Reno, NV Premises Liability Lawyer
Often referred to as “The Biggest Little City in the World,” our City of Reno, Nevada, is actually growing rapidly – by approximately 17 percent between 2010 and 2020. With this increase in population, however, comes an increase in injuries on public and private properties for residents and visitors alike.
More than simply an inconvenience, suffering a personal injury can have a large and lasting impact on your quality of life. This is especially true in the case of a serious condition.
You may be facing daunting medical bills and other financial strains. Your injuries may even affect your ability to work and provide for your family. If you suffered a personal injury on someone else’s property, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses with the help of an attorney.
At Richard Harris Law Firm, our compassionate lawyers have experience with personal injury cases, like premises liability. We have the resources necessary to build your case and fight for your legal rights. Our Reno legal team is available by phone or text 24/7 to have a conversation about your potential premises liability case and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today at (702) 213-9779 to learn more about your options for your premises liability case.
Responsibilities of a Property Owner
Depending on the circumstances, an owner or manager owes guests on his or her property a certain “duty of care.” This generally means that the property should be kept in a reasonably safe condition, free of any hazards. Or, if a certain hazard is unavoidable, a warning should be given.
Types of property guests to protect
There are three different types of guests, each owed a different “duty of care”: invitees, licencees, and trespassers.
Invitees are visitors who enter a property for the benefit of the property or business owner. For example, an invitee with business purposes might simply be a customer.
The property owner owes the invitees the highest duty of care among all three categories. This includes carefully inspecting the property to find and repair any potential dangers or hiring security personnel to protect customers.
Licensees are social visitors or visitors gaining mutual benefit. This might be a friend over for a meal or a contractor performing his or her services.
Property owners still owe licensees a duty of care but to a lesser extent than to an invitee. For example, property owners are not required to inspect their properties to the same degree as they must for invitees.
A trespasser is a person who enters the premises without permission. He or she is owed the least duty of care. In the case of adult trespassers, liability may rest on the property owner for injuries that he or she deliberately caused the trespasser. In the case of a child trespasser, the owner could be held responsible for the child’s injuries, depending on the circumstances.
A free consultation with one of the Reno premises liability lawyers at Richard Harris Law Firm can provide you with legal advice to help you understand the legal options available to you.
Codes to follow
In addition to protecting guests from potential hazards, property owners must ensure that his or her property conforms to state safety codes.
Nevada fire code
Business in Nevada must follow the 2018 International Fire Code standards, which include several requirements, including:
- Appropriate and immediate notification to the fire department
- Employee training and response procedures
- Fire-resistance-rated construction
- Annual inspections of fire-resistance-rated construction by owner
- Required fire protection systems
These measures have been put into place to keep both employees and customers safe. If you have been injured due to a fire incident in Reno, a consultation with one of our premises liability lawyers can help you determine whether you have a case.
Nevada building code
The 2018 International Building Code standards followed in Nevada offer detailed instructions for a number of public and private buildings, including:
- Covered and open mall buildings
- High-rise buildings
- Children’s play structures
- Jails and prisons
These building codes include measures to protect against natural disasters like earthquakes, as well as setting standards for electrical systems, elevators, roof construction, and other structural details. If a building isn’t constructed and maintained according to this code, it can put property guests at increased risk.
Nevada property maintenance code
The 2012 International Property Maintenance Code details the minimum safety and maintenance standards for all residential and non-residential structures in Reno. These requirements include details on light, ventilation, space, heating, sanitation, fire safety, and sanitary maintenance.
Some of the requirements include:
- There must be at least one light in every public hall, interior stairway, bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, boiler room, and furnace room
- Electrical hazards such as improper fusing, wiring or installation, and deterioration or damage should be eliminated
- A safe and unobstructed exit path must be available from any area of the building
- Required emergency escape openings must be able to be opened without the use of keys or tools
- All sidewalks, walkways, stairs, driveways, parking spaces, and similar areas should be in good repair and free from hazardous conditions
Your attorney can carefully examine your Reno premises liability case to determine whether the property owner, the manager, or a tenant should be held legally responsible for your injuries.
Potential Hazards in Reno Premises Liability Cases
When we enter a public or private building, one of the last things we think about is whether the building is safe. In fact, we rightly assume that the property owner, manager, or maintenance staff has worked to remove any potential hazards in the premises to prevent an injury.
At times, though, due to negligence, this is not the case. The attorneys at Richard Harris Law Firm have seen a number of potential hazards result in premises liability lawsuits.
A poorly maintained building or walkway is more likely to cause an accident. For example, a staircase with uneven steps poses a tripping hazard. If one or more of the steps are weak or broken, a person could fall or injure his or her foot when stepping in the wrong place.
Insufficient safety warnings
Anyone who owns property should make sure there are sufficient warnings in place so hazards can be avoided. When mopping floors, for example, a caution sign should be used to alert visitors of the potential slip and fall risk.
Insufficient safety features
Features such as railings and lighting units are installed on the premises to keep guests safe. If a necessary safety feature is missing or in disrepair, this increases the chances of a dangerous fall or another accident.
Snow and ice
While it doesn’t happen often, Reno sees approximately 20 days of precipitation during the winter months, which can see temperature lows of freezing or below. These weather conditions can lead to icy or slippery walkways and an increased risk of slip-and-fall accidents, especially when properties are not properly maintained.
An unrestrained or poorly trained animal can be another hazard on a property. Dog owners must know their dogs and any violent tendencies the dogs may have. They must also take care to properly restrain their animals when necessary to avoid dog attacks.
It could be a case of negligent security. If a security guard or bouncer failed to maintain a safe environment and you were hurt, he or she could be held liable for your injuries.
This is especially a valid hazard on properties with higher risk of assault, including:
- Apartment complexes
- Parking lots
- Parking garages
How a Premises Liability Attorney Can Establish Liability
In nearly every premises liability case, the victim goes up against a large insurance company with its own team of lawyers and professionals. The insurance company has one goal: devalue or dismiss your premises liability claim entirely. Anything to save money.
Insurance companies may try to cast doubt on your injuries or even make it seem like the accident was your fault. When personal injury victims are without legal representation, this makes for an uneven playing field. This is where the knowledge and experience of a premises liability attorney is critical.
When you work with the personal injury lawyers at Richard Harris Law Firm, your case benefits from our legal team’s decades of experience in premises liability law. Your lawyer will understand how premises liability cases work and know what needs to be done to strengthen your case.
This means conducting thorough research and an investigation, which could include:
- Witness testimony
- Security footage
- Employee interviews
- Cleaning and maintenance logs
- Medical reports on your injuries
- Expert testimony
When we take on your case, Richard Harris Law Firm as a whole is determined to fight against the insurance company for you and your family. Your attorney will be on your side and ready to do whatever it takes to strengthen your premises liability case and hold the liable party responsible.
Richard Harris Law Firm Can Help After Your Accident
When you or a loved one has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve justice. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer at Richard Harris Law Firm can help you receive the compensation you need.
You could have the following covered:
- Ambulatory care
- Surgical care
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Wrongful death
We want to hear your story and help you seek justice. You don’t need to handle a premises liability lawsuit or claim alone. This is one of our main practice areas, so we can give you the support you need.
For the past 40 years, the attorneys at Richard Harris Law firm have been passionately defending personal injury victims throughout Nevada. Let us help you and your family after your Reno, NV, accident. Call or text our legal time anytime at (702) 213-9779 for a free consultation.