Slip and fall accidents are very common in just about every type of business and home environment. You can fall because of uneven carpeting in a store, on spilled liquid in a restaurant, or on stairs in a private home. If you’re injured as a result of your fall, you may wonder whether you have a premises liability claim against the property owner.
In Nevada, if the property owner was negligent and this negligence caused your injuries, you may be able to file a lawsuit. The problem is it can be a challenge to prove fault in slip and fall accidents. In order to prove fault, you must be able to show one of two things:
- The property owner caused a dangerous condition, such as spilled liquid or an obstruction,that led to your fall.
- The property owner should have noticed a dangerous condition or did notice the dangerous condition but failed to act to remove it.
Unfortunately, property owners may allege it is you who was negligent or reckless, leading to the fall. They may claim they didn’t notice a dangerous condition whereas a reasonable person would have been able to notice that hazard. If you claim the property owner was negligent and the property owner claims you are responsible for your own fall, how does the court decide the outcome of the lawsuit?
How to Prove Fault for Slip and Fall
In most cases, in premises liability claims in Nevada, judges and courts will look at the idea of common sense. They will try to base liability on the idea of what a reasonable person would or wouldn’t do in a specific situation.
In some cases, proving fault in slip and fall accidents comes down to the evidence available. For example, you may be able to prove that a property owner was negligent if:
- You can provide witness testimony showing that the property owner had dangerous conditions
- There have been written complaints about safety problems at a specific property before
- You have written statements informing the property owner of a dangerous conditions before your accident took place
- You have photos showing obviously dangerous conditions with no warning signs dating back to the time of your accident
- You can get employees or others to confirm they spoke to the property owner about dangerous conditions but the issues were never fixed
- You can show poor lighting or broken lighting contributed to the accident
- You can show through eyewitness testimony or other means you weren’t skipping, running, distracted or in an area you shouldn’t have been at the time of your accident
Challenges to Slip and Fall Claims
Proving slip and fall claims can be difficult, especially since they can eventually come down to a matter of one person’s testimony against another’s. The property owner may claim they are careful in providing a safe environment while you may claim a property owner was negligent in providing a safe space for you.
These types of claims also tend to have multiple challenges, including:
- The property owner may quickly clean up spilled liquid or other dangers, making it hard to prove these dangers existed when your accident happened
- The property owner may be able to produce a document claiming they conducted regular checks to make sure everything was safe
- The property owner may blame a contractor, subcontractor or employee for unsafe conditions
- The property owner may claim there were signs in place or you were not watching where you were going at the time of the accident
How to Win a Slip and Fall Claim
Winning a slip and fall lawsuit often comes down to gathering enough testimony and evidence. Gathering testimony from employees, other patrons, other visitors, former employees and others can show a pattern of negligent behavior on the part of the property owner. It can also help establish you were in a lawful area, there were inadequate signs, and you acted in a reasonable manner.
If you would like an attorney to assist you with the challenges of slip and fall claims, contact Dallas Horton & Associates. If you have been injured, our Nevada law firm can offer advice and help you understand whether you have a strong case.
If you decide to pursue a claim, our attorneys are capable of representing clients across Nevada in personal injury and slip and fall cases. For more than 17 years, we have been a part of the Nevada community, helping plaintiffs across the state with their legal issues. Contact us today if you have been injured and would like legal representation.