Experienced Premises Liability Attorneys in Park City
If You Were Hurt on Unsafe Private Property, We Can Help You Determine Whether You Have a Claim
You slipped on an icy patch on the sidewalk and fell. Maybe you sprained your ankle on an uneven sidewalk. Or a nail, poking out of some shelving, scored a gash in your dominant hand. Can you sue the property owner or lessee for your injuries?
It’s not a straightforward yes-or-no issue. Answering questions of liability is more easily done with a flow chart than a binary test. Even after you prove liability, you may still have trouble recovering the compensation you deserve from an insurer that does not want to pay. Proving a claim in Utah typically requires investigative work and navigating complicated statutes, which is why we advise anyone who thinks they have a premises liability case to reach out to our attorneys. We can evaluate your case for free to determine whether you might be eligible to file an injury claim. Then, we’ll start gathering evidence to back your claim for damages.
What Needs to Be Proven in a Premises Liability Case
Like any personal injury case, premises liability claims rest upon four assumptions.
- First, the property owner owed you a duty of care. That is, there must be an existing relationship between you and the property owner than confers an expectation you will be safe on their land.
- Second, you must prove the property owner breached that duty. That means you must prove they knew (or reasonably should have known) there was a potential danger lurking on their property yet failed to repair it or warn visitors.
- Third, you must prove the dangerous condition on the property led you to be injured.
- Fourth, that injury must have led to damages (losses) on your part.
Only once you have proven all these points will you be able to collect compensation. Everything starts with your ability to show your safety should have been guaranteed.
Visitor Relationships and the Duty of Care
To determine if you’re owed a duty of care, the law first at your relationship with the property owner at the time of the incident. Were you:
- A trespasser, who should not have been on their land?
- A licensee, with implicit (unstated) permission to be on the property?
- An invitee, who was on the property for business reasons or reasons that would benefit its owner?
If you were trespassing at the time of the accident, you would have no reasonable reason to think the property owner was responsible for your safety. In this situation, there is no duty of care. Both licensees and invitees can presume a certain amount of reasonable effort should have been made on behalf of their safety. However, the invitee, because of the direct relationship and/or promise of patronage, is allowed the highest expectation of personal safety.
Defining Reasonable Visitor Expectations
Even if you are an invitee, the most protected class of visitor to a property, this does not mean any injury you sustain will automatically be grounds for a lawsuit. You must show the injury was preventable but for the negligence of the property owner.
As a licensee, you can expect that hazards known to the property owner but not immediately apparent should have ample warning. For invitees, there is an additional assumption that a property owner will monitor their land for hazards and provide warnings or arrange for their repair. Therefore, an invitee must prove that a property owner knew of the danger and neglected to fix it or that enough time had passed since the creation of the hazard for a reasonable property manager to discover it. Proving these claims involves determining the exact time the hazard was created and how it should have been noticed. It is not a job we recommend you undertake alone.
Smart Investigators, Skilled Litigators
If you have a property liability claim, you need a capable and experienced team on your side. We can handle every step of such a case, finding evidence to support your claim and keeping pressure on the insurer to provide a fair settlement. We’re not afraid to file a lawsuit against an insurer that refuses to compensate you for your losses. We’ll do everything we can to protect your right to compensation.