Law Office of Ralph C. Petty

What Is Premises Liability In Utah?


Premises liability cases involve injuries that occur on other people’s property and are not the fault of the person injured.

What Types Of Accidents And Injuries Can Be Included In Premises Liability Situations?

Premises liability cases can include falls, drowning in a pool, slipping on a sidewalk, tripping on a curb, stepping into a hole on a lawn, or any other injury that occurs due to a defect or otherwise dangerous condition on property that does not belong to the injured person.

How Does Causation In a Premises Liability Case Work?

In most premises liability cases, causation is very difficult to prove. In Utah, the injured person must prove that the landowner or the landlord knew or should have known about the defect or dangerous condition before the injury occurred. That is significant, because it can be very difficult to reach back in time and show that the landowner or the landlord knew about a defect or a dangerous condition before an injury occurred. To show knowledge requires evidence, such as surveillance video or witnesses. However, it can be very difficult to find witnesses, and if there is no video footage available, it can be very difficult to show that the landowner or landlord was aware of the dangerous condition before the injury. A skilled Premises liability attorney in Utah County can often find evidence to show that the defective condition was known. If the dangerous condition has existed on the property for a long period of time, then it can be argued that the landowner or landlord should have known about the dangerous condition.

Is Comparative Or Contributory Negligence Ever A Factor In These Cases?

Yes, comparative negligence is a factor in these cases. If the person who was injured was not reasonably careful and therefore contributed to their own injury, then that can be used to diminish the amount of compensation the injured person receives. For example, if you’re on a sidewalk and there’s gravel on the sidewalk and you fail to take the precaution of carefully stepping around the gravel and you fall, then there is likely to be some contributory negligence because you were aware of the danger. If you are contributorily negligent or are a partial cause of the injury, then the compensation available to you will be reduce commensurate with the extent of your negligence. The risk is that if your fault exceeds 50% of the cause of the injury, then you won’t be compensated at all.

What Damages Are Available In a Premises Liability Claim In Utah?

All personal injury damages are available in a premises liability claim in Utah. These include medical expenses, compensation for lost income, temporary and permanent disability, pain and suffering, emotional injuries, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life. Every harm that is caused as a result of the premises liability injury is compensable.

Can Punitive Damages Ever Be Recovered In A Premises Liability Claim?

Yes, punitive damages can sometimes be recovered in premises liability claims depending on the landlord’s knowledge of the danger. If the landlord is aware of a dangerous situation and simply ignores it (or takes little or no action to alleviate it), then the lack of corrective action can be considered a total disregard for the safety of others, which is a basis for punitive damages.

What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have About Premises Liability Claims?

The most common misconception is the belief that simply because someone was injured on someone else’s property, the owner of that property is liable. This is not true. We have to prove that there was a dangerous condition, that it was known or should have been known by the landowner or landlord, and that it was not obvious and known to the injured party.

For more information on Premises Liability Claims In Utah, a free initial consultation with Premises liability attorney in Utah County is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 783-1111 today.

Ralph C. Petty, ESQ.

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