Dangerous and Defective Conditions

Dangerous and defective conditions on property can cause severe injuries and even death. Common dangerous conditions include violations of applicable housing code requirements; defective wiring; improperly maintained walkways or sidewalks; dangerous dogs or other animals on the property; or sharp edges or nails in walls, furniture or appliances.

In Iowa, the law requires that owners and occupiers of land owe a duty to exercise reasonable case in the maintenance of their premises for the protection of lawful visitors.  In determining whether or not a property owner or occupier has exercised reasonable case for the protection of lawful visitors, juries are instructed that they may consider factors such as:
  1. Whether or not the injury as a result of the condition on the land was something that could be expected;
  2. The reason or purpose the visitor was on the property;
  3. The time, manner and circumstances under which the visitor was on the property;
  4. How the property was being used at the time the injury occurred;
  5. The reasonableness or unreasonableness of the inspection, repair or warning, if any, regarding the dangerous or defective condition;
  6. How easy or how much of an opportunity the owner had to repair or correct or give a warning regarding the dangerous condition.

Also, in Iowa, the owner or legal occupant of the property that has a dangerous or defective condition is presumed to know all conditions on the premises that are caused or created by the owner or occupant or any of their agent or employee.  The property owner or occupant may refute that presumption by presenting evidence that they did not have knowledge of the condition but that defense fails if the condition existed for a long enough time that in the exercise of reasonable care, the property owner should have known about the condition.

Have you lost a loved one due to someone else's
negligence or recklessness


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