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Clark, Butler, Walsh & Hamann
 
CLARK BUTLER
WALSH & HAMANN
315 E 5th St.
Waterloo, Iowa 50703
Phone: (319) 234-5701
Fax: (319) 232-9579
Email: info@cbwh-law.com
 
Waterloo, Iowa Attorney practicing in Iowa primarily in Civil Litigation, Business Organization, Estate Planning & Probate, Family Law, Insurance Defense, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury, Premise Liability, Product Liability, Real Estate, Workers' Compensation & Wrongful Death. Lawyers at the Clark, Butler, Walsh & Hamann are dedicated to serve their clients in Iowa, including the cities of Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Fort Dodge, Ames, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Davenport, Dubuque, Des Moines, Adel, Marshalltown, Pella, Decorah, Eldora, Johnston, Ankeny, Muscatine, Ottumwa, Manchester, Elkader, and Burlington , and the communities that make Polk, Webster, Story, Linn, Johnson, Scott, Dubuque, Black Hawk, Dallas, Marshall, Marion, Winneshiek, Muscatine, Wapello, Delaware, Clayton, Hardin and Des Moines counties.
 
 
I. General Information on Premises Liability
II. Types of Premises Liability
  A. Property Safety
  B. Punitive Damages
  C. Trespassing Children
  D. Slip and Fall
  E. Dog Bites
  F. Elevators
  G. Swimming Pools
  H. Stadiums
  I. Scope of Employment
  J. Independent Contractors
  K. Negligent Hiring and Retention
  L. False Arrest & Imprisonment
  M. Malicious Prosecution
  N. Libel and Slander
  O. Emotional Distress-Negligent or Intentional
III. Owner vs. Landlord Responsibilities
IV. Criminal Acts of Third Parties
V. Alcohol Liability
VI. Governmental Immunity
 


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Slip and Fall

A slip and fall action is a type of personal injury lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who has been injured by a slip or fall, usually on the defendant's property. Plaintiffs in these cases include the grocery store customer who slips, due to liquid or a piece of food on the floor, falling and causing injury; or a hotel guest who slips in the shower and injuring their back. It must be shown in these cases that the owner of the property had been notified or had knowledge of the condition, yet failed to correct the problem within a reasonable amount of time. If a hazard is knowingly encountered, then the plaintiff may have trouble proving the defendant liable.

Dog Bites

Generally speaking, pit bulls and rottweilers are known to be vicious dogs that tend to attack, many times without provocation. Many states have laws pertaining to these specific animals. Owners of any type of animal may be held liable for the injuries that animal causes to others. There is a difference from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, depending on the legal theory of recovery in the plaintiff's location, how easily a plaintiff may win a lawsuit pertaining to dog bits.

It may be required that the animal owner knew, or should have known, that their animal was inclined to attack or bite. The plaintiff may only need to show negligence on the part of the owner in other jurisdictions to recover compensation for his injuries. In the case of a wild animal, such as a bears, monkeys or others, injures to the plaintiff may be the responsibility of the animal's owner under a theory of strict liability regardless of the plaintiff's conduct.

"Dog-bite" statutes in various states are designed to address these variations. Some local municipalities may also have their own laws that also refer to the responsibility of pet owners, making them liable for the actions of their pets.

If the injured party is an adult, a defense to their claim may be that the animal was provoked. If a clear warning was given that an animal should not be approached in any way, and the injured party still proceeded to approach the animal, the owner may be able to avoid responsibility for the attack. This does not pertain in most cases if the plaintiff is a child.

Once it is established that the animal owner is responsible for the injuries, it must also be determined what the amount of the damages are. Evidence, such as doctor and/or hospital bills, showing the amounts charged to treat the injury must be provided. Lost wages may also be recovered if the injury kept the plaintiff from performing his or her job duties. Any permanent disability caused by the injury, as well as compensation for pain and suffering may also be recovered.

Elevators

It is required by law that all elevators, other than hand elevators and power and hand dumbwaiters, and all escalators must be inspected every six months and must comply with American National Standard Safety Codes. If an elevator or escalator is involved in an accident, it must be removed from service immediately until inspected by a certified inspector. Once it is inspected, it may not be placed back into service until inspected again. Any deviation from this rule and repairs the elevator is made or it is placed back into service after an accident without inspection, any claimant from the accident is entitled to a rebuttable assumption that the owner was negligent in its maintenance. The exception to this is if there is no evidence, either before or after a fall, which the elevator failed to function properly, even if the owner violated the statute by failing to allow inspections.

Because elevators and escalators are mechanical devices, they unavoidably break down and sometimes become dangerous and cause injury without negligence on the part of the owner. Owners must have been able to discover the problem prior to the malfunction in order to hold the owner liable for the resulting injuries. For example, when a malfunction occurs due to the failure of an axle bearing, and there may be no way to predict the bearing's life expectancy or when it will give out. In this case, the owner may not liable for the claimant's injury. However, if visual inspections during routine maintenance of escalators or elevator may have revealed a problem, then an issue exists that may cause the owner to be liable for an injury resulting from a subsequent malfunction.

Injuries due to automatic doors on the premises are more difficult to prove owner liability. Owners do not have an extraordinary duty of care in regards to these. If an automatic door unexpectedly closes, causing injury to a customer, a store owner is held liable only if there was prior knowledge of a problem with the door or failed to have the doors inspected in a reasonable manner. If a walker is used to go through a revolving door and someone is injured during this process, the owner is not responsible unless there is evidence that the door malfunctioned. Automatic doors may open in the wrong direction until manually reset. If this is not done, then the owner may be held liable for an injury that was caused by the doors opening incorrectly.

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If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation contact an Iowa premise liability attorney, representing clients in Cedar Falls, Iowa  at the Clark, Butler, Walsh & Hamann. Give us a call at (319) 234-5701 or email us at info@cbwh-law.com.
 

DISCLAIMER: The information you obtain at our firm web site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. It is recommended that you should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

 

 
© MMVII Clark, Butler, Walsh & Hamann Address: 315 E 5th St., Waterloo, Iowa 50703 Phone: (319) 234-5701 Fax: (319) 232-9579
Email: info@cbwh-law.com Home l Firm Overview l Practice Areas: Civil Litigation, Business Organization, Estate Planning & Probate, Family Law, Insurance Defense, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury, Premise Liability, Product Liability, Real Estate, Workers' Compensation & Wrongful Death l Attorneys l Resources l Contact l The information you obtain at our firm web site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. It is recommended that you should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Iowa Premises Liability Injury Attorney Cedar Falls Slip and Falls Dog Bites Lawyer Blackhawk County
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