Cedar Rapids, Iowa Personal Injury Lawyer
One of the unjust ironies of life is that in the aftermath of a serious accident, with medical bills mounting and lost work time accumulating, you are likely to be hit with financial distress at the precise moment when you are least able to handle it. To add to your turmoil, you are likely to feel furious but helpless when you discover that the accident that made you suffer so much was somebody else’s fault.
You Are Not as Helpless as You Might Feel
At least you aren’t if I am representing you, because helping my clients secure full compensation is what I do for a living. It makes me angry when I see the suffering of accident victims who come to me seeking justice, and that anger will energize me to fight for you to receive 100 percent of what Iowa Law entitles you to. My job is to seek compensation for you, so that you can concentrate on what is truly important: regaining your health.
I Won’t Let the Insurance Company Take Advantage of You
Insurance companies are your adversary, not your friend. They make money by charging premiums and denying or minimizing claims. Insurance adjusters routinely fleece accident victims using tricky negotiating tactics, like pressing you for the exact time of the accident and then claiming you were checking the time instead of watching the road. I know all their tricks, and they don’t work on me.
Can I Afford to Hire a Lawyer?
Yes, you can, because the way my fee structure is set up, it is ultimately the opposing party who pays your legal fees. If I don’t bring home compensation for you, you will owe me nothing for the work that I do. In fact, you will owe me nothing until the opposing party’s compensation payment actually arrives.
“Jonathan was approachable and listened to my concerns and fears. He always gave me all the options of ways I could proceed along with possible outcomes whether they were in my favor or not just so I could make the best decision going forward in my case. I appreciated that honesty. I still call on Jonathan to get his opinion on certain situations and value his knowledge. I am beyond pleased with the outcome of my case! Thank you, Jonathan!”
Some of My Practice Areas
- Car accidents: Hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries occur each year on Iowa roads. Most of these accidents are caused by negligent behavior such as texting while driving, driving while intoxicated, or road rage. When the accident that injured you was not your fault, you have a claim for damages.
- Truck accidents: An 18-wheeler truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can crush a car like an eggshell. Truck driving is governed by a multitude of regulations, and when a trucker causes a serious personal injury, the accident can often be traced to a violation of one of these regulations.
- Motorcycle accidents: Motorcycles are among the most vulnerable vehicles on the road, because of a motorcycle’s lack of frame protection. The typical motorcycle accident occurs because the automobile driver didn’t even see the motorcyclist. Serious injuries and even death are particularly common among motorcyclists, even those who wear a helmet.
- Bicycle accidents: Bicycles are just about the only vehicles on the road that are even more vulnerable than motorcycles. Bicycles lack the ability to accelerate out of dangerous traffic situations, and they are even harder to see than motorcycles are. Courts can hold drivers to a higher standard of care when the bicyclist is a child.
- Products liability: Among the hundreds of products we all use during the average week, some are bound to be defectively designed or manufactured or involve dangers that are hidden by inadequate product warnings. It is possible to sue anyone in the chain of distribution of a defective product that injures you.
- Dog bites: Iowa dog bite law holds dog owners strictly liable for dog bites unless the dog has rabies without the owner’s knowledge. Fortunately, homeowner’s insurance generally covers dog bite claims, although it may take a skilled negotiator to prevent the insurance company from weaseling out of its coverage obligations.
- Slip and fall accidents: A slip and fall accident can put you in intensive care in an instant. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to slip and fall accidents because bones grow brittle with age. Slip and fall accidents are often characterized as premises liability claims because they typically occur in commercial establishments that the owner is obligated to keep safe for customers.
- Criminal acts: Not all personal injuries are accidental (a “road rage” incident, for example). Although most insurance policies do not cover intentional criminal acts, in some cases the defendant’s employer can be held responsible for acts that occur while the defendant was on duty.
- Brain injuries: Brain injuries are among the most serious of all personal injuries, because the effects can last a lifetime. In such cases, it is important that you accurately estimate your total lifetime future damages, because if you run out of money you won’t be able to come back and ask for more later.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries often cause paralysis, and they are similar to brain injuries in respect of the long-term nature of the injury. In addition, some spinal cord injuries are undetectable until time has passed since the accident that caused them, and they can be difficult to trace back to the accident.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is premises liability?
Premises liability is the obligation of an owner or occupier of real property (a commercial shop or a private home, for example) to repair or warn of dangerous conditions that might injure a guest. A customer who falls down slippery stairs, for example, might have a premises liability claim.
How does an Iowa wrongful death claim work?
If an accident victim dies of injuries that would have supported a personal injury lawsuit, the estate administrator or certain close relatives may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Potential damages include:
- medical expenses
- funeral and burial expenses
- lost wages
- pain and suffering
- loss of the deceased victim’s services and companionship
What is comparative fault?
Comparative fault is a system whereby damages are apportioned if you were partly responsible for the accident that injured you. If you were less at fault than the defendant, your damages will be discounted in proportion to your fault (by 15%, for example). If you were more at fault than the combined fault of all defendant (51%), you will receive nothing.
What is the general statute of limitations deadline for personal injury?
In most cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. For a wrongful death claim, you have two years from the date of the victim’s death. If you miss the deadline, your claim will permanently expire.
How does a product liability claim work in Iowa?
If you are injured by a defective product in Iowa, you can win your claim against either the manufacturer or the distributor (or sometimes the retailer), if you can prove that the product was unreasonably dangerous and contained a design defect, a manufacturing defect or inadequate warnings.
What types of damages are available?
Three main types of damages are possible in Iowa:
- economic damages (medical expenses, lost wages, etc.);
- non-economic damages (pain and suffering and other psychological distress); and
- punitive damages (designed to punish particularly outrageous behavior).
Most personal injury victims are not eligible for punitive damages.
Can I win punitive damages?
Iowa awards punitive damages only if the defendant’s conduct amounted to “willful, wanton or gross misconduct.” Examples of fact patterns that might support punitive damages include:
- a drunk driving accident;
- an aggressive “road rage” incident; or
- an unjustified beating delivered by a nightclub bouncer.
The Most Important Decision in Your Case
Think of the difference between a victim who walks away with nothing or with a pittance, and a client who receives full compensation. The difference between these two clients is likely to boil down to a single decision —— who they choose to represent them. But how do you know who to trust? The most objective way is to let the legal profession answer that question for you:
- I am rated “Distinguished” in both in 2016 and 2017 by Martindale-Hubbell, the world’s top lawyer directory.
- I have been rated 10/10 (“Superb”) since 2016 by the nationwide Avvo lawyer rating service.
- In 2017, I was tagged as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers. Only 2.5 percent of all lawyers receive this honor.
The Time to Act Is Now
The fresher your claim is, the easier it is to win. It takes a certain amount of time to prepare a winning claim, and evidence deteriorates over time. If you live in the Cedar Rapids area (or anywhere in Eastern Iowa), or if your accident happened here, feel free to contact me online or call my office at (319) 774-6078 for an initial consultation.