnessed it, and how long the hazard was present.
When filing a personal injury claim for slip and fall injuries, you will need to come up with a figure for the damages suffered. This figure should include all economic and non-economic damages related to your injuries.
Making this calculation on your own can be difficult, but a lawyer with experience in similar cases can determine how much financial compensation to seek. Your lawyer can also gather evidence to prove your losses.
The exact damages sought will vary from case to case. However, some of the most common damages in Las Vegas hotel and casino slip and fall injury cases include:
- Current and future medical care
- Lost wages and loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Settling out-of-court is often the best route for the plaintiff because it can save time and help the plaintiff get the support they need. However, it is important to only accept a fair settlement offer that accurately accounts for the damages suffered.
Insurance companies often try to get injury victims to accept lowball settlement offers, as this helps increase profits for the company. An experienced slip-and-fall lawyer can negotiate with these companies on behalf of their clients and work towards an accurate settlement.
If you attempt to reach a settlement on your own, you are at risk of accepting an unfair offer that does not cover all of the damages you have suffered.
Discuss Your Case With Our Las Vegas Slip and Fall Lawyers
Have you or a loved one been injured in a slip-and-fall accident at a Las Vegas hotel or casino? At the Cottle Firm, our experienced Las Vegas slip-and-fall lawyers help our clients take on these powerful companies, fighting for fair compensation for their injuries. Give us a call today at 866-755-9111 to learn more about taking legal action against a hotel or casino for a slip and fall caused by negligence or any other questions about hotel and casino injuries.