Premises Liability Law Firm In Las Vegas NV
In Nevada, premises liability is defined as the liability that a landowner or occupier has for torts (a civil wrong that causes a claimant to suffer injury or loss) that occur on their property. Property owners, managers, and occupiers have a legal duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for those who are lawfully on their property. The services a premises liability lawyer Las Vegas NV locals trust to represent them may be needed if you have been injured due to a property owner’s negligence.
Accidents in Retail Stores
When entering a retail store, there could be many obstacles in the way of which could be a hazard. Because of this, there are laws that require owners and managers to understand and implement a strict duty of care to customers. This includes taking care of any hazards or warning customers about the potential dangers in the way. In the event these duties are ignored, and a person is injured, damages may be available.
At the Law Office of Egret Adams, we have handled a large number of premise liability cases on behalf of victims and their family members. If you have been injured in a premise liability accident, please call The Law Office of Egret Adams as soon as possible. As a premise liability lawyer in Las Vegas, NV, we can help you to recover damages for medical care, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, and more.
Examples of Premise Liability Accidents in Retail Stores
Broken or Missing Handrails – Nearly every municipality, and insurance company, will require properties to have a handrail in place on ramps, stairs, or other locations. Some owners will fail to comply with these rules and either fail to install the handrail or replace broken ones on site. When a person falls because of a broken or missing handrail, the owner could be liable.
Poor Lighting – Hallways, walkways, stairwells, and parking lots must be lit up so customers can see where they are walking. When there is a lack of lighting, or burned-out bulbs have not been replaced, visitors can be at risk for falling, as well as prone to an attack from another person (i.e. negligent security).
Slippery Surfaces – It is prudent that any spills onto a floor or surface area are cleaned up as soon as they are noticed. When spills are ignored, they can cause anyone passing by to slip and fall. In addition to spilled liquids, non-slip surfaces should be placed at entry/exit ways, on stairs, and in foyer areas. It is also the owner’s responsibility to clear the parking lot or sidewalks of ice and snow. Whenever these things are ignored, or not taken seriously, and someone is injured, a premise liability lawyer in Las Vegas, NV should be consulted.
Tripping – Although slip and falls are one of the most common types of premise liability accidents, trips and falls are also very frequent. Rugs, carpets, uneven flooring, electric cords, or display items can be a hazard.
Proving a Premise Liability Claim
Premises liability claims can come forth when someone is injured as a result of unsafe or defective conditions present on someone’s property. To bring about a successful premises liability claim in the state of Nevada, a plaintiff will need to prove five things:
- The defendant is the owner or has control of the land or property;
- The plaintiff is permitted to be on the premises;
- A dangerous condition exists or existed on the premises;
- The defendant knew of, caused, or should have been aware of the dangerous condition present; and
- The dangerous condition caused the plaintiff to suffer injury or other damages.
Premises Liability Case Types
Many torts fall under the designation of premises liability, some examples are:
- Inadequate or negligent security
- Slip and falls
- Leaks or flooding
- Animal bites
- Swimming pool injuries
- Elevator or escalator accidents
Types of Visitors
If you were permitted to be on the premises, the landowner or occupier owes you a reasonable duty of care, meaning that they are required to act toward others and the public with he watchfulness, attention, caution, and prudence.
Depending on the state, property owners may be required to exercise a reasonable duty of care for all persons who visit their property, but some other states apply a rule that limits the property owner’s duty of care depending on the status of the visitor. In states that limit the property owners duty of care, the types of visitors are:
- Licensees: those that have permission from the property owner to be on the premises, but is there for their own purpose. For example, a dinner guest or neighbor coming by. Property owners receive no financial gain from licensees. Licensees are owed a limited duty of care, meaning to warn licensees about existing dangers.
- Invitees: guests that are welcomed to the private or public property for the financial benefit of the property owner. For example, patrons of a business, people hired to do work on a property and delivery persons. Invitees are owed the highest duty of care, meaning that owners are obligated to identify and eliminate dangerous conditions and to warn about existing hazards.
- Trespassers: those who enter a property without the property owner or occupiers’ permission. They are owed the lowest duty of care. The only way a property owner or occupier can be held liable for trespasser injury is if the owner or occupier intentionally harms the trespasser or if the property owner or occupier is aware of a trespasser’s presence and a possible danger and refuses to act.
In Nevada courts, premises liability is determined based on whether the property owner or occupier acted reasonably under the circumstances. While a visitor’s designation is no longer as important, it is important to know what type of visitor was injured on the property in order to be able to determine the property owner’s reasonable duty of care to that individual.
Accident Cases – The Burden of Persuasion
As a premises liability lawyer Las Vegas, NV clients recommend can explain, in a premises liability case, a court must weigh some sort of evidence before finding a property owner liable for harm. If there is no evidence, there can be no liability. In a premises liability case, the burden of producing evidence is on the victim. If this burden is not satisfied there will be no recovery. Less well known, however, is the more complex matter: the burden of persuasion.
A Preponderance of the Evidence – Burden of Production
In accordance with the due process protections of the United States Constitution, defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise. In order to prove that a defendant is responsible for causing injury in a premises liability lawsuit, the victim must introduce evidence that shows the property committed each required element of the “tort” (civil wrong).
The factfinder – i.e. the jury – then determines whether they believe the property owner is liable by a “preponderance of the evidence.” The best way to view these standards is akin to “more likely than not.” This is far less exacting than the criminal law standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In a civil case, the jury can still have some doubts, but, if taken together, they believe it is more likely that the defendant was negligent, then they can return a verdict for the victim.
The Burden of Persuasion vs. The Burden of Production
In addition to the burden of producing evidence – the obligation to introduce evidence sufficient to prove each element of the crime charged – the victim also has the burden of persuasion.
At first glance, it may seem odd that the burden of production and the burden of persuasion are not one and the same. If a victim – through his or her Las Vegas, NV premises liability lawyer satisfies the burden of production by introducing evidence sufficient to establish each element of the negligence, why has the victim not, then, satisfied the burden of persuasion? The difference between these two burdens rests on the different roles of the judge and jury. The burden of production is satisfied when the trial judge determines that the evidence (in theory) is sufficient to prove that the property owner is liable, while the burden of persuasion is satisfied only when the evidence (in actuality) is sufficient to convince the jury.
The reason for the difference lies in the fact that the jury is permitted to weigh the evidence differently than the judge. For example, the jury may gauge whether or not they find a particular witness credible. Thus, a victim may satisfy the burden of production without satisfying the burden of persuasion.
If the Burden Is Not Satisfied
It is thus the burden of the victim to persuade the jury that the property owner is liable, based on the evidence introduced at trial. It is the jury that ultimately decides, through the deliberation process, whether or not the victim has satisfied this burden. If the jury is not persuaded by the evidence, then they will return a verdict for the property owner.
The distinction between burden of production and burden of persuasion is one reason why it is critical to seek out a premises liability lawyer in Las Vegas, NV who has experience in these specific cases. You need an attorney who has the persuasive skills and understanding of trial practice to best convince a jury of the merits of your argument.
Eglet Adams: Premises Liability Lawyers
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a hazard on someone else’s property, turn to a firm that is one of the most successful and well-respected personal injury law firms in the state of Nevada. At Eglet Adams, we are equipped to take your premises liability case all the way to trial. The attorneys at Eglet Adams have plenty of experience with premises liability cases and can help you receive maximum damages for your injuries, medical care, lost wages, and other costs.
If you have been injured in a premise liability accident, please call a Las Vegas, NV premise liability lawyer from The Law Office of Egret Adams. We would be happy to talk with you about legal recourse, as well as some things you should not do while you take action against the negligent party. Let us answer your questions and address your concerns.