Floating casino barges pose challenging legal questions when an individual is injured on a floating casino barge. Some states, Like Louisiana and Mississippi, require casinos to be afloat but do not actually require them to sail around a lake, the River, or the Gulf. If you are injured on a floating casino barge, the law views it not necessarily as a land injury and may apply the maritime law.
Some floating casinos do nothing more than float in man-made ponds. This is a very complicated legal issue. If you were injured on a floating casino barge, you should contact a maritime personal injury lawyer. Maritime Personal Injury Attorney Ed Kramer has extensive experience in Maritime and Admiralty personal injury claims. He is the founder of the InjuredGo.com Law Firm.
Common Injuries on Floating Casino Barges
Some of the most common injuries that occur in casinos include:
- Tripping and falling down stairs – these accidents could result in bruises, bone fractures, head injuries, and neck or spine injuries.
- Slipping and falling down due to wet or uneven floors or due to obstructions on the floor – these could result in spinal injuries, knee damage, hip injuries, bruises, or broken bones.
- Being struck by objects – these accidents, when an object is falling, could result in head injuries.
- Assaulted by a rowdy or drunk person – this could result in a wide variety of different injuries.
- What Damages are Available if You Are Hurt on a Floating Casino Barge?
Damages include things like medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions, crutches, etc., lost wages, and pain and suffering (emotional distress). The InjuredGo.com Law Firm has a section regarding damages available in a personal injury case.
Casino Liability and The Law
Casinos invite thousands of people onto their premises each day. As invitees, the law entitles casino patrons to feel safe from undue harm. As a result, courts hold casinos to a very high legal duty of care (obligation) to protect their patrons from injuries.
The courts require casinos to do everything reasonably possible to protect their patrons from foreseeable events that could result in injuries. This doesn’t mean casinos must protect their patrons from every incident that could result in injury – only from incidents a prudent and reasonable casino manager knows, or should know, could result in harm.
For example, a casino manager knows or should know, if he doesn’t make regular inspections of the swivel chairs in front of slot machines, it’s likely someone can miss a broken chair. Broken chairs are likely to result in patron injuries.
Let’s say a patron sat down to play one of the slot machines. When she did, the chair broke and she fell on the floor, injuring her back. In this case, a casino manager’s failure to make regular inspections of the swivel chairs resulted in a foreseeable injury.
The law calls the casino’s failure to inspect the property “negligence”. The casino’s negligence was a breach of its duty of care (obligation) to protect the patron from harm. Because the casino breached (violated) its duty, the patron is entitled to compensation for her back injury and accompanying damages.
Areas Where Recovery is Less Likely
What if the casino accident wasn’t foreseeable? Is the casino still liable? For example, in one of its routine inspections, an employee found a broken swivel chair in front of a slot machine. The casino placed a sign in clear view on the front of the slot machine saying “Out of Order.” A casino patron ignored the sign and sat down on the swivel chair. As he did, the chair came apart and he fell, suffering a concussion.
In this case, the courts would likely find the casino was not negligent and did not breach its duty of care to the injured patron. It just wasn’t foreseeable that a patron would read the Out of Order sign, ignore it, and sit down.
What happens when the question of foreseeability and negligence isn’t so clear? Often, injuries at casinos occur because of an intervening force. The question becomes whether the casino was negligent in allowing the intervening force to occur and whether the casino had a duty to stop it.
For example, an elderly woman was in her electric wheelchair. She had trouble negotiating the wheelchair around the various restaurant tables, and at one point knocked a patron down. According to others in the restaurant, the woman seemed incoherent. The patron wasn’t injured, so after helping the patron up, the manager went back to his office without reporting the incident.
An hour later, the same woman went into the gaming room. As she moved her wheelchair forward, she collided with a casino patron knocking her down. This time, the patron broke her hip.
Was the casino negligent in allowing the wheelchair-bound woman to move about the gaming room? Should the restaurant manager have reported the initial incident to his supervisor? Unfortunately, this is one of those injury claims where foreseeability and negligence aren’t clear. It’s likely a jury will have to decide these issues in a trial.
What to Do if You are Injured on a Floating Casino Barge
If you are injured on a floating casino barge, then the actions you take will be very important. You want to give yourself every chance to receive the most compensation.
Here is what you will need to do:
- Seek medical attention immediately. The casino should call 911. When you have a medical diagnosis as soon as possible, you will have the best information about your injuries.
- Document injuries. This can include your doctor’s report, as well as pictures of the injuries themselves if you have physical signs. You may need to file a report with the casino.
- If you can, take pictures of what caused you to get hurt. Get names of anyone who saw the accident. Do your best to record any admissions of guilt from casino employees.
- Do not sign anything with the casino. They may ask you to sign a document saying that they are not at fault. You do not need to do this.
- Contact the InjuredGo.com Personal Injury Law Firm.