Although most people often associate facilities liability with slip and fall accidents , this bodily injury law actually encompasses a much broader range of elements. Nevada law allows victims to recover when injured because someone else’s property is unsafe, and this is not limited to just commercial properties.
When a property owner does not care enough to keep their property safe and someone is injured because of this, the property owner may be liable to pay for their damages. Understanding the different elements of premises liability can ensure that you are protected if you are ever injured on someone else’s property. Here is an overview of premises liability related to personal injury in Las Vegas .
Different standards for different property uses
The specific duty that a landlord has to his property depends on the reason other people enter the property. When a business owner invites people on their property to sell them goods and services, they have a duty to keep their property safe.
A landlord has the least liability towards an intruder. The jury must determine why a person entered the property to decide the standard of care that applies to the case.
A person who owns a business has the highest duty to buyers who enter his property. In that case, the business owner invites people to enter the property for the owner’s benefit. That makes the customer a guest.
When a person enters a property for the benefit of the property owner, the owner must take care to inspect his property and correct potential hazards. They do not have a reasonable time to discover hazards on the property. Instead, the owner must actively look for hazards on the property and repair them quickly.
A property owner has an important duty to the people who enter his property for mutual benefit. An individual who enters another person’s property for mutual benefit is called a licensee. An example of this might be a person going to a friend’s house for dinner.
In the case of a licensee, the property owner must warn the guest of the dangers or repair it. The owner has a reasonable time to discover these risks, but does not have to take active steps to inspect her property as a business owner does. If a hazard is obvious, the guest must avoid the hazard.
Even though a property owner owes the least amount of duties to a trespasser, a homeowner can still face liability to a trespasser in limited circumstances. A property owner may not intentionally injure an intruder or set traps to injure him.
There is a notable exception to the duty of property owners from trespassers. That’s for intruder kids. If a property owner has things on her property that a child might want to play with, the owner may be liable if a child is injured.
This concept is called the attractive nuisance rule. A property owner must not have an unsecured, dangerous item or condition on their property that a child wants to sneak onto the property to use.
Types of premises liability
When most people think of facilities responsibility, they think of slipping in a work area on a business floor. This example is just one of the ways a homeowner can face facilities liability.
A dangerous animal can make a property unsafe. Chemicals on property can cause injuries resulting in facilities liability. Even the failure of a landlord to provide adequate security can make a property dangerous. When an injury occurs, the victim must evaluate their situation to see if a condition on the property contributed to the injury.
Elements of responsibility of the facilities
To win a case due to a dangerous condition on the property, the victim must prove that several things are true. First, they must show that they were on someone else’s property. Next, they must show that the property had a dangerous condition.
The evidence must prove that the dangerous condition caused the person’s injuries. The victim must also show that he has damages. Finally, the injured party must show that the owner failed to fulfill the proper duty to warn him of the danger or repair it in time.
Expansion in Nevada Law
Nevada courts recently made it easier for premises liability victims to recover for their losses. In Foster v. Costco , the Nevada Supreme Court said property owners have a duty to warn guests and dealers, even if the danger on the property is open and obvious. In Foster’s case, a shopper tripped over a wooden pallet at Costco and later brought a suit to recover from his injuries.
The Nevada Supreme Court said the jury should decide whether the store had a duty to warn the customer, although the danger was obvious. They stated that Nevada law should allow the jury to weigh the buyer’s actions against the store’s actions and decide where to blame. A jury may also consider whether either party could have acted differently to avoid harm.
This 2012 law change is a significant expansion of Nevada premises liability laws. Before that time, courts routinely dismissed premises liability cases on the grounds that the danger should have been obvious to the injured party. Now, injured victims can present their case to the jury to review the actions of all involved to blame and award a recovery.
Pursuing your claim
If you are injured on someone else’s property, a qualified attorney can help you file a recovery claim. It is important to work with an attorney to assess the type of duty the landlord should have exercised in your case. Your attorney can also help you assess your damages to properly assess your claim.
An experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help you prepare your case carefully, so the jury can better determine where to lay blame in your liability case. At each stage, the training and experience of your attorney can help you pursue your premises liability claim to the fullest extent of Nevada law.