Gambling is big business across the US, but it has exploded in popularity in Florida in recent years. According to the American Gaming Association, the Sunshine State brought in record gaming revenue that averaged $557.8 million from 2017-2018 – the ninth consecutive year of growth. If you are one of the people contributing to these figures, your first concern might be how hard your wallet will get hit at the slot machines or Blackjack table. You are probably not focusing on the much more significant losses that can result from an injury-causing accident at a casino.
If your fun time turned tragic because of a casino accident, Florida law does provide you with legal options through a premises liability claim. However, these cases present more unique challenges compared to a typical slip and fall. You should trust your Miami personal injury and premises liability attorney to handle the details, but some key points might help you understand the important issues.
Proof in a Florida Casino Injury Claim
Because casino accidents fall under premises liability laws, there are four elements a victim must prove to recover compensation. You need to present evidence that:
- The casino owner or operator owed you a duty to make sure the space was safe, which is typically established by you spending time and money there.
- The responsible party breached the duty of care by allowing dangerous conditions to remain at the casino, such as unsafe stairs, non-secure railings, loose wiring, and other hazards. It may also be a situation of breach where the casino did not provide adequate security.
- There is a link between the breach and the accident, such that you would not have been hurt had the casino been responsible in maintaining the premises.
- You suffered losses because of your injuries, including costs of medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and many others.
Special Considerations with Tribe-Owned Casinos
Florida is home to seven casinos owned by the Seminole Tribe and Miccosukee Tribes of Florida, which are sovereign entities. Premises liability laws apply very differently at these locations, since tribes enjoy “sovereign immunity.” This means, as a default rule, you cannot pursue a lawsuit against a tribe-owned casino in a Florida or federal court system. Instead, you would proceed through the court system or other rules established by the tribe.
Fortunately for victims of casino accidents, many tribal entities waive sovereign immunity. They would rather do so than turn away guests who are concerned about safety. Still, the waiver may not cover all areas of the casino or may impose a different statute of limitations for filing a claim.
Discuss Your Rights With a Miami Premises Liability and Personal Injury Lawyer
To learn more about your rights and remedies as the victim of a casino accident, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA. We can schedule a free case evaluation with a skilled premises liability attorney at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. Once we review your specific circumstances, we can advise you on strategies to pursue a claim for compensation.