Americans spend an ample amount of time in casinos every year. In fact, the state of New Jersey alone is home to around 23 operational casinos. Many of these casinos are situated in Atlantic City and are typically large facilities that host millions of visitors annually.
Many Americans suffer injuries in these casinos every year due to a variety of reasons. If you have been injured in a casino recently, here’s what you can do to seek compensation.
Types of injuries that occur at casinos
People get injured at casinos due to all sorts of reasons. These facilities try to maintain their floors and equipment regularly, but injuries are still bound to happen. Some common casino injuries include:
Slips and falls
Casinos often feature cramped layouts that are difficult to navigate when the facility is crowded. Patrons sometimes fail to notice carpeted steps on the casino floor and suffer from falls.
Atlantic City casinos are also known to serve patrons free drinks when they are gambling. For this reason, it isn’t uncommon for patrons to get a bit too liquored up and trip over objects. Such falls may seem like minor issues for most patrons; however, these falls could be disastrous for older visitors with brittle bones.
Casino visitors expect to sit on chairs or other furniture when they are gambling. These furniture pieces see heavy use throughout the year and are expected to accommodate guests of all sizes and weights. However, the drawback of this inclusiveness is that this furniture often suffers a lot of wear and tear over time.
Even the most careful of casino patrons could end up being injured when the chair they are sitting on collapses or loses a leg. To make matters worse, these patrons may end up up falling on other patrons sitting adjacent to them and end up injuring them too.
Faulty furniture can also be hard to spot. A person using a slot machine may find their chair to be sturdy when they initially sit down. However, this chair may start to wobble or become unstable after a few hours of use. This usually results in some degree of injury depending on the person’s size and weight.
Parking lot accidents
A sizable number of casino-related injuries occur in casino parking lots. Casino patrons sometimes suffer slips and falls when they are walking to the casino or back to their cars through the parking lot.
These parking lots may be wet after rainfall due to improper drainage systems, or they may be icy during the winter time due to poor deicing practices. In some cases casino visitors injure themselves after stepping in potholes that the casino neglected to fill in.
Outdoor slip and fall injuries should always be taken seriously as landing on these hard asphalt surfaces could result in severe injuries that can leave you disabled for life. Casinos are responsible for maintaining the condition of their parking lots to ensure that visitors do not get injured.
Shuttle bus accidents
Some casinos could be held liable for injuries that occur outside their facility. For example, many casinos offer shuttle bus services that pick up casino goers from hotels and take them to the facility.
Any form of road travel can be dangerous, so these shuttle buses may get into accidents that end up injuring passengers. Injuries from these accidents could be as minor as a bruise, or they may result in severe injuries such as concussions or even paralysis.
Being assaulted by other casino patrons
Another common injury that occurs at casinos is assault. Some casino goers may get into scuffles with other patrons after losing a game. These assaults are often fuelled by a combination of high stakes and intoxication, which makes them unpredictable.
Casinos have a legal duty to avoid serving alcohol to players who have become visibly intoxicated and rowdy. New Jersey is one of the many states that allows you to take legal action against licensed alcoholic beverage servers who served alcohol to the patron that assaulted you.
Being assaulted by casino security guards
Many casinos take the safety of their patrons very seriously. However, some of the casino personnel who are hired to protect visitors may end up harming them.
It’s common for casino security guards to escort certain casino goers out of the facility when they are not abiding by the rules or when they are disturbing other players. Unfortunately, these security guards may end up hurting the people they are escorting out of the premises.
Many casino players suffer injuries from being grabbed and pulled away by casino security. Some of these players may also end up falling and injuring themselves while being forcefully ejected from the facility. If you sustain injuries due casino security being overly rough, you may be entitled to compensation.
As you can see, there are many ways to get injured in and around a casino. If you are suffering from any injuries resulting from your casino visit, you should get in touch with a casino injury lawyer in New Jersey immediately.
What should you do if you are injured at a casino?
The first thing you should do after being injured at a casino is to report it to casino staff. These establishments have a duty to keep patrons safe, so they will take any injuries that occur on their premises very seriously.
Be sure to provide staff with a detailed account of your injury and how it occurred as soon as possible. You should also ask for a copy of their accident report and obtain the contact details of any witnesses that were nearby when your injury occurred. Also ask the manager for the casino’s insurance company contact details.
You should follow the aforementioned steps before leaving the casino. If you leave the casino and then come back to report your injury later, they may deny that you were injured on their premises.
When should I get treated for my injuries?
If your injuries are severe, you should seek medical treatment immediately. Many casino managers will get in touch with medical services as soon you let them know you are injured.
Casinos across the country pay patrons millions in damages and hospital bills every year due to such injuries. However, getting the casino to pay up can be a challenge.
When should I contact a lawyer?
Once you have received the proper medical attention, you should seek out a casino injury lawyer in New Jersey. Your attorney can help you build the strongest possible case for receiving compensation for your injury.
How should I choose a casino injury lawyer in New Jersey?
Choosing the right lawyer for your case can be tricky if this is your first time seeking legal assistance. You might be tempted to go with the first lawyer you come across who presents themselves as a casino injury lawyer in New Jersey. But the truth is that any injury lawyer should be able to help you with your case provided that they are experienced enough.
Experience isn’t the only thing you should look for in an injury lawyer. A good track record is just as important, if not more important than experience. There’s no point in choosing a lawyer who has experience with casino-related injuries, but has failed to win their clients their case on the majority of occasions.
Look up reviews for each casino injury lawyer in New Jersey and compare testimonials from their clients. A good injury lawyer should have a keen eye for detail and will be able to find information in the evidence that boosts your odds of winning.
You should also go with a lawyer who handles your case personally instead of assigning a paralegal to assist you.
Why you shouldn’t sue the casino without legal assistance
Many people choose to represent themselves during personal injury claims. These individuals often assume that casino injury lawyers in New Jersey will be expensive to hire. However, many injury lawyers do not charge clients unless they win their case.
You may have to pay some other fees if you hire a lawyer and end up losing your case, but this fee is usually more affordable than the standard attorney fee charged by other types of lawyers.
Another reason to hire an injury lawyer to handle your case is to even the playing field. Casinos usually have a team of lawyers at their disposal to help them win cases against injured patrons. In addition to this, the casino’s insurance company will also have many skilled attorneys who will do everything they can to ensure you lose your case.
Going up against all these challenges without possessing a formal background in law would be a poor strategy. By representing yourself in court, you risk not only losing your case, but also being sued by the casino you were suing. As a result, you could end up in a far worse financial position than before.
How to build a strong casino injury claim
Once you have hired a lawyer to help you with suing the casino, you will need to start building a strong casino injury claim. To create the best possible injury claim for your case, you will need to gather the details surrounding your injury.
Get your medical evaluation details
One of the most important steps you will need to follow is to obtain a copy of your medical evaluation report following your injury treatment. This step is crucial as failing to seek out medical treatment and/or receiving an evaluation from a medical professional gives insurance companies a chance to deny that your injury occurred at the casino.
Once you have proof of medical treatment, you will have something concrete to base your injury claim on. Unfortunately, very few injury cases are won on the basis of emotional distress, so recorded evidence of physical injury is your best bet for building a winnable claim.
If your injury has forced you to miss work, you can ask your employer for a statement of lost wages. All these factors will be taken into account when assessing the full extent of your injuries.
Gather details from witnesses
If you obtained the contact details of witnesses at the site of your injury, you and your lawyer will need to contact each one and ask them for details surrounding the incident. You may also be able to ask your friends and family to be witnesses for your case if they have seen the extent of your injuries.
However, insurance companies are more likely to value reports from independent witnesses who do not have personal ties to you and do not have anything to gain financially by supporting you.
These witnesses should be contacted as soon as possible so that you can note down details around the incident while it is still fresh in their minds. You should ask each witness to sign and date their account of the events to prove that their recollection of the incident was recent.
Gather other evidence
You will also need to assemble any other evidence surrounding your injury incident. This includes surveillance video showing the incident and/or pictures of your injuries and any items involved. Insurance companies typically check surveillance video around injury claims as they provide a clear and unbiased view of the incident.
Try settling your case before filing a lawsuit
Once you have built a strong injury claim, your attorney will try to negotiate with the casino’s insurance company. If things go well, you should receive a generous offer from the insurance company.
Filing a suit in court
If negotiations with the insurance company go poorly, your attorney will file a lawsuit in court. Your pre-trial phases will then begin and your case will eventually go to trial. This trial will contain many phases, but you should be able to handle each one with the help of the right casino injury lawyer in New Jersey.
What are my odds of winning?
It’s difficult to say whether or not you are going to win your injury claim. You may have built up a strong injury claim using the aforementioned steps, but the insurance company and casino may have plenty of counter-evidence to support them.
You will generally fare better if you and your attorney can prove that the casino were liable for your injuries. Hiring a good casino injury lawyer in New Jersey can certainly help too.
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