At first, it seems the answer to this question would be that the property owner is responsible. Assigning fault, however, doesn’t always happen that quickly. Whether or not a person can file an insurance claim and receive compensation for their injury requires determining the negligence of the property owner and deciding fault. Just because you were injured on someone’s property, doesn’t mean the owner was negligent or that you will be compensated. There are many factors that need to be addressed before fault can be determined.
The state of Utah has a modified rule of comparative negligence, which means that if it is determined that you were 50% or more at-fault for the accident, you will be denied any compensation. If it can be proven that you were less than 49% at-fault for the accident, you would be awarded partial damages.
Liability is not always obvious and often depends on the type of injury and the circumstances of the accident. For example, if a person slips and falls on your front stairs and there was nothing you did wrong or could have done better to prevent the fall, it could be determined that the person was simply clumsy and they will not have a claim. However, if that person slipped on your front steps because it was icy and had not been shoveled or salted, it’s possible that person would be able to file a claim against your homeowner’s insurance.
Each case is different, and because comparative negligence cases are often harder to settle out of court, we recommend consulting with an attorney to discuss whether or not your specific circumstances meet the legal requirements to make a claim.
Determining who is at fault?
If an individual was injured in a slip and fall accident that took place on someone’s personal or commercial property, there must be proof that the property owner was reasonably negligent in the care of their property and that negligence is what led to your injury.
A few things to consider when trying to determine fault:
- At the time of the accident, what was the condition of the property? Were there signs posted warning of hazardous conditions?
- Were you paying attention to your surroundings?
- Were you invited to the property or trespassing?
Was the injured party Invited?
An invitee is defined as a person who has entered a property that is open to the public. A property owner can be held liable for the injury of an invitee if that person was injured due to unsafe conditions that the property owner knew about or should have known about and failed to provide reasonable care to the property – meaning to repair, replace, or warn of dangers.
In general, the law requires landowners to maintain their property as any reasonable person would, a lack of care is considered negligence.
Was the injured party Trespassing?
A trespasser is an individual or group who enters a property without a property owner’s permission. As such, a property owner is less likely to be held liable for an injury occurring on their property if the injured person was trespassing.
Utah code stipulates, with exceptions, that a property owner does not “owe any duty of care to the trespasser” and does not “assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to, the death of, or damage to property of a trespasser.” One exception is if the trespasser is a child. An adult trespasser can sue if it’s proven that the property owner acted with malicious intent.
Every case is unique so even if an injury was caused or related to trespassing, we encourage you to get a case review related to your specific injury, and the details around your claim.
Do you have Homeowners insurance?
Most homeowners insurance plans will cover personal injury claims to some extent. There are many different types of coverage plans that can cover a variety of accidents, and it is important to notify your insurance provider of the accident as soon as possible. Should it be determined that a property owner was negligent, homeowners insurance or a business’s liability insurance policy may cover damages.
It’s important to consider that the insurance policy will not cover any injuries if it’s proven that a property owner acted intentionally, such as deliberately neglecting to fix something or intentionally creating something harmful that would put a trespasser in danger.
This is one of the biggest reasons why we encourage you to get your case reviewed by a specialized personal injury attorney who can speak to you about the laws, your rights, and the factors that can influence your ability to have your claim and case go successfully.
Contact Johnson | Livingston to See if We Are the Right Attorney for Your Case
We highly recommend consulting an attorney regarding the details of your case to ensure you are legally protected. If you or someone you know is injured, whether on a residential or commercial property, you can contact us and set up a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. We can help determine whether or not you have a case and the next steps you should take.
We believe that every person deserves quality legal representation that provides real support and information through the personal injury claim and case process.
You pay nothing upfront out of pocket, and we are here to take you and your claim or case seriously. We will take the time to hear about your injury and to understand the full impact it had on your life. It’s our job to do what is best for you and your case. You can count on us to be straightforward and give you a clear answer on your case and how this process should go based on your specific needs and claim.
You can contact us via phone at 801-948-9670, text 801-683-5359 and we will get a time scheduled to meet and review your injury, claim, and case.