Dedicated Utah Slip and Fall Lawyer Assisting Clients in Farmington and Davis County
Unfortunately, the majority of slip and fall accidents take place in busy locations that most of us frequent on a consistent basis. Indeed, grocery stores (produce aisles, in particular), department stores, condominiums/apartment complexes, parking lots and city sidewalks are increasingly common sites for injuries related to slip and fall accidents. In other words, keep an eye out and be aware of your surroundings — and if all else fails, call the attorneys at Jardine Law Offices, P.C.
Comparative Fault & Comparative Negligence
Unfortunately (again), slip and fall accidents are some of the most difficult personal injury cases to litigate. This is because Utah state law allows defendants to employ comparative fault and/or comparative negligence to assign partial blame on the part of the injured party. In short, if a judge determines that you are 50-percent or more to blame for the accident, you are automatically disqualified from recovering any financial compensation for your injury. Without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, it can be difficult to convince a judge or jury that you are less than 50-percent responsible for the accident.
Utah’s Three Categories of a Person
1) The Trespasser
Utah state law designates three different categories of a “person” when it comes to premises liability cases (of which slip and fall accidents are especially common). The first, naturally, is that of a trespasser. Legally speaking, a trespasser may only bring forth a lawsuit if he or she can prove that there was “malicious” conduct on the part of the property owner.
2) The Licensee
The second category is that of the licensee — i.e. the equivalent to a guest in your home. Simply put, the property owner must exercise reasonable care in maintaining the property for the safety and benefit of his or her guests. Additionally, the guest must exercise reasonable care in looking out for objects and/or certain areas which may injure him or her.
3) The Invitee
Lastly, the third category of a “person” is that of the invitee. This person is simply a visitor whose sole purpose is business-related — i.e. someone who enters the property at the express or implied invitation of the property owner. The clearest and most common example of this is the relationship between a shopper and his or her grocery store. In this case, whomever is doing the shopping is by default considered a vendor and thus a business visitor. Therefore, the property owner must exercise reasonable care in maintaining the safety of the premises for his or her patrons. Keep in mind that while it is still necessary for the business visitor to keep an eye out for danger, the primary responsibility lies with the property owner.