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Can I sue a property owner if I was partially at fault for my own slip and fall injury?

You may not be able to recover fall accident damages in Iowa if your were more than 50 percent responsible for your injuries


Iowa personal injury cases are subject to a contributory negligence law. That means that even if you were partially at fault for your own slip and fall accident injury, you may still recover damages in some cases.

However, there are limitations. If you were primarily (or more than 50%) responsible for falling, then the property owner is not responsible for paying you any damages. This may be true, for example, if there was no problem with the property and you tripped because you were intoxicated, you had an untied shoelace, or you were using your cell phone.

If, instead, you and the property owner both were at fault for your fall and your portion of the fault was less than 50%, then you may be able to recover damages for your injuries. However, your recovery would be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to you.

Who Decides How Much You Are at Fault?

The percentage of fault attributable to you and to the property owner is often contested. The property owner will likely argue that you were solely or primarily at fault while you will likely maintain that the property owner was solely or primarily at fault.

Ultimately, the determination of liability will depend on…

  • The quality of evidence available from the fall accident scene.
  • The persuasiveness of the arguments made during settlement negotiations or in court.

How much fault was yours and how much was the property owner’s will be decided during settlement negotiations or, if an agreement cannot be reached, then it will be decided in court.

If you bear some responsibility for your fall injuries then it is important to protect your rights by talking to an experienced lawyer who knows how to investigate cases, present evidence, and make convincing arguments to protect the rights of personal injury victims. For more information about how a slip and fall case works or to schedule your own free consultation, please contact us via this website today.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham