Questions We Are Asked Each Week By Clients...
We are often asked questions like how much should the insurance company pay? How are my weekly benefits calculated?, etc. So we have put together some of the questions we here the most and the answers to them. We hope this helps you avoid making a mistake in your Iowa personal injury, car accident, dog bite, work injury or other injury matter.
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How should you decide which attorney to hire?
Just like other professions there are attorneys who specialize in injuries. Some attorneys handle family law and criminal matters while others handle motorcycle injury and car accident cases. If you needed surgery for an injury would you go to your family doctor? Likewise, if you need an attorney in an injury case going to a general practice attorney who does not routinely deal with the specialized Iowa laws involving accidents, subrogation and damages can be fatal to your case.
One of the things to look for is if the attorney advertises practicing primarily in "Personal Injury". If the attorney advertises this then the attorney has certified with the Iowa State Bar Association that at least 40% of the attorney's practice involves handling personal injury cases and that at least 15 hours per year is spent taking continuing legal education concerning personal injury cases. Do not be confused by attorneys who advertise general practice including "Personal Injury". Anyone can advertise general practice including "Personal Injury" even if you are their very first injury case.
Also, you should ask the attorney for a list of prior case results, settlements and testimonials. You should learn what his or her track record is and what their past clients have to say about their services. If they do not have this basic information then you are taking a risk that they may have little, if any, experience handling Iowa injury or motorcycle accident cases.
For more information about how to find a qualified Iowa personal injury attorney to handle your Iowa motorcycle accident claim we offer a book at no cost which also describes 6 Things to Know Before Talking to the Insurance Adjustor or Hiring an Attorney. Finally, you can learn about motorcycle accidents in the comfort of your own home with no risk or obligation. Just go to http://www.MotorcycleAccidentBook.com to request your copy. Why do we offer a Book at No Cost? For more than 20 years Attorneys Corey Walker and Erik Bair, who both practice primarily in personal injury law, have represented hundreds of injured Iowans including many Iowans injured in motorcycle accidents. They have seen too many clients make costly mistakes before they had the information they needed resulting in them losing thousands of dollars. So to learn how to find a qualified personal injury attorney and how to avoid costly mistakes request your copy today.
What will a qualified personal injury attorney do for me?
There are many things that an Iowa attorney who practices primarily in personal injury law can do for you in a motorcycle accident case. First of all, the attorney is there to help and guide you through the Iowa injury process which likely you have never been through. The experience and knowledge of the attorney will help you not make mistakes which could cost you thousands of dollars.
An attorney will help increase the value of the case by obtaining doctors' reports and opinions when necessary to prove causation between your injuries and the accident along with the cost of future medical care. Also, once all the facts and opinions have been gathered an injury attorney who has handled many prior cases will be able to give you a range of what the value of your case is. Also, the attorney will be the one who deals with the insurance company so you do not have to. This not only saves you time, but also the headaches of dealing with an insurance adjustor who knows the law, the tricks of the trade and has been trained to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. An attorney will also help deal with subrogation claims (claims made by your health and/or motorcycle insurance) and often will be able to put more money in your pocket just by being involved, knowing the law and properly dealing with the subrogation claims.
For a list of other things an Iowa personal injury attorney should do for you in your case go to http://www.MotorcycleAccidentBook.com to request your copy of our book we offer at no cost to Iowans injured in motorcycle accidents who do not already have an attorney. The book also includes 6 Things to Know Before Talking to the Insurance Adjustor or Hiring an Attorney and 9 Things You Should Know about Iowa Motorcycle cases. Finally, you can learn about motorcycle accidents in the comfort of your own home with no risk or obligation. Why do we offer a Book at No Cost? For more than 20 years Attorneys Corey Walker and Erik Bair who both practice primarily in personal injury law have represented hundreds of injured Iowans including many Iowans injured in motorcycle accidents. They have seen too many clients make mistakes before they had the “right” information resulting in them losing thousands of dollars. So to learn how to find-out what an Iowa personal injury attorney should do for you and what you should know about Iowa motorcycle cases request your copy now.
Things to avoid in my Iowa motorcycle accident claim?
You should never lie to your doctors, your attorney, or the insurance adjustor. Even telling a small lie can significantly damage your credibility and your case. Just like your mother told you, the best policy is to always tell the truth so you will not have to worry about what you said last time.
Along the same lines, you should not try to hide prior accidents or injuries from your attorney. Insurance companies have huge databases and they keep track of all of your prior claims and accidents. If you have had prior accidents or injuries then you should tell your attorney as the attorney can conduct an investigation and tell you whether it will be a problem or not. However, your attorney cannot help you if you do not tell him or her about the prior accidents or injuries.
When dealing with your doctors and other medical providers it is important to tell them everything that hurts and all the problems you are having. If you tell your doctors or other medical providers like physical therapists that you are "okay" or "doing fine" then they will record that in your medical records and later on this could come back and cause problems if you are claiming you are still having problems. Also, if you are still having pain and/or problems then you need to continue to regularly see your doctor. If your doctor says to call me if you have any problems and you do not call for 6 months, then that is considered a gap in your treatment which can significantly reduce the value of your case. If you are still having ongoing problems then you should probably be seeing a doctor every 4 to 6 weeks, unless you are in physical therapy, waiting to see a specialist or have reached maximum medical improvement and been told there is nothing more that any of your medical providers can do to help.
For a list of other things to avoid in your Iowa motorcycle accident claim you can request our motorcycle accident book at no cost, risk or obligation by logging onto http://www.MotorcycleAccidentBook.com. The book also includes 9 Things that Iowans Injured in Motorcycle Accidents should know along with 6 Things to Know Before Hiring an Attorney or Talking to the Insurance Adjustor. Finally, you can learn about Iowa motorcycle accidents in the comfort of your own home with no obligation or risk. Why do we offer a Book at No Cost to You? For more than 20 years Iowa Personal Injury Attorneys Corey Walker and Erik Bair have represented hundreds of injured Iowans including many Iowans injured in motorcycle accidents. They have seen too many clients make costly mistakes before they knew their rights and responsibilities which cost them losing thousands of dollars. So to learn more about your Iowa motorcycle accident claim order your copy now.
How do I know if and when we should hire an attorney?
First of all, you may not need an attorney. That is right; I am an attorney telling you that you may not need to hire me. If the damages are relatively minor such that there are no permanent scars or other permanent injuries then you should consider handling the case on your own. Although, if you or your child have permanent injuries such as scarring and/or mental issues such as being scared around dogs then you should definitely consider hiring an attorney early on for several reasons.
1. There can be mistakes made that can cost literally thousands of dollars.
2. An attorney will help increase the value of the case by obtaining doctors' reports and opinions.
3. After gathering all the facts, an experienced injury attorney will know what the value of the case is.
4. An attorney will help deal with subrogation claims (claims made by your health insurance) and often will be able to put more money in your pocket just by being involved, knowing the law and dealing with these claims.
5. The attorney will be the one who deals with the insurance company so you do not have to.
For more information including how to obtain a copy of our Iowa Dog Bite Book at no cost go to www.IowaDogBiteBook.com.
If I have been injured in a car accident in Iowa are there things that I should not do?
Yes. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident then the chances are that the insurance adjustor for the other company will call you at some point. Often the insurance adjustor will have "just a few questions" they want to ask you on the phone while they record your conversation. This is called a recorded statement and is generally a bad idea for you to provide. If you want to consider providing a recorded statement, tell the insurance adjustor that you will provide them with a recorded statement as soon as they make the other driver, their insured, available for you to take his/her recorded statement. The point is that do you really want to answer questions from a trained insurance adjustor without knowing your legal rights, how the system works, what they will be asking you, etc.?
For more information about recorded statements and 5 Things to Know Before Signing Forms for the Insurance Adjustor log onto http://www.IowaCarAccidentBook.com.
What to do if I have been injured in an Iowa car accident?
Knowing what to do at the scene of an accident is important to preserve evidence when filing a car accident claim. Auto accident scenes can be filled with chaos and confusion. Yet it is important that injured victims do everything he or she can to remain calm and avoid making mistakes that can harm the case. Victims may also benefit from a consultation with a Des Moines, Iowa injury lawyer.
Things Not to Do at the Scene of the Accident
One of the first mistakes many people make is to refuse medical treatment when it’s necessary. Later on, an injured person might try to submit medical records as evidence, but if there was a delay in receiving treatment, it can make proving the severity of an injury difficult.
A second mistake made by Iowans is that they fail to treat on a regular and consistent basis. If you are still having problems due to an injury caused by a car accident then you need to go back and see the doctor preferably monthly. If your doctor tells you to call him or her if you are having problems and you do not call to schedule an appointment, then in the mind of the doctor, the insurance company and eventually the judge or jury you must have been fine. If later on, you claim that you have continued to have problems and your medical records show no medical treatment for the condition for a period of months, then it will be difficult to prove that your ongoing problems are related to the accident.
Along the same lines, follow your doctors' orders. If your doctor tells you to go to physical therapy twice a week and you decide that you are only going to go once per week, then this can damage your case. It is always a good practice to do what your medical providers recommend. This includes exercises, stretching, etc. that your physical therapist may recommend that you do at home.
There are several things that you should do regarding both your medical care and keeping documentation regarding your damages. With regards to your medical care, it is important that you tell your medical providers everything that hurts and all the problems that you are having caused by the accident. If you forget to tell your doctor about all of your problems and it does not make it into your medical records, then chances are that you will receive no compensation for the medical condition. If you have to bring notes with you to your appointments that are fine. This will help you remember to tell the nurses and your doctors everything that is causing you problems from the accident.
Another mistake to avoid is taking the blame for the crash, apologizing (even if not responsible), or making other comments that are suggestive of being at fault. The less that is said about what caused the accident, the better it may be for a car accident claim.
Certain details can be sorted out later with help from a Des Moines, Iowa injury lawyer. And when it does come time to talk about the crash, such as to the responding officer, stick to the basic facts. Don’t try to offer an opinion or make assumptions about the accident, which is the third mistake to avoid.
Other mistakes that can be made at the scene of the accident is to not take pictures. Thinking that damage to a vehicle is minor and that the injuries are mild could later put a claim in jeopardy. The damage could be much more significant than originally thought and symptoms from injuries don’t always present themselves immediately.
Lastly, don’t make the mistake of not getting contact information from any witnesses. Relying upon one’s own statement may not be enough. In fact, testimony from others could be what puts the car accident claim in an injured person’s favor.
Avoiding these mistakes could help preserve necessary evidence for an accident claim. Accident victims may also benefit from consulting with a Des Moines, Iowa injury lawyer about what to do at the scene of an accident. If you would like additional information about Iowa Car accidents including 4 other things that you should do in every case along with 10 Myths about car accident cases in Iowa log onto www.IowaCarAccidentBook.com where you will find a book being offered at no cost.
What if the dog owner does not have insurance?
Unfortunately, not everyone is a responsible dog owner. If the owner of the dog does not have insurance then you could try to recover from the assets of the dog owner. However, keep in mind that there are many exemptions for the dog owner such that you or your loved one may never recover anything. Also, there are subrogation claims to keep in mind. There would be no reason to do all the work of winning the case, collecting on the judgment to then find out that you have to pay it all back to a ERISA Health Insurance plan. These are only a few things to keep in mind.
If the company doctor recommends surgery, do I have to have it?
No, You have the right to refuse any medical procedures or care that you do not want. However, please keep in mind that not proceeding with surgery may have an impact upon your case.
Does my medical care end when the doctor releases me from treatment?
No, your employer and/or their insurance company are responsible for paying for all medical care necessary to treat your work related injury, however as stated above they will choose your medical providers. This includes all forms of care and treatment, whether hospital, medical, therapy, nursing, diagnostic testing, surgery, physical rehabilitation or pain management. The right to medical care and treatment may continue for the rest of your life for conditions related to your work injury or occupational disease.
Do I have the right to a 2nd opinion?
Yes. Under Iowa law once the company doctors have said that you are as good as you will get, you have reached MMI, you have the right to have an independent medical examination performed by a doctor of your own choosing for an impairment rating and permanent restrictions. There are many doctors who specialize in giving second opinions in workers’ compensation cases