Slip-and-fall accidents can happen anywhere, even in beautiful Salt Lake City. A simple misstep on an icy sidewalk or a worn-out stairway can quickly become a painful – and even costly – experience.

Under Utah slip-and-fall laws, property owners have a “duty of care” to maintain a safe environment for visitors and guests. This includes businesses, public spaces, and even private residences.

If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, Craig Swapp & Associates, a team of experienced Salt Lake City slip-and-fall lawyers, is here to help you understand your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Property Owner’s “Duty of Care” in Salt Lake City

The foundation of most cases of slip-and-fall accidents rests on the concept of a property owner’s “duty of care.” Under Utah slip-and-fall laws, property owners (whether businesses, homeowners, or government entities) are legally obligated to keep their premises reasonably safe for lawful visitors. This duty involves:

  1. Inspecting the Property – Conduct regular checks to identify potential hazards like uneven flooring, broken stairs, spills, or inadequate lighting.
  2. Addressing Dangers – Property owners must act promptly to repair known hazards or provide clear warnings to visitors. The standard is what a “reasonable” person would do in similar circumstances.
  3. Foreseeable Risks – The duty of care extends to risks the owner should have reasonably anticipated. For example, a grocery store owner should foresee that spills are likely to happen and have procedures in place to address them.

In Salt Lake City, establishing a property owner’s negligence in a slip-and-fall case hinges on demonstrating that they failed to uphold their duty of care by keeping the property reasonably safe.

Utah’s Comparative Negligence in Slip-and-Fall Accidents in Salt Lake City

Not every slip-and-fall accident can be fully blamed on the property owner. Sometimes, the injured person might have contributed to the accident, such as being distracted by their phone. Utah applies a  “comparative negligence” rule, which means:

  1. Shared Fault – Both the property owner’s negligence and the injured person’s actions can be considered when determining liability.
  2. Reduced Compensation – If you are found partially at fault, your financial compensation will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. If you were 30% at fault, your recovery is reduced by 30%.
  3. 50% Rule – Importantly, in Utah, if you are found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident, you generally cannot recover any compensation.

Understanding Utah’s comparative negligence laws is crucial for slip-and-fall victims in Salt Lake City, as your actions could significantly impact the amount of compensation you may receive.

“Notice” to the Property Owner: Actual vs. Constructive Notice

Notice is a critical factor in a slip-and-fall accident in Salt Lake City. To hold the property owner accountable, you generally need to show that they either knew or should have known about the hazard. There are two key types of notice:

  1. Actual Notice – The property owner was directly aware of the dangerous condition because they created it, an employee informed them, or a customer complained.
  2. Constructive Notice – The property owner might not have been directly told about the hazard, but it existed for a significant enough period that they should have discovered it through reasonable inspections and maintenance.

To successfully pursue a slip-and-fall claim in Salt Lake City, the injured party must prove that the property owner had either actual knowledge of the dangerous condition or should have reasonably discovered it.

Unique Challenges of “Weather-Based” Slip-and-Falls

Salt Lake City’s weather, such as winter, comes with a unique set of challenges when it comes to slip-and-fall hazards. Property owners cannot simply blame the weather; they still have to protect visitors from these foreseeable risks. This means:

  1. Clearing Ice and Snow Promptly

After a winter storm, property owners have a reasonable amount of time to shovel walkways, apply salt or de-icing agents, and remove accumulated snow piles that might melt and refreeze. What qualifies as “reasonable” may depend on the type of property and foot traffic.

  1. Addressing Hidden Dangers – Black ice can be nearly impossible to see. Property owners should take extra precautions in areas prone to freezing, using sand or other materials to improve traction, and posting clear warnings when needed.
  2. Monitoring Conditions – Property owners need to stay vigilant even after initial snow removal. Changing temperatures can lead to new slip-and-fall hazards throughout the day.

Determining liability in weather-related slip-and-falls can be more complex. If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident in Salt Lake City due to icy conditions, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced slip-and-fall injury lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT.

When a Salt Lake City Slip-and-Fall Lawyer Is Essential

A slip-and-fall accident in Salt Lake City can lead to devastating injuries, high medical expenses, and lost wages. Craig Swapp & Associates firmly believes that victims of negligence should not bear the burden alone. If you have been injured, your injury lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT will:

  1. Investigate Thoroughly – Gather evidence of the property owner’s negligence, including pictures of the scene, maintenance records, and witness statements.
  2. Determine Liability – Assess whether the property owner’s breach of duty contributed to your accident.
  3. Value Your Claim – Calculate the full extent of your economic and non-economic damages.
  4. Fight for Your Right to Compensation – Negotiate aggressively with insurance companies and, if necessary, take your case to trial.

The aftermath of a slip-and-fall incident can be complex. Insurance companies will often look to shift blame or undervalue an injured person’s claim. That is why it is critical to consult with an experienced Salt Lake City slip-and-fall lawyer as soon as possible.

If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident in Salt Lake City, do not face a future burdened by injuries and financial worry without first having spoken with our professional, compassionate legal team at Craig Swapp & Associates.

Contact our firm for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us help you navigate the legal process and work towards the justice you deserve.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp