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I was shopping at a Des Moines department store when I had to use the restroom. The floor had been mopped, but it looked dry. There were no warning cones or signs. I slipped on the wet floor and injured my back and neck. Is the store liable for my injury?

When we use a public restroom, we think that germs are the biggest danger. But you are more likely to slip on a wet restroom floor than you are to get sick from using a Wal-Mart bathroom.

Des Moines store owners have a duty to provide a safe environment for their customers and employees. Since wet floors are a slip and fall danger, the employee who mops a floor should post a warning sign alerting customers that the floor is wet. In fact, this is standard practice at most businesses

Since your injury was caused by a dangerous condition at the store, you may be able to successfully sue the business for any damages associated with your injury. In order for lawsuit to succeed, you will need to show the following:

  • Your injuries were caused by a dangerous condition in the store’s restroom (the wet floor).
  • The owner or manager knew or should have known about the dangerous condition (an employee was assigned to mop the floor).
  • The owner or manager did not take the necessary steps to correct or warn about the dangerous situation (the employee did not post warning signs).

 

While business owners have a duty to protect their customers from known dangers, store customers also have a duty to avoid obvious dangers. If you purposely run across a wet floor, the business owner may claim that the accident was your own fault. If you desperately needed to go and had to cross a wet floor to do so, the jury may find the accident to be caused by a combination of faults. This is called comparative negligence. Any settlement you are awarded will be reduced by a percentage proportional to your share of the blame for your injury.

The slip and fall injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham advise that anyone who is injured in an Iowa public restroom to consult with a personal injury lawyer. Please contact Hupy and Abraham at 888-807-2752 to learn about Iowa premises liability claims. The consultation is free.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham