Slip and fall accidents happen. The National Floor Safety Institute reports that around one million people seek emergency medical treatment for slip and fall injuries on an annual basis. A significant number of slip and fall accidents in Las Vegas happen in casinos. This raises an important question: What is a casino legally responsible for a slip and fall accident? The short answer is that the casino may bear liability if their negligence contributed to the accident. Within this article, our Las Vegas slip and fall injury attorney explains the key things to understand about what you need to prove to hold a casino liable for a slip and fall accident in Nevada.
Background: Slip and Fall Accidents are Premises Liability Claims
In Nevada, slip and fall accidents are categorized under the broader umbrella of premises liability law. Casino slip and fall accidents are certainly no exceptions. Premises liability is a legal concept that holds that property owners and property occupiers are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for all lawful visitors.
When they fail to take proper care and a person suffers a slip and fall accident injury as a result, a casino may be liable for the damages. At its core premises liability is grounded in the principle that businesses and property owners—including casinos—must ensure their premises are free from hazardous conditions that could foreseeably lead to injury
An Overview of Hazards that Can Cause Slips, Trips, and Falls at Casinos
A casino can be a busy, even overwhelming place. The casinos in Las Vegas—whether on The Strip or Downtown—are often bustling with activity. The companies that own and operate these businesses must take proactive measures to ensure the safety of customers and other guests—and that includes identifying and addressing slip and fall hazards. Some common hazards include:
- Wet Floors: Spills from drinks, cleaning activities, or leaks are frequent in casinos. These wet areas, if not promptly attended to, become prime spots for slips.
- Uneven Carpeting or Flooring: Casinos often have elaborate carpeting which can become uneven or worn over time, posing a tripping hazard.
- Poor Lighting: Dim lighting, a common ambiance in casinos, can obscure vision, making it difficult to notice floor hazards.
- Obstructions in Walkways: Casinos are dynamic environments where equipment like chairs, cords, or gaming paraphernalia might obstruct walkways, leading to trips.
- Transitions Between Different Types of Flooring: Moving from carpeted areas to tiled floors, for instance, can cause slips if the transition is not smooth or clearly marked.
- Staircases/Escalators: Improperly maintained or inadequately lit staircases and escalators are significant risks for falls.
Four Things You Need to Prove to Hold a Casino Liable for a Slip and Fall
Slip and fall accident claims largely arise under state law. If you were hurt at a slip and fall at a casino property in Las Vegas, it is imperative that you understand Nevada law. Here is an overview of four essential things to understand about casino slip and fall claims:
- You Were Lawfully On the Premises: Injured victims must establish that the defendant (business/property owner) owed them a duty of care. Under Nevada law (NV Rev Stat § 41.515), casinos only owe a limited responsibility to trespassers. To bring a successful slip and fall accident claim, an injured victim must prove that they were on the property either as an invited guest, a customer, or in any other lawful capacity.
- There Was a Safety Hazard on the Casino Property: Next, It is essential to prove that your accident was caused by a safety hazard on the property. The hazard could be anything from a wet floor without proper signage to uneven carpeting to poorly lit areas that create dangerous conditions for guests. Be sure to carefully document the slip and fall hazard.
- The Casino Knew/Should Have Known About the Hazard and Failed to Address It: Proving that the casino knew or should have known about the hazard is another key aspect of a slip and fall accident claim. You should be prepared to demonstrate that the casino had ample opportunity to discover and rectify the hazard but that it failed to do so. For example, if a spill was left unattended for an unreasonable length of time or if the hazard was a result of a recurring issue, it shows negligence on the part of the casino.
- You Slip and Fall Occurred Because of the Negligent Safety Hazard: Finally, there must be a direct causal link between the safety hazard and your slip and fall incident. It must be clear that the fall was not due to any other factors but directly due to the negligence of the casino in addressing the known safety hazard.
There is a Two-Year Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Injury Claims in Nevada
You have a limited amount of time to file a slip and fall accident injury against a casino in Nevada. As a general rule, there is a two-year statute of limitations for premises liability claims. If you fail to file a slip and fall lawsuit against a casino within two years of the date of the accident, you may lose your right to bring a legal claim at all. You do not want to fall a step behind in the claim process. Be proactive: Speak to a Las Vegas slip and fall accident injury lawyer who has experience bringing cases against casino property as soon as possible after an incident.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Las Vegas Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
At Ladah Law Firm, our Las Vegas slip and fall accident lawyers have the professional expertise that you can trust when it matters most. If you or your family member was hurt in a slip and fall at a casino, we are more than ready to help. Get in touch with us by phone at (702) 570-2037 or contact us online to arrange a free, no obligation appointment with an attorney. From our Las Vegas law office, we take on slip and fall accident cases in Clark County and all across Nevada.