Injuries based upon dangerous conditions that exist on another person’s property are an all too frequent occurrence in the State of Iowa. Generally speaking, the owner or operator of property is legally required to fix or even avoid creating conditions on their property that create an unreasonable risk of injury or death to other people. It seems to be common sense but not every property owner complies with what the law requires, and when people are hurt as a result of that, the owner is legally responsible to compensate the injured person.
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:
- Whether or not the injury as a result of the condition on the land was something that could be expected;
- The reason or purpose the visitor was on the property;
- The time, manner and circumstances under which the visitor was on the property;
- How the property was being used at the time the injury occurred;
- The reasonableness or unreasonableness of the inspection, repair or warning, if any, regarding the dangerous or defective condition;
- 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.
Property Owner Responsibility
An owner of property in Iowa is legally required to maintain their property and keep it in a condition that does not put lawful visitors at risk of injury. While a property owner is not required to know every possible potential dangerous condition that exists on their property, they are required to exercise reasonable care to discover and correct any dangerous conditions. Most importantly, if the owner or a person that can be considered an agent of the owner, for example an employee, actually creates the dangerous condition, the owner is presumed to know that the dangerous condition existed.
While the legal requirements pertaining to a land owner’s responsibility to keep their property safe can be confusing at times, they are best understood as requiring land owners to simply use common sense. Don’t create dangerous conditions and fix, warn and shelter visitors from dangerous conditions that do exist. Also, know the housing code requirements and make sure that the property is kept up with the required housing code standards.
When people are injured on property due to dangerous conditions created or allowed to exist by the owner, they are entitled to receive compensation for those injuries. Injuries resulting from dangerous conditions on property can range from minor to the most severe and even death. When good people need great lawyers they call GRL Law.
Construction Sites are particularly dangerous places. Whether it is rickety scaffolding, an uncovered manhole, or unsafe operation of equipment, there are countless dangerous situations that arise in these areas. Given that construction sites are inherently dangerous, it is all the more important that contractors abide by the law and applicable safety regulations to ensure that workers and the public are not exposed to any greater harm than is necessary. When they don’t, folks get hurt and insurance is typically available to compensate those that are injured and their families.
There are two different types of claims in Iowa generally that arise from construction site accidents. One is when a worker or other employee is injured on the job. In these instances, workers compensation claims exist to compensate the worker for his or her injuries. For a further explanation on workers comp, click here. The other type of claim is referred to as a third party, liability, or negligence claim that can be available to workers or other members of the public if someone is inured due to the fault of a third party. These are situations where someone who is not with the same company as the injured party causes the injury in some fashion. For example, a child walks onto a construction site that is not secured and falls in a big hole and gets hurt; or a welder is on his break and a driver for the lumber company hits him with the truck pulling into the construction area for a delivery.
Construction Site accidents can occur at major construction sites such as a skyscraper but those are certainly not the only areas where these accidents occur. In fact, many of the construction accidents that occur in Iowa happen at other locations such as:
- Construction of a new house;
- Remodeling of an office or residential property;
- A new industrial development;
- A interstate or other roadway project;
- Working on an electrical line or sewer system.
Construction accidents are another form of accident that often result in catastrophic or life threatening injuries. They need to be properly investigated and all potential claims and responsible parties considered. The more serious the injury, the more important it is to have the right legal team investigating the circumstances and making the claim. GRL Law when good people need GReat Lawyers.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children under the age of 14. There is a reason most local pools and YMCA’s require children to pass swim tests and mark them accordingly; failure to do so may hold that facility responsible if a child drowns or almost drowns but suffers injuries from the oxygen deprivation to the brain.
Both public and private pools are an enjoyable means of relaxation during the hot Iowa summer months. However, when children are not properly supervised or when public or private pool facilities do not follow local or national safety standards, tragic consequences can and do follow. Valid causes of action may arise from a facilities failure to properly train their employees; failure to supervise partiicpants; failure to inspect or ensure equipment is in good working order; and even failure to properly respond to a particular situation.
Private pool owners may also be held legally responible for drowning incidents that occur in their pools. Just like public pools, country clubs, water parks and other commercial facilities, private pool owners are required by law to exercise reasonable care. There are times where a pool owner’s failure to take a proactive approach can also result in liability for injuries. Pools may be classified at times as something called an “attractive nuisance.” In those circumstances, the owner has a duty to take precautionary measures to ensure that curious children are not put in unreasonable danger based simply on their innate curiousity.
GRL Law is passionate about watersports but is equally passionate about the safety of all those who participate in these activities. We are standing by willing and able to help survivors and families who have suffered tragedy as a result of water sport related accidents.