Written by attorney Jonathan Craig Reed

If I Fall on Someone's Property Are they Liable for My Injuries?

The basic rule is that a property owner is only liable to you if you fall on their property if they are negligent which means that they did something careless to contribute to your injury.

In Nevada the property owner's insurance company or risk manager will refuse to pay your claim if: 1) They think they can persuade a jury that the property owner was not at fault, or 2) They think that if they deny the claim you will go away.

As a personal injury attorney I look for the following items to see if a potential client has a good case: 1) Is there a structural defect, hopefully a code violation, on the walking surface? For example many city or county building codes require that a ramp not be steeper than a 10:1 slope. (If the ramp rises 1 foot it must be at least 10 feet long.) Perhaps, a handrail is required by code but is missing? Another example of a structural defect could be a projection sticking up from the walking surface: perhaps, there used to be a sign in the concrete and it was sawed off, but not quite flush with the surface. Or maybe this happened at night and there was inadequate lighting. 2) If the potential client has fallen because of unexpected liquid there are two approaches. First, I want to know if I can credibly argue that the liquid was put on the floor by the person in charge of the premises. For example, in a grocery store, did the water accumulate from leaking refrigeration or spraying equipment. If it is a restaurant, can we credibly argue that a waiter dropped the fluid on the floor? Second, if the store owner did not cause the water to be there, was the water or liquid there long enough to have put a reasonably careful store or restaurant operator on notice that there was liquid that needed to be cleaned up. If the spilled liquid had been tracked around, or is dirty that helps the argument that it had been there a while.

Unfortunately, I get many calls from potential clients who think they have a case just because they fell on someone's property. Just falling on someone's property and getting hurt is not enought to have a winning case.

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