Slip and Fall Attorneys Las Vegas
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, more than 1 million people visit emergency rooms every year as a result of slip and fall injuries. Slip and falls can cause serious harm and may even be fatal, especially if the fall victim is a young child or an elderly person.
While slip and falls occur for many reasons, often they could have been prevented if there were not hazardous conditions that caused the accident to happen. Property owners who invite guests into their establishment or home while dangerous conditions exist on the premises should be held responsible for the injuries they cause.
If you are on someone else’s property and you injure yourself as a result of a dangerous condition on the property, an experienced slip and fall attorney at Valiente Mott can help.
Common Causes of a Slip and Fall
Anyone can suffer a slip and fall simply by tripping over his or her own feet. However, many falls—and especially those that cause serious injury—usually occur as a result of dangerous conditions. For example, some of the top causes of slip and fall injuries include:
- Slippery or wet floors
- Uneven flooring surfaces
- Uneven sidewalks
- A change in elevation such as a small step-down
- Broken railings
- Uneven or too narrow stair treads
- Abrupt edges on sidewalks or on driveways
- Inadequate lighting
- Unsecured rugs or carpets
- Appliance or other cords stretched across a walking path
- A change in floor surface
- Unmarked danger zones. This includes failing to post wet floor signs, notifying the public of uneven pavement or flooring, or other dangerous areas to walk in.
- Failure to keep walkways free from debris or clutter making it difficult to maneuver.
These dangerous conditions that lead to slip and falls can exist in shopping centers, restaurants, stores, private homes or apartments, or on public spaces such as on sidewalks.
Slip-and-falls are one of the most common types of premises liability cases. Though common, they can cause life-changing injuries. While a minor injury like a bruised kneecap may not be grounds for a lawsuit, many slip-and-fall injuries do cause significant injury. Broken bones, torn ligaments, and brain and spinal cord injuries can require a personal injury suit to compensate the victim for his or her medical costs, missed time at work, and permanent disability. The CDC states that falls are the No. 1 cause of injuries and deaths among people 65 and older, but a fall can cause serious injury or death in younger people as well.
The most common injuries from falls include, but are not limited to:
All of these can be quite serious, and may render an individual unable to work, either on a temporary basis or for a prolonged period of time.
What you Should do after a Slip and Fall
If you are involved in a slip, trip, or fall, you should:
- avoid making any detailed statements concerning fault;
- get names of owners and managers of property;
- write names of witnesses;
- take good pictures of scene and injuries;
- save footwear and clothing;
- file an accident report with the business where the event occurred;
- seek medical attention if injured; and
- not give recorded statements to insurance adjusters.
The liability of a premises owner or operator depends on the state and federal laws that apply to the circumstances. For example, an owner of a home or public store has a duty to warn you about any known hazards that you might encounter. Construction workers are legally obligated to warn and protect the public from hazard at their work sites. Depending on individual circumstances, all may still be liable for injuries you receive while on their premises, even if they warned you of potential injury.
Who is Responsible for a Slip and Fall?
Many slip-and-fall cases involve a systematic failure to protect consumers. This means there are hazards inherent to the way the establishment operates, such as policies that blatantly disregard the safety of visitors. For example, a restaurant that does not have a policy in place to clean up spilled drinks may be negligent. Leaving spills on the ground in a busy restaurant can easily lead to a slip and fall. It is the property owner’s duty to enact rules that help prevent these accidents.
Slip, trip, and fall accidents are generally considered “premises liability” cases. These cases arise when a property owner is negligent in the maintenance, repair and upkeep of the property in question. Many states have laws that require landowners to maintain their property so that it does not present an unreasonable risk of harm to those that visit the property. Often, these laws pertain to both business owners and homeowners.
In many states, a merchant owes a duty to persons who use his premises to exercise reasonable care to keep his aisles, passageways, and floors in a reasonably safe condition. This duty includes a reasonable effort to keep the premises free of any hazardous conditions which reasonably might give rise to damage.
To determine if a property owner or renter should be held liable for a slip and fall injury, it is important to understand:
- What obligation, if any, the property owner had to the injured victim: Stores, restaurants, and other public places that invite guests in to do business have the highest duty to their patrons and must inspect the premises and either warn guests of dangerous conditions or fix hazards that exist. Homeowners also have a duty to guests and friends they invite over.
- Whether that obligation was breached: If the property owner failed to maintain the property in a reasonably safe way, the owner can be held legally liable.
- The extent of the injuries: Slip and fall victims or their loved ones can obtain compensation for medical bills and costs, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and wrongful death damages. A slip and fall accident lawyer can help to determine and prove the extent of the losses.
Injured victims of slip and falls can pursue their claim for compensation by proving that the property owner had an obligation and was negligent in living up to his duties.
Getting Help from a Las Vegas Slip and Fall Attorney
If you or a loved one was hurt by a slip and fall accident, you can recover the compensation you deserve through negotiating a settlement or through filing a lawsuit and proving a fall claim in court. When pursuing either option, it pays to be represented by a slip and fall accident lawyer so you can have the best chance of maximizing the compensation available in your situation.
The compensation you can obtain after a fall can make all the difference in helping to achieve financial security, get the medical care you need, and move on with your life. Businesses purchase insurance policies to protect themselves in these situations; as a result, injury victims should not hesitate to seek the compensation that they need and deserve as they struggle with hefty medical bills, a loss of income, and physical and mental recovery from the ordeal. Contact the team at Valiente Mott for a free consultation today.