Apr 05 2019

Sporting Events and Personal Injury Liability Concerns

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we’ve seen virtually every variety of personal injury case out there. While the most common in this category are car accidents and those involving other vehicle types, we also handle cases involving various other injuries, dog bite claims and even trampoline-related injuries.

The moral of the story here: You can be injured in many situations, and just because yours isn’t one of the most common for a personal injury case doesn’t mean you can’t receive compensation if another party was at fault for your injuries. One great example of this is with injuries sustained at a sporting event – let’s go over when you may or may not have liability claims in these relatively unique circumstances.
sporting events personal injury liability

Assumption of Risk

It’s important to note that when you attend a sporting event, particularly one put on by a professional-level team like the Utah Jazz or Real Salt Lake, there’s a legal element known as “assumption of risk” that you are taking. This assumption will generally be expressed in several areas: On your tickets themselves, plus at multiple locations within the arena or stadium. They will also generally be repeated by a public service announcer at some point before the event begins.
Generally speaking, these assumptions cover the reasonable, inherent risks presented by whatever sport you’re viewing. If you’re at a baseball game, then, it’s reasonable to expect that baseballs may fly into the crowd at some point, and you have to be watching for them – if you’re hit by one and weren’t paying attention, you won’t have a claim against the ballpark, for instance. This same level of reasonable assumption applies to any sport based on the basic rules, fields and materials used during play.

Exceptions to Risk Assumption

Now, assumption of risk is not a cover-all rule for arenas or the groups putting on these events. There’s also a reasonable expectation that the venue provide the adequate protections that should be in place.
Take a hockey rink, for example, which in recent decades have all installed protective nettings behind each goal to stop speeding pucks from flying up into the crowd and hitting spectators. If this netting is faulty in a rink you attend and results in a puck injuring you, you very well might have a liability claim against the venue.

Unforeseeable Events

There are other cases where events no one could have predicted lead to injury cases. Often these are incidents between fans, such as fights or similar events. If you’re unsure whether such an event qualifies, ask one of our personal injury lawyers, who can clarify for you.

Safe, Secure Facility

Finally, as we touched on above, it’s the venue’s responsibility to provide a safe and secure facility. This means well-maintained premises, including proper lighting and a maintenance staff that keeps walkways and other public areas clear. It also means hiring and maintaining proper security – certain personal injury cases involving sporting events related to issues where non-adequate security was present to prevent an incident.

For more on whether or not an injury sustained at a sporting event might leave you with a personal injury claim, or for information on any of our personal injury attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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Mar 15 2019

Emerging Future Trends in Personal Injury Cases

Through our years of assisting clients with a variety of personal injury cases at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we’ve noted a number of trends. Whether due to changes in technology, laws, or some combination of other factors, there are stretches where certain kinds of cases become much more common.

Keeping an eye to these kinds of trends is valuable, not only to us but to our clients. With them, we can help advise you on the types of incidents that are on the rise and help you avoid any of their primary risks. With that in mind, here are a few of the areas that many in the personal injury world expect to be some of the biggest emerging sectors in the coming years.
emerging trends personal injury cases

Ridesharing Services

In a process we’ve gone over in this space in the past, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft continue to be on the rise throughout the country. This is particularly true in larger metropolitan areas like Salt Lake City, where there are tons of drivers working for these services – and not all of them are safe or properly qualified.

These companies do have insurance policies in place to protect customers and drivers, but due to how new these services still are in many areas, there’s still some gray in terms of how settlements and compensation are worked out in cases where a rideshare driver is responsible for an accident. You car accident attorney can help you with the ins and outs here, many of which are becoming clearer with each passing year.

Drone Usage

Also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones are also experiencing a huge surge in popularity in recent years. They’re used in both the professional and recreational spaces, with a number of practical and entertainment uses.

But as they continue to become more popular, though, the conversation has shifted in some circles to their safety and regulation. What happens if a poorly piloted drone falls from the air and injures you, for instance? Who is responsible? This gets into areas of product liability and invasions of privacy, all of which our personal injury lawyers can assess for you.

Cell Phones and Distracted Driving

The primary causes of many vehicle accidents have shifted over the years, and one of the top items on the list in recent years is distracted driving due to cell phones. Our smartphones offer more information and entertainment than ever before, and even despite hands-free and car-safe formats, many people still continue to use these unsafely while on the road. Distracted driving itself is not new, of course, but both law enforcement and safety organizations are highly interested in curbing the cell phone usage that often causes it today – and these issues are important parts of resulting personal injury cases, as well.

For more on which areas of personal law are becoming more common, or to learn about any of our personal injury lawyer services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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Mar 01 2019

Premise Liability and Slip-and-Fall Cases

The world of personal injury is a wide one within the law, covering everything from vehicle accidents (some of the most common cases) to numerous other situations that might involve injury. One such situation is the slip-and-fall scenario, which can take place in a variety of locations and might be due to negligence or lack of warning by a business or property owner in some cases. At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we can help with all personal injury cases, including these situations. When it comes to slip-and-fall incidents, we’ve found there’s some confusion among those who use the term “premise liability” interchangeably – the two terms are very similar, but are not the same. In fact, premise liability is actually more of an umbrella term that refers to several personal injury claim types. Let’s look at the basics of premise liability, plus several examples that include slips and falls.
premise liability slip-and-fall cases

Basics of Premise Liability

Premise liability, as the name suggests, is related to an individual or business’s responsibility to maintain safe, reasonable conditions on their property. If they fail to do so due to negligence, and someone sustains an injury due to these conditions and/or this negligence, it’s possible that the injured party will have a personal injury case falling under the category of premise liability.

For a successful premise liability case, you have to be able to prove specifically that the owner’s negligence caused the unsafe condition that led to your injury. Just being injured on another’s property isn’t enough, nor is the fact that the property was unsafe – if either of those conditions takes place independently of the other, you have no case. You have to prove that a hazard existed, the owner was aware of it, and did not do enough to remedy it.

Premise Liability Examples – Including Slips and Falls

Some examples of broad situations that would fall under premise liability include:

  • Inadequate maintenance to facilities
  • Snow or ice accidents
  • Inadequate security for certain building types
  • Improperly maintained elevators leading to accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Dog bite incidents
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Amusement park liability issues
  • Slips and falls with outside liability

It’s important to note that in any premise liability case, just like with many issues of liability and personal injury, it’s possible for more than one party to have some fault in an injury or accident. This is particularly true in the cases of slips and falls, where it might indeed be true that a business or property owner was negligent – but where you also may have had liability for being in the area to begin with.

Perhaps there was no good reason for you to be there, or maybe there were warnings posted that you missed due to being distracted. Shared liability is possible in these cases, as is you simply being found fully liable if your own negligence is actually what caused the fall.

For more on separating premise liability from slips and falls, or to learn about any of our personal injury attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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Nov 25 2018

Basic Stages of Personal Injury Cases

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we’re proud to offer the highest quality personal injury attorney services available in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas. We’ve helped hundreds of clients with their cases over nearly 40 years in the field, from walking them through the basics of the procedure to aggressively negotiation fair settlements when appropriate.

For those who luckily haven’t dealt with such a case in the past, the process of a personal injury procedure can be unfamiliar. Let’s go over the simple stages of the process, which will vary depending on whether the two sides are or aren’t able to arrive at a settlement.

stages personal injury cases

Pretrial

To begin with, attorneys from both sides of the case will convene with their clients to find out their versions of the facts and what evidence is available. After this is done, conferences and motions may be held in front of a judge or magistrate, which can be requested by either attorney or even the court itself.

These meetings may be held for several reasons, including expediting some part of the case, discouraging any meaningless pretrial activities, improving trial preparation, or often to help bring along a settlement in the case.

Negotiations

After pretrial motions and meetings have been completed, both attorneys will convene for an important negotiation stage. This is where they will attempt to reach an agreement that both clients are okay with, which will allow a trial to be avoided and a settlement to be completed. At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, over 98 percent of our cases are able to be settled before ever reaching a lengthy and often burdensome trial phase, getting our clients their due compensation without a drawn-out process.

Litigation/Trial

In cases where a settlement cannot be agreed upon, a trial will be needed. This will be held in front of just a judge in most cases, though certain localities allow either party to request a jury as well. The plaintiff presents their case first, followed by the defense. Witnesses can be called to help present evidence or facts, and can be cross-examined.

Settlement or Final Arguments

In cases where a settlement was reached during the negotiation stage, the litigation stage will be skipped and we’ll move directly toward finalizing the settlement. The proper documents will be signed, including the method and time period for fund disbursement.

For cases that go to trial, attorneys for both clients will give their final arguments. At this point, they will await the judgement from the judge or jury in the case.

Appeal or Post-Judgement Motions

Settled cases are done once the papers are signed, but trial cases may have a few post-judgement areas to consider. Attorneys for either side might appeal a non-favorable judgement, or may motion for a new trial based on a few different causes.

For more on the stages of a personal injury case, or to learn about any of our personal injury, car accident or wrongful death attorney services, speak to the pros at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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Nov 05 2018

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

As some of the biggest vehicles on the road, accidents involving trucks and other big rigs can be some of the largest and most complex. This is particularly true if you’re injured in an accident involving a truck or commercial vehicle of any kind, which is generally defined as any vehicle with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds or greater.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we’re here to help if you’ve been in a truck accident and need an attorney to represent your interests. Our truck accident lawyers have been helping clients get their just compensation for over 35 years, whether the accident involved a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer or some other type of commercial vehicle. Let’s look at three of the most common causes of these accidents, and whether or not you’re likely to have a good claim if you’re involved in an accident with one of these causes.

causes truck accidents

Driver Errors

The most common cause of an accident involving a truck or larger commercial vehicle is a driver error of some kind, and there are several different possible areas here. Some of these relate to the truck’s far larger turning radius, which makes it a very different type of vehicle to drive than a passenger sedan or even an SUV. This is exacerbated if trucks have trailers attacked to them.

In addition, some trucking companies subject their drivers to long hours – there have been some cases where those injured by a truck in an accident have actually been able to recover damages from the parent trucking company, rather than the driver themselves, when it was found that unreasonable driving expectations led to driver fatigue that may have caused the accident. But in other cases, aggressive or distracted driving by the driver themselves will leave them liable for your damages.

Weather Issues

Just like other vehicle types, bad weather can impact driving safety and can even cause accidents in some cases. But once again, this can be exacerbated for larger trucks, which don’t handle as well and are more prone to slipping and sliding once they lose control.

Whether or not you’ll be due damages if you’re injured in a truck accident caused by weather can be a bit more complex than other accident causes. If you can prove that the driver should have known the risks of extreme weather and should never have been driving to begin with, you might have a good case. But this isn’t always possible – contact our experts to find out what your options are here.

Mechanical Problems

In other situations, mechanical failures of some kind – such as a flat tire or worn brakes – may contribute to a truck-related accident. Liability here will generally come down to whether you can prove that the driver or trucking company should reasonably have known about these issues beforehand and taken steps to correct them; once again, our attorneys can inform you of whether you have a good case based on your specifics.

To learn more about this or any of our other personal injury or car accident attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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Sep 12 2018

Basics of Slip and Fall Accidents

As those who have experience in the legal field will know, personal injury is a wide category that contains a number of different possible circumstances. There are a number of different ways one can be injured or experience harm due to negligence or liability on the part of another person or entity, and we’re lucky to live in a system that allows people to be justly compensated when this happens.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we have a personal injury lawyer available to you regardless of your specific injury or issue. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident or through some other cause, we’ll represent you aggressively and help you get the compensation you’re owed – almost always without the hassle of a trial, too.

One type of personal injury that’s more common than you might think? Slip and fall injuries, which cause over 1 million hospital visits every year that often come with significant resulting costs. There might be times where a fall you sustained was simply your own fault and there’s nothing that can be done, but in other situations, your fall and resulting injuries may have been caused by negligence. Let’s look at some steps to take and important information if you think your slip and fall was caused by negligence of an outside party.

Immediate Steps to Take

Some of the most important moments for your potential personal injury case will come directly following the injury itself. Make sure to immediately seek medical attention for any injuries, and to also notify the manager or entity in charge of the property so they can fill out an accident report. Make sure you get records of each of these things.

One important note: Even if you don’t feel major pain at the time of the accident, you should still take the steps we just listed. Some medical symptoms may not show up until later, and even if they don’t, documenting the fact that you sought this attention could be important for your case.

Proving Property Liability

To receive compensation for a slip and fall injury, you have to be able to prove that the property owner failed to create a safe environment. This might mean a restaurant with wet floors, for instance, or a hardware store with blocked aisles or falling products. You have to not only prove that these conditions existed, but that management either knew or should have known about them.

For this reason, a few different evidence types may be used:

  • Incident reports from the scene
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Photo or video evidence available
  • Documentation such as bills, reports, emails or others that help prove management was or should have been aware of possible dangers on the property

Statements and Information

One important note here: Like in many other kinds of personal injury cases, you have to be careful about who you talk to in the immediate aftermath of the accident. You should speak to medical professionals and any law enforcement, of course, but be cautious beyond this. Any statements you make can be used against you, and some insurance companies will preemptively try to contact you to get you to make statements that they’ll then attempt to use to limit their own liability.

Our best advice: Once you’ve spoken to the proper first responders, immediately contact the offices of William Rawlings & Associates for a personal injury attorney. To learn more about slip and fall accidents or any of our other personal injury services, contact our offices today.

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Aug 10 2018

Spotting Signs of Drunk Driving

A staggering and unfortunate number of auto accident cases and deaths every year are caused by impaired or drunk drivers. Despite major efforts from major organizations to curb this issue, it still remains a large one on roads across the country.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we’re here to help if you’re ever part of a car accident caused by a drunk driver, and particularly if you’ve sustained injury. The best way to avoid this kind of emotional and physical pain, though, is to avoid the drunk driver altogether. With that in mind, here are some common signs to look out for that might signal an impaired driver on the road with you, plus how to react if you notice these signs.

Signs of Impaired Driving

We can’t always physically see someone consuming alcohol and then getting in the car to drive, so we often have to base this on driving and behavior. Here are some signs that a person might be intoxicated behind the wheel (these are the kinds of signals police and other law enforcement agents look out for):

  • Quick accelerations or decelerations
  • Weaving or swerving across lanes of traffic or into the shoulder
  • Erratic braking
  • Tailgating
  • Failing to signal
  • Driving in more than one lane at a time
  • Near-miss collisions with other vehicles or other objects
  • Driving more than 10 mph below the speed limit
  • Not turning on headlights at night
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Making illegal or abrupt turns

How to React

Even if you aren’t 100 percent sure that the above signs signal a drunk driver on the road with you, they clearly signal an unsafe driver. So how should you respond if you see them?

The first and most important response is staying clear – behind the erratic vehicle. Don’t try to pass them or interfere in any way. If you’re able to obtain their car info, such as make and model or license plate, take this information and then alert police from a safe and stopped location (unless you have a passenger with you in the car who can call while you drive).

What to Do If You’re Injured

In the rare case that you’re part of an accident or injured in any way by a suspected drunk driver, do whatever is in your power to collect all possible documentation. You likely have the right to sue the negligent driver. Once you’ve contacted the proper authorities and received attention for any injuries, contact our offices right away to learn about how our personal injury attorney can help.

For more on spotting a drunk driver, or for any of our personal injury, wrongful death or auto accident attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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Mar 20 2017

Drive Defensively Around Semi-Trucks

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Trucking accidents are usually much more severe than any other auto accidents. This could be due to the fact that semi-trucks weigh about 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. Since other cars usually weigh significantly less, their damage is much more severe. William Rawlings & Associates has handled hundreds of injury cases involving semi-trucks.  We know the laws that govern these truck drivers and their responsibility while on the road.  Put our experienced Semi-truck accident lawyers on your side.

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Feb 13 2017

We Are The Right Semi Truck Accident Attorneys For You

pic semi truck

William R Rawlings and Associates are your best choice for experienced Utah semi-truck accident attorneys. When you team up with us you can expect the best.  We’ll answer your questions and address your concerns throughout the entire process.

We’ll pull together the information needed to build your case, including examining the accident scene and vehicles involved, gathering and evaluating physical evidence and eyewitness testimony, etc. Our experts will stand up to the trucking company’s experts.  We’ll make sure the trucking and insurance companies play by the rules and treat you fairly.  We’ll help you get what you need to recover your old life or adapt to a new one.

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Feb 06 2017

Back Injury Lawyers:  Spinal Cord and Paralysis Injuries

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A spinal cord injury means living with a permanent, debilitating condition that impacts every part of your life for the rest of your life. Contact our experienced, award winning  injury lawyers and let us help you figure out your options and how to move forward.  Our experienced Utah based spinal cord and paralysis lawyers are here to help.

Spinal cord injuries are usually caused by auto accidents, falls, physical assault, and other accidents.  Whatever the cause, a spinal cord injury leaves the victim either partly paralyzed (paraplegia) or completely paralyzed (quadriplegia or tetraplegia). Both conditions require life-long care and destroy your ability to lead an independent life.

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