A serious automobile accident can turn your life upside down, both literally and figuratively, in a moment. In addition to shock, pain, and fear, financial distress is often an unwelcome visitor to your life, as medical bills roll in and lost work time accumulates. Outrage is the appropriate reaction when you learn that the entire ordeal could have been avoided but for someone else’s carelessness.
The Insurance Company is Not Your Friend
Since Iowa is a “fault” auto insurance state, you can file a claim against the offending driver’s insurance policy without first exhausting your own insurance. Regardless of whether you are claiming against the other party’s insurance policy or your own, however, the dynamics work the same – the more the insurance company pays you, the less it gets to keep for itself.
Insurance executives are almost universally expert negotiators who settle claims every day. They rub their hands with anticipation at the prospect of negotiating against an unrepresented claimant, and they laugh at lawyers who talk a good game but lack experience enforcing their clients’ claims in court.
Auto insurance companies know exactly who I am, and they are not laughing.
You Can Afford to Retain Me Even If You Are Broke
If you have a strong claim, your total upfront cost to retain me will be exactly $0.00. Since I’m confident in my ability to recover for your claim, if I do, my legal fees will be calculated as a percentage of your recovery. You won’t owe me a dime until your money actually arrives. If I don’t win, however, my services will be free of charge — I know you pay for victory, and I will not charge you for nothing.
A Word from a Client of Mine
“Confident, reassuring, and brilliant. Mr. Schmidt doesn’t just represent someone, he gets to the heart of the case and actually cares about what he does and the case he is representing. 5 stars no question.” – Amber, March 2, 2017
Some of My Related Practice Areas
I also take the following types of cases:
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Products liability
- Animal attacks/dog bites
- Slip and fall accidents
- Premises liability
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash injuries
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the statute of limitations deadline for filing a lawsuit?
You have a two-year window of opportunity to file a lawsuit. After that, barring unusual circumstances, you claim will die.
- In a personal injury case, the two-year period begins running on the day of the accident.
- In a wrongful death case, the two-year period begins running on the date of the victim’s death.
What is “comparative fault” and how does it work?
Comparative fault law governs how damages are calculated when more than one party is at fault for the accident. If you are partly at fault, you can recover damages only if you were equal to or less than the fault of the defendant. Even then, your damages will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
What is Iowa’s legal minimum auto insurance coverage?
Iowa motorists are required to prove financial responsibility in the event of an accident. Although auto insurance is not strictly required, most Iowa motorists prove financial responsibility by buying insurance. Minimum personal injury coverage limits are:
- $20,000 per victim;
- $40,000 per accident;
- $20,000 in uninsured motorist coverage; and
- $40,000 in underinsured motorist coverage.
Can I sue the manufacturer if my air bag failed to deploy?
Yes, you can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or the distributor. You will need to show that the air bag contained a design defect, a manufacturing defect or a warning defect. You do not have to prove the defendant was negligent.
The Most Important Decision in Your Case
The most important decision you make in your entire case might be who you choose as your lawyer. Of course, self-promotion is relatively easy. What’s not so easy, however, is to win the respect of your peers in the legal profession, even among your competitors. I have managed to do just that:
- In 2017 I was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers, an honor awarded to only 2.5 percent of all lawyers.
- I have been rated “Distinguished” in both 2016 and 2017 by Martindale-Hubbell, the world’s top lawyer directory.
- I have been rated 10/10 (“Superb”) in both 2016 and 2017 by the prominent Avvo legal rating service.
Time Matters – Act Today
Iowa law imposes hard deadlines on the lifetime of a personal injury claim, and it takes a certain amount of time to develop a winning strategy. Meanwhile, evidence deteriorates and witness memories fade. The time to act is now. If you live or work in the Cedar Rapids area (or anywhere in Eastern Iowa), or if you were injured here, feel free to contact me online, or call my office at (319) 774-6078.