If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in Utah, you need a dedicated lawyer to help you get the maximum compensation. The attorneys at Harris, Preston, & Chambers are experienced slip and fall attorneys in Utah, serving Salt Lake City, Logan, and the surrounding areas. We’ll help you get back on your feet and get the compensation you deserve. Click the button below to get your free consultation.
Slip and fall accidents can happen almost anywhere you go. All it takes is one icy patch on the sidewalk that didn’t get salted. One faulty handrail that should have been replaced. One wet floor with no clear signage to warn you. If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you might be tempted to brush the incident off. You may feel embarrassed or like it’s your fault, even when the fall was caused by negligence.
You may want to take care of it on your own. But working with insurance companies is a hassle. Working with a good slip and fall attorney in Utah. After all, they’re doing everything they can to dismiss your claim or pay as little as possible. That’s why hiring a slip and fall lawyer is so essential. An experienced lawyer will help you through the entire process, making sure you get the maximum compensation. Slip and fall attorneys hold the insurance companies accountable so you don’t have to.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
After a slip and fall accident, there are several steps you’ll need to take. If you’re in a store or other public place, find the manager and file a report. You might be tempted to flee the scene out of embarrassment, but it’s important that you report the incident. The manager or other representative will ask you questions about the accident and record what happened.
If you’re at a friend’s house, take pictures of the area where you fell. Don’t hesitate to document the incident just because they’re your friend. You’re not suing your friend when you file a slip and fall claim. Their homeowner’s insurance will be paying for your expenses.
Once you’ve documented the scene, you should go to urgent care or the ER to take care of your injuries. Make sure to photograph and document your injuries throughout the healing process. All of this information goes toward building your case. After being treated, make sure you follow your doctor’s medical advice.
Finally, make sure you contact a slip and fall attorney in Utah. You’ll want to look around and find someone experienced who knows the ins and outs of Utah personal injury laws. The best slip and fall attorneys know how to investigate your case and deal with insurance companies. On the other hand, don’t wait too long. Utah has a statute of limitations of four years for slip and fall cases. Make sure to begin the process before that time has passed or you won’t be able to file a claim.
How to Get Compensated After a Slip and Fall
In Utah, slip and fall compensation falls under the broader personal injury law. You have four years from the date of the accident to file your claim. If you have property damage, such as a phone or watch that was ruined in the fall, you have three years to file the claim. The amount you will be compensated is based on the damage done. In a slip and fall case, you may be able to receive compensation for the following for damages:
- Medical bills, past, and future
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Impact on quality of life
- Property damage
Under Utah Code section 78B-5-818, even if the accident was partially your fault, you may still be entitled to compensation. This is called the shared fault or comparative negligence. If you’re found to be 50% at fault or more, you might not be eligible. However, if the court determines you are 25% at fault, for example, you would receive damages in the amount of 25% less. So if your total damages equal $15,000, the amount you receive would be $3750 less, or $11,250.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Did you know that falls are the number one cause of accidental injury? In fact, slip and fall injuries can be quite serious. Some falls are, of course, due to our own human error. If you’re walking while texting, you’re more likely to trip over something in plain sight. And sometimes, we’re just plain clumsy. But oftentimes slip and fall injuries happen due to someone else’s negligence. Here are the most common types of injuries that occur with slip and fall accidents:
- Broken bones: Hip, wrist, and ankle fractures are most commonly seen in slip and fall accidents.
- Cuts and bruises: Some cuts need stitches to repair and might even leave a scar.
- Soft tissue injury: This is an injury to any part of the body that isn’t bone, including muscle, tendons, and ligaments. These kinds of injuries might require physical therapy or even surgery to properly heal.
- Dislocated joints: The most common kind of dislocation in a slip and fall is the shoulder. You might need surgery to fix the damage.
- Spine and nerve damage: Spine and nerve damage can be quite serious and might require major expenses to treat. Some damage to the spine and nerves may never fully recover.
- Knee damage: If you fall wrong, you can tear your ACL or MCL. The knee is complicated, and these injuries can take a while to heal and may even need surgery.
- Traumatic brain injury: Traumatic brain injury is a serious condition that can affect you even if your head never hits the ground. If you don’t get treatment for your traumatic brain injury right away, other more serious issues can occur. The effects of a traumatic brain injury can be seen for years and years after the accident.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might need months to fully recover from your slip and fall injuries. Some bones will never be the same after breaking. And medical attention can be costly. Some injuries may prevent you from returning to work and may cause you to lose out on wages. If you are paralyzed as a result of your slip and fall, your quality of life may even be significantly reduced.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
It’s pretty much impossible to live life without ever tripping and falling. How many times did you skin your knee as a kid because your foot caught on something while you were running? Watching a child learn how to walk, you will see them fall over and over again. As we age, we aren’t immune to falling, especially when negligence is at play. There are innumerable causes of slip and fall accidents, but here are a few of the most common:
- Icy sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways
- Uneven stairs
- Slippery floors
- Poorly maintained stairways
- Bad lighting
- Cluttered common spaces
- Faulty or missing handrails
- Cracked or broken flooring
- Loose rugs
- Torn or bulging carpets
In order for a slip and fall case to proceed, the accident must have happened on someone else’s property. For example, if your neighbor didn’t salt their sidewalk and you slipped on ice in front of their house, you might have a case.
How to Choose a Slip and Fall Lawyer
You might be tempted to pick the first slip and fall lawyer you come across. Or maybe you know someone who practices law. You might even want to represent yourself. But personal injury law is complicated, and the insurance company has its own team of lawyers working against you. It’s important that you choose someone who is truly qualified to represent you.
If cost is preventing you from seeking a slip and fall attorney, know this: most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means they only make money if they win your case or settle. They receive a percentage of the award, rather than charging you a fee for your time. When looking for a slip and fall attorney, make sure to ask about their fee structure.
Another thing you should look for in a slip and fall lawyer is that they are experienced with slip and fall cases. You don’t want someone who normally handles divorces or contracts representing you. They won’t have the experience to know how to build a solid case for you. Only an experienced slip and fall lawyer understands how to investigate your case and how to deal with the insurance.
Things To Look For When Choosing A Slip and Fall Lawyer
Here are a few other things you should look for when choosing the best slip and fall attorney for you:
- Ask about their success rate. Obviously, you want a slip and fall lawyer who will get results. But this will also give them an opportunity to talk about similar cases. If they just won a case similar to yours, you know they’ll be able to help you.
- Read client reviews. Read reviews on their website as well as on third-party sites. This will give you a full picture of their abilities.
- Talk to a couple of different slip and fall lawyers. Ask them about their fee structure and how they plan to proceed.
- Look for a local slip and fall lawyer. If your accident occurs in Salt Lake City or the surrounding areas, you want a slip and fall lawyer who practices in Salt Lake.
- Look for a trial lawyer. Hiring a slip and fall attorney who is willing to go to court can give you a better chance at getting the most out of your case. The insurance company will be less likely to try to settle low because they know your lawyer has taken other cases to trial.
Things That Can Affect Your Slip and Fall Case
Slip and fall settlements can be quite complicated, and the way you react afterward can have an effect on how much compensation you receive. The following are things that can impact the success of your slip and fall case:
- Talking to the insurance: After you report the slip and fall, the property owner’s insurance is going to reach out to you. They will make it seem like they’re just gathering basic information on what happened, but their job is to limit their liability. The representative you talk to is trained to ask you questions in a way that will help the case get thrown out. If you want to have a successful claim, avoid talking to the insurance.
- Admitting fault: Another thing you might do that would affect your case is telling people you are at fault for the accident. After your accident, don’t claim any kind of fault. This gives the insurance an avenue to reduce the amount they owe you or even get the case thrown out.
- Getting injured on government land: Unfortunately, if your accident occurs on government land, it will be harder to receive compensation. You have a much shorter window of time to file your claim. In Utah, the statute of limitations for slip and fall injuries on government land is one year.
- You’re not following medical advice: If you’ve received medical attention after a slip and fall injury but you aren’t following the doctor’s orders, the insurance can use this to shift blame to you. They may even try to say that you aren’t as injured as you claim. To be successful in your case, make sure you follow your doctor’s medical advice and go to every doctor’s appointment. Don’t give the insurance company any room to blame you!
An experienced slip and fall attorney will help you navigate the complicated legal system. They will advise you on anything else that might affect your case. They will help protect you from the insurance’s efforts to downplay your injury and throw out your case.
Call Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one have been involved in a slip and fall accident, call Harris, Preston, and Chambers today for your free consultation. Our Salt Lake slip and fall lawyers are dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve. Let us fight for you so you can focus on healing and getting back to 100% after your injury.
*Nothing herein constitutes legal advice. You should obtain independent legal counsel regarding your specific factual situation.