The average slip and fall accident only takes a matter of seconds to occur. However, the painful aftermath of these experiences can last for much longer – especially when you factor in the physical pain and financial toll of any resulting injuries. Here is an overview of how a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas can help you to get the justice that you deserve with your slip and fall case.
Identifying the At-Fault Party in a Slip and Fall Case
A personal injury lawyer must first identify which party failed to care for their respective duties that led to the slip and fall accident. He or she must be able to prove that the irresponsible behavior of that person directly led to the fall and the resulting injuries.
It is easy for you to mistakenly assume that you are to blame for the accident. It is imperative, therefore, for an experienced personal injury lawyer to examine the pertinent details of your specific case to accurately identify the at-fault party.
Even if you do share some of the blame for the accident, you should still seek legal assistance. The State of Nevada acknowledges “comparative negligence” which assigns proportionate fault to the injured victim and defendant. However, this also means that the injured victim would still be entitled to a percentage of the damages allotted to them.
Property Occupier or Owner – Who Was Negligent?
As you know, occupying a property does not necessarily mean that you own it. Conversely, owning a property does not mean that you occupy it. Your lawyer will focus on identifying the specific party responsible for the upkeep of the space and the overall negligence associated with your fall.
- Property owners must maintain the premises and either resolve or provide warnings about detected hazards.
- Property occupiers are also obligated to resolve any detected hazards or at least provide a warning of associated risks. If they are unable to resolve the situation themselves, they must be able to prove that they promptly informed the property owner.
If you are injured within a rented space, then your slip and fall lawsuit would typically target the occupier. However, there are some cases in which you can target the occupier and owner in separate cases if your lawyer can prove that the owner:
- Maintained control of the rented space (ex: common areas & shared spaces)
- Failed to disclose the hazards to the occupier in advance
- Violated the terms of a lease agreement that makes them legally responsible for maintenance and repair.
Your personal injury attorney will work with you to accurately identify the responsible party (or parties) involved before building your case.
The Essential Role of Photographs and Documentation
A key factor in proving a slip and fall case in Las Vegas is the supporting documentation (or lack thereof) and photographs. It may seem obvious to focus on taking pictures of the accident scene – such as the uneven pavement, pothole, loose flooring, or improperly placed cords that turned into a trip hazard.
However, it is also important to photograph what is not there – such as the lack of properly placed signage, caution tape, “Wet Floor” flyers, temporary fencing, or safety cones. Keep in mind that your photographs will likely be considered as admissible evidence. Therefore, as expressed in the old saying, ensure that your pictures are worth more than a thousand words.
Keep a paper trail of all related documentation – especially when it comes to medical records, prescriptions, and statements. It is recommended to even maintain a journal that allows you to document the process from start to finish (hospitalizations, physical therapy, loss of wages, contact from opposing counsel, etc.) Document everything and allow your attorney to narrow it down to what should be presented as evidence.
Contact a Las Vegas Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
The last thing that you want to do is assume that you can handle your own case. Your primary focus right now should be recovering from your injury and getting your life back on track. That is why your next step should be to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas.
Your lawyer will take the time to examine the details and documentation of your specific case. You can also get your questions answered and map out the next steps that your lawyer will take on your behalf.