Can I Sue for Personal Injury if I’m Visiting Las Vegas?   

Every year, the city of Las Vegas receives millions of tourists who come for its casinos, shows, hotels, shopping, entertainment and nightlife. Unfortunately, not all of these tourists return home unscathed. Some sustain injuries in accidents such as car accidents or slip and falls. Even if you are not a resident of Nevada, you could have the right to file a personal injury claim for injuries that you sustained while on vacation in Las Vegas.

Where Should You File Your Claim?

If you get injured in an accident as a tourist in Las Vegas, your case will proceed much like any other personal injury lawsuit. First, you should go to a local hospital for immediate medical care (don’t wait until you are back home). Before you leave the scene of the accident, try to gather evidence such as photographs, video footage and eyewitness statements. Then, once you are cleared by your doctor to travel, feel free to return home. You can process your Las Vegas injury claim while living out of state.

Most personal injury cases achieve settlements. If you only file an insurance claim, you can typically do this over the phone from anywhere in the country. You or your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer and the defendant’s insurance company will negotiate a settlement through phone conversations until an agreement is reached, without you having to travel out of your home state. If you need to file a personal injury lawsuit, however, being a tourist can come with more complications.

If you were injured while visiting Las Vegas and need to file a lawsuit, you will need to decide where to sue. Several municipalities may have jurisdiction over your case, including the county where your accident happened, the county where the defendant lives and your own county back home. You need to speak to an attorney to determine where to file, as one location may have benefits over another. Nevada may have more plaintiff-friendly laws pertaining to your case than your home state, for example.

Proving Negligence for an Accident in Las Vegas

Pursuing financial compensation for an injury that happens while on vacation in Las Vegas requires proof of negligence. Most personal injury cases are based on negligence, or the failure to use ordinary or reasonable care. If someone is negligent and this results in another person’s injury or harm, the negligent party can be held financially responsible. As the victim or plaintiff, it is up to you or your attorney to prove negligence. This requires evidence of four elements:

  1. Duty of care
  2. Breach of duty
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

A duty of care is a responsibility to act a certain way to prevent harm to others. A defendant’s duty of care depends on what a reasonable and prudent person would have done in similar circumstances. A breach of the duty of care is a failure or violation to use appropriate care. Causation means that the breach of duty is the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Finally, damages refer to compensable losses suffered by the victim because of the defendant’s negligence.

Do You Need to Hire an Attorney in Las Vegas?

Filing a personal injury claim as an injured tourist in Las Vegas may require assistance from an attorney. It is typically in your best interest to hire an attorney who is local to the place where your accident occurred (Las Vegas). This will give your lawyer in-depth knowledge of the city’s relevant laws and court systems to correctly navigate your case.

A lawyer who is local to Las Vegas can also more easily file the documents and paperwork required to initiate a claim, with access to the Clark County courts if your case needs to go to trial. For more information about filing an injury lawsuit in Las Vegas as an out-of-state resident, contact Koch & Brim, LLP to request a free case consultation.