Slip and fall accidents are common in the United States, and Nevada is no exception to this trend. While many people do not necessarily think about the dangers of a slip-and-fall accident until it happens to them or a loved one, the injuries can be quite serious and may have long-term effects. Likewise, many Americans do not realize how expensive a slip and fall accident can be for an injured victim.
When you suffer injuries from a Nevada slip-and-fall accident, the property owner, manager, or company will likely carry homeowners or business insurance for protection. The burden of proof falls on the injured party to establish negligence on the part of the defendant, and insurance companies will do their best to try to pay the least amount of money on a claim or not pay at all. The insurance company defends the claim, its insurance defense attorney will apply many different strategies to avoid liability for his or her client. Below are the most common defenses to slip and fall cases:
- The hazard was open and obvious;
- There was sufficient warning about the hazard;
- Plaintiff’s injuries were the result of a pre-existing condition;
- An intervening cause was responsible for the harm suffered; and
- The plaintiff failed to exercise due care, causing the fall.
Even if an injured victim signed a liability waiver prior to the accident and injury, he or she may still be able to recover monetary compensation. This is because not all liability waivers are enforceable under Nevada law. Similarly, others are limited to narrow circumstances and may not be applicable to the plaintiff’s particular injuries.
The word “damages” is a legal term that refers to the monetary compensation a defendant owes an accident victim for causing injuries. In a standard Nevada slip-and-fall lawsuit, the injured party, known as the plaintiff, sues for compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are meant to make the victim “whole” again. This monetary compensation typically covers the following:
- Medical bills: Including those from hospital stays, outpatient visits, emergency room or urgent care, rehabilitation, medications, and home healthcare;
- Past wages: Any income that the victim was unable to earn while injured is payable and includes tips and bonuses in addition to salaried payments;
- Future income: Any income the injured party will not be able to earn as a result of the injuries are also payable, and include salaried payments as well as tips and bonuses;
- Pain and suffering: While complicated to value, the purpose of these damages is to compensate the victim for his or her physical and emotional distress resulting from the injuries suffered.
In addition to compensatory damages, a victim may be awarded punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior was so malicious, egregious, or reckless. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the bad behavior of a defendant, and to put others on notice that this type of behavior will not be tolerated by the courts. Notably, punitive damages can be much higher than compensatory damages.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a Nevada slip-and-fall accident, contact the skilled attorneys at H&P Law today. With offices located in Las Vegas and Henderson, we can help fight for the compensation you deserve.