Are property owners responsible for my fall?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Are property owners responsible for my fall?

I was exiting a bldg last month and took a shortcut through the grass to get to my car. Long story short, there was a large hole in the grass that I did not see and my foot went in it, twisted and I fell. I tore several tendons in my foot and am having an MRI next week and then the doctor wants to discuss surgery. I contacted the property owner to get his insurance info and he basically told me he’s not responsible and I should’ve been on the sidewalk. Is he responsible for paying my medical bills due to the fall on his property or is it all up to me since I was in the grass?

Asked on August 17, 2018 under Personal Injury, Iowa


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The property owner is liable because you were injured on the premises.  Since the property owner won't provide insurance information, your only recourse is to sue the property owner based on premises liability.  The property owner is liable even if the injured party is a trespasser.
Prior to filing a lawsuit, you should complete your medical treatment in order to have the total medical bills, all medical reports and total wage loss.
When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Your claim should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document your injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
Your lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.
Therefore, if the statute of limitations is approaching and you are still receiving medical treatment, file the lawsuit so that you won't miss the statute of limitations and lose your rights in the case.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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