Most slips and falls do not result in serious injuries. However, these accidents can still cause severe or disabling injuries and, in some instances, prove fatal. If the property owner failed to maintain their premises in a safe manner, they could be held liable.
A slip and fall accident lawyer at Valiente Mott will protect your rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Common Slip And Fall Accidents In Salt Lake City
Common causes of Salt Lake City slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet floors: Wet or slippery floors are a frequent cause of slip and fall accidents. In public spaces like supermarkets or office buildings, failing to promptly clean spills or provide warning signs can result in liability for the property owner.
- Missing or broken floorboards: Defective or poorly maintained flooring, such as missing or broken floorboards, poses a significant risk. Property owners are expected to ensure that walking surfaces are safe and well-maintained.
- Broken stairs: Stairs in disrepair, whether through broken steps or loose materials, can be particularly dangerous, leading to severe falls. Property owners must keep stairways in good condition to prevent accidents.
- Torn carpeting: Torn or bunched-up carpeting can easily cause someone to trip and fall. It’s the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that carpeting is safe and does not present a tripping hazard.
- Inadequate lighting: Poor lighting in hallways, stairwells, or parking lots can conceal potential hazards, increasing the risk of slip and fall accidents. Adequate lighting is essential for safety.
- Debris in walkways: Obstructions like debris left in walkways can lead to tripping accidents. Regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to keep walkways clear and safe.
- Loose wires and cords: Exposed wires or cords running across floors are a common trip hazard. Property owners should manage and secure such hazards to prevent accidents.
- Lack of handrails on stairs: The absence of handrails on stairs not only violates building codes but also significantly increases the risk of falling. Handrails provide essential support and stability for people using the stairs.
- Uneven pavement: Uneven or cracked pavement, especially in areas like sidewalks or parking lots, is a frequent cause of trips and falls. Regular inspection and maintenance of pavement can help prevent these incidents.
While ice and snow are responsible for many slip and fall accidents, that does not necessarily mean the property owner is liable. Much depends on how long the snowy or icy conditions existed and other factors. If you are unsure, it’s always best to speak with a lawyer.
Premises Liability In Salt Lake City
Slip and fall accidents fall under the category of premises liability. A property owner has an obligation to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed to take reasonable steps to keep their property free from hazards. Under Utah’s comparative negligence rule, the plaintiff may be partially responsible. However, it is still possible to receive damages under these circumstances.
After a slip and fall accident, it is critical that you collect evidence at the scene–if you can do so. That includes taking photos of the scene and the cause of the slip and fall. If you are too badly hurt to document your fall, try to have a relative or friend go to the scene as soon as possible to record the evidence.
Always seek medical attention immediately if injured in a slip and fall accident. Failure to do so may compromise your claim.
Proving A Salt Lake City Slip And Fall Claim
Proving a slip and fall claim in Salt Lake City involves several key steps to establish the property owner’s liability. To succeed in such a claim, it’s essential to demonstrate that the property owner owed a duty of care and failed to uphold it, leading to your injury. Here’s a breakdown of the elements that must be proven:
- Duty of Care: Show that the property owner had a responsibility to ensure their premises were reasonably safe. This includes conducting regular property maintenance and warning visitors of any unsafe conditions.
- Breach of Duty: Prove that the property owner failed to maintain the property or warn about dangerous conditions. This could be due to neglecting repairs, failing to address hazards like wet floors or uneven pavement, or not providing adequate lighting.
- Causation and Damages: Demonstrate that the property owner’s negligence directly resulted in your injury, and as a result, you suffered measurable damages, such as medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Comparative Negligence In Salt Lake City Slip And Fall Claims
In Utah, the concept of comparative negligence plays a significant role in personal injury cases, including slip and fall incidents. This legal principle recognizes that in many accidents, more than one party may share some degree of fault. Under Utah’s comparative negligence system, if an injured party is found to be partially at fault for their accident, the compensation they can receive will be reduced proportionally to their degree of fault. For example, if a person slips and falls in a store but was running or not paying attention at the time of the accident, they might be found 20% at fault. In such a case, their total compensation would be reduced by 20%. However, it’s important to note that if the injured party is found to be 50% or more at fault, they are barred from recovering any compensation. This system encourages all parties to exercise reasonable care and contributes to fairer outcomes in personal injury cases.
Damages In Salt Lake City Slip & Fall Claims
In Salt Lake City, victims of slip and fall accidents have the right to seek compensation for a variety of damages. These can include:
- Medical Expenses: This covers all medical bills related to the injury from the slip and fall accident. It encompasses a range of medical care costs including ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any other related medical treatments.
- Lost Wages: If the injury from the slip and fall has prevented you from working, you can claim compensation for lost income. This includes not just the wages lost to date but also any future earning potential impacted by the injury.
- Pain and Suffering: Slip and fall accidents often result in both physical pain and emotional distress. Victims are eligible to seek compensation for the suffering endured due to the accident.
- Property Damage: In cases where personal property like clothing or personal items were damaged in the slip and fall, compensation for these losses can be claimed.
- Permanent Disability: In more severe cases where the slip and fall leads to a permanent disability, victims can claim compensation for ongoing care needs and lifestyle adjustments.
- Wrongful Death: In tragic instances where a slip and fall results in fatal injuries, the victim’s family members can seek compensation for their loss, which includes funeral expenses and lost financial support
Filing A Slip And Fall Accident Injury Claim
In Utah, a plaintiff has up to four (4) years after the date of the accident to file a slip and fall injury claim, one of the longest statutes of limitations in the country. However, it is crucial to promptly contact a Utah personal injury lawyer. Premises liability cases are often complex, and evidence can disappear rapidly. For example, witnesses should be contacted as soon as possible–before they move away or become impossible to reach. You also want an attorney to deal with the insurance company since their job is to minimize your damages.
Most slip and fall accident claims are settled. However, if the insurance company fails to agree to a reasonable settlement, we may pursue the matter in court.
Contact A Salt Lake City Slip And Fall Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered a serious slip and fall accident due to property owner or management negligence, contact an experienced Utah premises liability lawyer at Valiente Mott. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We will review the merits of your claim. If we proceed with your claim, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation. Hablamos Español.