Understanding Premises Liability in Las Vegas: A Beginner’s Guide

Understanding Premises Liability in Las Vegas: A Beginner’s Guide

They say, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” But if you got injured in a Las Vegas home or business, you must consult a lawyer and bring a negligence lawsuit based on premises liability. This legal doctrine mandates that owners and property managers must keep their property in a reasonably safe condition and warn others of the potential hazards on the property if they are not obvious.

Premises liability law usually holds the property owner legally liable for the injuries that occur. However, that’s an oversimplification of the law. You need a premises liability lawyer if you want to get compensation for the injury that occurred on a Las Vegas property. But first, you need to understand a few crucial aspects of premises liability in Nevada.

The Fundamentals of Premises Liability in Las Vegas

Let us have a look at the basic principles of premises liability in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • A property owner needs to keep their property safe for entrants.

  • However, the property owner is not an insurer for all accidents that happen on their property.

  • Reasonable conduct depends on the status of the visitor - guest, invitee, or trespasser.

  • The state law does not apply the “open and obvious” theory to negate the liabilities of the property owner. The owner still needs to act reasonably to protect entrants.

  • In order to apply the legal liability, the victim needs to prove that the property owner acted negligently.

  • The victim may collect compensatory damages. This may include reimbursement for the pain and suffering as well as financial losses. Punitive damages may be ideal for egregious conduct.

Proving Premises Liability

If you have sustained injuries or losses on someone’s property in Las Vegas, Nevada, you may get to bring a negligence lawsuit against the property owner, tenant, or occupant under the “premises liability” theory. If the case proceeds to trial, you (the plaintiff) need to prove the following points as per the premises liability law in Nevada:

  • The occurrence of an accident on the premises.

  • The defendant is the owner of the premises or is in control of the premises where the accident occurred.

  • The victim was present on the premises at the content of the defendant.

  • The existence of a dangerous condition on the premises.

  • The defendant had or should have had the knowledge of the hazardous condition.

  • The hazardous conditions on the property caused the accident.

  • The accident caused injuries and damages to the victim.

These aforementioned elements will help the plaintiff (or victim) prove the defendant’s breach of duty caused the injury.

How Property Owners Should Handle Dangerous Conditions?

Property owners and tenants are liable for injuries on their premises only when they are aware or should have known about the dangerous condition that allegedly caused injury to the plaintiff. If the hazardous condition is “open and obvious,” the property owner or tenant should be aware of it. If the signs of hazards are clear and the property owner or tenant chooses to ignore them, they could still be held liable for injuries or losses on the premises.

If you own a property or are in control of the property as a tenant, you need to notify others of the dangerous conditions on the property. Here are several ways you can prevent any “foreseeable” injuries from the hazard:

  • Notify others

  • Post warning signs

  • Cordon off the hazardous area

  • Fix the hazard

While determining the defendant's (the property owner or the tenant) duty to warn, courts generally look at what a reasonable person would do in such situations. As a landowner (or tenant), you need to warn others of the following things:

  • The location of the hazard

  • The nature of the hazard

  • The frequency of visitors

It is important to note that property owners or tenants are not liable for injuries on their property if they are caused solely by weather or environmental conditions beyond their control. However, they could still be liable if they were aware of the nature-made hazards and chose to ignore the hazards or worsen them.

What Happens if the Victim Was a Trespasser?

In the majority of cases, landowners and tenants are not liable to these intruders for any injuries they suffer while trespassing on their land. However, property owners and occupiers may be liable for the injuries to trespassers under the following circumstances:

  • The owner or the tenant deliberately hurt the trespasser

  • The owner or tenant was aware of the presence of a trespasser on the property, facing danger

  • The trespasser was a child and faced danger from an artificial condition on the premises

Defenses Used in Premises Liability Lawsuits

In premises liability lawsuits, defendants are usually insured property owners. Essentially, the insurance companies act as the defendants. They generally hire top law firms with the goal of paying out as little as possible. Here are some of the common defenses used while fighting negligence claims in premises liability cases:

  • The hazard was open and obvious

  • The victim failed to exercise due care

  • The injury was caused by an intervention

  • The defendant was relieved of liability by an exculpatory clause

  • Pre-existing conditions caused the injuries

  • The victim assumed the risk

Get Legal Support to Tackle These Issues

Whether you are the defendant or the victim, it is important to consult a legal expert in Las Vegas when you are involved in a premises liability case. They can represent your case in a court of law and help you get favorable results based on the facts and evidence.

Understanding Premises Liability in Las Vegas: A Beginner’s Guide
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