Welcome to Law-Forums.org!   

Advertisments:




Sponsor Links:

Discount Legal Forms
Discounted Legal Texts


Trip & Fall

Discuss anything to do with property law - buying, selling property

Trip & Fall

Postby Avikar » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:46 am

Dear Doctor Settlement,I read a previous question and answer about premises liability involving a slip and fall at a Las Vegas hotel casino. I was walking out of a Las Vegas hotel casino at night and I tripped and fell in the parking lot in the valet lane. I tripped over a set of double speed bumps, breaking the tibia and fibula in my left leg just above the ankle. I was transported by ambulance, and my leg required two surgeries thus far. I have been out of work for eleven months now due to complications with my leg. The parking lot is very poorly lit and shadows are cast over the speed bumps due to trees that block the lights. These are the only set of double speed bumps on the property and they are taller than any of the others. All the speed bumps on the property are painted solid yellow except for these two, they are striped, and since my fall they repainted the stripes. The speed bumps do not have their leading edge outlined like every other speed bump that I have looked at in the city. I am 40 years old and did not consume any alcohol that evening. What if any is their liability and how should I proceed from here if I do have a case? Also is there a time frame that I have to file a lawsuit within? Any help would be greatly appreciated as this has been very stressful and a huge financial burden on my wife and myself. Thank you
Avikar
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:50 am

Trip & Fall

Postby devdutta58 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:40 pm

Hi Tony, It is a shame to ruin a good vacation, but even much worse to end up with a permanent impairment to your body.  Yes, I DO BELIEVE you have a good cause of action, and I encourage you to get going on it ASAP.  

If you read my previous answer, you know the link about proving premises liability claims, and also you know the links about taking your photos.  I am guessing that you were visitors, and hence you are back at home by now, with no way to take photos.  

Let’s discuss handling this claim yourself, versus hiring an attorney.  In an out of state car accident it is tough enough to convince the insurance company that you really present a risk of coming back some distance to pursue your claim in court.  But at least in those cases, one has access to pretty much all one needs via the police report and photos and any witness phone numbers.

By contrast, in premises liability cases, all of the evidence remains there—perhaps many hours from the home of the injured victim.  The claim is really centered at the location of the property much more than in the case of an auto accident.  

The other aspect that seems to warrant local representation in a premises liability claim versus an auto accident is the difficulty of proof of liability.  In fact, liability is known to be a lot more difficult to prove in a claim such as yours, as compared to the car wreck.  Hence, the attorney fee percentage commonly increases from thirty-three and one-third percent to forty or forty-five percent.  You can expect the higher fees in your case since liability will be a challenge.  

Should you just do nothing at all?  NO, DARN IT—KEEP YOUR FOCUS AND HIRE AN ATTORNEY ASAP.  I know that this sounds discouraging since I am not pushing for you to do this yourself.  But do not become discouraged just because the proof is a bit of a challenge.  That is why you hire an attorney. Let’s take a look at your claim from two angles.  First is usually liability for analysis.  But in premises liability claims, damages play an important part in an attorney’s decision on whether or not to take a case.  For example, if you had a bruised knee and a sore back, no attorney would take the case.  The payday is not going to be enough to justify going through all the hassle to squeeze the money out of the hotel.  

Hence, the attorney will be attracted to take a case with higher possible fees, even if liability needs some effort.  Where does your case stack up?  I think you suffered some pretty serious damages and depending upon how you heal up, there could be some significant damages in your claim.  

Just an aside here, be on the lookout for a dull ache in the bones when the weather changes: is is due to a change in barometric pressure, and I have had a number of clients with broken bones complain that about six months after healing they started to notice that a change in the weather could trigger pain.  Just something to look out for after you heal.

Anyway, I think that your injuries DO MERIT PURSUING A CLAIM.  Now, on to liability.  

The issues here are: how are they negligent; and how do you defend the charge that you were contributorily negligent for not watching where you were walking.  

I believe that you have articulated a fine statement of failure to discover and to cure a defect in the property that the public and patrons are invited to use.  Business invitees, such as yourself, are owed the highest duty of care, and the owner or business has an affirmative duty to inspect its property and to eliminate any potential dangers to customers.  

In this case, they have created the hazard themselves, unlike a case in the grocery store, where a fellow shopper could create the hazard without any opportunity for the store to discover the danger and cure it.  So in your case, where a business itself is the creator of the danger, your position is stronger.

And notice that the claim here may have to be against BOTH THE HOTEL AND THE PROPERTY OWNER, if they are different.  Usually we will go against just the business, and let them drag in the property owner if they deem it necessary for their defense.  In this case I would allege that the hotel ITSELF had the duty to inspect and maintain the parking lot.  

What to do now?  You have two choices: hire an attorney in your city and let her pick out the associate attorney in Nevada, OR you can pick out the Nevada attorney.  

If you elect the second way, then I would investigate attorneys in the area.  Pick three and make sure that they are members of EITHER the national association of trial attorneys, aka American Association of Justice, or the state trial lawyers: NEVADA TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION; 406 N Nevada St.; Carson City, NV 89703-4624; PHONE: 702/883-3577 But I am recommending the first way for a number of reasons.  First off, you get to see the attorney in person, and she gets to see you.  Hence, she will know what kind of folks you are, and what kind of witnesses you will make.  Second, when you have to complete interrogatories or the like, you can do them at her office, and it helps to have someone local to explain what is happening next.  Third, you basically get two attorneys for the price of one.  Your local attorney will write the contract, and the Nevada attorney will share fees with your local attorney. Be advised that the Nevada attorney will likely want fees in that 40% to 45% range.  She will know how hard it is to sue the hotels there for a significant sum.  Hotels will pay out minor money without too much problem.  But your injuries will result in pain and suffering, as well as impairment of your formerly good balance and walking.  Hence, you will be shooting for a sum that the hotel will not just hand out willy-nilly.  Your attorney is going to have to prove the claim.

BE SURE to read my links from the answer you read, and get photos via the attorney or via a friend.  The best plan is always too expensive, .but a professional who could come at night would be best.  

DO NOT WORRY about the painting.  Evidence of improvements for safety is admissible and will help your claim.  Click on the link on this page to find the statute of limitations for Nevada: http://www.settlementcentral.com/page0452.htm   Looks to be 2 years.

OK, Tony, that about does it.  I trust that my time here has produced some information that has been of value to you, and thus I would respectfully request that you take the time to locate the FEEDBACK FORM on this site and leave some feedback for me.

Best Wishes, Dr. Settlement, J.D.(Juris Doctor) http://www.SettlementCentral.Com
devdutta58
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:34 pm

Trip & Fall

Postby Gili » Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:51 pm

Dear Doctor Settlement,I read a previous question and answer about premises liability involving a slip and fall at a Las Vegas hotel casino. I was walking out of a Las Vegas hotel casino at night and I tripped and fell in the parking lot in the valet lane. I tripped over a set of double speed bumps, breaking the tibia and fibula in my left leg just above the ankle. I was transported by ambulance, and my leg required two surgeries thus far. I have been out of work for eleven months now due to complications with my leg. The parking lot is very poorly lit and shadows are cast over the speed bumps due to trees that block the lights. These are the only set of double speed bumps on the property and they are taller than any of the others. All the speed bumps on the property are painted solid yellow except for these two, they are striped, and since my fall they repainted the stripes. The speed bumps do not have their leading edge outlined like every other speed bump that I have looked at in the city. I am 40 years old and did not consume any alcohol that evening. What if any is their liability and how should I proceed from here if I do have a case? Also is there a time frame that I have to file a lawsuit within? Any help would be greatly appreciated as this has been very stressful and a huge financial burden on my wife and myself. Thank you
Gili
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:59 pm


Return to Property Law

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post