Unfortunately, many things that happen in Vegas have to go home with you. Injuries that occur on hotel property are one of the things that doesn’t fit in your baggage but you carry the dead weight of it with you when you leave town to go home. If you were injured while either staying at a hotel or even just visiting the casino or bathroom in the casino, the hotels have a duty of care to all patrons and also you have certain rights as well. It is how the hotel has exercised their duty of care that becomes the issue in a premises liability claim.
The most common of injuries are sustained by a fall of some kind in the hotel or casino floor. For a hotel to be liable for your fall there are a few legal tests that must be applied to your situation before responsibility and ultimately, financial responsibility may be attributed.
The fact that you slipped and fell in a Las Vegas hotel is not reason enough to place the blame of the fall on anyone other than yourself at first. If your fall was caused by a condition that was dangerous in nature, and that condition was known to the hotel management at the time of the incident then you may have a claim for damages. The circumstances for each fall are different and the results of the claim vary widely as well.
In order for a claim to pass the negligence test the following must be applicable in your claim:
1. Dangerous Conditions existed in or on the hotel property
2. The hotel would have known of such condition upon reasonable inspection of the property
3. The hotel failed to remedy the situation in a timely fashion.
In each of these element, the standard of care due a patron is “reasonable care”. That is that the hotel had time in which to secure the dangerous area or condition and failed to do so in a reasonable manner.
Everyone is aware that within the hotels in Las Vegas there are video cameras which cover almost every square inch of the hotel, except the private guest rooms and rest rooms. Therefore, a dangerous condition, say a broken glass on the floor of the casino, it likely known by the casino as soon as it happens. However, water that was flowing from a broken bathroom faucet might not be noticed for some time if it is in the middle of the night and you slip in the water during that time. Again, each circumstance is different.
Hotels are also responsible for how their doors, elevators, escalators, fountains, etc., and each of these can cause injury if they malfunction. Hotels must show maintenance records, repair orders, safety training of employee records and the like in the event of an injury while using or around one of these mechanical implements. Stairways must be lit properly and the non-slip surface of the bathtubs must be kept up.
Hotel liability for injury becomes more of a murky legal battlefield when the act or omission of the hotel or the employee was intentional. Intentional torts may cross the line into criminal behavior, these types of actions or omissions should be referred to the police and the criminal justice system. There are provisions for injuries and damages to be paid to the injured party as part of the sentencing.
The hotel might be liable for intentional injury if their employee was a known danger or the hotel had reasonable notice that injury might occur if a known condition was left dangerous.
There are very many ways and places to be injured and if you are injured it is important to document everything about the incident. Keep the following in mind when you are injured, particulary as a result of someone else’s negligence.
- Photographs- Take pictures of all the areas you were in when the accident occurred
- Notes- Write down where you were coming from, where you were going, why you were in the hotel, what you were doing, who was with you, who helped you, if you saw any video camera locations, etc.
- Witnesses- Get names and contact information of any witnesses
- Seek Medical Care- be sure and get to the appropriate doctors and get the care you need as soon as possible.
- Seek Legal Counsel- It is important to get the opinion of a Nevada personal injury attorney in the event of injury as there are many different legal issues to deal with in these cases.