Slip and fall is the most common form of premises liability. This is an area of law that covers injuries on someone else’s property, like a business or a home. Slipping and falling can hurt you more than you might realize, and you may need compensation to cover those costs.
Speak with a Salt Lake City slip and fall attorney at 1Law as soon as you can after your accident to see if you have a case. You need to call quickly because it’s easy for property owners to fix problems and hide evidence that proves it was their fault you got hurt.
A slip and fall (or a trip and fall) accident is easy enough to explain. If you’re on someone else’s property and something makes you slip or trip, it qualifies. The dangerous part is the fall and its consequences.
One in five falls causes a serious injury, like a head injury or a broken bone. Millions of people go to the emergency room every year for fall injuries, many of them hip injuries. They’re also the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
Many people who have suffered a fall often become afraid of falling again. This can create a vicious cycle. Due to the fear, they cut down on their daily activities. For older people, this can make them weaker and more vulnerable to falling.
Laws about how property owners should treat their guests are ancient. One principle that has passed down to our legal system is the duty of care. Property owners must warn their guests about hazards and try to repair things that could cause harm to someone else.
If these things are neglected, someone could get hurt and they could have a case against the property owner. A slip and fall happens quite fast. A single second from normal life to a traumatic brain injury.
If we can prove that the slippery area was the cause for the accident, and that there was no other cause, you likely have a valid claim. To find out, reach out to our team of Salt Lake City slip and fall lawyers to determine who is liable.
A hazard can stay on a property if the owner or manager warns others about it. The ubiquitous “wet floor” sign is an example of warning the public about a danger. If you ignore the signs, and the signs are clearly visible, you may share some of the responsibility.
People must also act reasonably. Here’s an example. If a skater does a trick off of an obstacle outside of a skate park, like a stair rail, and the obstacle collapses, the skater may be more responsible because the rail wasn’t designed for that.
You may also share responsibility if you were committing an illegal act at the time you fell down. If you were trespassing on private property, or you robbed a store and fell while running away, you may not be able to sue for premises liability. In all these situations, a slip and fall attorney can tell you your chances of winning a case.
Slip and fall cases often have fights about who is more responsible for the accident. A court may decide you and the property owner share liability. Here’s how this works in Utah if it happens to you. The name of the rule is “modified comparative negligence.”
Under this rule, the court compares how much negligence each side has in the accident and changes the compensation based on the percentage of negligence. As long as your level of negligence is below 50%, you can get compensation. If it’s equal or above, the court won’t award you anything.
Your percentage of negligence reduces your compensation. So, if you were to win $100,000, but had a 25% responsibility, you would only receive $75,000. One job of your slip and fall attorney is to fight evidence that you contributed to your injury to make this percentage as low as possible. Ideally, zero.
Under Utah Code Ann. § 78B-2-307, you have four years from the date of your injury to file a claim. If you go beyond that point, you have no legal protection against the statute of limitations. This is a deadline for filing cases in a timely manner.
It’s better to file as soon as possible. The ideal time is as soon as you’ve had a doctor confirm your injury and before you’ve spoken to anyone from an insurance company. While this long deadline gives you time to recover and discover the full extent of your injuries, it’s better to start early.
This is because evidence could disappear, along with memories, that could help you with your case. Don’t delay too long before contacting a slip and fall attorney in Salt Lake City about what happened to you.
Remember, the sooner you can speak with a lawyer, the better your outcome will be in your slip and fall case. Contact our Salt Lake City slip and fall attorneys at 1Law in a free online consultation, or call us at the number on your screen to schedule an appointment.