Reno attracts visitors to its casinos, resorts, restaurants, and other businesses year-round. Whether they are business invitees, social guests of a private homeowner, or on a Reno property for another reason, visitors are entitled to be reasonably safe from hazards. If property owners or tenants breach their duty to eliminate or warn of dangerous conditions, they may be liable for the slip and fall injuries that result.
If you have been injured, it does not cost anything to speak with a Reno premises liability lawyer at Valiente Mott. We accept most cases on contingency and therefore only get paid when we secure compensation on your behalf.
Slip And Fall Accidents Are Common
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, but they are most common in service industries like those that keep Reno and other Nevada tourist destinations running. According to the CDC, slips and trips are among the top three causes of work-related injuries. More than 1 out of every 4 nonfatal work injuries that require a worker to take days off of the job are caused by slips, trips, and falls.
Slips and falls are also a problem in residences; the National Floor Safety Institute reports that half of all accidental deaths in homes are caused by falls.
Who Is Liable For A Slip And Fall Injury In Reno?
Property owners and occupiers must make their premises safe for those who enter, but they are not automatically liable for every accident that occurs. To establish legal fault, Nevada law requires a claimant to show that the defendant – usually the property landlord or tenant – was negligent. This is typically proven by showing that they knew about, or reasonably should have known about, the hazard but did not take steps to fix it or provide adequate warning.
Premises liability cases are very fact-specific and can hinge on seemingly small details. If you were a victim, an experienced Reno slip and fall accident lawyer will analyze the circumstances of your fall and gather the necessary evidence to prove fault.
Common Slip And Fall Accidents In Reno
Hotels, restaurants, casinos, and other businesses that host a lot of people passing through them invite slip and fall accidents. These places often feature:
- High volumes of foot traffic In areas with high volumes of foot traffic, such as shopping centers or tourist attractions, the risk of accidents increases, making vigilant maintenance and clear signage essential.
- Slick floor surfaces Slick floor surfaces, often found in entryways or during cleaning processes, can pose serious slip and fall hazards if not properly marked or addressed.
- Food, drinks, and other substances that may cause fall hazards Spills from food, drinks, or other substances in places like restaurants or cafes require immediate clean-up to prevent slip and fall incidents.
- Swimming pools, saunas, fountains, and other sources of water The areas surrounding swimming pools, saunas, fountains, and similar water sources often become slippery, necessitating regular monitoring and non-slip surfaces to ensure safety.
- Public restrooms located near lobbies Public restrooms, especially those near high-traffic lobbies, need to be consistently checked for wet floors and other hazards to prevent slips and falls.
Filing A Slip And Fall Accident Injury Claim
If you are contemplating filing a claim, it is a good idea to speak with a Reno personal injury lawyer as early as possible about your rights and responsibilities. In general, the process may look like this:
- Documentation – Photograph the scene, obtain the contact information for witnesses, and write down what happened.
- Report – File a formal report if the location has a procedure for that; otherwise, inform a manager of the accident.
- Obtain medical care – If you suffer a moderate or severe injury, see a health care provider right away. If you sustain a minor injury, seek an evaluation within a day or two.
- Speak with a lawyer – You may receive calls from the property owner or their insurance company; it is a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your rights before fielding those calls.
- File a lawsuit – Statutes of limitations limit how long you have to file a lawsuit. The deadline might be even shorter if your slip and fall occurred on government property.
How To Prove A Slip And Fall Claim
Proving a slip and fall claim typically involves establishing several key elements to demonstrate that the property owner or occupier was negligent, leading to the accident. Here’s a breakdown of what needs to be proven:
- Duty of Care: Establish that the property owner or occupier had a legal duty to ensure the safety of the premises. This involves showing that you were lawfully on the property and that the owner had a responsibility to maintain a safe environment.
- Breach of Duty of Care: Demonstrate that the property owner or occupier failed to uphold this duty. This could mean proving that they were aware of a hazardous condition, like a wet floor or uneven pavement, and did not take reasonable steps to fix it or adequately warn visitors.
- Causation: Link the breach of duty directly to your accident. You must show that the property owner’s failure to address the hazardous condition was the direct cause of your slip and fall.
- Damages: Provide evidence of the damages you suffered as a result of the fall. This includes medical bills for treating your injuries, documentation of lost wages if you were unable to work, and evidence of pain and suffering.
- Negligence: In some cases, it’s also necessary to prove that a reasonable person managing the property would have identified and remedied the hazardous condition to prevent accidents.
Gathering evidence is crucial in proving these elements, which can include photos of the accident scene, witness statements, accident reports, and medical records.
Notice Requirement For Property Owners
A key component for establishing liability is the notice requirement. To successfully prove a claim, the victim must prove the property owner or occupier either had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous condition that led to the slip and fall incident.
Actual knowledge means the owner was directly aware of the hazard, while constructive knowledge implies that the owner should have known about the danger through reasonable care and inspection. The property owner or occupier must have also failed to take appropriate corrective action, such as repairing the hazard or providing adequate warning to prevent the accident. This notice requirement is crucial because it establishes the negligence of the property owner or occupier, making it a key focus in slip and fall cases. Understanding and proving this aspect of the claim is often complex and requires gathering substantial evidence.
Statute Of Limitations In Reno Slip And Fall Claims
According to the Nevada Revised Statutes 11.190(4)(e), individuals who have suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident have two (2) years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. This two-year period is crucial, as failing to initiate legal action within this timeframe typically results in the loss of the right to sue for damages related to the accident.
This statute of limitations applies to all personal injury cases. It’s designed to ensure that claims are made while evidence is still fresh and available. For anyone considering a slip and fall claim, it’s important to be aware of this time limit, as missing the deadline can significantly impact your ability to seek legal recourse and compensation for your injuries.
How Valiente Mott Approaches Your Case
At Valiente Mott, our approach to your case is characterized by four key strategies:
- Comprehensive Case Analysis: We begin with a thorough assessment of your case, focusing on understanding every detail and the impact on your life, to develop a tailored legal strategy.
- Evidence Collection and Expert Collaboration: Our team meticulously gathers all pertinent evidence and collaborates with experts to build a strong foundation for your case, emphasizing the importance of detailed and accurate information.
- Negotiation and Litigation Expertise: We skillfully negotiate with all parties involved and are prepared to represent you in court if necessary, leveraging our extensive experience in both settlements and trials.
- Client-Centered Service and Transparent Communication: Keeping you informed and involved is paramount. We prioritize clear communication and ensure that our legal representation aligns with your specific needs and goals.
Contact Our Reno Slip And Fall Lawyers Today
If you’ve experienced a slip and fall accident in Reno, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Valiente Mott. Our dedicated team of Reno slip and fall lawyers is ready to provide you with the legal assistance you need. Contact us today for a thorough evaluation of your case where we’ll offer our professional guidance and discuss how we can help you secure the compensation you deserve. Your path to justice and recovery is just a call away with Valiente Mott.