Your life can change in an instant if you suffer a slip and fall accident from snow or ice. In addition to your actual injury, you may have to undergo physical and rehabilitative therapy and stop working until sufficient healing takes place. If your fall took place on public property, you have certain rights and may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or any damage to personal items. As of the time of publication, Iowa does not cap economic or non-economic damages in personal injury cases. Contact a Des Moines Injury Attorney Today.
Standard of Care
Property owners, such as small businesses or professional offices, have a duty to maintain their public areas in snow and adverse weather conditions. This includes removing snow and ice from sidewalks and parking lots. Your case will depend on whether or not the property owner followed such reasonable standards of care.
As the injured party, your own behavior enters into whether or not you are considered partly at fault. Iowa has a comparative fault law, and if your fault is considered less than 50 percent, you might still collect damages. If, however, the fault level assigned to you by the court exceeds 50 percent, you are no longer eligible to receive damages. It’s critical that you are able to prove the property owner was at fault, and should have taken measures to prevent the accident. That means taking photos of the scene immediately after the incident. You may not be in any condition to record such documentation, but ask a friend or relative to take extensive photos of the accident scene as soon as possible. If anyone witnessed your fall, ask them to provide information about the incident. Write down what happened to you as soon as you are able to do so.
In Iowa, you have up to two years after the incident causing the injury to seek recovery via a civil lawsuit. That’s two years from the exact date of the accident. If you weren’t personally injured, but the fall resulted in significant damage to your personal property – such as ruining your phone – the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit extends to five years. Time limits vary by state, so if the accident occurred outside Iowa, any civil suits depend on that state’s statutes of limitations. In any event, if you miss the filing deadline, it is likely that the property owner will request a dismissal of your case. If the court agrees, that’s the end of it, with rare exceptions. That is why it is imperative for you to contact an attorney within a reasonable time after your accident. If your fall occurred on government property, different rules apply, and you must file a notice with the government agency as soon as possible.
The Hope Law Firm – Protecting the Rights of Accident and Injury Victims in Des Moines and the Surrounding Areas
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident because of icy or snowy conditions, call the Hope Law Firm immediately. Our attorneys will thoroughly evaluate the details of your case and make sure you understand your rights and options before moving forward. We focus solely on protecting the rights of accident and injury victims. Contact the Hope Law Firm for a free consultation today.