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Las Vegas Premises Liability Attorney

Premises liability cases deal with injuries and wrongful deaths that result from a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. Slips, trips, and falls are the most common types of premises liability accidents in Nevada. People often think slip-and-fall cases aren’t serious and only cause minor injuries, however they can result in significant, even catastrophic injury. In the some circumstances, they can lead to broken bones, spinal cord injury, brain injury, and even death.  In many cases, we have seen businesses display a systematic failure to protect consumers as well as policies that show a blatant disregard for their safety and well being.

At Claggett & Sykes Law Firm, we have represented a number of premises liability clients in Las Vegas for slip and falls and other accidents. Here is some information about the most common types of claims we’ve handled.

 

Casino Negligence

A fun night in a Las Vegas casino could be the highlight of your vacation. It could also be the setting for a serious personal injury accident. Negligent casino owners often do not ensure the reasonable safety of guests. They may spend their resources elsewhere, on new slot machines or marketing tactics to bring in more business, when they should be optimizing their efforts to keep guests safe. Negligent casino ownership and operation can lead to serious injuries due to hazards such as:

  • Slippery floors
  • Defective elevators or escalators
  • Faulty staircases
  • Loose carpeting
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Food poisoning
  • Falling merchandise
  • Swimming pool drowning
  • Security guard abuse

Millions of guests visit Las Vegas casinos every year not expecting for their nightly outing to result in severe injury. Casino goers are invitees, or guests the establishment invites onto the property. As such, casino patrons deserve the highest standards of care. It is an owner’s duty to repair known property hazards, warn guests about potential dangers, and search for unknown risks. Failure to obey these duties, resulting in a guest’s injury or death, is negligence. The property owner, casino owner, manger, or a third party may be liable for damages.

The risk of casino negligence increases when the establishment over-serves its guests. This is a common problem in Las Vegas casinos, where they encourage indulgence by offering free or low-priced drinks to gamblers. Despite policies in place to protect customers while allowing adults to drink, casino accidents related to drunkenness occur all the time. Bartenders at casinos should stop serving people who are already visibly intoxicated. Otherwise, they could be liable for damages the drunken person causes. Nevada’s dram shop laws may place liability for casino accidents on the casino itself.

Restaurants and Nightclubs

The most common premises liability accidents at restaurants are those involving slips and falls and food poisoning. A restaurant that serves expired products, uses unsanitary equipment, or undercooks its food can cause food poisoning in its customers. Food poisoning cases can be difficult to prove because symptoms can vary and take days to weeks after eating the food to appear. An investigation of the illness and the restaurant in question may provide a link between an unsafe food product and the sickness.

Slip and falls, burns, choking hazards, fires, and floods, may all occur in Las Vegas restaurants. If the incident comes down to property owner negligence, the owner may have to pay for the victim’s medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. The courts will rule on landowner liability by considering the relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff and the owner’s subsequent duties of care.  If the courts find that reasonable and prudent restaurant owner would have prevented the incident, the restaurant is guilty of negligence.

Nightclubs have often been the settings of harmful personal injury accidents. Crush injuries from uncontrolled crowds, assaults from lack of security, security guard abuse, and alcohol-related incidents can all occur in Las Vegas nightclubs. Bars, casinos, and clubs owe duties of care to patrons due to the nature of the business. Nightclubs must properly train employees to recognize patrons who are too intoxicated to continue drinking. They must also hire adequate security to protect visitors in the club and in parking lots. It often takes a lawyer to understand the legal duties of restaurants, nightclubs, and similar establishments.

Public Pools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks accidental drowning the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S. This is one of the most serious types of premises liability accidents. Accidental drowning in public or private swimming pools can lead to brain damage, coma, and death in a matter of minutes. Children are most at risk in swimming pool accidents, with death rates the highest for ages 1 to 4 years. It is the pool owner’s responsibility to ensure its safety for children and adult guests in Las Vegas. Pool owner duties may include:

  • Securing the pool with a fence, barrier, gate, or pool cover.
  • Using an alarm system to notify of trespassers in the pool.
  • Hiring lifeguards to supervise swimmers in the pool.
  • Posting warning signs of known dangers, such as a shallow pool or slippery surfaces.
  • Maintaining the pool to prevent injuries related to defects, such as broken drains.
  • Preventing strangers from entering a hotel pool.

Public pools in Las Vegas can be excellent places to escape the desert heat. Unfortunately, negligent landowners may have unsafe pools. If you or a loved one sustained an injury in a public pool, consider your legal options. There is likely someone at fault for the incident, such as the owner of the property or the team in charge of pool maintenance. Accidental drowning is a serious incident. Don’t let major injuries or wrongful death go without legal attention.

Negligent Security and Assault

Las Vegas doesn’t have a reputation for being the safest place for tourists. Every year, victims report robberies, burglaries, thefts, assaults, rapes, and murders in Clark County. Property owners can’t stop every act of violence or crime on their properties, but they do have a duty to reasonably ensure visitors’ safety. Every landowner in Las Vegas has a duty to learn the crime rate in the area and take appropriate steps to prevent incidents. Failure to do so could lead to a preventable attack.

Proving that the business or property owner is guilty of negligent security requires an investigation into the crime rates and history in the area. The plaintiff must show the defendant knew or reasonably should have known of the risk of an attack, yet did nothing to prevent this harm. A prudent property owner would have installed parking lot lights, surveillance cameras, security systems, and security guards according to the level of foreseeable danger. Failure to take these actions, resulting in an act of violence against a visitor, may be grounds for a lawsuit.

Slip and Fall

Slip-and-falls are one of the most common types of premises liability cases. Though common, they can cause life-changing injuries. While a minor injury like a bruised kneecap may not be grounds for a lawsuit, many slip-and-fall injuries do cause significant injury. Broken bones, torn ligaments, and brain and spinal cord injuries can require a personal injury suit to compensate the victim for his or her medical costs, missed time at work, and permanent disability. The CDC states that falls are the No. 1 cause of injuries and deaths among people 65 and older, but a fall can cause serious injury or death in younger people as well.

Many slip-and-fall cases involve a systematic failure to protect consumers. This means there are hazards inherent to the way the establishment operates, such as policies that blatantly disregard the safety of visitors. For example, a bar that does not have a policy in place to clean up spilled drinks may be negligent. Leaving spills on the ground in a busy bar can easily lead to a slip and fall. It is the property owner’s duty to enact rules that help prevent these accidents.

Most slip-and-fall accidents involve contributory negligence. Contributory negligence refers to the plaintiff’s own percentage of fault for the incident. The defendant may assert that the plaintiff contributed to his or her own injuries by not paying attention to surroundings. The courts may reduce the plaintiff’s compensation amount by her percentage of fault. For example, say the courts assign 20% of fault to the plaintiff for texting and walking in a slip-and-fall case. The plaintiff would receive $80,000 of a $100,000 award in this example. As long as the plaintiff is less than 51% responsible for the accident, he or she is still eligible for compensation.

When to Call an Attorney

Don’t underestimate the severity of your premises liability injury.  If you were seriously injured, you need to hold the negligent party responsible.  Medical documentation and expert witness testimony can help prove the extent of your injuries in front of a judge or jury. An experienced attorney can maximize your odds of compensation after a slip and fall or other type of premises liability accident in Las Vegas.

At Claggett & Sykes Law Firm, we’ll listen to your story during a free case evaluation. You can tell us exactly what happened or what you think caused your accident. We’ll investigate your case and tell you if we think it has merit as a premises liability claim in Nevada. If you retain our firm for representation, we’ll develop a strategy to fight for maximum compensation. We’ll calculate your various losses, such as medical bills and lost wages, and estimate the potential value of your claim. Then, we’ll take care of settlement negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf.

Most personal injury claims can settle outside of the courtroom. If your case goes to trial, our experienced trial attorneys are prepared. We are true trial lawyers, with a mock jury trial room in our Las Vegas offices. Sean Claggett won Trial Lawyer of the Year for Nevada, as voted by other attorneys in the Nevada Justice Association. This is the highest honor a trial lawyer can receive in the state. We take a unique approach to every premises liability case that comes through our offices. You can take comfort in our personalized services. For more information about your particular premises liability claim, call us at (702) 333-7777.