For many, visiting a Las Vegas casino and enjoying a few drinks goes hand in hand, but as with all things, those drinks are best enjoyed in moderation. Unfortunately, in an environment that already encourages excess, patrons may be over-served by casinos hoping that lower inhibitions will lead to more gambling. And when that happens, patrons risk losing a lot more than just their money.
Under Nevada state law, casinos are allowed to offer low-cost or even free drinks to their patrons (although that choice is left up to the discretion of each individual casino). The American Gaming Industry claims that this should not be a problem, as they have “extensive policies and programs to protect the safety of customers and the community while still allowing adults to drink responsibly.” Unfortunately, patrons are sometimes still encouraged to drink more than they should or are not cut off by a bartender when they should be, putting them at a greater risk to be involved in several types of casino accidents.
Intoxication and Possible Casino Accidents
Because alcohol impairs both judgment and reflexes, someone who becomes intoxicated is more likely to experience an accident that they could have otherwise avoided. In a casino environment, those accidents might include:
Slipping and falling. Casinos have lots of potential slipping or tripping hazards, including spilled drinks, uneven carpets, and hard-to-see steps in dimly lit areas. These types of hazards, if not removed or clearly labeled by the casino staff, may not be spotted until too late by sober and intoxicated patrons alike. Intoxicated patrons are less likely to be able to recover their balance if they start to fall and may experience a serious injury as a result.
Getting into a car accident. The American Gaming Industry notes that it recognizes its responsibility to prevent drunk casino patrons from getting behind the wheel of the car, and that casino staff are trained to encourage patrons to take a cab or call a designated driver, but it’s clear that not every casino is catching every intoxicated driver who goes out their doors. When an intoxicated patron does drive and gets into an accident, the casino may be partially liable. In fact, one man in Pittsburgh is currently suing a casino over the drunk driving death of his son, who was continuously served vodka drinks even though he was “visibly intoxicated.”
Getting into a pedestrian accident. Walking is obviously a better choice than driving when you’re drunk, but it can still be dangerous—especially on the Vegas Strip. Intoxicated pedestrians, stunning but distracting lights, and out-of-town drivers can make for a deadly combination. A casino patron who was over-served could easily step off a curb or try to cross the street without the right of way, getting into an accident as a result.
The above are just a few examples of possible accidents that could result from being over-served in a Las Vegas casino. If you were injured after having drinks pushed on you at a casino, or if a loved one was injured or killed by a drunk driver leaving a casino, contact a Las Vegas casino accident attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation, and you should hold a negligent casino responsible in an effort to prevent future accidents from over-serving alcohol.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of The Law Office of Andrew Winston. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and was recently voted by his peers as a Florida “SuperLawyer”-an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state-and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”