Automobile Injuries in Iowa
Accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, or pedestrians can cause life-threatening injuries and permanent disabilities. While it can be tough to act decisively in the immediate aftermath of a wreck, doing so is critical to protecting your rights and your ability to pursue effective legal action against a negligent motorist.
Should you be involved in a collision or other form of automobile accident, make sure everyone involved is physically safe and summon medical attention if necessary. If there are significant injuries or property damage, it may be best to call law enforcement so an incident report can be generated. An official police report can be extremely useful to your claim later on. Otherwise, if there is any injury, death, or apparent property damage exceeding $1,500 in value, you are required to file a report yourself with the Iowa Department of Transportation within 72 hours. Either approach creates a clear record of what occurred and who was involved.
While you are still at the scene, make sure you exchange insurance information once it is safe to do so. You should also attempt to flag any witnesses who may have seen what happened. Witness testimony can become pivotal in a personal injury claims if there are disputes over who was responsible for a crash.
A successful automobile accident personal injury claim can entitle you to recover damages for hospital bills, medical care, lost income, physical damage to the vehicle, and physical and emotional suffering. We are experienced with helping clients navigate the claims process for all types of automobile accidents, including those involving large trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Each requires a tailored approach that takes into account the complete circumstances of the incident. Our West Des Moines personal injury attorneys are also prepared to fight for additional damages in cases involving wrongful death, spinal injuries, and other catastrophic consequences.
Dog Bites in Iowa
Most people expect dogs to be friendly, especially if they are left outside to wander in a park or neighborhood. Unfortunately, some dogs are prone to bouts of aggressive and violent behavior, which can result in bites and other serious injuries.
The state of Iowa has specific laws governing personal injury cases involving dog attacks. The law heavily favors the injured in dog attack cases.
Dog owners are held under a “strict liability” standard in Iowa should their animal be responsible for an attack. This means that an owner can be held responsible – and liable to pay damages – if their dog manages to injure someone else, regardless of the amount of precautions taken to avoid such a scenario. A dog owner could put up a sign, fence, and even keep their dog on a chain, but if the dog’s behavior still results in injuries, the owner is on the hook.
An Iowa dog owner is liable for damages stemming from their dog’s behavior if:
- The dog attacks or attempts to bite another person
- The dog maims, kills, or threatens another domestic animal
- The person injured in the attack is not behaving unlawfully in a way that causes or contributes to the injury
Someone can disqualify themselves from pursuing a personal injury claim if they were behaving inappropriately or unlawfully at the time of the dog attack. This typically applies to scenarios where someone is trespassing on the dog owner’s property, resulting in the animal attacking the intruder. Because the victim was in a place they were not supposed to be, the dog and its owner are not held liable for the injuries. This clause can also exclude those who are attacking a domestic animal, thereby forcing it to defend itself.
Dog owners can be liable for damages relating to medical care, replacement of damaged property (such as clothing or items the victim was holding at the time of the attack), lost income, and physical and emotional suffering. Any type of dog attack that results in injuries, including pouncing or an attack on another domestic animal, can warrant a personal injury claim, even if no actual bites occurred.
The only exception to the strict liability standard for dog attacks are for cases involving dogs with rabies. In these specific cases, a dog owner cannot be held responsible for damages if they did not know their dog had rabies. If the owner is aware the dog has rabies, they can still avoid liability so long as they exercise “reasonable” precautions.
If you have suffered a dog bite or attack, we can assess the facts of the incident and determine if you have a strong case. Our team knows how to effectively approach dog attack personal injury claims and can work to recover the damages that you deserve.
Slip and Fall Injuries in Iowa
A slip and fall injury might seem relatively minor on paper, but depending on the situation, these types of accidents can cause tremendously damaging consequences. Landing the wrong way or hitting your head in a hard or sharp surface can result in broken limbs, fractures, and even skull injuries. When a fall is the result of a person or commercial entity failing to adequately maintain the safety of their property, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
Like with automobile accidents, liability in slip and fall incidents operate under comparative negligence rules. A personal injury claim will evaluate both the role of the injured and the property owner where the injury occurred. If the injured party is found partly responsible for the incident, they will only be able to recover a portion of the maximum allowable damages.
Property owners of both commercial and residentials paces are responsible for maintaining adequate safety of their premises. This means promptly cleaning slick surfaces, fixing loose handrails, and other elements that could result in injuries to visitors if not reasonably addressed.
In determining comparative negligence for a slip and fall case, an Iowa court will likely evaluate:
- The safety record of the facility or location
- The consistency of cleaning and maintenance of the facility or location (including any cleaning schedules or maintenance records)
- Any available witness testimony
- Any available footage of the incident from security monitors
- Whether the injured party was in a location they were not supposed to be
- Whether there were any reasonable steps taken to protect against the dangerous property condition, such as signage or bright caution cones
- Whether the injured party was paying sufficient attention to their surroundings at the time of the accident
A successful personal injury claim in Iowa can help an injured party recover damages for their physical injuries, the replacement of damaged property, any lost income, and physical and emotional suffering. Our team can work with you to build an effective case that holds the negligent party accountable.
Do Not Wait To File a Claim
With personal injury claims, time is of the essence. Not only do you face the ticking clock of statutes of limitations, you also must manage the financial obstacles that inevitably arise in the wake of a serious injury. Our West Des Moines personal injury lawyers at Pearson Bollman Law can assist you in expediently filing your claim. We will vigorously advocate for you to receive the maximum allowable damages, giving you the financial security and compensation that you need and deserve.