Premises Liability and Determining Fault For Injuries

Premises Liability states that a property or premises owner or manager is responsible for any injuries that occur on that property due to a dangerous condition of that property. This means that if a hardware store leaves a puddle of oil on their concrete floor with no sign and a person slips and breaks his hip, the hardware store may be liable for any and all costs associated with that slip & fall injury. If you or someone you know has been injured while on someone else’s premises, call a Las Vegas premises liability attorney immediately to learn what legal actions you can take.

Most people typically think of slip and fall accidents, like the example given above, when they think of premises liability. This area of law is actually much more broad. The state of Nevada permits individuals who have been injured on private land, not only commercial property, to seek compensation.

Property owners have what is called a duty of care to keep their property relatively safe for others to enter. This law stands on the idea that people shouldn’t have to worry that they may break a bone or incur a head injury every time they enter a new property.

Different Standards for Different Uses


Different properties come with different sets of requirements for the owner, depending on the use people have for that property. Though individuals have some duty of care for people that enter their property, it is much lower than a business that invites people onto the property to purchase goods and services. Because every situation is different, it’s best to consult with an experienced Las Vegas injury attorney as it pertains to your case specifically.

When a property owner invites others onto the property for business purposes, the property owner must take special care to inspect the premises and actively seek and address any dangers promptly. This is because there is a mutually beneficial relationship at work. This can range from keeping guard dogs in a safe place from non-trespassers, to making sure the property security systems are working adequately. If a loved one was attacked by a guard dog when entering a property legally, speak with a qualified dog bite attorney in Las Vegas today.

Mutual Benefit

When the individual entering the property does so for the benefit of both him or herself as well as the property owner, the property owner has a significant duty of care to prevent injury to their guest. This applies to businesses, as the customer enters the property for the property owner’s benefit, but also to more casual situations such as when a guest enters another person’s home at their request.

When a guest enters the property of another individual for a mutual benefit, such as for a dinner party, the property owner must repair any hazards and warn the guest of any dangers that could not be remedied before their arrival. Unlike businesses, the owner of a property doesn’t have to actively seek out dangers to resolve when a guest is invited over.


The lowest amount of duty of care is for property owners to their trespassers. It may seem strange that a property owner has any duty of care for someone that is entering their property unannounced, but there is some requirement for the property not to be an Indiana Jones-type booby trap of dangers! The exact duty of care for a property owner to his or her trespasser depends on the details of the case and is worked out by a jury. These types of cases can get tricky so it’s always best to seek expert advice from a skilled attorney.

A notable exception is for child trespassers. The law gives more leniency to children who trespass on another person’s property. If a property owner has something on his or her property that a child may want to play with, that property owner has a greater duty of care for any child trespassers. This concept is called the attractive nuisance rule. If a property owner has a dangerous item or condition that may attract a child, the property owner should not leave it unsecured and available for any child trespasser.

Who is At Fault?

It is sometimes quite difficult to prove who is at fault for an injury that occurs on a property. Having a skilled attorney by your side is the best thing you can do to determine fault. If an owner has taken steps to remedy the problem, such as a drainage grate meant to limit the amount of water and slipperiness on the floor, the property owner may not be considered liable for injuries that occur when slipping in that area. Other steps that can be taken is annual premises inspections, such as WDO inspections.

Property owners also will not always be responsible for injuries that a reasonable person would have avoided or that would normally be on the property. The state of Nevada has expanded rights to property visitors on this point so that a property owner is required to warn visitors of a danger even if it is open and obvious. This can be accomplished with a simple sign or some hazard tape. Determining if the property owner could have done something different, and within reason, to prevent the injury is vital in establishing liability.

Seek Legal Advice

Premises law is very complicated. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, even if it was private property, you should seek advice from an experienced attorney to understand your options and the likely outcomes.

Speak to an Attorney

With over 15 years of experience, Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers knows personal injury law like the back of your hand. We put our clients’ needs first to ensure maximum results are obtained. Whether you’ve been injured on someone else’s property or suffered injury in a different capacity, make sure to call us at (702) 384-1414  or contact us online.

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