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Las Vegas hotel patrons injured in a slip-and-fall can sue to recover money for their medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, and pain and suffering. Victims that were partly at fault – such as by walking and texting – might still be eligible for a payout for some of their damages.
The most likely defendant in hotel slip and fall cases is the hotel itself. Victims may have a viable case against members of hotel staff – such as a waitress who failed to clean up a spill. But the hotel will have the deepest pockets.
Other potential defendants in hotel slip-and-fall cases include:
The most common legal ground for a slip-and-fall lawsuit is negligence. To prevail on a negligence claim against a Las Vegas hotel, the plaintiff (victim) would need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that:
Nevada’s legal doctrine of premises liability requires hotels to prevent fall hazards.2 So for example if carpet becomes loose, the hotel should fix it as soon as possible and warn people to avoid the area in the meantime.
Typical evidence in hotel slip-and-fall lawsuits includes:
Hotel slip-and-fall victims typically try to recover compensatory damages for their:
Most lawsuits resolve with a settlement. But in the rare event the slip and fall case goes to trial, victims can also ask the court to award punitive damages if the hotel may have acted in a particularly malicious or shocking way.
Punitive damages can be three times the amount of compensatory damages. But if the compensatory damages amount to less than $100,000, then the punitive damages cap is $300,000.3
Nevada’s comparative negligence laws permit slip-and-fall victims to recover damages if they were 50% to blame or less. Behaviors that may make plaintiffs partly to blame include:
When victims are partially at fault for a slip-and-fall in a hotel, they predictably receive less damages than if they were blameless. For example, if a court finds that a victim was 25% to blame, the hotel would have to pay only 75% of the total damages.4
People injured by a slip-and-fall in a Las Vegas hotel have a two-year statute of limitations to sue for negligence. This two-year clock begins running after the victim discovers the injury. Often that is the same time as the accident, but it can be weeks or months later depending on the injury.5
Read more about suing for hotel injuries in Nevada.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.