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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Can I hold a manufacturer liable for my car accident if my vehicle was defective?
Yes, you may be able to hold a car manufacturer liable if the vehicle is found to be defective. A Newton car accident lawyer will be able to assess the circumstances surrounding your particular car accident more accurately, but generally this holds true.
Product Liability in a Car Accident
All manufacturers delivering products to the public are responsible to provide goods that are free from defects. Product liability law requires proof the product failed and the buyer was harmed because of this failure for a viable lawsuit.
Not only may the manufacturer be liable, but the seller and distributor may be named as defendants in a lawsuit as well.
Defective Manufacturing, Design or Marketing in Car Accidents
A defect in manufacturing usually refers to a product that is inadvertently produced incorrectly. There is no intention to produce the product this way, it was committed in error. The defect may have occurred while the item was being produced or in the supply line, such as shipping or at the dealership.
Products with an inherent design defect mean they were manufactured as specified, but the actual item is dangerous. In either of these cases, a car manufacturer may be liable for releasing the vehicle or its part into the marketplace.
Additionally, a car manufacturer may have to answer to faulty marketing on a product that then causes harm to the public. This may be seen in a deficient instruction manual or warnings brochure that someone adheres to and is subsequently injured.
Contact a Newton Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you know was injured as a result of a faulty vehicle or car part, you should contact a Newton car accident lawyer. The Newton car accident lawyers at Walker, Billingsley & Bair have been helping protect Iowans from defect products for years. Check out our free eBook: The Legal Insider’s Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: 7 Secrets to Not Ruin Your Case then give us a call at (888) 435-9886.
Do my medical bills have to exceed a certain amount before the insurance company pays for an Ames car accident?
If you sustained injuries in an Ames car accident, your medical bills do not have to exceed a certain amount before the insurance company pays. When filing your insurance claim, be sure to submit all of your medical expenses and demand that you get reimbursed. If negotiating with insurance companies is not your strong suit, a qualified Iowa personal injury lawyer can act on your behalf to help you recover compensation for your injuries.
An insurance adjuster may try to separate your medical expenses into a diagnostic category and a treatment category. Diagnostics includes your emergency care, any tests run to diagnose your problem and specialist visits, while treatment includes medication, surgery, physical therapy and routine doctor visits.
The reason why the adjuster will try to reject part of your insurance claim is that the amount of general damages (i.e., pain and suffering, diminished quality of life) is based on your special damages (medical expenses). By reducing the amount of your special damages, the adjuster can save the company money on your total Ames car accident claim.
Many times, the adjuster will argue that only your treatment expenses are related to the severity of your injury; however, remember that you cannot get the treatment you need without the proper diagnosis. Therefore, diagnostics are just as important as treatment.
Submitting an insurance claim can be a complicated process. A qualified Iowa personal injury lawyer can help you determine the value of your injuries and submit the proper medical files and paperwork to back up your insurance claim.
Contacting an Ames Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were injured in an Ames car accident, a qualified injury lawyer can help with your insurance claim. The personal injury attorney team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. That’s why we provide this FREE book; The Legal Insider’s Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: 7 Secrets to Not Wreck Your Case. To learn more about what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a no-cost consultation. Call 1-800-707-2552 to order your free accident book today. Call 1-(888) 435-9886 for immediate legal assistance.
What kind of fault system is followed when it comes to a car accident in Iowa?
Iowa uses a modified comparative fault system when it comes to a car accident in Iowa. However, fault must first be determined, which is something you and your Des Moines car accident lawyer can work together to prove.
After your car accident in Iowa, you'll have to prove who was at fault for the accident, and therefore, who is responsible for the damages. Often, more than one person has a certain degree of fault.
Proving Fault for Your Accident in IowaWhen you're trying to prove fault, you'll need to show that the other driver:
- owed you a legal duty of care;
- failed to fulfill that legal duty;
- caused the accident or your injuries; and
- you actually have injuries as a result of the accident.
Once fault has been determined, the insurance adjuster, judge or jury will assign you a percentage of fault for the accident. Keep in mind that your total settlement will be reduced by your degree of fault.
Iowa's modified comparative fault system follows the 51% rule. This means that you're still able to seek compensation after your accident, provided you are less than 51% at fault in the accident.
For example, if you're 25% at fault for your accident, you can still pursue a claim for restitution, but your settlement will be reduced by 25%.
Proving fault is extremely important in a personal injury case, and because it isn't an easy feat, you'll need to consult with a Des Moines car accident lawyer to better your chances of receiving a higher settlement amount.
Contacting a Des Moines Car Accident Lawyer
With a car accident in Iowa, the State of Iowa follows a modified comparative fault system. The Des Moines personal injury attorney team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. That's why we provide this FREE book; The Legal Insider's Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: 7 Secrets to Not Wreck Your Case. To learn more about what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a no-cost consultation. Call 1-800-707-2552 to order your free accident book today.
What do I need to know about insurance industry settlement tactics so I can try to handle my Iowa injury claim on my own?
To settle your Iowa injury claim on your own, you should know 7 tactics insurance adjusters use. You can attempt to handle everything on your own, but if you hire a West Des Moines injury lawyer you can focus on healing rather than fighting.
Insurance adjusters may try any or all of the following once you file your Iowa injury claim:
- Requests for unnecessary information.
- Contesting your medical treatment.
- Paying only a portion of your bills.
- Giving you misleading information about benefits.
- Pretending they are on your side.
- Making misleading or false promises.
First, you must realize that insurance adjusters are paid to keep money in the insurance company's pocket, not yours. Once you understand this, you will be able to recognize these 7 tactics at work.
Insurance adjusters delay communication so that you get tired of waiting for your money and just take their minimal offer. They will request unnecessary documentation for your Iowa injury claim to wear you down.
Besides being tedious, they will also dispute your Iowa injury claim and medical program despite its being prescribed by a medical professional. They may also offer to cover only a percentage of the cost.
They often pretend to be your friend. As your "friend" they will dissuade you from hiring an Iowa injury lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit and threaten to lowball your claim if you do so.
Finally, insurance adjusters will give you misleading information about their benefits policy. If you are not familiar with the policy, it will be easy for them to convince you otherwise.
Adjusters have been known to make false promises over the phone. With the help of a West Des Moines injury lawyer, you can fight them when they retract a verbal agreement.
Contacting a West Des Moines Injury Lawyer
You can tackle the insurance adjusters on your own but it always feels better to have an expert in your corner. The West Des Moines injury lawyers at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. That's why we provide this FREE book; The Legal Insider's Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: 7 Secrets to Not Wreck Your Case. To learn more about what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a no-cost consultation. Call 1-800-707-2552 to order your free accident book today.
How should I deal with insurance adjusters after my accident in Iowa?
When dealing with insurance adjusters after an accident in Iowa, you should be straightforward and give them only the facts of the accident, nothing more.
Insurance adjusters may come across as affable, but beware: their goal is to get you to relax, open up and say anything that could damage your Iowa personal injury claim. After all, they work for insurance companies and their goal is to help the insurer pay out as little as possible.
Described below are certain things you should and should not do when dealing with insurance adjusters. Otherwise, you could jeopardize your Iowa personal injury claim.
- DO get the insurance adjuster's name and contact information as well as the company they represent.
- DO give the insurance adjusters your full name and contact information.
- DO take notes.
- DO ask the adjuster if they have any witnesses to the accident in Iowa.
- DO be general when describing your injuries.
- DON'T agree to have the conversation recorded.
- DON'T discuss anything with insurance adjusters except the location of the accident in Iowa, the date and time the accident occurred and the type of accident (car, truck, motorcycle).
- DON'T agree to anything.
- DON'T sign anything.
- DON'T answer questions about your family.
- DON'T identify any witnesses.
- DON'T provide the name of your doctor.
It would also be a good idea to speak with a Newton personal injury lawyer before you speak with any insurance adjusters. Your Newton personal injury lawyer can go over the details of your case, help determine who was negligent and, if appropriate, take steps to build a solid Iowa personal injury claim. With the help of your Newton personal injury lawyer, you might be able to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings and pain and suffering.
Contacting a Newton Personal Injury Lawyer
The Newton personal injury lawyer team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. That's why we provide this FREE book; The Legal Insider's Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: 7 Secrets to Not Wreck Your Case. To learn more about what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a no-cost consultation - 1-888-435-9886.
Are there laws regarding Iowa truck drivers sending or reading text messages while driving?
There are federal laws that prohibit commercial truck drivers from texting while driving.
In January of 2010, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a federal ban on texting for all commercial truck drivers.
As a result of this law, if a truck driver was texting while driving, they may be subject to criminal penalties, including a fine of up to $2,750.
In a statement about the ban, Secretary LaHood said:
"... We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe. This is an important safety step and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving."
As a result of this law, if truck drivers are caught texting while driving, then they may be held liable for damages caused in an Iowa truck accident. As such, your Iowa truck accident lawyer will look at this possibility as they investigate the nature of your Iowa truck accident.
If you have suffered personal injuries in an Iowa truck accident-particularly if the driver was found to be texting while driving-then you may be able to claim damages for your medical expenses, any pain that you may have suffered and any wages that you may have lost.
Contacting an Iowa Truck Accident LawyerThe Iowa truck accident lawyer team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. To learn more about what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa truck injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a no-cost consultation - 888-435-9886.
Will my health insurance policy or paid sick leave limit my recovery for my Iowa motorcycle accident?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Iowa, and you have filed an Iowa injury claim, then NO, neither your health insurance policy nor your paid sick leave will limit what you can recover from the liable party. It makes no difference whether you paid for medical care out of pocket or it was paid for by your health insurer.
Nor does it matter if your missed time at work was paid for by sick leave or vacation pay, you may still be eligible to receive a full recovery in an Iowa injury claim. You will need to keep in mind that if you receive a settlement award from a liable party, your own insurance company may require you to reimburse some or all of what it paid to treat your injuries.
In these cases, it helps to have an Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer involved in your Iowa injury claim, to make sure you're getting the most comprehensive settlement offer possible, and that unnecessary deductions aren't garnished from it.
An Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer will likely seek some of the following damages in your Iowa injury claim, including:
- medical expenses;
- physical or emotional pain suffered as a result of your injuries; and
- past, present or future lost wages.
To learn more about damage recovery in an Iowa injury claim, or to negotiate a settlement with the responsible insurer, you'll want to consult an Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer. An Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer can serve as your representative in settlement negotiations to advocate that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled, while you focus on recovery.
Contacting an Iowa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. That's why we provide this complimentary book; The Legal Insider's Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: Seven Secrets to Not Wreck Your Case. To learn more about what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair and schedule a no-cost consultation - 888-435-9886.
I have been having neck pain, when should I call my doctor?
If you have injured your neck at work, in a car accident or another personal injury accident then you need to be seen by a doctor right away so they can evaluate and try to determine the extent of your injury. You may have a severe neck injury if you have been in a serious car accident, taken a forceful blow to the head or neck, or fallen from 10 feet or higher. You may have also suffered a spinal cord injury if you are experiencing continuous numbness of one or both arms or legs, or if you have weakness in your arms or legs or aren’t able to move them. If you start to have severe pain immediately after being injured you shouldn’t wait to see your doctor.
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.