When many people think of Las Vegas, their minds are quickly drawn to the glitz and glamour of the Strip casinos with their high rollers, decadent décor, elaborate shows, and indulgent buffets.
A casino experience can quickly turn sour, though, if you’re injured on the premises. The risks are plentiful inside casinos. There are throngs of tourists who may be so dazzled by their surroundings that they forget to watch where they are going or who may have let their inhibitions down due to alcohol. Beyond that, casinos often have well-worn facilities that may not be maintained with an eye to safety. With so many risks at play, no wonder personal injury accidents are common in Vegas casinos.
Can I file a lawsuit if I’m injured?
If you are injured in a casino, you may have legal recourse. Under premise liability laws, casinos are responsible for injuries that occur on their premises. Part of the job of casino owners and managers is to do all they can to reasonably protect patrons. This includes spotting and correcting potentially hazardous conditions in order to prevent injuries.
If a casino’s negligence contributes to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for medical and pharmaceutical bills, lost wages (if you are unable to return to work), loss of potential earning power (if your ability to work is compromised long term), pain and suffering, and more.
It may sound like a clear-cut concept that a casino should have to cover your injuries if their negligence contributed to them, but things can get dicey if the casino tries to deny blame.
For example, if you slip and fall due to a spilled drink, they may try to contend that the drink was newly spilled and that they did not have adequate time to mop it up. What then? Chances are, the casino’s insurance company is very skilled at making the casino officials look like the good guys and you look like the bad guy so that they can get out of paying for your injuries. After all, their top priority is their bottom line.
How do I make my case?
If you are injured in a casino, there are some important steps you can take to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. These include:
- Document the injury circumstances. Take photos of the scene. Make sure to focus on anything amiss that contributed to your injury (a spill, uneven flooring, an obstruction in a walkway, etc.) You should also record the events surrounding the accident. This ensures that you will not forget the details and that you have adequate documentation to support your claim.
- Get witnesses’ information. If there are other people who saw the accident (or the safety issues that contributed to it), ask them if they will record what they saw (either in writing with a signature or in an audio or video clip). Get their contact information so that you or your attorney can follow up.
- Contact an attorney. It’s never too early to contact a qualified accident injury attorney. They can help you gather the evidence that will be most compelling in advancing your claim. They can also negotiate with the casino’s management and insurance company and protect your interests if they try to use tactics that could disadvantage you. Make sure to find an attorney who specializes in personal injuries.
- Avoid making statements or signing anything. Be aware that casino officials could try to get you to say something that could hurt your claim down the line or to sign documents that would keep you from getting full compensation for your injuries. It’s best to let your attorney do the talking here.
- Seek medical treatment. There’s a time to tough it out—and this is not it. If you suspect that you are injured in any way, even if the symptoms are only minimal, see a doctor immediately. Certain spine and brain injuries that are common with slip and fall accidents don’t manifest symptoms for hours, days, or weeks after the injury. A doctor can help identify the scope of the injury, even if you aren’t feeling the effects yet, and make recommendations for future care.
- Keep copies of medical records. Make sure that you get the documentation from your doctor that could support your legal case. This includes the doctor’s medical notes and bills, prescriptions, pharmacy bills, etc.
- Document time off of work. If you are unable to return to work, get this in writing, too, tracking how many days of compensation were lost.
If you stay alert in casinos, drink responsibly, watch where you are going instead of allowing yourself to get distracted by the many diversions, and report any maintenance problems that you see, you should be able to have a safe and enjoyable time at Las Vegas casinos.
But even with precautions, accidents do happen. If you believe that the casino’s negligence contributed to your accident in any way, filing a personal injury claim can help you get the benefits that you deserve so that you aren’t stuck paying for problems that you didn’t cause. Follow the steps above as closely as possible, and contact a professional personal injury attorney to advance your claim.