Category: Premises Liability

Injured In A Las Vegas Hotel or Casino?

Imagine the following: You’ve been looking forward to a vacation in a fancy Las Vegas hotel and casino. But then suddenly your vacation is tragically interrupted by a jarring injury. You’ve slipped and fallen over some liquid on the casino’s marble-like floors. Or perhaps you’ve broken a bone or two when some faulty or improperly maintained plumbing caused liquid to accumulate in your hotel bathroom. Now, instead of enjoying the vacation you’ve looked forward to and saved up for, you’re in the emergency room. This is certainly not how you imagined how your get-away would look like.

We also know how an injury can change your life. The medical bills are accumulating, but you can’t work because of your injuries. What do you do? The first step is to call an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney to discuss your case. The experienced and award-winning personal injury attorneys at D.R. Patti & Associates can help. We’re more than just Las Vegas car accident attorneys. We’ve represented thousands of people who’ve been injured in a hotel or casino in Las Vegas. Over the course of our combined 50+ years of experience, we’ve obtained millions of dollars in compensation for our injured clients.

Of course, a hotel or casino is not responsible for every injury that occurs on their premises. A Las Vegas personal injury attorney with experienced in hotel and casino injuries can discuss the facts of your case and let you know whether you have a viable claim. If the injury could have been reasonably foreseen and prevented by reasonable precautions, then the hotel or casino may be negligent and responsible for your injuries. In Nevada, a business such as a hotel or casino owes its patrons a duty to keep its premises in a reasonably safe condition for use. Sprague v. Lucky Stores, Inc., 109 Nev. 247, 250, 849 P.2d 320, 322 (1993). Injuries in Las Vegas hotels and casinos as a result of the business’ negligence fall under the category of premises liability.

For example, spilling a drink on the casino floor is an event that is foreseeable, given how many people drink in the casino. If the spill occurs in an area that would be made slippery because of the liquid, then the casino can reasonably anticipate that someone could be injured if the liquid is not cleaned up quickly. If the casino does not have procedures in place to catch and quickly clean up such spills, then the casino could be negligent.

Another example is when a person trips and falls over worn out or improperly maintained carpeting that has become a hazard. We had one case in which a client tripped over a carpet that a casino duct-taped together.

Injuries can also occur in hotel rooms and other areas in the hotel, such as common area bathrooms, or in elevators. If these injuries were foreseeable and could have been prevented by proper maintenance, then the hotel could be liable for your injuries. Hotel injuries can also arise from improperly maintained, broken, or defective furniture.

What To Do If You Are Injured In A Las Vegas Hotel or Casino?

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION if necessary. Not all injuries from accidents will be obvious immediately. If you have some pain, get checked out by a doctor and use your health insurance. Do not rely on getting reimbursed by the hotel or casino or waiting for it to offer to pay for your medical bills, as most business will not agree to pay for your medical bills before you make an official claim with proof or documentation of injury.  Delaying medical attention could not only be dangerous to your health but also to your personal injury case.

NOTIFY THE HOTEL OR CASINO IMMEDIATELY.

If the hotel or casino is not notified immediately of the slip and fall accident so that they can conduct some investigation that the slip and fall accident did in fact occur, they may deny your claim. A denial is more likely if you have no witnesses to verify that the accident occurred. Make sure an incident report is completed and that you are provided a copy.  The absence of an incident report, particularly when there are no witnesses, could be fatal to a slip and fall case.

TAKE PICTURES OF WHAT CAUSED YOUR ACCIDENT.

Do not rely on the hotel or casino taking photographs of what caused your accident and injuries.  Also, even if the hotel or casino took photographs, the business or its insurance company may not provide a copy of those photographs, videos, or incident report until they are forced to do so during litigation.

ASK THE HOTEL OR CASINO TO PRESERVE AND/OR GIVE YOU A COPY OF ANY VIDEO OF THE ACCIDENT.

While hotels and casinos have video cameras throughout their property, those video cameras do not necessarily catch every event happening in the hotel or casino.  Additionally, it would be far too burdensome for hotels and casinos to record and maintain the video recordings of every minute their business was open.  Thus, unless the hotel or casino is notified of the accident immediately, it may not retain a copy of the video of the event, even if the accident was caught on camera.

GATHER WITNESS NAMES AND CONTACT INFORMATION.

Again, you cannot rely on the hotel or casino gathering all of the witnesses’ names and contact information or giving you that information without having to file a lawsuit.  Ask the witnesses what they saw or heard.  Witnesses may include the names and contact information of the business’ employees who may have been in the area.

What Is The Deadline To Bring A Personal Injury Claim For An Accident In A Hotel or Casino?

The only hard deadline for asserting a personal injury claim arising from an accident in a hotel or casino in Las Vegas is Nevada’s statute of limitations. This statute requires those injured as a result of someone’s negligence to bring a lawsuit within two (2) years of the accident. See Nev.Rev.Stat. 11.190(4)(e). However, injured victims shouldn’t wait until the 2-year statute of limitation is almost up, as evidence can be lost during that time. It’s important to act as quickly as possible.

Call D.R. Patti & Aassociates, Las Vegas Personal Injury Law Firm, For a free consultation. We will explain your legal rights and duties, and we fight to get you the maximum recovery for your injuries and losses.

Accident At Work? You May Have A Personal Injury Claim

Personal Injury Accident At Work

Where you hurt while working?

People injured in an accident while working will generally have a claim for worker’s compensation. What many don’t realize is that they may also have a personal injury claim. There are important differences between a personal injury claim and a worker’s compensation claim. One of those important differences provides an important benefit to an accident victim who presents a personal injury claim and could amount to thousands of dollars.

Differences Between Worker’s Compensation and Personal Injury Law

Worker’s compensation laws arose over a century ago to provide a faster way to provide compensation to injured workers. Traditionally, the law did not distinguish between injuries at work and injuries from any other accident. Before legislatures enacted these laws, people injured at work could only receive compensation from their employer for those injuries if they showed their employer was negligent. Employers can try to escape responsibility by showing that the employee was also negligent. In some states, if the employee had any negligent, the employee couldn’t recover anything, not even for their medical bills.

Because of these harsh results and other reasons, legislatures passed laws that allowed an employee to recover against an employer for his or her work-related injury without having to show the employer’s negligence. To provide this new benefit to employees, however, legislatures required a trade-off. In exchange for not having to prove fault, legislatures prohibited employees from bringing personal injury lawsuits against the employers, with few exceptions. Nevada’s worker’s compensation statute, for example, makes worker’s compensation the “exclusive remedy” against an employer for on-the-job injuries. Another trade-off is the loss of the right to obtain compensation for pain, suffering, and lost enjoyment of life. So, under worker’s compensation laws, an employee can get compensated for medical bills and wage loss. However, the injured employee can’t get compensation for the pain and suffering he or she endured. Nevada’s worker’s compensation statutes can be found in Chapter 616A, 616B, 616C, and 616D of the Nevada Revised Statutes.

An employee may have both a worker’s compensation and personal injury claim, however, if the work-related accident was caused by someone other than an employer. That is, if an employee was in an accident while on the clock and the accident was caused by a third-person, the employee can make a worker’s compensation claim and also a claim for personal injuries against the person who caused the accident. The worker’s compensation claim will cover the medical bills and wage loss, while the personal injury claim will cover the pain, suffering, and lost enjoyment of life. Also, if the third party who caused the accident acted recklessly, intentionally, or with malice, the injured employee may have a claim for punitive damages.

Examples of Personal Injury Claims From On-The-Job Accidents

  • A person running an errand for work gets into a car accident and is injured. That person will have both a worker’s compensation claim and a personal injury claim. The car accident injury claim will be against the person who caused the accident and their insurance company. The experienced Las Vegas car accident attorneys at D.R. Patti & Associates have recovered millions of dollars for accident victims in this situation.

NOTABLE SETTLEMENT

Our client, a master painter, suffered a career-ending injury during a car accident in Las Vegas. While driving from one job site to another, his truck was rear-ended by an SUV. The at-fault driver’s insurance company gave our client a difficult time, because of a prior back injury. Nevertheless, shortly after filing suit, we were able to obtain about a million dollars in total settlement.

  • A person is injured at work while using defective product, such as a ladder, electric saw, or even a washing machine.

NOTABLE SETTLEMENT

A hotel employee’s was amputated while using a commercial washing machine at work. During their investigation, the accident lawyers at D.R. Patti & Associates discovered that the employer had hired an outside company to repair the washing machine on multiple occasions. The outside company failed to properly repair the machine, which allowed the employee to unknowingly disable the machine’s safety features. After suing both the repair company and the washing machine manufacturer, D.R. Patti & Associates was able to obtain a multi-million dollar settlement for our client’s product liability and personal injury claims.

  • An employee, as part of their job, is visiting a construction site that is not owned by the employer and is injured due to the negligence of someone at the construction site.
  • An employee is shopping on behalf of her employer and slips and falls at the store. The employee may have a premises liability claim.

In their combined 50+ years of experience, our accident attorneys have handled the simplest to the most complex accident cases. In that time, the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at D.R. Patti & Associates have been able to obtain millions of dollars for work-related accident injuries caused by negligent third-parties. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident while on-the-job and want to know if you also have a personal injury claim, give us a call.

What is Negligence in a Personal Injury Case? (Part I)

Las Vegas Personal Injury And Car Accident Attorneys

Many lay people may use the term “negligence” without fully understanding how the law defines it and how it is applied. Generally, “negligence” refers to the failure to exercise the appropriate level of care. So when someone says “so and so was negligent,” they are really saying that person did not act in a way that others generally act. While a violation of the law can be negligence, negligence does not require there to be a violation of the law.

American common law recognizes that a person injured by the negligence of others is entitled to compensation. The underlying policy behind the concept of negligence is that certain conduct involves a risk of harm to others that is greater than what society is willing to accept. Because of that risk of harm, the law makes the negligent person responsible for the resulting harms.

To be legally recognized as a negligence claim, the following elements must be proved:

  1. Duty: the defendant owed the injured person a duty recognized by the law
  2. Breach: the defendant breached that duty
  3. Damages: the defendant’s breach of that duty legally or proximately caused injuries
  4. Causation: the injury caused by defendant’s breach was foreseeable

Each of the foregoing concepts continue to be litigated, depending on the circumstances or as society changes. This is particularly with the concept of duty, since duty, as defined, is one that the law recognizes. Some states may recognize a particular duty, but not in other states. For example, Nevada does not recognize “dram shop” laws. Dram shop laws are laws that make a business that sells alcohol to a person who is obviously drunk liable if that person injures another. For example, if after leaving a bar, a drunk driver hits and kills someone, the victim’s family may be able to hold the bar responsible. While a majority of other states have such law, Nevada generally does not. See Hamm v. Carson City Nugget, Inc., 85 Nev. 99, 450 P.2d 358 (1969).

Negligence can give rise to the following common types of personal injury cases:

In car accident cases, negligence is often expressed as a driver’s failure to exercise ordinary care. Usually, duty and breach of duty are not an issue in Las Vegas car accident cases. It is quite well settled law that a driver owes a legally-recognized duty to other drivers and pedestrians to exercise care when driving. What is kind of care is often answered by looking at the traffic laws and rules of the road. Nevada’s traffic laws and rules of the road can be found in Chapters 484, 484A, 484B, and 484C of the Nevada Revised Statutes.

What could be issues in Las Vegas car accident cases are damages and causation, particularly if there is not a lot of visible property damage. We’ve already discussed in another blog how insurance companies use low property damage to argue that someone could not be injured. This tactic of insurance companies is so prevalent that there is a name for it – “Minor Impact Soft Tissue” or MIST cases. Don’t be fooled by these arguments. Of course, the insurance companies’ goal is to pay as little as possible, and they do so by equating visible property damage to a person. But a person is not a car, is not built with metal, and every person is unique. Read more on how experienced Las Vegas car accident attorneys deal with the insurance companies MIST arguments.

If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of another, contact the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys of D.R. Patti & Associates. With a combined total of 50+ years of experience, our award-winning attorneys have handled many negligence cases arising from a variety of circumstances. We’ve handled the typical and less typical Las Vegas car accidents to commercial trucking accidents and have obtained millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Call us today.