Slip and fall accidents are common in Henderson, NV. At Nettles Morris Law Firm, we receive inquiries from clients needing a personal injury lawyer all the time. Since the city rarely sees snow and ice, most slip-and-fall accidents occur indoors. People slip and fall on wet floors all the time. Ignored spills, rain infiltrations, or cleaning products lingering on the floor are often the cause. Some accidents occur on public property, others on private property. In most cases, the victim has the right to hire a Henderson slip and fall accident lawyer and seek compensation.
The value of the compensation will obviously depend on the severity and consequences of the fall. Sometimes, the victim only incurs minor injuries. However, severe injuries, like broken bones or traumatic brain injuries are not impossible either. Some victims also incur property damage. The assets commonly damaged in such cases are smartphones and watches.
Types of Damages That May be Included in the Compensation Claim
With the help of an experienced Henderson slip and fall accident lawyer, Henderson victims may recover:
- Repair or replacement costs for any damaged assets. Sometimes, expensive watches or smartphones get damaged in slip-and-fall accidents. Other times, the victim wears expensive designer clothes that get ruined during the fall. These should be subject to compensation. Of course, the victim or their slip-and-fall lawyer will have to prove the damage and its value.
- The cost of any medical treatments, care, and interventions needed. These may include doctor consultations, blood tests, X-ray, surgery, medication, and more. Wheelchairs, braces, and other medical devices fall into this category as well. The victim or their slip-and-fall accident lawyer will need to prove them with bills and invoices.
- Income lost due to the inability to work during the recovery period. When the victim needs to take time off work due to their injuries, they lose income. This income should be subject to compensation. The claimant or their slip-and-fall lawyer can use pay sheets or account balances.
- Pain and suffering. These types of losses are the hardest to prove. The claimant may need witnesses, psychiatric evaluations, drug leaflets, and case precedents. The amount they can obtain will depend on their diagnosis.
In serious cases, ending in disability, the victim may claim other losses as well. Common examples include home care, physical and psychological therapy, and disability adjustments. The value of these losses is difficult to calculate.
It depends on the severity of the injuries, the victim’s contribution to them, and the available evidence. Other influencing factors are the experience, skills, and dedication of the Henderson slip-and-fall lawyer.
To increase their chances of obtaining high compensation, the victims should seek legal help immediately. Nevada laws establish specific deadlines for taking action in slip-and-fall cases. Once the deadline has passed, the victim can no longer recover their losses.
Statute of Limitations
According to Revised Statutes section 11.190 from the Statute of Limitations in Nevada, the deadline for injury claims is of two years. For property damage, the deadline extends to three years. Of course, it rarely, if ever, makes sense to claim injury losses and property damage separately.
For both types of actions, the countdown begins on the day of the slip and fall. Later actions will most likely face dismissal. Of course, the work of a Henderson slip and fall lawyer begins much earlier. When they start the legal procedures, they should already have a strong case. No matter if they go against the party at fault or their insurer, they will need solid evidence.
The best way to understand what kind of evidence is necessary and why is to review the applicable laws. The most important ones refer to premises liability and comparative fault. We will take a closer look at them in the following lines.
Nevada Premises Liability Law
Under Nevada laws, property owners and managers have a duty of care towards their visitors. However, as a slip-and-fall lawyer may explain, their duty depends on the status of the visitor. Thus visitors fall under one of the following three categories:
Invitees or persons visiting the property in the owner’s interest
They have the owner’s implied or express consent to visit the property. They can be clients, guests, friends, or neighbors. It is the property owner’s duty to ensure their safety while on the premises. This includes taking measures to eliminate any dangers they should reasonably be aware of. When eliminating them is not possible, the property owner should at least warn about their existence.
Licensees or persons visiting the property in their own interest
They too have the owner’s consent for entering the property. The owner’s duty in these cases is more limited. They only have to warn about dangers they know of and the licensee is unlikely to discover. As a result, licensees will need an experienced slip-and-fall accident lawyer to obtain compensation.
Trespassers or unapproved visitors
Slip-and-fall victims having this status will have a hard time obtaining compensation for their injuries. The only victims the law protects are children. They fall under the “attractive nuisance doctrine”. According to it, property owners’ should secure areas and items that could attract passing-by children. Examples of attractive nuisances a Henderson slip and fall accident lawyer may invoke are:
- Seasonal decorations
- Swimming pools
- Abandoned vehicles
- Discarded appliances
- Ground holes
- Power cables
- Construction sites
To obtain compensation from a property owner, the victim or their slip-and-fall lawyer will have to prove:
- Their status on the property (if they were there with the owner’s consent)
- The existence of dangerous conditions (and attractive nuisances in case of trespassing children)
- The property owner’s awareness or duty to be aware of the dangerous conditions
- The property owner’s negligent or intentional failure to eliminate or warn about those conditions
- How the dangerous conditions caused the slip and fall and, implicitly, the injuries and losses
Those who are not planning to hire a slip-and-fall accident lawyer should think twice. On one hand, gathering solid evidence for all the above is not easy. On the other hand, the victims should expect the defendant to blame them for the accident. Reviewing Nevada laws on comparative negligence is the best way to understand why.
Comparative Negligence Law
Nevada laws accept the possibility that both parties involved in a case share fault for the losses. In slip-and-fall cases, this would mean that the victim shared responsibility for falling. Perhaps they were running or walking too fast. Perhaps they were wearing unusually slippery shoes. They may have been distracted, drunk, or in an area restricted to the public. They may have slipped on something they spilled themselves.
Even when the claimant is not at fault, the defendant will try to prove otherwise. It is in their best interest. Under Nevada laws, each party is liable for a share of losses equal to their fault percentage. The fault percentage the defendant attributes to the claimant will be deducted from the compensation.
Let us take as an example of a case that resulted in damages worth $10,000. If the defendant manages to prove the claimant was 25% at fault, they will only pay $7,500. It gets even better: claimants 51% at fault lose their right to compensation.
At Nettles Morris Law Firm, we are familiar with property owners’ strategies to avoid paying. We counteract them by proving their liability beyond a reasonable doubt. If they still refuse to pay, we fight them in court until we obtain the due compensation.
But property owners are not always at fault for slip-and-fall accidents occurring on their property. Sometimes, the fault belongs to third parties. We will review the most common such scenarios in the following lines.
Other Possible Defendants in Slip and Fall Cases
Here are a few scenarios of third-party liability:
The property owner hired a construction company to renovate their property. The company is responsible for securing the area and warning about potential dangers. If the visitors they allow on-site incur injuries, the construction company is usually the defendant. Of course, it will take an experienced slip-and-fall accident lawyer to prove their liability.
Buildings open to the public with cleaning services outsourced to a third-party
The manager of a store, bank, or office building hires a cleaning company. Their employees have to wash the floors and place “wet floor” signs as they do it. One day, an employee neglects to do that, and a visitor slips and falls. The victim’s slip-and-fall lawyer may seek compensation from the cleaning company.
Areas hosting occasional events
A property owner rents their land to an event planner. They warn the event planner about the dangers existing on their property. However, the event planner fails to warn attendees about those dangers. If an accident occurs, a slip-and-fall accident lawyer will recommend the event planner as the defendant.
Attorneys do much more for their clients. They represent them, advise them, and defend their interests through every stage of the claim process. The best way to understand their role is to review the claim process step by step. We will do that in the following lines.
The Compensation Claim Process
The compensation claim process for slip-and-fall accidents in Nevada is quite troublesome. It involves several important steps, each with their own rules and procedures. For a victim, following them all will take time, energy, and knowledge they do not have. For a slip-and-fall lawyer, it is just routine. Here are the main steps the claimant and their lawyer will have to take:
Identifying the defendant
As explained above, they could be the property owner, manager, or a third party. Seeking compensation from the wrong party would be a huge waste of time and resources. For the average person, identifying the party at fault can be troublesome. An experienced slip-and-fall accident lawyer will know where to look. They will analyze the case details and the available evidence, and identify the best solution.
In Nevada slip-and-fall cases, the burden of proof falls on the claimant. The victim will need to prove the defendant’s liability. They will need to document the dangerous conditions as the cause of their losses. They will also have to document their losses and justify the value of their claim. Experienced slip-and-fall accident lawyers have their own investigation techniques. They know where to look for the necessary evidence and which laws to quote.
Filing the notice of claim
The notice of claim is basically a letter announcing the claimant’s intentions. It can be addressed to the defendant (insurance claim) or filed in court (lawsuit). It should summarize the case details, emphasizing the defendant’s liability. Also, it should carefully lay out and briefly justify the claimant’s requests. The best person to prepare the notice of claim is an experienced Henderson slip and fall accident lawyer. They know how to present facts in an eloquent manner and convince insurers and courts.
Substantiating the claim
Whether in court or during direct meetings, claimants have to support their claims with evidence. In slip-and-fall cases, common examples of evidence are photos and videos from the scene. So are witness and expert testimonies. Medical reports, bills, and invoices qualify as evidence as well. Anything that can support the victim’s case may be helpful. It takes a Henderson slip and fall lawyer to organize them and present them in a favorable light. Any missing information or loose ends could cause the claimant to lose compensation.
Negotiating a favorable settlement
Most of the types, defendants prefer to settle cases out of court. This way, they save time, money, and avoid bad publicity. Of course, not all settlement offers are convenient. Some contain tricky clauses and require the trained eye of a Henderson slip and fall accident lawyer. The latter will evaluate the offer and send a counter-offer to the defendant. They will negotiate better terms or file an appeal. They will not give up until obtaining fair compensation for their clients.
Have a Henderson Lawyer Evaluate Your Case
If you have questions or need help with your slip-and-fall case, we can help. At Nettles Morris Law Firm, we offer FREE case reviews. You can find out how much your claim is worth and receive answers and advice without paying.
All you have to do is call (702) 410-6239 or fill in the online form and schedule a consultation. Our injury lawyers will gladly help in any way they can. With our help, obtaining the compensation you deserve will be a mere formality.