Many people are injured each year. Some of these are minor injuries and some are much more serious. Sometimes they will slip and fall on a wet floor, on a rough patch that is in the ground, and even on stairs that are not properly kept. After a fall, you may wonder whether the property is responsible for that accident or if it is just something that you need to deal with on your own. Contact a Las Vegas slip and fall attorney to look at your case and help you determine whether you can file a personal injury claim for your accident.
Figuring out who is responsible for an injury after a slip and fall accident is sometimes difficult. You need to consider that it is normal for things to drip or fall on the floor and surfaces that are smooth to become uneven. And some things that can trip you up, such as grates and drainages, have a useful purpose and need to be there.
Because of this, a property owner is not always the one that can be held responsible for cleaning up or picking up everything off the floor. They are also not going to be responsible if someone slips or trips on something that most ordinary people should be able to expect to find there or should easily be able to see and realize they will fall if they are not careful. You do have some responsibility to watch out for the things around you and to be careful.
With that said, the property owner does need to be careful about keeping the property looking nice. There is not really a precise way to determine whether or not someone else is responsible legally for when you slip and fall. Often the case will depend on whether it is seen that the property owner did what they could, reasonably, so that the slip did not happen. It can also depend on whether you were the one being careless when you did not see or avoid the thing you fell on.
Determining whether you were being cautious or whether the property owner is the one to be held liable for the accident can be difficult and you will have to talk to your personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, NV about the case. They will be able to review your case for FREE, take a look at the details, and help you determine the best strategy for your case.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Determine Who is Liable
To determine how the case will go, you and your slip and fall lawyer will work to determine who is liable for the slip and fall. In order to have the property be liable for any injuries that you suffered from falling on their property, one of the following need to be true:
- The property owner, or one of their employees if it is a business, must be the one who is responsible for the spill, torn or worn spot, or some other dangerous or slippery surface or an item that is underfoot.
- The property owner or one of their employees must have known that the surface was dangerous but then did nothing about it. If the business did not salt the walkway after a big ice storm and it stayed that way for a few hours, they could be held liable. But if someone just spilled water on the floor and it was in a hidden spot that no one knew about, it would be harder to prove liability.
- The property owner or their employee should have known about this surface being dangerous because a reasonable person who takes proper care of the property would have been able to see it and repair the damage.
Often the third situation is the one that will be the most common, but it is sometimes less clear-cut compared to the other two because of the “should have known” part of the case. The liability for slip and fall accident lawyer cases will be decided using common sense. Basically, juries and judges are going to determine whether or not the property owner was careful enough when it comes to determining if they were liable.
Even in cases that seem clear-cut, the case could go either way. A good slip and fall accident lawyer will be able to look over the case and discuss the best strategy to get the results to go in your favor.
What is Considered Reasonable?
Your slip and fall lawyer is going to work to create a negligence claim when it comes to these slip and fall accidents where you will need a slip and fall, accident lawyer. These claims are going to hinge on whether or not the property owner, or the defendant, acted in a reasonable manner based on the situation.
When it comes to determining this reasonableness, the law is going to concentrate their efforts on whether the owner made regular and thorough efforts to keep their property clean and safe for others. Some of the questions that your slip and fall accident attorney may ask to help determine whether the property owner is liable for your injuries to include:
- Whether or not you tripped over a piece of ground, floor, or carpet that was broken or torn. They can also look to see if there was a loose or wet area or if there was a spot that was dangerous which had been there long enough for the owner to know something about. If you fell right after your friend spilled their drink on the ground, the property owner would likely not be held liable. You can work with your slip and fall accident lawyer to determine whether or not something was wrong with the floor that could have caused you to slip.
- Whether or not the property owner has a procedure in place for regular cleaning and examining and even repairing things on the premise and do they have proof of this? Your slip and fall accident lawyer is going to look over these records and try to find out if something may have been missed which caused your accident.
- If you tripped or slipped on an object that was left on the ground, was the object supposed to be there? So, if you slipped on a wet floor sign after the floor was mopped, then you can’t hold the owner liable for that object being in the way.
Related: Slip and Fall Accidents in Nevada
If there is no longer a reason for the object to be where it is, is there some way to remove or cover the object to make it safe?
- Is there a safer place to have the object so that it is easier to see and safer for the customer, without causing too much expense or inconvenience to the owner?
- The slip and fall lawyer can also check to see whether or not a simple barrier could be put up or a warning to help people know that there was a risk of tripping and falling.
- Was it possible that broken or poor lighting led to the accident? Your slip and fall lawyer can take a look at the area to determine if this is the case.
If at least one of these questions looks favorable to you, then it is possible that you can work with a slip and fall accident lawyer to make a claim and get compensation. However, there is another step to this. You also have to determine whether it was your own carelessness that could have contributed to you being in the accident. If it was, then you may get reduced or no compensation depending on the case.
Taking Your Own Carelessness Into Consideration
Another thing that your slip and fall accident lawyer will need to consider is whether your own carelessness was a contributing factor in the accident. Many states have the rules of comparative negligence that are used as a way to measure how much you contributed to the accident.
Were You at Fault?
Your Las Vegas slip and fall attorney will most likely ask you some questions in an attempt to get a clear understanding of your role in the incident. Some of the questions may be:
- Did you have a legitimate reason to be where the dangerous area was?
- Would someone who was careful have noticed and avoided the dangerous spot, or at least walked in a careful manner so they did not slip or trip.
- Were there any warnings around the spot to help you know whether it was dangerous there.
- Was there anything going on around you that could have kept you distracted so you didn’t pay attention to where you were walking. In addition, were you jumping, running, or doing other things like fooling around that could have made the accident more likely?
It is not your job here to prove that you were being careful to the insurance adjuster, but be aware that they are going to be looking for situations where you were not being as careful as you should have given what happened. You should talk to your slip and fall lawyer to determine what you should say to your insurance representative.
Before you decide to talk to the insurance adjuster or anyone else about the case, make sure that you contact your slip and fall lawyer in Las Vegas, NV. They will be able to discuss the case and can represent you when it is time, whether during the settlement phase or when talking to insurance. With their help, you can avoid saying something that may incriminate you and reduce the amount of compensation that you are awarded.
The Role of a Las Vegas Slip and Fall Attorney
When you meet with a slip and fall accident lawyer, you will be able to work together to come up with a defense. There are several different options when it comes to defenses and each one will affect the way that you will receive compensation.
The first option that you can work with your Las Vegas slip and fall attorney on is a defense based on your role in the accident. When a plaintiff files a personal injury claim, the first argument from the defendant is all about how the actions of the plaintiff put them at least partially at fault for the accident. If you filed a lawsuit but can be partially to blame for that accident, it is likely that your compensation will be affected. Your slip and fall accident lawyer will be able to discuss how much this can affect you.
The amount that your compensation is affected will depend on whether the court follows comparative negligence or contributory negligence. For comparative negligence, the damages will be calculated by looking at how much each party is at fault for the accidents. So, if you are found to be about 25 percent at fault for the accident and the other driver is 75 percent, and your damages add to $20,000, you would only be able to receive $15,000. Your Las Vegas slip and fall attorney will be able to work through negotiations and with the court to try to limit your liability and get you more compensation.
On the other hand, you could be working with contributory negligence in some cases and this is when you will really need a slip and fall lawyer to help you out. For these, if the victim has any amount of fault for the accident, they can usually not get any compensation for that personal injury. So, if you are in a state that has this rule, and you are seen to have only five percent of fault in the accident, you still will not be able to receive compensation.
Contact A Lawyer at Nettles Morris Law Firm
Working with a slip and fall lawyer can help you out in these situations. Your slip and fall accident lawyer will be able to work in negotiations for a settlement outside of court, or even in court, to limit your fault and to show that it is only the fault of the other person. Doing this on your own without a slip and fall accident lawyer can be really difficult.
If you have been in an accident and you are looking for a slip and fall accident lawyer in Las Vegas, NV, contact us at our premier personal injury Law Firm. We have the legal team you need to get your compensation after a slip and fall. Call us today to find your slip and fall lawyer today.