How Can Personal Carelessness Impact My Slip and Fall Accident Settlement?
Most slip and fall insurance companies will examine the accident victim’s personal carelessness as a defense to a slip and fall injury claim. If a victim’s carelessness contributed to the cause of the fall, the amount of your personal injury settlement could be negatively impacted.
For example, would a reasonable and careful person have noticed the object or hazard in time to avoid falling? Were you distracted and not paying attention to your surroundings? Did you ignore warnings of potential danger or hazard?
In some cases when a victim assumes risk by voluntarily and knowingly entering a potentially hazardous situation, that person’s actions could impact a slip and fall injury claim. However, the assumption of risk does not excuse or eliminate a property owner’s negligence in contributing to or causing a slip and fall injury.
Proving Negligence in a Utah Slip & Fall Accident Case
Negligence is often a central factor in a Utah slip and fall injury claim. To hold the property owner liable for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and permanent disabilities, a slip and fall attorney must prove the elements of negligence.
For a premises liability claim, the elements of negligence to prove liability for a slip and fall injury include:
Duty of Care — There is a legal obligation between the parties for one party to act in a certain manner toward the other party. In a premises liability claim, a property owner has a duty to take reasonable steps to maintain safe premises for guests and visitors.
Breach of Duty — The property owner committed a breach of the duty of care by failing to exercise reasonable care. For example, a property owner fails to repair broken steps or promptly clean up spills that make the floor slippery.
Causation — The breach of the duty of care was a direct and proximate cause of the victim’s injury. The slip and fall injuries must be directly related to the breach of duty. For instance, the property owner knew or should have reasonably known that oil from vehicles in the parking lot make the area slippery. The owner did not take any action to warn customers or clean up the spills, and a customer falls because of the slick surface.
What are Damages in a Slip and Fall Accident Claim?
Damages included in a slip and fall settlement claim include your financial damages and non-economic damages.
Examples of financial damages that a fall victim may incur include:
Medical bills and other expenses related to treating the injury
Loss of income, including lost wages, salaries, bonuses, and other forms of compensation
Travel expenses to and from doctor appointments
Personal care and help with household chores
Medical equipment and medical supplies
In addition, a victim of a slip, trip or fall injury may also receive compensation in a personal injury claim for future damages. If the victim suffers a permanent impairment or disability that results in future medical bills or lost wages, a slip and fall attorney may work with medical and financial experts to determine a fair and reasonable amount for future damages and losses.
Noneconomic damages are typically referred to as pain and suffering damages. Victims of slips and falls that are caused because of a property owner’s negligence can receive compensation for damages including:
Physical pain and suffering
Depression, anxiety, and PTSD
Scarring and disfigurement
The amount of compensation you may receive for a slip and fall accident claim depends on several factors. Factors that impact the amount of your slip and fall settlement include the severity of your injury, the length of your recovery, the amount of financial damages, and whether you suffered any permanent impairment.
Our slip and fall attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your accident and injury in detail.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved in a Slip and Fall Accident?
It can be difficult to know what you should do after a fall on another person’s property. An injured person may be in shock after a fall and injury. However, the steps you take after a fall can be especially important in proving negligence, fault, and liability. Read our guide to personal injury claims that answers more questions about what you should do if you’ve been injured in an accident.
Some of the steps you need to take immediately after being injured in a slip and fall accident include:
Report the injury immediately to the property owner, manager, or another person in control of the property.
Request immediate medical attention for your injuries. An insurance company will use a delay in medical care as a reason to deny insurance claims for slip and fall injuries. You need to document your injuries carefully after falling or stumbling on someone else’s property.
Ask for the contact information for any eyewitnesses to the fall injury. Eyewitness statements can be crucial evidence in a slip and fall lawsuit.
If possible, take pictures of the scene of the slip and fall. Many times, the property owner corrects the dangerous or hazardous condition after the fall. Pictures or videos of the scene can help your slip and fall attorney prove fault and liability.
Put your clothing and shoes in a garment bag and keep them in a safe location. An insurance company may argue that what you were wearing contributed to the cause of your fall injury.
Do not provide statements or sign documents for the insurance company without consulting with a slip and fall lawyer. An insurance adjuster may request a statement or tell you that he needs a signed medical release to process your claim. These tactics are designed to obtain information to use against you later in a slip and fall lawsuit.
Contact a slip and fall attorney to discuss the details of your case and your legal options for recovering compensation in a premises liability case.
The aftermath of a slip and fall incident can be overwhelming. However, the steps you take after tripping and falling can have a significant impact on proving who is liable in a slip and fall accident. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can provide the guidance and support you need during the days, weeks, and months following an injury.
What are Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents are covered under premises liability laws. When a person is injured in a fall, the property owner may be held liable for the injured person’s damages and losses caused by the injury. Someone can trip and fall in any location. However, common locations for slip and fall incidents include:
Grocery stores, malls, convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants, and other retail settings
Hotels, resorts, amusement parks, sports facilities, parks, and other recreational or vacation areas
Construction sites and places of employment
Elevators, stairs, and escalators
Parking lots and sidewalks
Schools, government buildings, and public areas
Personal homes of family members, friends, and neighbors
It is unfortunate when a person is injured in a slip, trip or fall accident in Utah. The physical injuries and emotional distress can be devastating. In addition, the financial hardship caused by the injury can place an enormous amount of stress on a family. Dealing with aggressive insurance adjusters in Utah who may be pressuring you to settle your slip and fall injury claim quickly can also be a source of additional stress.
You do not have to face this situation alone. Proving liability and fault is a complex matter that you should not worry about when you are trying to focus on your recovery and your family.
The slip and fall professionals of Acadia Law Group handle all the legal matters of a slip and fall lawsuit and other personal injury claims in Utah for you. Discover how we can help you during a free consultation with an professional. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for your injuries related to a slip and fall accident. Let our experienced team of Utah personal injury professionals provide the support and guidance you need during this difficult, painful, and emotional time.