Slips, falls, swimming pool accidents, balcony collapses and assaults happen on both commercial and private properties, causing millions of injuries in the U.S. each year. Our Las Vegas premises liability lawyers have seen firsthand how victims face lengthy recoveries, extensive pain and mounting medical costs. These damages could all have been avoided but for a property owner’s negligence.
In Nevada, both commercial and private property owners owe a duty to reasonably try to protect their legal visitors. If you suffered harm because of a property owner’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages.
At Bernstein & Poisson, we have been tirelessly fighting to recover fair compensation for injured victims throughout the state. We offer a free initial case review to listen to what happened and determine if you may have a case. There is no risk, obligation or cost for this meeting.
How Might I Benefit from a Premises Liability Lawyer
After an injury caused by a property owner’s negligence, you may benefit from hiring a knowledgeable and qualified attorney. Our Las Vegas premises liability attorneys are ready to work hard, protecting your best interests throughout the legal process by:
- Providing the legal guidance and protection you need from the very beginning
- Handling communication with involved third parties – including attorneys for the other side
- Fully investigating the property, hazard and events that led up to the incident that injured you
- Gathering critical evidence to help support your claim – including photos and witness statements
- Keeping you fully informed about how your case is progressing and preparing you for each step
- Fighting for the maximum amount of compensation available for the damages you sustained
At Bernstein & Poisson, we have extensive experience representing injured victims in Las Vegas and beyond. We have recovered millions in compensation for our clients, including a $365,000 settlement for a slip and fall that caused the victim to suffer neck, back and shoulder injuries.
Do I Have a Valid Case?
The best way to find out if you may have a valid case is to speak with a qualified attorney. In your free and confidential initial consultation, you should be completely honest about what happened and how you were injured. Bring any evidence you may have to this first meeting, such as an accident report, witness statements or photos. It is also a good idea to write down what happened as you remember it. Include basic details, such as the time, date, location and what you were doing right before the incident.
What if I Am Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Let accident investigators and your attorney determine whether you contributed to the accident that caused your injury. Sometimes people are too quick to blame themselves when they may not be at fault at all. If you do share some liability, you may still be eligible to seek compensation.
Nevada follows a comparative fault statute, so if an individual is not more than 50 percent liable for the incident, he or she can still file a claim.
Property Owners Owe a Duty of Care
Commercial and private property owners in Nevada must take reasonable steps to protect visitors from harm. This responsibility includes:
- Regularly inspecting the property for potential hazards
- Repairing or otherwise correcting a dangerous condition
- Warning social guests or other legal visitors about any known dangers
If an injury occurs because the owner or property manager failed in his or her duty of care, the attorney handling your claim will still need to prove that:
- The defendant was the legal owner, or legally in charge of maintaining the property
- You had legal permission to be on the property at the time the incident occurred
- There was a dangerous condition that existed at the time of your injury
- The property owner or manager knew, or should have known, about the hazard
- The hazard led to your injury and caused you to suffer damages (lost wages, medical bills, etc.)
What Types of Guests Are Recognized in the Legal System?
There are three basic categories of guests that have been defined for legal purposes, including:
Invitees are guests who have been invited by the owner to visit the property for business purposes. An invitee may be a paying customer, contractor working on the property, package delivery service, security worker and more. Property owners owe these guests the highest duty to protect from harm.
A guest who is a licensee is typically visiting for social purposes or for other purposes not related to business, such as:
- Party guests attending a social event hosted by a friend
- Visitors spending a few days at the home of a family member
- A guest visiting a business to use their bathroom facilities
A trespasser has no legal right to be on the property. Property owners owe little to no liability for visitors who trespass, unless they purposely created the hazard that caused a trespasser harm.
If the trespasser is a minor child, liability may vary. A lot depends on the age of the child and their ability to understand any warnings.
What is the Average Value of a Premises Liability Case?
It is not possible to determine an average value for a premises liability case. Each accident and injury is unique, and the damages may vary significantly. The value of any injury claim is based on many factors, such as the type and extent of an injury, total outlay of medical costs and length of time to recover.
There are, however, typical types of compensation that an injured victim may be able to seek, such as:
- Cost of all reasonable medical care related to the incident
- Travel reimbursement to and from doctor appointments
- Physical and rehabilitation therapy a patient may require
- Recovery of lost wages and lost future earning capacity
- Help for related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Counseling for emotional distress, anxiety or depression
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Inability to engage in favorite pastimes or activities
- Permanent disability, disfigurement or scarring
- Mobility devices, such as crutches or wheelchairs
Our Las Vegas premises liability lawyers have extensive experience handling these types of claims. We are prepared to help, and the first step is finding out whether you have a valid claim. Our team of legal professionals at Bernstein & Poisson is ready to help you in a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Should I Do Immediately After an Injury on Commercial or Private Property?
Premises liability claims are challenging, and it takes time to build a strong case. There are some steps you can take from the moment you are injured that can help protect your health and the value of your claim:
- Get medical care immediately: Delays put your health at risk, even if your injuries initially seem minor. It is impossible to know if you sustained any internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding, without a proper diagnosis. When you see a doctor, it also creates a medical record of the event, which helps link your injuries to the incident.
- Take photographs of the scene: If you are too badly injured to do so, ask someone else to photograph the scene and your injuries. Get photos of the entire accident scene too. It may help prove there were no relevant warnings posted.
- Gather evidence that may be relevant: This information could include the clothing items you were wearing, video footage and witness statements.
- Request a police or accident report: If on private property, give notice of your injury to the owner as well.
- Keep accurate expense records: These records should include medical bills and any other costs related to helping your recovery.
- Never sign or agree to anything without first speaking to a lawyer: Whether you are contacted by the insurance company or pleaded with by a property owner, this is a bad idea. There is no way of knowing what damages you sustained until you get medical care. A qualified attorney will protect your rights fight to see you receive fair compensation.
- Maintain a record of your injuries: Daily journal entries documenting your recovery can help show the severity of your injuries. For example, daily entries about your pain levels, from 1-10 (with 10 being the worst), and the activities you are unable to do while recovering (dress or bathe yourself, cook your meals, etc.)
When Could a Nevada Liability Waiver Apply?
There are certain situations where an invited guest may willingly engage in an activity that is inherently risky. Those who own properties where these types of activities occur may routinely have guests sign a liability waiver to avoid accountability if a guest gets hurt. This type of waiver is common for high-risk activities, such as:
- Racing sports vehicles
- Parachuting or skydiving
- Bungee jumping
- Using automatic weapons at a shooting range
- Rock climbing
- Amusement park rides
These and other activities that carry an assumption of risk are backed by Nevada’s assumption of risk laws. This legal defense shifts liability from the property owner to the individual choosing to engage in the potentially dangerous activity. The assumption of risk defense is legally enforceable if the plaintiff/invited guest:
- Has knowledge and understanding of the degree of risk involved in the activity
- Appreciates the danger that could result from taking that risk (i.e. serious injury or death)
- Chooses – voluntarily – to engage in that activity, fully accepting the known risk
Acceptance is legally binding when the plaintiff expresses verbal acknowledgement, signs a written agreement or by their conduct (proceeding to do the activity despite having been warned about the dangers).
How Las Vegas Premises Liability Accidents Commonly Happen
Premises liability accidents can happen almost anywhere, from private homes to a Las Vegas casino or shopping mall. Some of the most common premises liability accidents happen due to:
- Lack of safety in construction or work zones
- Hazards in private or public swimming pool areas
- Animal bites from dangerous dogs
- Slip, trip and fall incidents on commercial and residential properties
- Fires and explosions
- Amusement park accidents
Property owners may be negligent in protecting visitors if they fail to correct dangerous hazards, such as:
- Uneven floorboards
- Broken lightbulbs in stairwells
- Ripped carpet
- Large puddles of accumulated water
- Dangling wires where people walk
- Potholes or uneven concrete on sidewalks
- No guard rails where there are stairs
- Jagged pieces of metal or nails
- Not properly restraining or fencing in dangerous animals
- Negligent security on property
How Long Do I Have to File a Premises Liability Claim in Nevada?
Like most states, Nevada has a strict timeline that limits an injured victim’s ability to file a Las Vegas premises liability claim. The deadline, or statute of limitations, in Nevada is two years from the date the accident happened. If you miss this deadline, you will likely lose the opportunity to seek any compensation from the liable property owner.
Many injured victims wait to file a claim, thinking that two years gives them plenty of time to make up their mind. However, it is important to understand that the two-year deadline is only for filing the lawsuit. There may be other restrictions that dictate when you must file your claim with the insurance company. Additionally, your attorney needs time to investigate what happened, gather evidence, calculate the value of your claim and negotiate your settlement.
In short, it is a good idea to contact a qualified attorney immediately after the accident. He or she can then help to preserve the value of your claim from the very beginning.
Contact Our Las Vegas Premises Liability Lawyers Today
The experienced lawyers at our firm have been protecting the rights of injured victims in Nevada for 30-plus years. We have the resources and staff to build a strong claim on your behalf. Our team of legal professionals is ready to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Call our firm today to get started. Find out if you have a case at no cost to you. There is no obligation to hire our firm after your initial free case review. If we do represent you, there is nothing for you to pay up front. We do not get paid unless we recover compensation for you.
Our office is conveniently located just eight minutes from Kindred Hospital Las Vegas.