The types of accidents we often associate with premise liability are slips or trips and falls at businesses, residences or in public areas. Although there is some expectation that a visitor will exercise common sense in navigating around various hazards, an owner or occupant of the premise can be held legally responsible if they caused a slippery or unsafe condition to be underfoot, or they knew or should have known that the condition existed.
A person that is responsible for a property must make an effort to routinely check walkways and conduct repairs and cleanups as needed within a reasonable time-frame to prevent injuries such as trips, slips and falls. In trying to determine if an owner is liable for your injury, there are questions you can ask:
- For example, if a floor is in disrepair or there was a spill presenting a danger to visitors, was it there long enough for the owner to know the problem existed? If the owner or operator was unaware, should they have known? There is an obligation on the part of the owner or occupant to conduct routine safety checks.
- If an object was placed for a reason that no longer exists, could the obstruction have been removed or covered, making the area more safe to navigate? Could a warning or barrier have been erected or lighting improved to prevent an accident?
The answers to these questions can help you decide if an owner or occupant of a premise might be responsible for your injury.
After looking at the action (or inaction) of the owner or occupant of the premise, take a look at the circumstances surrounding the visitor:
- Was the visitor on the premises for a legitimate reason the owner could have anticipated? Should the visitor have noticed and avoided slippery or dangerous areas? Did they ignore warning signs? Was the visitor using the premise in a normal way as opposed to acting in an unexpected, unauthorized or careless manner?
Responsibility for an injury accident not only concerns an owner’s duty to keep the property safe, it also must take into account the actions of the visitor in relation to the expected use of the premise.
Experienced Team of Iowa Slip Trip Fall Attorneys
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a slip, trip and fall accident due to a property owner’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injury and losses, including medical treatment, lost wages, and for your pain & suffering. Contact the experienced team of Iowa slip trip fall premises liability attorneys at Stoltze & Stoltze PLC at 515-244-1473 for your free consultation.