Slip And Fall
UTAH SLIP-AND-FALL AND TRIP-AND-FALL ACCIDENTS
Every time that you leave your home, you are exposed to potential dangers that may cause devastating injuries. A slip-and-fall accident can happen anywhere: a retail store, a grocery store, a friend’s or loved one’s house, an icy sidewalk or parking lot, or any other public place. A slip-and-fall accident victim needs proper representation to get the maximum compensation, the compensation that they deserve.
The attorneys at Gosdis Law are passionate about protecting injury victims. We focus solely on personal injury law. As a client, you will receive our undivided attention. Service is at the center of our practice. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are always available to take your phone call. If you have been hurt in a Utah slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident, immediately call or text Gosdis Law at 385-429-9960 for the best representation in Utah.
Our lead attorney, Shane Gosdis, is an Ivy League-educated attorney with years of experience. Under his leadership, Gosdis Law has recovered millions and millions of dollars in recovery for everyday people who have been harmed, including slip-and-fall client throughout Utah.
To learn more about slip-and-fall accidents and your rights after being hurt, keep reading.
WHAT ARE SLIP-AND-FALL AND TRIP-AND-FALL CLAIMS?
A slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall claim is a personal injury claim that a person has after they are hurt because of a property owner’s negligence. Unfortunately, these types of injuries are common.
WHAT CAUSES SLIP-AND-FALL AND TRIP-AND-FALL ACCIDENTS?
A slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident typically happens when there is a dangerous condition on the floor, sidewalk, parking lot, or other walkway on a property. Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents cause a large number of injuries across Utah each year. Common causes of slip-and-fall accidents include:
- Slippery wet floors
- Broken glass and tiles
- Uneven sidewalks
- Parking lots and walkways in disrepair
- Broken stairs and guardrails
- Bad lighting
- Failure to warn with a wet floor sign
- Snowy and icy walkways
IS MY SLIP-AND-FALL OR TRIP-AND-FALL CLAIM WORTH PURSUING?
A good injury case is one that can be proven in court. Slip-and-fall cases are worth pursuing if it is likely that you and your attorney can prove that the defendant was negligent and the defendant can pay for your injuries. Call Gosdis Law to schedule a free consultation. During your initial consultation, the attorney you meet with will explain the investigation process that will take place for your case. The attorneys at Gosdis Law are relentless in pursuing the compensation that their clients deserve and need to recover fully. You can trust that when you are represented by Shane Gosdis and Gosdis Law, nothing is left on the table. We pursue justice and a part of that pursuit is getting the compensation that you deserve.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A SLIP-AND-FALL OR TRIP-AND-FALL ACCIDENT?
When you have any kind of accident, you should first ensure that you are ok. If you injured, you should seek medical attention immediately. Be sure that you keep all medical bills and records so that your injuries are well-documented. In personal injury cases, it is important that your attorney can show an insurance company or a court your condition before and after an accident to show how the accident affected you. It is important to keep the medical bills because they are a part of your economic damage.
If you do not require immediate emergency medical care, you should assess the scene. Take everything in and take notes if you can. You must take pictures and video. Having evidence of the scene contemporaneous to the time of the accident is crucial in slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall cases. Showing the place where you fell, the surrounding areas, and any other details can help to build your case and make your story compelling to an insurance company and the jury if your case goes to trial.
Fill out an incident report if your accident occurs at a retail store or other retail location with employees or a manager on site. Incident reports are critical to your slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall case. They are contemporaneous evidence of your injury and they often trigger a duty on the employees, managers, and or owners to undertake an investigation into your accident. On the incident report, ask the manager in writing to preserve all evidence associated with your accident, including security camera footage.
Obtain the name and contact information for any witnesses to your slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident. Third-party witnesses significantly improve the strength of your case, especially when the land owner is disputing liability for your injuries.
You should speak to an attorney before you speak to anyone else. You may be contacted by an insurance company for the property or business owner in the coming days and weeks. They may ask you to make a recorded statement. It is not wise to agree to give an opposing insurance company a statement without speaking to an attorney. An experienced accident attorney can inform you of the implications that giving such as statement may have on your ability to recover damages in the future.
The attorneys at Gosdis Law are experienced slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall attorneys. You can feel confident that if you trust them with your case, they will maximize the settlement or jury value of your case. Call or text Gosdis Law at 385-429-9960 or visit us online today to schedule a free consultation.
WHAT INJURIES ARE TYPICAL FOR SLIP-AND-FALL AND TRIP-AND-FALL ACCIDENTS?
Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents are common types of accidents and cause a range of injuries, from simple and temporary to severe and permanent. Examples of possible injuries that can occur because of a slip-and-fall accident include the following:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are injuries that occur to the soft tissue of the body. These kinds of injuries are usually temporary and less severe. Examples include:
- Cuts and scrapes
Soft tissue injuries often require at least some medical care, but it is unlikely that these kinds of injuries will require major medical intervention. Although soft tissue injuries may not require invasive medical treatment, like surgery, the costs of medical care to appropriately treat the injuries can add up quickly.
At Gosdis Law, we significant experience helping slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall victims get the money they need to recover even from minor injuries. Gosdis Law is the best advocate that you can have in your corner. We have recovered millions and millions of dollars for accident victims. If you have been in a slip-and-fall accident or trip-and-fall accident, call or text the number one personal injury firm in Salt Lake City – Gosdis Law.
Hard injuries refer to injuries that tend to be more severe and can have permanent effects. Because of their severity, hard injuries typically have a high cost for treatment. These injuries are usually apparent, unlike soft tissue injuries that may lie dormant for a period.
Examples of hard injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Spinal injury
A simple mistake can cause a slip-and-fall and lead to a catastrophic injury. Although these injuries are obvious to anyone looking, insurance companies work hard to avoid paying for the negligence of their insured.
HOW DO INSURANCE COMPANIES AVOID PAYING FOR SLIP-AND-FALL AND TRIP-AND-FALL CASES?
Remember that insurance companies do not work for you. Insurance adjusters have one goal in mind, and that is to protect the bottom line of the insurance company. The opposing party’s insurance company wants to pay as little as possible on an insurance claim, including slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall claims. To accomplish that goal, an insurance adjuster may prey on unrepresented accident victims. They might do this by asking for a recorded statement from you before you are represented by an attorney, hoping to key admissions from you on the record.
Another tactic that the insurance company may use to avoid paying out a claim is to draw out the process. Insurance companies and insurance adjusters know that the average accident victim is not savvy about their rights after a car accident. It is usually the injured person’s first time being in an accident and dealing with another person’s insurance company. Because of that knowledge, unrepresented accident victims are vulnerable. They may not know about the impending statute of limitations.
Insurance companies also avoid paying for slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents by arguing that their insured was unaware of the dangerous condition on its property or that the insured did not have sufficient time to remedy the dangerous condition or warn invitees about the dangerous condition. In addition, insurance companies routinely fight slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents on causation, meaning that they argue that the slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident did not actually cause the injured party’s injuries.
HOW CAN A LAWYER HELP ME WITH MY SLIP-AND-FALL OR TRIP-AND-FALL CASE?
It may be overwhelming to know what to do after being involved in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident, but the right attorney on your side can make things so much easier. Shane Gosdis and the attorneys at Gosdis Law together make up the best personal injury firm in Utah. We focus exclusively on assisting injury victims and have significant experience resolving slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents. Our injury attorneys can help you maximize your settlement amount. What follows are ways that an injury attorney can help you.
Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall cases can be difficult to prove. Photos, security camera footage, and witness interview are often critical. Your attorney should visit the accident site as soon as possible after the accident to start gathering evidence and interviewing potential witnesses. Evidence quickly disappears after these types of accidents. You need someone in your corner to immediately start preserving evidence critical to your slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall case.
Making a Demand
The manner in which you make your settlement demand matters, especial in slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents. Critical factors include: when to make the claim; what to include and not to include in the claim; what types of supporting documents to include; establishing liability through relevant case law and statutes; establishing causation through supporting medical and other documentation; and demanding the correct settlement amount are all critical to the success of your claim.
Communicating on Your Behalf
One of the first things that your attorney will do on your behalf is to communicate with insurance companies and defense attorneys. Accident victims that try to settle their cases with insurance companies on their own usually get the short end of the stick. Some big insurance companies have a reputation for taking advantage of individuals after an accident. If you have an experienced attorney on your side, they can negotiate, answer questions, and present your case to a judge or jury on your behalf. You risk a minimal settlement amount if you go against your opponents alone.
Represent You at Trial
Your attorney will represent you at trial. While an accident victim may represent themselves in court to a judge or jury, it is always wise to have an experienced advocate working on their behalf on the big day. You can rest assured that the big insurance company that you will face has an army of defense lawyers that are focused on getting the best results for their client. If you choose to hire an attorney, you will have an experienced fighter working to protect your best interests as well.
Trained in the Procedural Rules
Negligence law can get quite complicated. The further in the weeds that a case gets, the more issues that arise. The law can be dense and confusing for someone who does not have experience and understanding when working in this area. You need someone with experience navigating the arena to get you safely to the other side.
CAN I AFFORD AN ATTORNEY?
Many people get hurt and choose to deal with the consequences because they do not believe that they can afford legal assistance. For personal injury cases, however, that is not the case. Many injury attorneys work on a contingent basis, including Gosdis Law.
A contingency fee is a payment structure that injury lawyers use to allow accident victims to pursue their claims without the burden of substantial legal fees upfront. The terms of the agreement must be explained to the client, and the client must understand the terms and implications of the agreement before the client and lawyer enter into such an agreement.
A contingency fee puts off payment of legal fees until the end of a case. At Gosdis Law, we do not charge our clients a fee for our services unless we recover a settlement on your behalf.
An attorney and a client must agree to all the terms of the contingency fee. One term of the agreement that the attorney and client agree upon is how much the attorney will be paid after the case is settled. Another term that the lawyer and client must agree to before entering into a contingency fee agreement is whether the law firm or the client will be responsible for paying the litigation costs upfront. A lawyer and client may agree that the firm fronts the costs of litigation and be reimbursed after the case settles. Examples of litigation costs include:
- Printing, postage, and mailing
- Costs of preparing exhibits
- Travel expenses
- Costs of expert witnesses
- Mediation and deposition fees
- Filing fees
WHO ARE THE POTENTIAL DEFENDANTS IN A SLIP-AND-FALL OR TRIP-AND-FALL CASE?
Potential defendants in slip-and-fall cases include property and business owners. Anyone who is responsible for keeping an area where visitors or customers are likely to be safe is a potential defendant in a slip-and-fall case.
WHAT ARE COMMON INJURIES CASUED BY SLIP-AND-FALL AND TRIP-AND-FALL ACCIDENTS?
Each accident is unique and will cause unique injuries that will require specific recovery. Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall injuries can range from temporary and mild to severe and permanent.
A slip-and-fall accident can cause “soft” injuries, which are injuries to the soft tissues of the body. Soft tissue injuries usually do not require very expensive medical treatments but may cost multiple visits to doctors or physical therapists to recover fully. Soft tissue injuries may also require expensive medications to alleviate the pain. Examples of soft tissue injuries include:
- Cuts, scrapes, and other lacerations
Some injuries are more severe and may be permanent. These injuries are usually referred to as “hard” injuries. Hard injuries may require much more extensive treatment and may not heal completely. Hard injuries may even require multiple surgeries to treat properly. Examples of hard injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries and concussions
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Medical damages are just one kind of damage that may be recovered by an injury victim. There are many other kinds of damage that are recoverable in personal injury cases.
WHAT DAMAGES CAN BE RECOVERED IN A SLIP-AND-FALL OR TRIP-AND-FALL CASE?
Damages vary from case to case. What a plaintiff recovers in a personal injury case will vary based upon the facts of their case. However, there are some typical types of damages that most personal injury cases seek to recover, including slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents. Types of damages include:
Economic damages are special damages that are awarded to a plaintiff on a case-by-case basis. Economic damages are easily measured and objective. Awarding a plaintiff economic damage is a good policy because the goal with personal injury cases is to put the plaintiff back in the same or a similar position they were in before the accident. Examples of economic damages include:
- Payment of lost wages
- Payment of medical bills
- Payment of property damages
- Payment for medications and pharmacy bills
- Future income and the loss of earning capacity
- Funeral expenses
The above list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good idea about the goal of personal injury cases.
Non-economic damages are general damages and are must more dubious than economic damages. These damages are associated with a particular plaintiff. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Other emotional issues
Punitive damages are damages that are given to plaintiffs to punish the defendant. These damages are used to deter the defendant, and other defendants like them, from acting in the same way again in the future. Punitive damages are provided in very rare cases that involve wildly outrageous conduct.
WHAT DEFENSES TO DEFENDANTS HAVE TO LIABILITY IN UTAH SLIP-AND-FALL AND TRIP-AND-FALL ACCIDENTS?
Every defendant has the right to present a defense if they are accused by another person in court. Slip-and-fall cases are negligence cases at their core. For a defendant to be successful in a negligence case, they must disprove one of the four elements of negligence. To prove a case for negligence, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty, that the defendant breached the duty, and that the breach of duty caused the injury that the plaintiff suffered.
Comparative negligence is a defense to slip-and-fall cases that a defendant may try to make to avoid liability. Comparative negligence is a body of law that reduces the amount of recovery available for plaintiffs. For example, if a court finds that a plaintiff is partially at fault for their injury, they may rule in favor of the plaintiff but reduce the amount of recovery based on the percentage of fault that the court assigns to the plaintiff. For example, if the court finds that the defendant is 70 percent at fault and the plaintiff is 30 percent at fault, and the plaintiff is awarded $100,000, the plaintiff’s recovery is reduced by 30 percent, and the amount of money that the plaintiff can recover in this case is limited to $70,000. Utah is a comparative negligence state, but some states across the country do not follow the comparative negligence model.
HOW DO I COLLECT MY JUDGMENT?
After you win a judgment on your claim, you are not done with the case yet. Even if you are awarded a judgment, a defendant may be hesitant to pay the settlement. You may not face this challenge if you sue a large company. Companies typically have insurance policies that cover their losses. However, if you sued an individual, you may have trouble. If you face trouble, you may need an experienced attorney that works on debt collection.
WE WILL FIGHT TO RECOVER THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR YOUR UTAH ACCIDENT
As the leader of Gosdis Law, Shane Gosdis has made it his mission to deliver the best outcomes for clients in Utah. The Gosdis Law team is focused entirely on personal injury cases and has been since Shane opened the doors. The advantage of having a team that is solely focused on a particular area of law is that it learns the ins and outs very well and knows what hurdles to anticipate and what pitfalls to avoid so that you can get the best outcome for your case.
Shane Gosdis is Ivy League-educated and uses his education in the pursuit of justice for accident victims across Utah. Gosdis Law is passionate about justice, your case, and getting the job done right. We will use the skills and knowledge that we have honed over the years to help you get the best results available for you and your loved ones.
We all want to avoid an accident. When accidents are unavoidable, however, we need the best team to support us. That best team is at Gosdis Law. We are available for our clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit us online or give us a call or text at 385-429-9960 to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help.