A vacation in Las Vegas is supposed to be fun and exciting. Every year millions of tourists visit the giant resort hotels on the Las Vegas Strip looking for a good time. Unfortunately, that good time can quickly become a living nightmare if you are injured in a Las Vegas hotel or sustain other injuries in a casino and face the prospect of owing thousands of dollars in medical bills. That is why it is important to hold a hotel responsible if its own negligence caused or contributed to your injuries. What happens at Las Vegas hotels should never remain “in Vegas,” especially if you have a valid premises liability claim.
Anyone who operates a business in Las Vegas owes a legal duty of “reasonable care” towards any members of the public invited or allowed upon its premises. This means that when there is a dangerous or hazardous condition in a hotel, and a guest is injured due to said condition, the hotel owner may be held liable for any damages sustained by the guest. For example, in casino injury cases a person may be hurt by broken or unsafe gaming equipment, improperly maintained stairs and escalators, inadequately marked construction areas, or even an accidental spill that had not been cleaned up.
Historically, Nevada courts have held that a property owner was not responsible for any injury caused by an “open and obvious” hazard. The Nevada Supreme Court modified that rule in 2012, when it determined that “a landowner owes a duty of reasonable care to entrants for risks that exist on the landowner’s property.” This includes “open and obvious” risks. Depending on the facts of the case, a trial court may still hold an injured plaintiff partially responsible—and thus reduce a potential damage award—for failing to observe an open and obvious risk. But a hotel cannot automatically absolve itself of responsibility just because it claims the hazard was open and obvious.
Aside from the obvious examples listed above, there are many dangerous conditions that may exist in a hotel that are not readily visible to guests. If you have ever watched television programs that expose the problems with poorly managed hotels, you may be familiar with some of these hazards, including bedbug infestations, toxic mold, inadequate or non-working fire safety systems, and poor security. A hotel owner may be held liable for any or all of these conditions if they cause health problems for guests.
For many tourists—especially families with young children—a swimming pool is a must-have amenity in a hotel. But swimming pools can also pose an enormous safety risk if they are improperly maintained. Any swimming pool open to the public must adhere to a rigorous code of public health and safety regulations. This includes not only sanitary and cleanliness requirements, but also ensuring there are a sufficient number of adequately trained lifeguards on-duty to assist swimmers who may be in distress.
Swimming injuries are particularly scary as the long-term health effects may not be immediately obvious. After a slip by the pool, for instance, you might think that you (or your child) are not seriously injured. But slip-and-fall accidents frequently cause concussions, a serious brain injury where symptoms may not be visible until hours or even days later. And even a near-drowning accident that lasts just a few seconds can cause permanent neurological damage.
If you are injured in a hotel accident, the property owner may try and placate you by offering to comp a room or a meal. But if you are facing the prospect of long-term medical bills, that simply is not good enough. If you have any reason to suspect that you have been injured due to a hotel’s negligence, it is imperative that you seek independent counsel from an experienced Las Vegas personal injury law firm. All hotels carry commercial liability policies that are more than capable of compensating you for the full amount of your injuries. A qualified attorney knows how to deal with the hotels and their insurance carriers to make sure you are not tricked into signing your legal rights away. Contact the Ladah Law Firm today at (702) 252-0555 if you would like to speak with a hotel accident attorney right away.