Our law firm represents people who have been injured through the negligence and wrongful acts of others. We provide representation for slip and falls, dog bites, car accidents, and others. Personal injury law covers a broad spectrum of issues when someone has been physically or emotionally injured, or personal property has been damaged.

The law of personal injury is concerned with determining who may be responsible for causing injury and how much the responsible party should be required to pay for any damages resulting from the injury.

If you are reading this page, it is likely that you have had an incident and are researching if you have a claim. Please contact our office for a FREE consultation and we will assist you in making this determination. If you are being contacted by the other person’s insurance company it is even more important that you meet with your own legal counsel before speaking with them.

There is a good reason why insurance companies have legal teams working on the case, and those legal teams represent their best interest, not yours. It’s only fair when you have a legal team in your corner too. Below are some common questions and answers on personal injury claims, but please come see us for a personal evaluation of your case.

Do I have a Claim? 

Technically, a claim exists at the time someone becomes legally responsible for another person’s injuries and damages. You must have some type of damages to pursue a claim. This could be property damage (your vehicle was damaged in an accident), medical bills, loss of wages (because you missed work), pain and suffering and more.

A personal injury constitutes the most valuable part of any claim in an auto accident and is usually the primary factor when deciding if someone should obtain legal representation. It is a good rule of thumb if you have been injured and it is even only partially someone else’s fault, you likely have claim worth pursuing.

Typically we will wait until when we know the full extent and cost of all of your damages, or can predict the extent and cost, to file a claim on your behalf. This is important to ensure that you are compensated for all of your injuries.  Only an experienced personal injury attorney can know when the proper time and manner for filing a particular claim Contact us today to set up your FREE consultation.

Who Can Be Compensated, and for What?  

You may be wondering who can pursue a claim for damages. It depends on who all was injured. Exactly what they could be compensated for all differs for the person making the claim. The following people may have a claim:

The Injured Party

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages for the time you missed at work because of your injuries
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Loss of function to any body parts as a result of your injury
  • Permanent scarring and/or disfigurement
  • Loss of earning capacity if your injuries will limit how much you can earn in the future.

The Legal Guardian on Behalf of the Injured Party: This is the case when the injured party is either a child or doesn’t have the ability to pursue the claim on their own.

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages for the time they missed work because of their injuries
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Loss of function in any body parts as a result of their injury
  • Permanent scarring and/or disfigurement
  • Loss of earning capacity if their injuries will limit what they can earn in the future

Next of Kin/ The Estate: If the person was killed as a result of the incident, their Estate or next of kin can bring a claim on their behalf.

  • Medical expenses that were accrued prior to the death
  • Pain and suffering if death was not immediate
  • The value of what the person could have expected to accumulate in their estate if their life had not ended prematurely
  • The burial expenses

The Injured Parties Family Members (Spouse and Children): There are times when because of one’s injuries their immediate family will also suffer. Because of this, Iowa law allows them to also pursue a claim. For the spouse this would include the ‘services and benefits’ of marital companionship if this is impacted by the person’s injuries. For the children this includes the loss of having a fully productive parent throughout their lives.

Bystander: There are a limited amount of situations where a bystander can recover for the emotional distress that they suffered as a result of being physically present and seeing the incident. Usually the bystander will need to be closely related to the injured party to prevail on a claim.

Who is responsible?

Your specific case will be evaluated and investigated to see who should be held responsible for your damages. Below is a list of the most common people or companies that are held responsible for the injuries of another.

  1. Negligence: If the injuries were caused by someone or a business not acting in a reasonable manner- you may have a claim. This can include injuries from automobile accidents.
  2. At-Fault Party: There are some situations where the at-fault person under the law is responsible:
  • Traffic Violations: People driving are required to follow all traffic laws. If the person who caused your injury violated a law that caused the accident they may be at-fault.
  • Ordinary Care: Above and beyond all of the traffic laws is the fact that all people driving are required to use a “standard of ordinary care. ” this means they must use caution and common sense when driving. If they do not, they could be liable for your injuries.
  • Drunk Driving: When an individual drives a vehicle while impaired by alcohol is negligent. Iowa law also allows that the operation of a motor vehicle when the driver is over the legal limit is reckless and may also have to pay punitive damages (additional award to ‘punish’ the drunk driver)
  1. Pedestrians: Pedestrians do not actually always have the right of way. If a person crosses the street not at an intersection or within a marked crosswalk they may be responsible for some or all of the damages.
  2. Owner Responsibility: The owner of the vehicle who cased the injury can be responsible for the damages. In the same manner, the owner of a dog that bit another person may be responsible for all damages that incurred from the bite.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit with the court?

There are laws that specifically state how long someone has to file a lawsuit on their claim. This varies based on what their claim is. If you do not file within this time, you will not be allowed to pursue your lawsuit. For this reason it is very important to contact an attorney regarding your claim. We always provide a FREE consultation, and remember- we don’t get paid unless you get paid. Call us today.

How do I receive my compensation?

There are only two ways to receive payments from insurance companies: if they do so voluntarily (a settlement), or if we take them to trial and beat them and they are ordered to pay (an award).  While it may seem like a situation of six of one, half dozen of the other, it really is not.  In fact, the distinctions are very significant and can have an important impact on how a claim is litigated, and whether or not an injured Iowan should resolve his case.

Accordingly, the following considerations are important to note with respect to awards and settlements:

  1. Settlement Agreements: A settlement between the victim and the insurance company can be reached at any time after the incident. The timing of this will vary greatly based on the injuries and negotiations. The majority of cases end in settlement. It is important to us to explore all settlement negotiations and avoid the time, cost, and stress of trial. However, if the insurance company isn’t being reasonable trial may be necessary. As your legal counsel we will advise you of the best avenue for your specific case- we don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ legal practice.
  2. Trial Awards: Although most people want to avoid going to trial, sometimes it is in your best interest. It is important to have legal counsel with litigation experience that is aggressive and able to take your case to trial if it needs to go to court. Our firm has experienced litigators that are willing to do just that.
Call Vonnahme Law to set up a free initial consultation. 712-258-8272

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