Premises Liability

Premise Liability covers all fault related injuries on real property. Examples include: Slip, Trip and Falls, falling objects, improperly tacked carpet, latent or hidden dangers in floors and stairs, and many other accidents on property. In the hotel and casino context, patrons often suffer injuries due to foreign liquids on floors, faulty building materials, building code violations in construction, and carelessness by employees or others. When someone is a victim of an accident involving the premises it is important to document the accident with photographs, witness accounts, incident reports, and video footage and call our Las Vegas Premises Liability Attorneys for help.

Sometimes someone may suffer an injury on the premises of a property, but the liability may rest with someone other than the property owner. Such is the case when a defective chair or product owned or manufactured by a 3rd party may be responsible for causing the injury; these cases merge with product’s liability cases or other 3rd party negligence claims. These are common in elevator cases where the manufacturer may be charged with maintaining the elevator system or a defective component may be to blame.

In the residential arena, unfilled holes in land, failing to warn of hidden dangers, and vicious animals comprise the majority of liability claims most common in residential households. The Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC are experts in premise liability cases with vast experience in handling cases against casinos, hotels and major corporations.

Las Vegas Premises Liability FAQ

I slipped and fell in a Las Vegas casino. Is the casino at fault?

If you slipped and fell in a casino in Las Vegas, the casino may bear fault for your injuries. Businesses and other public places owe a duty of care to the public: they need to maintain establishments in a safe condition.

Let’s say a waitperson in a casino is jostled and spills drinks from a tray. That’s understandable, but it still creates an unsafe condition for patrons. The liquor and glass not only create the potential for people to slip and fall, but also could potentially cut them.

As a result, premises liability law—the kind that regulates all premises, from hotels and casinos to amusement parks and homes—is very clear. Yes, unsafe conditions can quickly arise. But when they do, part of the owner’s responsibility is to first warn the public about them. Staff should immediately cordon or mark off an unsafe area, so the public is aware that they shouldn’t go there. Second, the staff needs to fix the unsafe condition as quickly as possible. Wet areas need mopping and drying. Glass-strewn areas need cleaning up.

If you slipped and fell because of a dangerous condition that was neither marked as such or fixed, the casino is arguably negligent. Negligent parties are financially liable for injuries suffered as a result of their negligence.

What if it’s not a slip and fall, but another type of accident?

Premises liability law applies to any unsafe condition in premises open to the public. Nevada law labels people invited into publicly open businesses as invitees. All businesses want patrons to come in, but they are owed a very high standard of care when they do.

Not only must businesses notify patrons of unsafe conditions and fix them as soon as possible, but the businesses must also inspect their properties often enough to know when unsafe conditions occur. Businesses cannot legally claim that they didn’t know unsafe conditions existed if a reasonably prudent person would have known that they did.

In other words, if a thunderstorm and rain occur in Las Vegas, the owners of a hotel gift shop should realize that people might bring in wet umbrellas. Accordingly, the owners need to expect and remedy any wet floors as a result—not wait until after the floor is wet and someone slips.

If a hotel dresser falls on your child, or pyrotechnics in a floor show explode, the resulting injuries are likely the responsibility of the casino or hotel where they occurred.

I was assaulted in a Las Vegas hotel parking lot. Can I sue the hotel?

Unfortunately, patrons of Las Vegas’s hotels and casinos are sometimes robbed or mugged in parking garages, parking lots, or other places on the premises. To criminals, parking garages may look like fertile hunting grounds. Hotel and casino guests frequently have money or credit cards, and there are fewer people around than in the hotels and casinos themselves. The criminal may also have easy access to a getaway vehicle.

Yes, you can hold the hotel, casino, or another establishment responsible if you suffer an assault or other crime. Why? Because providing reasonably secure premises is part of the duty of care that property owners owe guests. Parking garages need to feature well-lit spaces to deter crime (and make driving safe), and they should also feature security precautions, such as a gate or security patrol.

If you are subject to criminal activity, report it to the police. But you also should consult a premises liability lawyer. These are two quite separate activities. The police and other criminal matters go through criminal courts to prosecute the crime itself. But damage compensation for your injuries and other harm needs addressing through civil courts—either through insurance companies or a personal injury lawsuit.

What if I’m injured in my neighbor’s yard? Who’s responsible?

As we’ve discussed, if you’re on property open to the public, you’re owed a high duty of care; the owners must make the premises safe. But what if you’re on private property?

The law here is slightly different, depending on your status vis-à-vis the owner. If the owner of the private property invited you in, either as a guest or to, say, work on the home, you’re classed legally as a “licensees.”

The duty of care standard is not as high for licensees as it is for invitees on public property. Private property owners should keep their properties safe. If owners know of something specifically unsafe, they should warn all visitors about the danger. However, the owners do not have to fix it, and they aren’t liable if they actually don’t know about it.

If, on the other hand, you aren’t invited in, you’re legally a trespasser. Generally, trespassers aren’t owed any duty of care. If you trip on a rake cutting through a neighbor’s lawn, any resulting injuries are your problem in Nevada, not your neighbor’s.

Trespassing exception: the attractive nuisance doctrine. There is one exception to the general idea that no duty of care is owed trespassers, however. Children are sometimes drawn to private property by something that they want to do or look at, and may not appreciate the dangers, particularly if they’re quite young. A swimming pool or fire pit, for example, may draw four or five-year-olds and pose serious dangers.

Legally, things that entice children to come onto the property are “attractive nuisances.” Property owners bear responsibility for making them safe, with a fence or other barrier, so trespassing children can’t suffer injury or harm.

What compensation may I receive if a Las Vegas premises liability accident hurts me?

If you suffer injuries for which a property owner or staff is responsible, premises liability law holds that you can seek compensation for:

  • Medical bills, past and future
  • Earnings lost from work, past and future
  • Value of lifetime earnings, if the injuries render you unable to work at all
  • Property damage, if your personal property is damaged
  • Pain and suffering, including loss of quality of life, loss of consortium with a spouse

If you need additional information, consult our Las Vegas premises liability lawyers today.

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