If you were hurt after slipping and falling on another’s improperly maintained property, you may have a legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek monetary compensation for harm suffered. It is important for you to understand the stages of these types of accidents if you have been involved in one in Las Vegas or the greater Nevada area.
What to Expect
First, there is the investigation. Before a lawsuit can start, an investigation into the accident must be conducted to determine whether or not there is a viable case. Slip and falls are premise liability cases, which hold property owners and operators liable for injuries that occur on their premises. An investigation will determine:
- Who was in control of the premises at the time of the accident;
- Whether the injured victim was given permission to enter or use the property;
- Whether a dangerous condition existed on the premises;
- Whether the owner or manager of the property knew, or should have known, of the dangerous condition;
- Whether the victim’s injury or other damages was caused by the dangerous condition.
Second, an insurance claim is filed. Typically, when a slip and fall accident happens, the claim is filed against the property owner’s liability insurance company. The insurance company will then send an adjuster to investigate the accident and negotiate a settlement based on the findings.
Third, if the parties are unable to reach an agreeable settlement, then a complaint is filed seeking monetary compensation in the appropriate court to initiate the lawsuit. This lawsuit is filed against the property owner and/or the owner’s insurance carrier. A complaint is a legal document, referred to as a pleading, that notifies the at-fault party, named as a defendant, that a lawsuit has been filed. In Nevada, and most jurisdictions across the country, a complaint must include:
- The parties involved;
- A description of how the accident happened;
- Who is allegedly at fault for the accident;
- The amount of damages sought.
Once the lawsuit is filed the defendant has 20 days to respond. Sometimes the case is settled right away. When it is not, the case proceeds.
Fourth comes the discovery phase of the lawsuit. Once the parties are proceeding with the litigation, they will enter the discovery process during which each side discloses information they have related to the case. The manner in which this information is sought by the parties includes through interrogatories, depositions, requests for production, and request for admission.
Fifth, after the close of discovery the parties will continue to try to settle the claim. This may happen through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as arbitration or mediation.
Finally, if ADR does not work then the case goes to trial before a judge and/or jury. They will hear both sides of the case as well as all evidence put forth by the parties and make a decision as to whether or not compensation should be awarded.
Contact a Skilled Attorney
Slip and fall accidents are common and can result in disabling injuries. The attorneys at H&P Law have decades of experience fighting for the rights of the injured in Las Vegas and across greater Nevada. Contact us to see how we can help you.