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Las Vegas Slip and Fall Lawyer

Slip, trip, and fall-related injuries are among the most common ones in the U.S.—each year, more than a million Americans seek emergency medical treatment for fall-related injuries. And according to the National Safety Council (NSC), falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, with nearly 40,000 Americans dying in falls at home or at work in 2019. These accidents can range from minor to major in severity, and may permanently impact your quality of life.

Nevada’s world-famous casinos make it an incredibly popular tourist destination—but unfortunately, the combination of alcohol consumption, heavy foot traffic, and bright lights and distracting noises in these casinos can make them a prime location for slip-and-fall injuries. Below, we’ll discuss some injuries and long-term complications a person may face from a slip-and-fall accident, who may be liable for these injuries, and what steps an injured person should take to secure the compensation they deserve.

Where and Why Do Slip-and-Fall Accidents Occur?

Most humans do so much walking and moving on a daily basis that it becomes second nature—much like breathing. This, combined with the brain’s tendency to put things into patterns and extrapolate from incomplete information, can mean you may not detect a potential hazard like a loose carpet or missing stair tread until it’s too late.

Many slip-and-fall injuries can be attributed to factors like:

  • Changes or irregularities in the elevation or level of a walking surface
  • Clutter in the walkway, including loose cords, cables, or wires
  • Loose or unanchored rugs or floor mats
  • Uneven or missing bricks, tiles, or paver stones
  • Inadequate or flickering lighting
  • Slippery or icy surfaces
  • Unmarked steps
  • Loose or poorly maintained thresholds

Other fall injuries can involve a drop from a high area, whether missing a step while backing down a ladder or falling over the side of a platform with a too-short railing. Regardless of the cause of your accident, it’s important to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and obligations.

What Injuries May Result From a Slip-and-Fall Accident?

Because most slip-and-fall accidents happen suddenly, your body may not have time to brace itself for impact or fall in a way that provides more protection. Some injuries associated with slip-and-fall accidents include:

  • Soft tissue injuries like whiplash
  • Abrasions, cuts, and lacerations
  • Bruises and contusions, including hematoma
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Joint injuries, particularly in the knees, ankles, shoulders, wrists, and elbows
  • Neck and spine injuries
  • Head injuries, including concussions or traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Severe falls that involve a blow to the head may lead to coma or even death.

What Must You Prove to Recover Damages?

Depending on where and why your accident occurred, there may be one or more parties at fault. If you slipped and fell on a spilled drink in a casino, for example, the casino could be liable under premises liability, while the person who spilled the drink could also be liable if they could have, but chose not to, report the hazard to the property owner. If you trip over a heaved city sidewalk, the municipality could be liable for failing to maintain it in a safe condition.

To receive compensation for injuries sustained in a slip-and-fall accident, you’ll need to establish three key elements.

  • The defendant(s) owed you a duty of reasonable care;
  • The defendant(s) breached this duty; and
  • This breach directly caused your injury and resulted in damages.

You’ll need to prove each of these elements using evidence like security camera footage, maintenance records, witness statements, police reports, medical records, photographs, and sometimes even expert witness testimony. Nevada’s rules of evidence and trial procedure can be complicated, and getting the information you’ll need to prove your claim can be a time-intensive process. A personal injury attorney can work with you to assess the value of your claim, gather evidence, negotiate with the defendant and any insurance companies, and either take your case to trial or negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

What Damages are Available in a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit?

If you can show that the defendant’s negligent or reckless conduct caused your injury, you may be able to recover a broad range of costs associated with your accident. These include:

  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Prescriptions and medical devices
  • Future medical expenses
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future earnings
  • Short-term or permanent disability
  • Mental or emotional distress, including depression or anxiety
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

If you’re married at the time of your accident, your spouse may be able to recover their own damages for “loss of consortium”—loss of the care, companionship, and services you provided before your injury.

Finally, if a slip-and-fall accident results in death, the person’s heirs or estate may bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties—potentially recovering all the above damages plus hospital, funeral, and burial expenses.

Many slip-and-fall cases settle before trial. However, insurance companies have an interest in disposing of claims as cheaply as possible—and often, this means drawing out negotiations or giving low-ball offers in hope that your mounting bills will force you to settle for less than you deserve. Don’t assume that an insurance company has your best interests in mind, even if the insurer is your own.

Because Nevada slip-and-fall claims are generally governed by a two-year statute of limitations, it’s important to consult an experienced attorney as early as you can. Waiting too long to file a lawsuit could leave you unable to recover any damages, even if it’s clear that the defendant was at fault. And since insurance companies have little incentive to settle a claim after the statute of limitations has expired, they can purposely slow-walk a claim to run out the clock. By calculating the costs you’ve suffered and the value of your claim early in the process, your attorney can fight to get you all the compensation to which you’re entitled.