If you’re in the mood for casino fun in Florida, you have a choice of over 80 gambling houses. Miami, home to about one-quarter of the casinos, is the state’s biggest casino city.
Regardless of which casino you choose to visit, you’re sure to find an exciting destination filled with colorful sights and sounds – and lots of action.
Hopefully, you’ll leave the casino with more money than you had when you arrived. Most people find that their bank account differs when they leave… one way or another.
One thing that doesn’t change for the majority of visitors is their health. However, there are guests who suffer injuries.
Sometimes, this is due to the individual’s actions. Other times, though, it occurs because a casino fails in its duty to keep its premises reasonably safe.
Read on to learn more about common injuries at casinos and what you can do.
Negligent or Inadequate Security Injuries
It probably comes as no surprise that thieves often target casino guests. After all, there’s a decent chance that they will be carrying large amounts of cash.
Because of this known risk, casinos have a duty to provide adequate security measures that thwart assaults and robberies. If you suffer an injury because of negligent or inadequate security, you can file a lawsuit to hold the casino owner liable for your injury.
Foreseeability is a focal issue in these cases. What does that mean? If the police have investigated six robberies in a casino parking lot in one month, the casino should be able to “foresee” that more robberies are likely to occur there if security is not upgraded.
In order to win your claim, your attorney must show that the casino did not exercise reasonable care to find similar criminal activities that previously occurred or failed to provide adequate warnings so guests would not suffer injury.
Specifically, to prove negligent or inadequate security, you need to show that:
- you were lawfully present on casino property;
- the casino breached its duty to offer reasonable security;
- you were hurt due to a third party’s acts, and those acts should have been reasonably foreseeable by the casino;
- you would not have suffered injury except for the casino’s breached duty; and
- you suffered actual damages.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents can occur on a casino shuttle bus if luggage or other items are left in the aisle or if steps are not clearly marked. Likewise, passengers can suffer injuries if the shuttle bus is in an accident.
What about falls in the casino itself? The owner of the establishment can potentially be held liable if:
- chairs, especially heavily used slot machine chairs, break because they haven’t been repaired or replaced;
- food and drinks are spilled and not immediately cleaned up;
- floors are cracked and worn;
- bathroom floors are wet; or
- lighting is inadequate.
If you suffer this type of injury, understand that the casino will likely attempt to cast blame for the slip and fall on you rather than accept blame. For example, the casino may claim that the accident happened while you were texting on your phone and therefore not paying attention to your surroundings.
To win a slip and fall case, you must prove one of the following:
- The casino failed to recognize a dangerous condition and repair it, and therefore, is responsible for the unsafe condition that led to the accident.
- An employee caused the dangerous condition that led to the accident, and it was reasonably foreseeable that a patron or other employee would have an accident because of the condition.
One additional thing to keep in mind? Casinos are well-known to overserve alcohol to their guests in an attempt to keep them playing games and spending money. If you have an accident because a casino overserved you, this can be used as evidence against them as well and potentially counteract certain arguments they might attempt to use to blame you for your injuries.
Casinos can be liable for burn injuries that occur for reasons such as patrons’ cigarette smoking, faulty electrical cords, and irons in hotel rooms that can cause fires. Proving that a casino is responsible for a burn injury is similar to proving it is responsible for any other type of accident.
Burn injury lawsuits generally focus on two areas:
- Premises liability. The casino must keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.
- The casino’s wrongful actions or inaction caused harm to a patron.
Food Poisoning Injuries
Casinos usually serve food in restaurants, including popular buffet and fast food options. Room service is often available as well.
Guests can become very ill from food poisoning when:
- food is not prepared properly;
- food is left out too long; or
- the staff has dirty hands.
To win a food poisoning personal injury case, you must prove that the restaurant is to blame for your illness. Even if you have leftovers of the tainted food, the restaurant can claim that you caused the contamination by not refrigerating the food. A case of this type is most often successful if others also suffered injury.
Always consider the seriousness of your injury before deciding to pursue a legal case, regardless of the type of injury you suffer. Proving liability in a personal injury case is complex, and all factors involved in your case need to be taken into account.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.