If you sustain injuries from tripping on an uneven sidewalk, you need to know your rights and the applicable laws in your state. When accidents happen, it is sometimes evident who is at fault for an incident. Other times, it can be challenging to identify the liable party. Depending on the circumstances of your fall, you may have a right to receive compensation for your damages and losses. Determining the at-fault party in your case is crucial for pursuing a legal claim.
If not correctly maintained, sidewalks can become dangerous due to cracks and uneven surfaces. The entity responsible for keeping a sidewalk in good condition varies depending on the location of the walkway. The liable party may be a property owner or a government agency. Sometimes, more than one party is responsible for an accident.
It is important to note that you are responsible for being aware of your environment. However, in Taylorsville, UT, the law requires that property owners bordering streets or alleys keep all sidewalks, curbs, curb ramps and gutters in good condition. You can assess the details of your situation by asking yourself if a property owner had taken reasonable and proper care of the sidewalk, would you have avoided a fall entirely? If the answer is yes, you may have a legal case against an owner or insurance company. Even if a judge finds you partially at fault for your fall, you may still recover compensation.
Various elements can lead to a trip and fall incident. Some common causes include the following:
Even when being especially cautious, you can still trip on uneven surfaces. When public walkways do not receive adequate repair and maintenance, it can result in accidents and significant injuries. Some bodily damages that can result from a fall include the following:
After falling, it is essential to take steps to ensure your care and protect your rights.
Remain calm as you assess the situation. Do not say things that imply you are at fault or proclaim that you are not injured. You may feel fine at that moment, but adrenaline can mask pain, and some injuries have delayed symptoms and complications that do not appear immediately.
You may become disoriented by the event and be unable to think clearly at that moment. Collect evidence even if you do not believe you will need to pursue legal action. If you change your mind about filing a claim, you may be unable to gather sufficient evidence later. Your injuries may be worse than you realize and require expensive treatments.
Obtain proof by taking photos of the sidewalk showing the uneven portion from various angles. Write down the contact information of any witnesses to the incident. File a formal report with the business or property owner. Ensure you get a signed copy of the report for your records.
Write down everything you remember about your accident. It is easy to forget small details if you do not document them. Take note of the time of day and lighting in the area. Include notes about the weather conditions and any ice, snow or water on the sidewalk at the time. Document the date and time of the accident as closely as possible.
Seek medical attention following the mishap. Proper treatment can help reduce long-term effects and allow you to heal more quickly. It is best to have an evaluation by a medical professional to determine the nature and severity of your injuries.
Legal contracts can contain confusing language, and you may not get the compensation you deserve if you do not know the ins and outs of the laws. Speak with an experienced attorney to review the details of your case, understand your rights and identify the liable party. Only agree to compensation offers from property owners or insurance companies once you have spoken with a legal professional.
Utah law has a four-year statute of limitations for seeking injury compensation. Depending on the circumstances of your fall, you can pursue claims for recovery of the following damages:
If property owners in Utah are not compliant with sidewalk maintenance and repair regulations, they may be liable for accidents resulting from negligence. The legal professionals at Fielding Law can help you understand how the laws apply to your case. They can also negotiate with insurance companies and opposing attorneys to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or at 877-880-4090 to learn how we can help protect your legal rights after a trip and fall accident.