Premises Liability in Nevada (slip/trip-and-fall or other accident)

There is a common misconception that when someone is injured on commercial property or any property owned by another, the owner is automatically legally liable for that injury.  This is not always true in Nevada.  When someone is injured on the property of another, the injured person still must prove that the owner was somehow negligent in causing the injury.

In premises liability cases, Nevada law provides that a property owner is not an insurer of the safety of a person on the premises, and in the absence of negligence, no liability lies.  An accident occurring on the premises, in and of itself, is not enough to establish negligence.  Generally speaking, a property owner owes his or her guests a duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition.  Liability will lie only if the owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and failed to remedy it.

For example, if someone slips or trips and falls in a grocery store or its parking lot and is injured, the business is not automatically liable for the injury.  The injured person must prove the business knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and failed to correct it within a reason period of time.

We recently defended an owner of commercial property where a hydraulic door closer/dampener had worked itself loose over time, unbeknownst to the owner and everyone else.  The dampener had a cover that hid the hardware mounting it to the door.  A patron opened the door and the dampener swung down and hit the patron in the head.  The patron alleged that she suffered a traumatic brain injury.  Based on the above principles, this was not a case of automatic liability on the part of the property owner.  Proving the owner knew or should have known of a dangerous condition is a significant burden in these types of cases.

If you have questions about premises liability issues, the experiences attorneys at Lemons, Grundy & Eisenberg can help.