If you have been injured in a casino, you may wonder, “can you sue a casino?” Property owners, occupiers, or tenants owe patrons or visitors a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe. Failing to maintain the property properly can result in a lawsuit to recover damages for any injuries that occur as a result.
If you sustain an injury while at a Nevada casino, your primary focus should be on recovering from the incident. However, it’s crucial to understand the legal measures required to hold the casino liable and receive appropriate compensation. The steps you take in the moments after your accident can have a significant impact on your claim. A Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
When Can a Casino Be Held Liable for an Accident?
While casinos generally take measures to ensure the safety of their patrons, there may be times when accidents occur. In Nevada, casinos are liable if any injuries or accidents happen on their premises because they failed to take reasonable care in maintaining their property. Any injury that occurs in a casino in Las Vegas falls under premises liability laws.
Premises liability laws create grounds for patrons to sue establishments that violate a duty of care. This holds the property owner or tenant liable for the injuries that occur because of a dangerous condition. The theory of premises liability is based on negligence. Therefore, to hold a casino accountable for your injuries, you must prove the four elements of negligence.
Duty of Care
A duty of care refers to the legal obligation to exercise reasonable care and caution to prevent harm to others. An organization or individual should be aware of existing, as well as potential, risks to others, and take reasonable steps to minimize these risks and avoid causing harm to others.
Under Nevada personal injury laws, casino patrons are considered invitees. A person who is invited to a property for business purposes, such as job applicants and customers, is known as an invitee. As such, every casino owes the highest duty of care toward its visitors.
A casino must inspect its premises for potential dangers, repair or post warning signs about known defects, and implement safety protocols.
Breach of the Duty of Care
If a casino does not take care to guard against foreseeable injuries, it has breached its duty of care. This level of care is preventing anything that a reasonable person would foresee causing harm to patrons.
In Nevada, foreseeability in premises liability claims can have an expansive interpretation. Generally, casinos must take reasonable precautions in food preparation and storage to prevent food poisoning. They should not serve alcohol in casinos, dining areas, or nightclubs to already severely intoxicated persons. Fixtures and furniture should be kept in good repair. Chairs at gaming tables, pubs, dining areas, showrooms, or bathrooms should be safe. Spills, or other tripping or falling hazards, should be cleared away promptly.
Steps should be taken to ensure adequate security on the premises. Floors and grounds should be kept even. For example, there should not be loose carpeting or floorboards. Elevators and escalators should be maintained, as they can cause people to fall suddenly in the event of a malfunction. Adequate lighting should be provided. Casinos should also be able to provide aid in an emergency.
If your injury was due to the conduct of an employee, you can hold the casino liable if you can prove that they did not perform appropriate background checks or other due diligence before hiring the employee. You may also be able to show that once the casino discovered the employee posed a danger, it still failed to act or supervise its employees appropriately. You may hold the casino accountable if you can show that the employee was negligent while performing his or her regular work duties at the time that you were injured.
The Breach Resulted in Your Injury
You have to have suffered an injury for which you are seeking compensation, otherwise, you have not suffered documentable harm and have nothing to hold the casino liable for. Your injuries must be attributed to the casino’s breach of the duty of care. If your injuries were due to some cause other than the casino’s negligence, such as your own negligence, you will not be able to hold the casino liable. This is because there is no link between the casino’s negligence and the harm that you have suffered.
You Suffered Damages as a Result of Your Injury
To claim compensation in a premises liability case against a casino, you must have suffered damages. These damages can be economic or non-economic. Economic damages are financial costs that you have suffered, including:
- Present medical bills
- Cost of future medical care
- Lost wages
- Reduced earnings capacity
Non-economic damages are subjective, non-monetary losses such as pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
If you have not suffered any damages, you have nothing to claim compensation for and thus do not have a valid claim.
Steps to Take After a Casino Injury
If you have been injured in a casino accident, you should take the following steps to maximize your chances of having a successful claim:
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing that you should do after an accident is seek medical help, even if you do not think that your injuries are severe. What may at first seem like a minor injury can worsen over the following days and weeks. Seeing a doctor will ensure a proper diagnosis and adequate treatment for your recovery.
Seeing a doctor after your accident will also strengthen your case. It will establish a link between the accident and your injuries and document them. Your doctor’s report may contain details of the extent, cause, and symptoms of your injuries.
If you wait to see a doctor, it will be more difficult to establish a link between your injuries and the accident. The casino may also claim that you were negligent and contributed to your own damages by worsening your injuries because of waiting to see a doctor. This can reduce your claim.
Report the Accident to Management
You should report the accident to casino management. Management can document the accident and your injuries. They may create an accident report, which will contain important details for our case, including the nature and cause of the accident, what injuries were immediately apparent, and other useful information. You should record the name of the person that you spoke to, the day and time, and request a copy of the accident report.
Taking photographs of the area where the accident happened might document evidence of the dangerous condition in the casino, such as torn carpeting, dim lighting, damaged handrails, hazards or inadequately maintained facilities. You should also take photographs of your injuries to document their extent. Taking photographs immediately can be crucial, as evidence may disappear. For example, if there were spilled liquids that led to your fall, an employee may clean up the liquid afterward, in which case it may be difficult to prove the cause of your slip and fall.
There may be surveillance cameras installed in the casino, which can contain video evidence of your fall. You should request this from the casino management as soon as possible.
You should also collect the names and contact information of any witnesses to your accident. They can provide witness evidence to strengthen your claim.
Do Not Speak With Personnel
Refrain from making any unnecessary statements to casino personnel following an accident. Stick to the facts and avoid expressing apologies or taking blame for the incident. Keep in mind that any statements made to the casino, or its staff, could potentially be used against you.
Casino personnel might make you offers, whether it be a free night at the hotel, credits to play slot machines or even money. Accepting any of these offers will be considered as a settlement. You do not know the extent of our injuries and damages yet, and your claim may be worth a lot more. Avoid accepting these offers, as you may lose your right to make a claim for compensation afterward.
Speak to an Attorney
An attorney can advise you on whether you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the casino. Your attorney can assist you with gathering evidence, calculating the value of your claim, and advising you on how to file a lawsuit against a casino. Your attorney can also help negotiate casino lawsuit settlements.
Common Types of Casino Injuries in Nevada
The most common causes of injuries at hotels are:
- Slip and fall injuries.
- Food poisoning.
- Intentional assault due to inadequate security measures.
Casino accidents can result in numerous injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, bone fractures, sprains, spine injuries, cuts, bruises, soft tissue injuries, and severe illness.
Slip and Fall
You might get injured in a slip and fall at the casino due to broken chairs, hazards on the floor, unsecured flooring, or slippery areas from spilled liquids. It helps to be aware of the steps to a slip and fall in Las Vegas hotels. Slip and fall accidents can result in a variety of injuries, from broken bones to concussions.
Casinos are usually full of restaurants, provided as a place for guests to relax and eat while in attendance. The more restaurants there are in a casino, the more difficult it is to manage them. Foods may inadvertently be stored, handled, or cooked incorrectly, which could cause food poisoning, potentially leading to a severe illness.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Using the pool area is a popular activity among guests in Las Vegas casinos. However, this can become hazardous if they accidentally fall into the pool or collide with the concrete structures in its vicinity. Such accidents can lead to severe bodily injuries or even drowning, especially when there are no lifeguards present on the premises.
Hotel Room Accidents
Most casinos also function as hotels and have a responsibility to provide their guests with a secure and hygienic accommodation. Negligent hotel staff or management may subject guests to potential hazards such as malfunctioning electrical systems, damaged furnishings, or unsanitary bathrooms.
In casinos, assault is a prevalent but often unreported occurrence that guests may fall prey to. This can result in the loss of their valuables and cash. Apart from robbery, guests are also vulnerable to physical assaults in hotel hallways, rooms, and parking garages. Inadequate security measures in place further aggravate the risk of visitors becoming victims while enjoying their stay in various casinos and hotels across Las Vegas. Among casinos, studies suggest that there is a greater prevalence of crime, including assault. Casinos therefore must be aware of the need for greater security to ensure the safety of their guests.
Aside from the above accidents, guests at casinos can sustain injuries from broken beds or chairs, bedbugs brought home from hotels, elevator accidents, fallen televisions, and accidents during concerts or vendor events. Regardless of the situation, if you suffer an injury, you may be entitled to receive compensation for damages.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a casino accident, a personal injury attorney will be able to assist you through the process of receiving compensation. Your attorney will be able to evaluate your claim, decide on what legal options you have, and provide you with legal advice. Your attorney can assist with investigating your accident and gathering any evidence needed to prove your claim. Once all the evidence has been gathered, your attorney can discuss and negotiate with the casino, its insurance, or attorneys, to negotiate the best possible settlement. If the casino fails to offer you a fair settlement, your attorney can take your case to trial.