How to File a Claim Against a Hotel or Casino

There are numerous types of accidents that can cause serious injuries, or even wrongful death, on hotel and casino properties in Las Vegas. If the property owner or manager’s negligence is responsible for your harm or a loved one’s fatal injuries, you may have the legal right to recover compensation. Here is how to file your claim.

How to File a Claim Against a Hotel or Casino

Step 1: Report the Accident

Immediately after you are injured, report the accident to the hotel or casino manager or owner unless you must be transported to the hospital. Filing an incident report can drastically strengthen your claim for compensation, even if it is completed after you are treated. If you can stay at the scene, be sure to take photos and/or videos of the dangerous condition, the surrounding area, and your injuries. Ask any witnesses for their contact information and if they would be willing to make a brief recorded statement on your phone.

Step 2: Hire a Premises Liability Lawyer

The hotel or casino’s insurance company may try to reach out to you in hopes of quickly settling your case for the lowest possible amount. Their offer will often be much less than your claim’s value. An experienced Las Vegas casino accident lawyer will likely advise you that it is in your best interests to wait on settling until you recover. An experienced lawyer will also ensure your rights are protected and that you recover the amount of compensation you deserve and will need to cover future costs.

Step 3: Investigate and Gather Evidence

Once your injury lawyer has a clear understanding of the events that occurred, they will advise you of your legal options and begin building a case on your behalf. To compile as much evidence as possible, that may involve obtaining copies of the incident report, any police reports, your medical records, securing video footage of the accident, reviewing any photos you took from the scene of the accident, interviewing witnesses, examining the accident scene in person, and more.

Step 3: Settlement Negotiations

Once your Las Vegas personal injury attorney has built a solid case, they will draft a demand letter detailing the events that lead to your accident, the evidence they have gathered, and the figure you are requesting to resolve the claim. This letter will be sent to the casino or hotel’s insurer, which often prompts negotiations. These cases often settle before reaching trial. However, that doesn’t mean your attorney will back down and settle for less than your case’s value.

Step 4: Filing a Lawsuit

If you cannot reach a fair agreement with the insurer, you and your attorney may choose to file a premises liability lawsuit. In Nevada, victims have two years from the date of the injury to pursue legal action. First, you will file a complaint, and the defendant (at-fault party) will file an answer. Then several steps are involved before trial:

  • Discovery: This phase is complex and lengthy. Each party will collect and request evidence from the other side. Depositions (testimony given under oath) will also be taken of the plaintiff, defendant, witnesses, and experts involved in the case.
  • Pretrial Motions & Hearings: Both sides will have the opportunity to file pretrial motions before the judge to set the rules for trial. For instance, which evidence will be allowed, whether the case will be dismissed, etc.

Step 5: Mediation

The court will likely request the parties to attempt a mediated settlement before trial. A “mediator” is trained in negotiations and will bring the opposing parties together and try to help them resolve the case.

Step 6: Trial

If mediation doesn’t work, you will proceed to trial. Each side will have a chance to present their argument and evidence then a judge or jury will decide the case. If the defendant is found legally liable, the court will award you damages. However, the defense may appeal the verdict, which can delay your payment. Whether you ultimately recover compensation will depend upon the outcome of the appeal. If the trial verdict is upheld, your award will be sent to your lawyer to distribute.