Tripped over cowboy's leg playing slots and hurt my knee...

by Kaytee
(Louisiana)

Just recently, in the last hour, I was walking through the casino to go cash in my voucher. There were a lot of people. As I was coming around the machines, I fell in front of at least twenty people. I tried to catch myself, but I was not able to.

As I picked up my purse and bag from the ground, I looked back to see why I fell. There was a guy with no chair playing a slot machine, kneeling on one knee and his long cowboy leg was sticking out with his big cowboy boot.

I was more embarrassed I thought at the time, than hurt. I am not bleeding, but now my knee is numb and will definitely have a bruise tomorrow. I am attending my brother's wedding in about 36 hours with a skirt that I have already purchased. What can or should I do in this situation? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Tripped over cowboy's leg playing slots and hurt my knee...":

Kaytee (Louisiana):

You are alluding to what is known as a premises liability claim. Under the legal doctrine of premises liability, property owners have a legal duty to do everything within reason to assure their property (premises) is safe for those who are legally upon it.

In this case, you were obviously legally upon the casino property. The next question is whether or not the casino property owner did all that was reasonably possible to assure you were not injured.

From the facts you present, there is no evidence the property owner was negligent, or that the owner failed in its duty to do everything within reason to protect you from injury. In fact, the only evidence of negligence was the cowboy’s leg and boot sticking out.

Technically, if you were to pursue a personal injury claim it could not be one based on premises liability. There is no evidence of negligence. Your injury claim would have to be against the cowboy for sticking his leg and boot out, and tripping you. From a practical standpoint, you have three challenges:

First: You don't have a verifiable injury supported by medical evidence.

Second: You don't have the name or contact information for the cowboy. Without that information, you have no way of contacting the cowboy.

Three: You don't have proof your fall was caused by the cowboy's leg and boot.

At this point, you would be best served by putting the event behind you and moving on.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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