Slip and fall accidents are a very common source of accident claims and personal injury lawsuits in Utah. They can occur at any time in any type of setting, and often result in serious injuries or, tragically, even wrongful death.
If you or one of your loved ones was hurt in a slip and fall accident in Salt Lake County or the surrounding counties, you may have a right to compensation for your lost earnings, your hospital bills, and other expenses resulting from your injuries. Call personal injury attorney Jay Sheen at (801) 618-3580 for a confidential legal consultation, completely free of charge. Jay will assess the strength of your case, answer your legal questions, and advise you of your possible options going forward.
How and Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Part of the reason slip and fall accidents are so common is that they can be caused by virtually any property hazard, in any type of indoor or outdoor location. While certain types of accidents tend mainly to affect people in specific industries or occupations, falls have the potential to strike all segments of Utah’s population.
In most cases, falls occur because of substandard, negligent property maintenance, which can create difficult-to-see trip hazards. For example, some common causes of unintentional falls include:
- Cracked, sunken, or broken tiles and floorboards, which can cave in under weight or snare on somebody’s shoe.
- Crumbling, uneven sidewalks and walkways.
- Failure to clean or cordon off spills or leaks in a timely manner, which is an especially common issue in grocery stores and the narrow aisles of dark movie theatres.
- Failure to indicate freshly mopped or waxed floors, which are extremely slick and easy to slip on, with the appropriate signage.
- Icy or snowy sidewalks, which must be shoveled, salted, or otherwise adequately cleared within a reasonable period of time.
- Installation of inadequate lighting, particularly in dark areas like parking garages or stairwells.
- Loose or wobbly railings and banisters, which can unexpectedly collapse when a person leans on them for support.
- Potholes and sunken spots in parking lots and walkways.
- Trailing wires, cords, and cables which haven’t been secured away from foot traffic.
These and other safety hazards can develop on any type of property, including but not limited to:
- Apartment Complexes
- Construction Sites
- Convention Centers
- Department Stores
- Grocery Stores
- Parking Garages
- Parking Lots
- Shopping Malls
Severe and Fatal Injuries Caused by Accidental Falls
Regardless of how they are caused or where they occur, falls can result in catastrophic and sometimes fatal injuries. Some common examples of severe injuries caused by falls include:
- Facial Injuries/Dental Injuries – Facial bones are not protected by thick layers of fat or muscle like bones in other parts of the body. It is common for fall victims to break their noses, break their cheekbones, or knock out teeth. Teeth may also puncture through the upper or lower lip.
- Hand Injuries/Wrist Injuries – When you start to fall, your first instinct is to brace by sticking out your arms and hands. Unfortunately, this reflexive action often results in wrist fractures, ligament injuries, and broken fingers.
- Hip Fractures (Broken Hip) – According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, falls are responsible for virtually all hip fractures among adults aged 65 and older: more than 95%. In addition to being excruciating and costly to repair, hip fractures increase the risk of mortality in patients older than 50. Furthermore, hip replacements can turn out to be defective, leading to even more pain and financial hardship for the victim.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – The CDC reports that accidental falls are the number one leading cause of traumatic brain injury among adults aged 65 and older. Depending on the location and severity of a brain injury, TBI can result in debilitating, lifelong effects, including memory loss, difficulty speaking, and paralysis or reduced mobility.
Across all age groups, falls are responsible for about 30,000 deaths every year – only slightly fewer than car crashes.
I Fell on Someone Else’s Property, Is the Owner Liable?
Property owners are not always liable for accidents which occur on their property. It all depends on how and why the accident occurred, which is why it’s important to talk to an attorney if you or one of your family members was injured due to a fall. Even if you feel doubtful that you have a case, you may be surprised. Never rule out the possibility until you get a case assessment from an experienced slip and fall lawyer.
Utah landlords, shop owners, and others who own businesses or commercial properties generally have a legal responsibility to keep their properties reasonably free of hazards which could potentially cause guests, visitors, customers, or residents to be injured or killed. In other words, property owners have a duty to make sure their properties are adequately maintained. When a property owner fails to live up to this duty – often in the interest of cutting operating costs – he or she could be liable if someone is harmed or killed as a result. This area of personal injury law is known as “premises liability.”
Our Utah Slip and Fall Lawyers Have the Experience to Handle Your Case
If you or one of your loved ones was injured after falling on someone else’s property in Salt Lake City or the surrounding area, you should know that you may have a right to compensation. Injury attorney Jay Sheen can help you explore your options and exercise your rights. Call Jay at (801) 618-3580 right away to talk about your case in a free and completely confidential legal consultation. Jay takes calls around the clock, including nights and weekends.