Dangerous flooring injuries occur in Nevada when proprietors for casinos, hotels, malls, and other properties are negligent in maintaining safe walking surfaces for the general public. In many cases, slip-and-fall victims can sue for compensatory damages to pay for their:
- hospital bills and long-term care,
- lost earnings,
- loss of future earnings,
- pain and suffering, and/or
- wrongful death
People who partially caused their own injuries--such as by running or being careless on dangerous flooring--might still have a viable claim under Nevada's comparative negligence laws. Victims just need to make sure to commence their lawsuits within the two (2) year statute of limitations.
In this article our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about dangerous flooring accidents in Nevada, including negligence claims, helpful evidence, and monetary settlements. Click on a topic to jump to that section:
- 1. What can I do if I got injured by dangerous flooring in Nevada?
- 2. What money can I get if I am injured by dangerous flooring in Nevada?
- 3. Whom can I sue for my dangerous flooring injury in Nevada?
- 4. How do I prove a dangerous flooring claim in Nevada?
- 5. Can I still get money if I was partially at fault for my dangerous flooring injury in Nevada?
- 6. When can I sue after a dangerous flooring accident in Nevada?
Also read our related article on Las Vegas premises liability laws.
People harmed by dangerous flooring can bring a negligence lawsuit against the responsible party or parties. In order to win a negligence lawsuit for dangerous flooring, the victim (plaintiff) has to prove the following four elements:
- The defendant(s) owed the plaintiff (victim) a duty of care;
- The defendant(s) breached this duty;
- This breach caused the plaintiff's injury; and
- This injury resulted in damages.1
In Las Vegas, dangerous flooring lawsuits usually arise out of people slipping and falling in casinos, hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, parking lots, and sidewalks. Property managers have a duty to keep conditions safe for foot traffic by performing routine maintenance, making repairs, and providing adequate warnings for unsafe conditions. Common "breaches of duty" that may result in dangerous flooring accidents include:
- Failing to replace carpeting that is damaged, torn, or worn;
- Failing to use flooring that is trick- or slip-resistant enough;
- Failing to use traction mats or paint when necessary;
- Failing to make necessary repairs to damaged, cracked, holey, loose, defective, or uneven walkways and stairs;
- Failing to put out warning signs/cones nears wet, sticky, or slippery floors;
- Failing to clean and mop up spills;
- Failing to cordon off dangerous areas; and/or
- Using a paper floor cover, walk-off mat or carpet runner (in certain circumstances)
1.1. Dangerous flooring injuries
Every year in the U.S., more than one million people suffer serious injuries from dangerous flooring according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Falls are especially common in high-traffic areas such as entrances and productivity zones (such as near checkout counters).
Common injuries from dangerous flooring incidents are bruises, torn tendons and ligaments, broken bones, slipped or herniated disks, other spinal injuries, head injuries, and occasionally death. Victims may suffer permanent mobility issues, chronic pain, and cognitive and behavioral problems. Predictably, many slip-and-fall victims are children or the elderly. Older victims...who often suffer from osteoporosis...are the most susceptible to broken hips.
Not all dangerous flooring injuries arise from slip-and-falls...some come from hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde in the flooring, such as in the recent Lumber Liquidators class-action lawsuit in Las Vegas.2
Victims of dangerous flooring accidents may be eligible to receive the following compensatory damages:
- medical bills including hospitalization and rehabilitation;
- lost wages;
- lost earning capacity;
- pain and suffering (capped at $350,000), and/or
- wrongful death (the estate of the deceased brings this kind of lawsuit)
(Note that government employees acting in the course of their occupation may be liable for up to $100,000.3)
- $300,000 as long as the compensatory damages come in at less than $100,000, or
- Three times (3) the compensatory damages as long as they amount to $100,000 or higher.4
Note that people suspected of deliberately injuring others may face criminal charges in addition to civil charges.
Depending on the facts of the case, dangerous flooring victims can sue:
- The property owner and/or lessee;
- The business owner (if there is one);
- Architects or designers who chose the flooring;
- Third-party contractors who installed or maintained the flooring;
- Any third party who made the floors unsafe, such as by spilling a drink and taking no measures to fix the problem
In short, anyone responsible for selecting flooring, installing flooring, and/or maintaining the safety of the walkways, sidewalks and stairways are possible defendants in a dangerous flooring lawsuit. Depending on the case, the victim may even be able to sue the manufacturer of his/her shoes if the footwear was defective.
Typical evidence in dangerous flooring lawsuits include:
- building codes, affidavits and contracts, to show that the defendant had a standard of care to maintain safe flooring; and
- eye-witnesses and surveillance video, to show that the flooring was dangerous and that an accident occurred ;
- residue from the victim's shoes or clothes, to show that the flooring was slippery or otherwise hazardous;
- medical records and photographs, to show that the plaintiff (victim) has been injured; and/or
- expert medical testimony, to show that the injury resulted form the accident
In order to win a negligence case in Nevada, the plaintiff has the burden to prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant was negligent. In legal terms, the plaintiff has to show by a "preponderance of the evidence" that the defendant was negligent.
5. Can I still get money if I was partially at fault for getting injured by dangerous flooring in Nevada?
Perhaps. As long as an accident victim was 50% or less at fault for an accident, he/she may still be able to recover damages in a dangerous flooring lawsuit. Though the amount of damages would be less than if he/she was at no fault in the accident.5
Some ways in which a slip-and-fall victim may be partially at fault in a dangerous flooring accident are:
- Running recklessly;
- Walking without paying attention (such as while looking down at an phone);
- Ignoring warning signs to stay away;
- Horsing around without paying attention to the surroundings;
- Wearing defective shoes that provide little support;
- Being clumsy
Note that floors must be unsafe in order to prevail in a dangerous flooring accident. Merely falling down is not enough to sustain a negligence claim if the premises were sound.
After a person is injured in a dangerous flooring accident, he/she has two (2) years to bring a personal injury suit in Nevada.6
Call a Nevada personal injury attorney...
Were you injured by bad flooring in Nevada? Our Las Vegas dangerous flooring attorneys want to help. Call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free meeting. In most cases we can achieve favorable financial settlements without going to trial. And we do not get paid a dime unless we win your case.
- See, e.g. Scialabba v. Brandise Const. Co., 112 Nev. 965, 921 P.2d 928 (1996).
- Carrie Geer Thevenot, Report on Lumber Liquidators flooring leads to Vegas lawsuits, Las Vegas Review-Journal (March 19, 2015).
- NRS 41.035.
- NRS 42.005
- NRS 41.141.
- NRS 11.190.