“Accidents will happen,” it’s often said—either as a consolation or as an excuse.  It is an accepted reality that harm sometimes befalls people through no fault of their own, and that frequently, there is no one to blame for it.  When the axiom is used to express sympathy, it can be read as regret that a person came to harm without flirting with trouble.  In the latter sense, it can be interpreted as an attempt to sidestep responsibility for a person’s own contribution to the circumstances that brought about the hardship. 

Negligence is a failure to take due precautions to prevent another’s reasonable assumption of safety from leading to an accident.  Accident is slipping on a banana peel; negligence is losing a banana peel as your knuckles drag on the ground.  Perhaps it is accident that causes a person to fall and sprain their ankle, but negligence that keeps the building manager from nailing down a jutting corner of carpet that the person tripped on.  An auto accident may take place because of a brake malfunction that resulted from hurried safety checks.  There are many mishaps that might be an accident on the victim’s end, but negligence on another.  If the proprietor or attendant causes a safety hazard, is aware of a safety hazard, or should have been aware of said hazard, then they could be liable for damages stemming from the same.

Personal injury lawyers in Utah and throughout the U.S. will generally offer free consultations to help ascertain ahead of time whether it is likely that liability can be established.  This is particularly convenient given a shortness of funds that people involved in serious accidents often have to deal with before they consider calling an attorney.  Thankfully, there is not the same gamble in personal injury law that exists in other varieties.  Personal injury lawyers, many of whom only collect payment when their clients do, have a direct stake in penalizing negligence.  They will know who to appeal to for compensation and how to bring to task reticent insurance agencies denying just claims.  If fault can be assigned in an accident, it may require an expert’s insights to identify the guilty party or to secure the financial reparations to which their client is entitled.

Accidents will happen; this much will never change…but that doesn’t mean that they all should or that no one is responsible.

The above article is a guest blog post by the personal injury attorneys at Christensen & Hymas.

Author Photo

Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 15 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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