It’s easy to get caught up in the festive atmosphere of the casinos here in Vegas. You’re surrounded by bright lights, whirring slot machines, and people celebrating their big winnings. You have the opportunity to see top comedy and musical acts, and the alcohol is often flowing pretty freely. Casinos are meant to be joyous, exciting places, but that doesn’t mean that they’re completely free of accidents and potential hazards.
Casino accidents happen all the time. Just this last month, a woman filed a lawsuit against Boomtown Belle Casino in Louisiana after she slipped and fell at the casino’s restaurant exit (she alleges that the casino failed to exercise reasonable care in keeping their floor clean and clear of slipping hazards). Around that same time, a court ordered Las Vegas’ own Bellagio Casino to pay comedian George Wallace $1.3 million for a trip and fall injury. Mr. Wallace was performing for a holiday corporate party at the Bellagio when he tripped on audio cables that should have been secured and suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.
So if you’re a guest at a casino, do you need to be worried about getting injured?
While you shouldn’t let the fear of injury ruin your experience, you should watch out for potential injury hazards—and contact a Las Vegas casino accident attorney as soon as possible if the worst happens.
Common Causes of Casino Accidents
Slipping or tripping hazards. As you’ve probably figured out from the two examples above, slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of casino accidents. Casinos are bustling places, where someone might spill a drink, turn up the corner of a rug, or even leave electrical cords in a walkway. However, just because it’s a busy environment doesn’t mean the casino management is free of responsibility. Owners have a duty of care to their guests, and if their failure to maintain a safe environment results in an injury, they can be liable for damages.
Bad lighting. If a light burns out and the casino fails to replace it, or if a walkway is poorly lit to begin with, casino patrons may fail to see things such as spilled beverages, uneven surfaces, and other dangerous property conditions that could lead to an injury. Again, it is the casino’s responsibility to make sure their property is well lit, and potential hazards are clearly marked.
Lack of maintenance. Whether it’s a broken chair at the bar, a loose handrail on the stairs, or even the static buildup of a faulty slot machine, a casino’s failure to maintain their equipment can lead to all kinds of injuries, including sprains, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and electrocution.
Food poisoning. Treating yourself to dinner at the casino’s restaurant can be one of the most fun parts of the Vegas experience, but for some unfortunate guests, the meal can quickly turn sour. Food can become unsafe to eat if it’s left out too long, stored in unsanitary conditions, or handled by employees who don’t adhere to cleanliness standards, and guests may unknowingly put their health at risk by consuming such dangerous food.
Negligent security. Since many casino patrons carry large amounts of cash, areas inside and directly outside the casino are common hangouts for pickpockets and muggers. If you’re attacked or robbed outside a casino, your assailant is obviously responsible for any injury and financial loss, but the casino may be liable for failing to provide adequate security on their premises. For example, if you were attacked in a casino’s parking garage, and the casino knew that other people had been attacked there and had failed to install security cameras, they may be considered partially to blame.
Shuttle buses. Some casinos provide shuttles to take guests between their hotel, the airport, and the casino, and these buses are by no means immune to traffic accidents and other mishaps. Whether the bus is involved in a collision or there’s an issue such as falling luggage or a spilled drink in the aisle, people can suffer injuries before they even arrive at the casino.
The best way to keep yourself and others safe at a casino is to be aware of your surroundings and to report any potential hazards as soon as you become aware of them. Remember, if you do suffer an injury, you owe it to yourself and other casino patrons to work with a skilled Las Vegas personal injury attorney and be compensated for your suffering. By taking the casino to task for their negligence, you can help make sure the same kind of accident doesn’t happen again.
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.”