Utah state law obligates property owners to keep their premises maintained in a reasonably safe condition. If you’re injured on private property because a property owner was negligent, arrange to discuss your legal rights and options with a Salt Lake City premises liability attorney.
You’re about to read a brief, general discussion of slip-and-fall injuries and the lawsuits that these injuries generate, but since every case is unique, if you’re injured in a slip-and-fall incident anywhere in Utah, you’ll need the personalized advice that a premises liability attorney provides.
If you’re injured, now or in the future, in a slip-and-fall incident on another person’s property because of the property owner’s negligence, you’re entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and more.
What Steps Should You Take After a Slip-and-Fall Injury?
Seek medical attention at once if you’re injured during a slip-and-fall incident. You’ll need to be checked for latent or hard-to-detect injuries, and you’ll need the medical paperwork if you file a premises liability lawsuit to obtain compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.
In the state of Utah, if you’re injured slipping and falling on private property, after you’ve been treated by a healthcare professional, immediately arrange to speak with a Salt Lake City slip-and-fall attorney.
The right injury attorney will help you acquire compensation for slip-and-fall injuries that involve but are not limited to:
- a slip-and-fall accident at a restaurant, a retail location, a hotel, or an amusement park
- an injury in someone else’s home
- inadequate lighting in parking garages, staircases, and parking lots
- a cracked or uneven sidewalk or a poorly-paved parking lot
- a broken or substandard staircase or balcony railing
What Are the Legal Obligations of Property Owners?
Utah building codes are extensive. If you’re injured on private property, and if your attorney can prove that the property owner wasn’t in compliance with the law, you may be able to prevail with an injury claim against a property owner based on a code violation.
Owners are typically held liable in such cases when they create hazards that cause others to slip and suffer an injury, or if a property owner knows about a hazard on the premises but neglects to clean up or repair it.
How Will a Premises Liability Lawyer Help You?
If you’re injured in a slip-and-fall incident, your physical, financial, and emotional challenges may seem overwhelming. The right premises liability lawyer will protect your rights, help you learn how the law applies to your own situation, and fight for the compensation you need.
Your lawyer will handle all negotiations with the negligent party and that party’s insurance company and attorneys. If a quick settlement is offered, it’s probably a “low-ball” offer. Don’t accept a settlement before discussing your claim with your slip-and-fall lawyer.
How Extensive Are a Property Owner’s Responsibilities?
You’ll often see the word “reasonable” in discussions of slip-and-fall cases. Property owners can’t be held responsible for immediately cleaning up or fixing every hazardous situation that may emerge. Owners must take “reasonable” measures to maintain their premises safely.
Additionally, a property owner isn’t responsible if someone slips and falls because that person wasn’t watching where he or she was going. If you trip into your neighbor’s barbecue pit because you were staring at your smartphone, for example, your neighbor isn’t responsible.
How Can You Prove That a Property Owner Has Liability?
These are the questions you should ask yourself about your own share of blame for a slip-and-fall injury. An insurance adjuster will almost certainly ask these questions about the incident:
- Did you have a legitimate reason for being in the vicinity of the hazard?
- Would a reasonable person have noticed the hazard and avoided it?
- Were there any warnings regarding the hazard?
- Were you intoxicated, running, jumping, or engaged in horseplay?
To have liability for injuries you suffer from a slip-and-fall incident on another person’s property, your attorney must prove that at least one of the following is true:
- The owner of the premises caused the hazard responsible for your slip-and-fall injury.
- The owner of the premises knew about the hazard but did nothing about it.
- A “reasonable” person would have promptly cleaned up or repaired the hazard.
What Else Should You Know About Slip-and-Fall Injuries?
Liability in such cases is usually determined by basic common sense. Judges and juries decide if a property owner did or did not take reasonable steps to keep the premises reasonably hazard-free.
Anyone injured while trespassing probably can’t seek damages, with this exception: If a property owner sets up a way to injure trespassers, the owner possibly may be held liable for a trespasser’s injury. Property owners should rely on locks, security companies, and alarm systems.
Most premises liability claims in Utah are resolved out-of-court through private negotiations between the attorneys for both sides. However, if no acceptable settlement offer is made, your attorney will take the case to trial and ask jurors to order the payment of your compensation.
When Should You Speak to an Attorney?
Utah’s statute of limitations for premises liability claims gives you four years to file an injury claim and take legal action. The “clock” on the statute of limitations begins the day you are injured, but you can’t wait four years and then scramble to file a claim at the last minute.
Evidence deteriorates and memories fade over time, so the sooner you take your slip-and-fall case to a Utah premises liability lawyer, the more likely it is that your slip-and-fall claim will prevail.
If you’re injured in a slip-and-fall accident at your place of work, you will probably qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim rather than a premises liability lawsuit, and you’ll need the guidance of a Utah workers’ compensation lawyer.
What Will Justice Cost?
However, if a third party caused your workplace injury – or if you were injured while working on property that was not your employer’s – you may still qualify to file a “third party” premises liability claim. You’ll need personalized advice from a premises liability attorney.
Your first legal consultation with a Salt Lake City premises liability attorney after a slip-and-fall injury is offered with no charge or obligation. If you’ve been injured, take advantage of this opportunity to learn where you stand legally and how the law applies in your own case.
Personal injury and premises liability lawyers in Utah work on a contingent fee basis, so if you and your attorney agree to move forward with an injury claim, you’ll pay no attorney’s fee until and unless your attorney recovers compensation on your behalf.