Although the COVID-19 pandemic put a temporary hold on many tourist’s plans to visit Nevada, according to a report by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, November of 2022 demonstrated almost a full return to pre-pandemic visitor numbers. There were over 3.2 million visitors to Las Vegas, Laughlin and Mesquite, and the vast majority of them stayed in hotels. Visitors stayed for more than 3.6 million nights in hotels, which were measured at 81.2% occupancy. 

Staying at a hotel in Nevada is often a highlight of the trip – whether it is for business or leisure –  and visitors may spend time in a number of hotels to enjoy playing at the casinos and enjoying fine dining, legendary entertainment, and shopping. Every visitor to a hotel expects to enjoy their stay without being injured, but slip and fall accidents are a possibility. Many hotels in Nevada are vast, sprawling complexes, and come with potential hazards. Uneven floors, carpet or floorboards in need of repair, inadequate handrails on stairs, and spills not promptly cleaned up all pose a risk for a slip and fall accident. 

If a hazard causing a slip and fall accident is caused by a hotel’s negligence, the injured party could be eligible for compensation. Will the hotel’s insurance policy cover the paying of damages? 

When is a Hotel Responsible For a Slip and Fall Accident in Nevada? 

On a commercial property, the owner is required to maintain the premises to be safe for anyone who enters it. This is called premises liability. If the owner knowingly creates dangerous conditions on the property, or knows of a repair that needs to be done but chooses not to, they are being negligent to the duty of care they have for people on their property.

In some instances, places like casinos can become hotspots for slip and fall accidents due to their bustling environment. After experiencing a slip, trip, or fall, it’s crucial to understand the steps to take post-incident to ensure one’s rights are protected. Moreover, understanding the nuances of negligence in a slip and fall case can be pivotal in determining the liability of the property owner.

The owner should also carry a commercial property insurance policy. This kind of policy is similar to a homeowner’s insurance policy covering damages for injuries incurred on private property due to the owner’s negligence. However, the liability limits are understandably much higher. 

A hotel owner does not have strict liability; meaning if a patron slips and falls for any reason, they are not automatically liable for the patron’s injuries. Therefore, there is a burden on the patron to provide sufficient evidence that the accident was the fault of the property owner. It is in the property owner’s interest to blame the accident on the victim – due to alcohol consumption, wearing inappropriate footwear, or simple clumsiness, so it is essential for the victim to have a strong case in order to be awarded damages. 

What Kind of Damages Can a Victim Claim in a Slip and Fall Accident in Nevada? 

If a hotel is found to be negligent, a slip and fall accident victim can claim the following kinds of damages:

  • Medical bills, including emergency room visits, surgery, hospital stays, follow-up appointments, prescription drugs, physical therapy and assistive devices. 
  • Lost income from missing work due to the injury, or temporary or permanent disability. 
  • Property damage if personal items were broken in the accident, such as a phone or pair or shoes. 
  • Pain and suffering, including the experience of physical pain, mental anguish, loss of life enjoyment, or loss of companionship.

If the hotel’s commercial property insurance does not have provisions for the slip and fall accident victim’s claim, or if the claim is denied, the victim has the option to file a personal injury lawsuit. A lawyer will work with the victim to build a case, and have the ability to order evidence – such as security footage which could support the claim of negligence, or requests for invoices if the hotel owner claims a floor or carpet had already been repaired at the time of the accident. 

Nevada also follows a comparative negligence model, meaning both the property owner and injured party can be found negligent. If the injured party is found to be partly negligent, they can still be awarded damages as long as the property owner is found negligent to a greater degree. For example:

  • At an event in the hotel ballroom, water was spilled on the floor. A bartender saw the spill but claimed they did not have time to put out a wet floor warning sign. Later on a guest slips on the water and falls, injuring their wrist and tailbone. However, the guest was running at the time in high heeled shoes. The guest is found to be 30% negligent, and the damages they awarded are reduced by 30%. 
  • A guest trips on uneven concrete in a hotel restaurant’s outdoor dining area. The guest was looking at their phone at the time and not watching where they were going. The guest is found to be 10% negligent. 

What Should I Do if I Have a Slip and Fall Accident in a Hotel in Nevada? 

Slip and Fall Law

If a patron has a slip and fall accident in a Nevada hotel, it is first and foremost important to seek medical attention to take care of the injury. The victim should keep copies of any medical bills and costs related to appointments with medical professionals, and any prescription drugs or medical devices such as splints or crutches. 

If possible, before leaving the scene, the victim or a friend or family member should take photos of the hazard that caused the accident, including as much detail as possible. If there were eyewitnesses to the accident, contact details should be exchanged so they can make a statement to support the claim. Photos of damages to any personal property (such as a cracked phone screen or broken jewelry) should be taken as well. 

As the victim recovers from their injuries, they should continue to keep track of medical bills, time taken from work to attend medical appointments (including mileage or taxi fares) and to keep a recovery journal where they can make notes about their pain levels and mental and emotional state as they undergo treatment. 

If you have had a slip and fall accident while visiting a hotel in Nevada, you may be eligible for financial compensation.  Contact us or call call 702-680-1111 for a free consultation. 

As founder of Gina Corena & Associates, she is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the people who suffer life-changing personal injuries in car, truck and motorcycle accidents as well as other types of personal injury. Gina feels fortunate to serve the Nevada community and hold wrongdoers accountable for their harm to her clients.

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