As winter approaches in Des Moines, are you worried about slipping on the ice?
Injuries caused by falling on ice and snow can be devastating.
It may seem like your fault, but did you know some states require certain care to be taken by the property owner after natural accumulations of snow and ice?
If you slip and fall on ice, you may have a claim against the property owner and/or manager.
Ice and Snow Removal Requirements In Iowa
In Iowa, property owners are required to take reasonable steps to keep the property safe.
In the winter, this may include removing snow or ice from areas that are regularly accessed by visitors, tenants, employees, or the general public, including sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots.
However, property owners in Iowa are not required to remove snow and ice during the storm, or even immediately after a storm ends.
This is because Iowa follows the “continuing storm doctrine,” which allows property owners a reasonable amount of time after the end of a storm to remove snow and ice.
Your Obligation to Take Reasonable Care
Iowa also places an obligation on visitors to exercise reasonable care to spot and avoid dangerous conditions.
You must be particularly careful during the winter months.
This means watching where you are walking, spotting snow accumulations and avoiding them, and wearing appropriate footwear for the conditions.
If a visitor fails to exercise reasonable care, the insurer or jury may assign a percentage of the fault to him or her under Iowa’s comparative fault law, resulting in a reduction in damages or preventing him or her from recovering damages.
Injuries Caused By a Slip and Fall on Snow and Ice
Slip and falls, especially caused by ice or snow accumulation, can result in serious injuries.
If you fall backward it can be hard to catch yourself, thus making the impact much greater.
Even falling forward can cause broken bones or a traumatic brain injury. In a worst-case scenario, even death can occur.
No matter how you fall, you are likely to experience some sort of injury.
These injuries may include:
- whiplash – the whipping of your neck back in forth quickly in such a way that can cause extreme pain, stiffness, limited range of motion, and sore back and shoulders.
- concussions – a mild form of TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) that can cause chemical changes to the brain and may damage brain cells.
- sprains – ligament injuries caused by the abnormal twisting of a joint.
- fractures – an injury where a bone cannot withstand the force upon it, causing a break.
Reporting a Premises Liability Incident Like Slipping on Ice
After slipping on ice, it’s important that you take certain steps to make sure the accident is well documented.
This will help your personal injury case and help avoid an argument by a property owner that you were to blame for the accident.
Be sure to take the following steps after an accident occurs:
- If at a commercial facility, fill out an incident report, and keep a copy for yourself.
- Seek medical treatment immediately; this will show immediate and progressing damage from the fall.
- Take photos of the location, and ask any witnesses for images, photos, and a testimony. Also, check for any security footage.
- Document your injuries throughout the process.
- Contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer.
The Legal Process for Filing a Slip and Fall Case in Des Moines
The first step in the legal process for any slip in fall case is to contact a personal injury attorney.
Tell them about the incident, the evidence you collected, including your incident report, photos, and witness statements.
After telling your story, you and the law firm will decide if you are a good fit to work together to pursue compensation for your injury.
Your main job now will be to show up to all your medical appointments and get better. A good injury law firm will handle everything else.
This includes notifying the at-fault party of the claim, getting medical records and bills, speaking with insurance companies, obtaining additional evidence that may be needed such as witness statements, footage from the scene, photos, weather reports, calculating lost wages, and more.
Once all of the evidence is compiled, your attorney will send a demand for compensation to the at-fault party. This demand will explain all of the damages you have suffered because of your injury, including medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering and request a specific amount of money to settle the claim.
If the at-fault party agrees to the demand, the case will settle and going to court won’t be necessary.
If the first demand is rejected, further negotiations can take place, and often a case can still be settled. But if the defendant won’t settle for a fair amount, you and your attorney may decide to bring your case to court where your attorney will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injury.
Contact VanDerGinst Law
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be eligible for compensation.
The experienced attorneys at VanDerGinst Law exclusively work on personal injury cases and have over thirty years of experience to back them up.
The attorneys at our Des Moines office are happy to assist you with a free consultation.
If you have been injured, it’s time to call VanDerGinst Law at 800-797-5391.
We’ll help you through each step of the process and you’ll have time to recover from your injuries. You don’t pay a dime unless we win your injury case.
Contact us to learn if you may be eligible for compensation.
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The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.