Slip and Fall Accidents

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Slip and Fall accidents

Whenever you visit some public place to go shopping, have fun, or for any other reason, there is a chance that you may slip, fall and hurt yourself. Many times slip and falls happen because of the carelessness of the individual who was responsible for maintaining the property in a safe condition. Nevada law is very clear-- businesses have an obligation to customers to ensure that their stores are safe for customers and visitors. “Slipping” and “Falling” are some of the most common ways to get injured when you are out and about. Slip and falls are also some of the most dangerous accidents because there is no protective barrier between one's body and a hard, dangerous surface. 

  • Over 30,000 people have died in slip and fall related injuries in 2020
  • There were over 800 cases of slip and fall injuries related to work.
  • Half of all deaths from slip and fall injuries occur at home.
  • Slip and falls account for the majority of traumatic brain injuries.

A slip and fall accident can result in serious fractures, head injuries, contusions or other injuries. Under the legal concept of premises liability, the victim of a slip and fall accident can claim damages if the accident was caused by the negligence of the property owner or an employee.

But what to do if you've been injured in such accident?

If you or someone you care about was injured in a slip, trip and fall accident, it is important that you take action immediately after the incident. It is crucial that you are prompt in order to build the best possible legal case. Here are some recommendations on how to proceed.

  1. Seek Medical attention. Your health and safety and the health and safety of a loved one is the priority. If you or your loved one has been injured in a slip, trip, and fall accident, look for medical attention. Remember that those medical records are very important key elements when building your case.
  1. Report the accident. Regardless of where the accident happened – whether your friend's house, in a supermarket, hotel, casino, shopping mall or even on public street. If you have been hurt, file a report with the manager, owner or landlord. It is better to have everything in writing. Be sure to give as many details as you can remember and be specific. Don't forget to ask for a copy of the report before you leave.
  1. Document everything. It's important to collect the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for all potential witnesses. Their statements could help prove your claim if you decide to pursue a legal claim. Also, remember to take pictures of the EXACT location where you fell and make sure to photograph any stairs, icy patches, or other conditions that contributed to your accident. Jot down what you were doing right before the accident, the way you fell, and any other details, including the exact time and date. Also: Place the shoes and clothing you were wearing during the accident in a safe storage place. They may be relevant pieces of evidence later.
  1. Decline to Give Statements. Remain calm and limit your communication with the property owner or manager. Do not post any details related to your accident on social media. Decline to give a statement to an insurance company until you've spoken to an attorney. Do not place blame—and don't take any.
  1. Call an attorney. Lawsuits against slip, trip and fall are complex cases. When you need assistance with such situations, it is important and recommended to contact an attorney. The best person on your side that will be able to build the best case for you. We have the experience, knowledge, and track record of success to recover the money you deserve.

Slip & Fall Laws

People injured in a Las Vegas Nevada home or business may be able to bring a negligence claim based on premises liability. This is the legal concepts that owners or managers must keep their property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn others of hazards on the property that are not otherwise obvious.

In order to win under Nevada's premises liability rules for a slip and fall case, the plaintiff needs to prove three things:

  1. There was a dangerous condition on the premises;
  2. The property owner or tenant knew (or should have known) about the dangerous condition; and
  3. The dangerous condition caused the plaintiff's injuries.

Some of the most common premises liability claims in Nevada involve slip and fall claims and dangerous flooring lawsuits for personal injury lawsuits and claims. Plaintiffs who win premises liability lawsuits may be entitled to money o pay for all their:

  • medical costs and bills
  • missed work and lost wages
  • future earnings loss and/or
  • pain & suffering

Sometimes the court can also order that the defendant pay putative damages. These can be much greater than compensatory damages.

Even if the injured victim was partially responsible for their injury, Nevada laws permit them to still recover damages as long as the defendant was at least 50% at fault.

Negligent Maintenance

In Nevada, all property owners are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that their property is safe for invited visitors. To this end, property owners must:

  • Maintain a risk-free environment;
  • Make necessary repairs in a timely manner;
  • Post warning signs, if needed;
  • Block access to dangerous areas or hazards; and
  • Comply with local safety requirements.

Whether due to ignorance, malice or carelessness, many property owners fail to take these steps. Those who are injured as a result of a property owner's negligence can obtain compensation for the losses they suffered. To establish that an accident could have been avoided, but for a property owner's negligence, the plaintiff must provide evidence that:

  • The property owner or manager owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
  • The property owner or manager breached that duty;  and
  • The plaintiff was injured as a result of the property owner's or manager's breach of duties.

Most slip and fall accidents occur at busy locations, such as:

  • Retail stores;
  • Casinos;
  • Shopping Centers;
  • Grocery stores;
  • Malls;
  • Stadiums;
  • Amusement parks;
  • Restaurants;
  • Hotels;
  • Cruise ships; and
  • Bars.

Some of the most common slip and fall accidents are caused by failing to prevent or correct the following defects:

  • Defective stairs and railings;
  • Slippery floors;
  • Uneven or icy sidewalks;
  • Torn carpet or warped floors;
  • Poor lighting;
  • Debris or trash;
  • The presence of toxic fumes or chemicals;
  • Improperly stacked merchandise;
  • Crumbling curbs;
  • Safety violations; and
  • Inadequate security.

These types of accidents can cause a wide array of injuries, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Severe ankle, knee, and wrist sprains;
  • Concussions or traumatic brain injury;
  • Bruising, scrapes, and lacerations;
  • Dislocated shoulders;
  • Fractured vertebrae or spinal cord injury;
  • Fractured hips or pelvis;
  • Fractured wrists, ankles, and hands; and
  • Facial injuries.

The severity of slip and fall injuries vary depending on the age and relative health of the victim. For instance, elderly people or those with preexisting bone conditions may sustain more serious bone breakages in the event of a fall, whereas infants are more likely to suffer from serious head injuries.

Fortunately, slip and fall victims may be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses as well as:

  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future income;
  • Property damage;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Loss of consortium.

While a monetary award may not be able to fully compensate a victim for the pain and suffering that he or she endured as a result of the injury, it can go a long way towards hastening the recovery process.

Liability

If a plaintiff is able to establish that the defendant owned or was in control of the property, he or she must then demonstrate that:

  • The property's condition was dangerous;
  • The owner knew or should have known of the danger; and
  • The property owner had a reasonable opportunity to repair the problem or provide notice of the danger.

Please note, the property owner must have had actual or implied notice that the dangerous condition existed on the property. If the owner created the dangerous condition, a court will presume that he or she knew that it existed.

A court will also assess whether a landlord or property owner made routine and reasonable efforts to keep the property safe by evaluating the following factors:

  • The length of time that the dangerous condition existed;
  • Whether the owner performed routine maintenance;
  • The reason for the condition's presence;
  • Whether the dangerous condition could have been removed;
  • Whether there was a safer place the hazard could have been placed without inconveniencing the property owner; and
  • Whether a failure to utilize a warning sign or barrier contributed to the injury.

Time Limits

In Nevada, a person who was injured as a result of an owner's failure to maintain his or her property only has 2 years to file a claim in court. However, if the victim only damaged property during the fall, he or she will have three years to file.

If you happen to get hurt by slipping and falling, Stovall and Associates' team of experienced attorneys will do their best to help you get the best possible settlement for your case. 

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