Between the slot machines, floor shows, free drinks, and interesting people, casinos are a fun place to spend your free time. They're playgrounds for adults. More than 40 million tourists visit Nevada casinos every year, and the state's tourism industry brings in more than $60 billion annually.
With all those people, some injuries and accidents are bound to occur. If you were injured in a casino, it's essential to know your rights and be aware of the compensation you may be owed. Here is a guide to premises liability laws in Nevada and how they apply in a casino.
What is Premises Liability?
Property owners have a responsibility to maintain the safety of their land, home, or business. A property owner may be liable for a visitor's injury if:
- The property owner knew about an unsafe condition but didn't fix it.
- The property owner didn't know about the unsafe condition, but there is a reasonable expectation that they should have known.
Common Casino Injuries and Accidents
These are among the most frequent injuries and accidents that occur in casinos:
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Food poisoning
- Broken furniture
- Sexual harassment and assault
These can be caused or exacerbated by negligence on the casino's part, such as:
- Hiring unqualified staff
- Slippery floors from spilled drinks
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Unsafe lighting
- Lack of security
When is a Casino Liable for my Injury?
If the casino knew, or reasonably should have known, about the conditions that caused your injury, they may be liable. For example, let's say you walked into a casino and sat down at a slot machine. Your chair broke underneath you, and when you fell to the ground, you fractured your tailbone.
In this case, the casino manager knew, or was expected to know, the importance of inspecting slot machine chairs to prevent injuries. Because the defect in the chair was not caught during an inspection, or not inspected at all, the casino breached its legal duty to maintain a safe environment. This may make the casino liable.
On the other hand, let's say the casino did inspect the chair, noticed the defect, and marked it as "out of order." You ignored the sign and sat on the chair anyway. It broke, and you broke your wrist trying to stop your fall.
Here, you may be liable for all or part of your injury. Under Nevada's modified comparative negligence statute, you can't recover compensation if you're more than 50 percent responsible. If a jury finds that you bear 70 percent of the liability for ignoring the "out of order sign," you won't be able to recover anything. If, however, it only finds you 40 percent liable, then your damages would be reduced by that amount.
Premises Liability in Tribal Casinos
While the most famous casinos in Nevada are in Las Vegas, the state has several casinos on Native American tribal land. Tribal lands are sovereign, meaning they are self-governing. They are technically not part of the United States and are therefore not subject to state or federal laws.
So, if you're injured in a tribal casino, you will likely be unable to sue them even if they were liable for your injury. Tribal land is immune from lawsuits filed in state courts. If you're injured in a tribal casino, then, it's critical to contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. They will help you navigate that convoluted scenario.
Schedule Your Reno Premises Liability Consultation Today
Attorney Raymond E. Areshenko is one of Nevada's and California's premier personal injury and premises liability lawyers. When you hire him, he will personally handle all aspects of your claim.
Start building your case by calling 775-353-6611 for a complimentary case review with REA Law. We serve clients in and around Reno - Sparks and throughout Nevada. REA Law also has offices in Sacramento servicing the greater Northern California area. For cases in California, call 916-800-6090.