Las Vegas Premises Liability Lawyers
Under premises liability law, property owners are expected to keep their property safe at all times for those who enter it. Premises liability law can be found in each state throughout the country, although some elements will vary from state to state. Over the past few years in Nevada, two changes have been made to premises liability law, causing some confusion for those that think they may have a viable injury claim. A Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can explain the law fully to injured parties and review their case to determine if they have grounds to file a lawsuit.
In Nevada there are four required elements a case must have in order to be considered eligible for a compensation claim to be made. These are:
- The plaintiff (injured party) had permission from the owner to be on the property
- A dangerous condition existed on the property
- The owner of the property caused, knew about, or should have known about the dangerous condition
- The plaintiff was injured because of the dangerous condition
One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that anytime they are injured on someone else’s property, the property owner is to blame. This however, is not true. In order for an injured party to have a valid claim, there must be a dangerous condition on the property and it must be the property owner’s fault.
For instance, if a customer in a store slipped on liquid left on the floor, they may have a premises liability claim because the store owner is responsible for keeping their property safe at all times for those entering onto it. By leaving a spill on the floor causing it to be slippery, they are neglecting to keep their property safe. Even if the owner isn’t in the store at the time, they can still be found negligible because they should have trained their staff to clean up spills immediately.
However, if that same customer were to simply lose their balance and fall on their own, they would not have a premises liability claim because there is no negligence on the part of the property owner.
Over the years, Nevada has made significant changes to state premises liability law.
The first change came at the end of 2012, in the case of Foster v. Costco Wholesale Corp. The case began in 2005, when Foster visited a Costco store in Henderson, Nevada. While in the store, Foster tripped over a pallet that had a very large box sitting on top of it. Foster sustained injuries from the fall and subsequently, hired a personal injury attorney to seek compensation for those injuries from Costco.
Initially, Foster wasn’t given compensation because the danger was large enough that Foster should have been aware of it. After appealing the decision, Foster won the case in court and in 2012, the law was changed. Today, Nevada law states that property owners must keep their property in a safe condition at all times, and that even known dangers will not relieve them of the duty of care they owe to visitors entering the property.
Three years later, Nevada changed their premises liability law once again, after Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 160. This bill eliminated nearly the entire duty of care a property owner owes to trespassers on the property.
Before this time, Nevada was different from nearly every other state in that Nevada property owners owed trespassers a certain duty of care, regardless of the fact that the trespasser was never invited, or ever allowed, onto the property in the first place. This law stood for 21 years in the state, but in May 2015, that was changed. Today, Nevada property owners owe no duty of care to trespassers, although they cannot try to actively or purposely harm trespassers while they are on their property.
Premises liability law can be complicated in even the most straightforward cases. However, with the recent changes Nevada has made to this area of law, it can be even more confusing for those that have been injured. If you’ve been injured while on someone else’s property, and you believe they were negligent or actively harmed you, call The Husband & Wife Law Team today at (702) 380-8000. We’re here to help and we’d love to talk to you about your Nevada slip and fall or premises injury case!
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer