Slip and Fall Accidents

What is a “Slip and Fall” Accident?

Examples of Slip & Fall Cases:

  • While shopping through the produce section at your local market, you slipped, fell on water on the tiled-floor that may have come from the market employee spraying water onto the produce, and suffered an injury.  If this happened to you, you may be entitled to compensation.
  • While you are staying in your hotel room, the toilet in your bathroom floods.  The hotel responds by sending a maintenance person to fix the flooded toilet.  While the maintenance person is fixing the toilet, you are going about your business.  The maintenance man leaves without telling you that he was going to get a mop and bucket to clean up the water on the floor.  Not realizing that the tiled-bathroom was still wet and slippery, you enter, slip, fall and sustain an injury.  If this happened to you, you may be entitled to compensation.  (Facts taken from Worth v. Reed, 79 Nev. 351, 384 P.2d 1017 (1963)).
  • You enter your favorite fast food restaurant and, immediately upon entering, you slipped and fell on the recently mopped tiled floor.  The restaurant had placed no signs or given any other warnings to its patrons that the floor would be slippery.  If this happened to you, you may be entitled to compensation.

If you slipped and fell, you may be entitled to compensation.  However, not all slip and fall cases is someone responsible to compensate the injured person.  A slip and fall accident falls within a category of personal injury claims called “premises liability.”  In Nevada, a business 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).  A business may be negligent and, thus, liable to compensate an injured person if that business failed to undertake ordinary or reasonable care to protect its customers from hazardous conditions, such as a foreign substance on the ground.  A foreign substance on the ground, particularly one that could be a slip and fall or trip and fall hazard, is usually not consistent with the standard of ordinary care that a business owes its customers.  Id.

Las Vegas Slip & Fall Accident Attorney

What Is A Dangerous Or Hazardous Condition?

A dangerous or hazardous condition could be anything that can cause someone, who is exercising ordinary care, to slip or trip and injury themselves.  It could be an accumulation of water, ice or snow, liquids, produce or fruit on tiled-floors, abrupt changes in flooring, raised or cracked sidewalks, poor lighting, or a hidden hazard, such as a hidden ground hole.  Contact the experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at D.R. Patti & Associates to discuss whether you are a victim of a dangerous or hazardous condition.

When Is A Business Responsible For Premises Liability?

If an individual is injured on someone’s premises because of a foreign substance on the ground, such as water, oil, or debris, the injured person can make a claim for his or her personal injuries in Las Vegas and would need to prove the following:

  1. That an employee or agent of the business caused the dangerous or hazardous condition and failed to provide adequate warnings of the dangerous condition (i.e., recently mopped floor of which the business gave no adequate warnings to its customers); or
  2. That the business knew or should have known (a doctrine called “constructive notice”) if it had exercised reasonable diligence that the dangerous or hazardous condition existed.  In most cases, it would be impossible to show that the business knew that a hazardous condition, such as water on ground, existed before someone reported an injury.  Generally, to show that a business had constructive knowledge or should have known of the dangerous condition, the injured victim must show that the dangerous condition existed for such a period of time that the business had time to see it through routine inspections.

The question then arises as to how do you show how long something like water has been on the ground.  The experienced personal injury and accident attorneys at D.R. Patti & Associates can discuss with you the clues that can indicate that a foreign substance had been on the ground for sometime.

What To Do If You Are Injured In A Slip and Fall

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION if necessary. Not all injuries from slip and fall cases 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 business or waiting for the business 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 BUSINESS IMMEDIATELY. If the business 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 YOU SLIPPED AND FELL ON, AS WELL AS ANY FOOTPRINTS OR DEBRIS IN THE AREA. Do not rely on the business taking photographs of what you slipped and fell on.  Also, even if the business 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 BUSINESS TO PRESERVE AND/OR GIVE YOU A COPY OF ANY VIDEO OF THE SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT. While there are businesses have video cameras throughout their property, those video cameras do not necessarily catch every event happening in the store.  Additionally, it would be far too burdensome for businesses to record and maintain the video recordings of every minute their business was open.  Thus, unless the store is notified of the slip and fall accident immediately, the store may not retain a copy of the video of the event, even if the slip and fall accident was caught on camera.

GATHER WITNESS NAMES AND CONTACT INFORMATION. Again, you cannot rely on the business 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.

CALL D.R. PATTI & ASSOCIATES, LAS VEGAS PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS, 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.

What Is Not A Compensable “Slip And Fall” Case?

Unfortunately, “slip and fall” cases are one of the most difficult Las Vegas personal injury cases to make and to litigate.  It is often difficult to prove that the business created or knew of the dangerous condition, particularly those that were created by someone else other than the business’ employees or agents.  Remember, a personal injury claimant or plaintiff has the burden to prove that the business knew or should have known that the liquid was on the ground.  For example, if someone slipped on water on the ground, that water could have just been spilled by another customer less than five (5) minutes before, and there is no proof that the spilled water was on the ground for a longer period, the business may not be responsible because it did not have enough time to conduct an inspection and notice the spilled hazard.

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Nawana Gray was in a hit-and-run crash. Although the crash resulted in only minor property damage to her car, she sustained a severe neck injury. She hoped she would get better. She did not. Ultimately, she needed surgery on her neck. D.R. Patti & Associates recently settled her case. The settlement funds compensates Nawana not just for her medical bills, but also for what she had to endure. See how she feels about her settlement.

Chilton was driving for work when his car was rear-ended. The impact was so violent that he crashed into the car in front of him, causing the airbags to deploy. He felt immediate pain to one of his wrists. He was subsequently diagnosed as having suffered a fractured bone in his wrist. Despite surgery, the fracture never healed and causes him pain on a daily basis. D.R. Patti & Associates was able to settle his case for an amount that compensates him for the lifetime chronic pain.

Mientras conducía hacia el trabajo, el auto de Denis fue golpeado repentinamente por un camión grande. Denis pronto desarrolló dolor de espalda. Si bien todavía podía trabajar, hacer su trabajo ahora era más doloroso. Cuando el tratamiento conservador no alivió todos sus síntomas, Denis se sometió a procedimientos de mayor riesgo que le brindaron más alivio. Habla de su experiencia con su reclamo por accidente automovilístico y cómo D.R. Patti & Associates lo ayudó.

Nicholas Zink was injured when his truck was totaled in a three-car collision.

See our client, Christian Fernandez, be surprised with the amount he received from his car accident settlement. He started his personal injury claim with another lawyer, but then hired D.R. Patti & Associates. In this video, he talks about how happy he made that decision to switch to D.R. Patti & Associates and about the quality service he received from our personal injury law firm.

Another happy client. Rose suffered significant injuries and incurred extensive medical expenses when she slipped and fall at a local business. After years of litigation and of the business denying liability, Marc Naron, one of the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys of D.R. Patti & Associates, was able to obtain a settlement that will take care of Rose’s past and future medical needs.