A slip and fall in a Las Vegas parking garage or parking lot could cause significant injuries, such as fractured limbs or herniated disks. Watching medical bills pile up and struggling to pay them because you cannot work can be extremely stressful.
However, another party, like the property owner, could be liable for your damages. Many victims of these accidents may not realize this. If another party’s negligence led to your accident and resulting injuries, you may be eligible to seek compensation to help recover your losses.
At Bernstein & Poisson, our attorneys have many years of combined experience handling injury claims for victims, including those hurt in slip and fall accidents. Our dedicated Las Vegas slip and fall lawyers are prepared to help you find out who may be liable for your damages.
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen in a Parking Lot or Garage?
A slip and fall in a parking lot or garage can happen in many ways:
- Poor Lighting: If the lighting is too dim, individuals going to or from their vehicle may be unable to see potential hazards, such as a patch of ice or water or oil spill.
- Unrepaired pavement defects: Parking lots and garages often have cracks, holes or uneven spots that could cause people to slip and fall. The surfaces deteriorate due to various weather conditions and continued use. Without proper maintenance, they can become extremely dangerous for pedestrians.
- Slippery surfaces: While icy conditions are unlikely in Las Vegas, they do happen elsewhere in Nevada, especially in the northern part of the state. That said, in Las Vegas, pedestrians could slip on larger oil spills left by a vehicle.
- Broken glass, trash and other debris left in walking areas: Any objects not regularly cleaned up in a parking lot or garage area could create an unexpected trip or slip and fall hazard for pedestrians.
- Parking space wheel stops: These concrete blocks are not always visible, especially under already poor lighting conditions. If these abutments are not properly installed or in a state of disrepair, they may be even more dangerous to guests walking to and from their vehicles.
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Who May Be Liable for the Damages?
It may surprise you to learn that there are various parties who may be financially responsible for damages you suffered in a slip and fall. Your attorney will need to thoroughly investigate the incident to determine who may be responsible.
The Property Owner
Owners are required to regularly inspect and maintain their properties. If property owners fail to take reasonable steps to fulfill this duty and it results in harm to a visitor, the property owner could be liable for the damages.
If the business owner is a different party than the property owner, he or she could be held liable for your slip and fall as well. It would depend on how the lease is written. If the landlord/owner has included responsibility for property maintenance in the lease agreement, the business owner could be held liable.
While there are government entities that are responsible for maintaining various parking lots, streets and other areas, it may be harder to hold them liable. Due to government immunity laws, these entities may often be protected.
Regardless of who may be liable, injured slip and fall victims may greatly benefit from the experience of a qualified attorney. If you have been injured in a slip and fall in a Las Vegas parking lot or garage, we recommend you seek legal help right away.
What if I Am Found Partially At-Fault for a Slip and Fall?
If you are assessed with any fault for a Las Vegas slip and fall, it is unlikely it will be enough to bar you from any recovery. In Nevada, the comparative negligence rule applies. This means that as long as you are not more than 51 percent at fault for the accident, you can still file a claim for compensation.
It is important to remember, however, that if you are assessed with some degree of fault, you will be responsible for those damages. For instance, say you are awarded $90,000 in a settlement, but you are assessed with 20 percent liability. In that scenario, 20 percent, or $18,000, will be deducted from the $90,000. This would still leave you with $72,000.
First Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall
There are a few very important steps you should take after any accident, including a slip and fall:
- Call 9-1-1 for help immediately. You may not be in a safe area if in a parking lot, and other drivers may be unable to see you. If you can move, get yourself out of the path of vehicles right away.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. If you tripped on something, photograph it before it gets cleared away.
- Write down the date, location and what happened as soon as possible to avoid forgetting important details.
- Do not give statements out about what you think happened or what you may have injured. Let doctors examine you and give you a diagnosis. Seeking immediate medical care also links your injuries to the accident.
- Call an attorney to find out if you may have a claim and to help you avoid mistakes that could hurt a potential claim.
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Seek Legal Help for a Parking Lot or Garage Slip and Fall Today
Slip, trip and fall accidents in parking lots are very common, and they can result in serious injuries. The financial burdens that result from these injuries are considerable.
If you find yourself in this situation, we encourage you to seek legal help in a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced lawyers are ready to fully manage your case, including communication with third parties, on your behalf. We are dedicated to pursuing maximum compensation for our clients, and there are no upfront costs while we work on your case. Call to see if you may have a claim today.