It’s Motorcycle Safety Month - A Motorcycle Injury Attorney's Tips for Staying Safe

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The weather in Iowa is finally getting warmer and bikers can get back on the road. As a motorcycle injury attorney, I have learned a lot about motorcycles and motorcyclists. The number one thing I have learned is that bikers are passionate about getting around on two wheels. Motorcyclists deserve to stay safe on the roads just as much as people travelling on four wheels, but unfortunately, that does not always happen. I have represented motorcycle riders with catastrophic injuries because while many riders love being on their bike more than anything, if they are hit their injuries can be severe. Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die from injuries in a crash than people who were travelling in a car during a crash. Here are some tips from NHTSA’s Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles Campaign:

  1. Look carefully for motorcycles at intersections with obstructions like trees or hills;

  2. Be careful checking your blind spots for motorcycles; and

  3. Be aware that it is often safer for motorcycles to slow without using their brakes so do not follow too closely and rely on the back-brake light to know when a motorcycle is slowing.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle crash, we are here to help. Please call us at (319) 826-2250.

Injuries on Someone’s Property and Who is Liable

personal injury claims

Accidents happen – including at a residential property or a place of business. Sometimes the personal injuries suffered as a result of these accidents can have lasting effects on the lives of those involved. And the expenses can add up quickly when you consider medical bills, time off of work, and other impacts to one’s quality of life. Personal injury claims provide just compensation for the injured when someone else is at fault for the dangerous condition that caused the injury.

Slip and Fall

One of the most common personal injury claims involves slip and fall accidents. These are cases where someone has fallen and been injured because of a dangerous condition at the property. It could be a broken stairway, improperly installed flooring, an uneven sidewalk, or ice or snow that has built up on a walkway. These types of hazards are especially dangerous for the elderly and physically disabled. There are specific laws that require that commercial property owners make their properties safe for the elderly and disabled.

Dog Bites

While dog bites are most common with children, they can happen to anyone. Dog bites and attacks can cause serious harm, both physically and emotionally, and can leave lasting scars. In Iowa, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused when their dog bites or attacks someone, as long as the injured person was not committing an unlawful act at the time of the attack. This is true regardless of whether the dog has previously bitten anyone.

Unsafe Environment

Any number of accidents or injuries could occur at a residential property where there are dangerous features or environments. In older homes, children could be exposed to a toxin, such as lead paint, and may have a claim against the property owner In other scenarios, improperly installed windows or screens, patios or porches with broken railings, or loose fixtures on ceilings can cause serious injuries. Owners are responsible to keep up with repairs to minimize another’s risk of injury.

When the Owner Is Liable

In general, a property owner can be held liable for personal injury claims if their negligence was a cause of the claim. It is a common misconception that property owners are responsible for all injuries that occur on their property. However, injured people can only successfully bring personal injury claims if the property owner somehow is to blame for the injury.  

If You’re Renting

Landlords who are renting their property to residents have a responsibility to maintain that home to a safe, livable standard. By neglecting to make structural updates or repairs, the landlord may be liable for injuries that occur while the occupant is living in the home. If your landlord is not taking steps to keep your home safe, consider speaking with us. We may be able to help you pursue legal action. Iowa has adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act, which provides renters with a number of rights.

Personal injury claims seek fair monetary compensation for damages incurred, in an effort to improve the life of the person injured. We support our personal injury clients through these complicated and difficult times to help them recover and return to their best quality of life.

If you need a lawyer to represent you in a personal injury claim, please call us for a free consultation at (319) 826-2250 or fill out our contact form.

 

Helpful advice if you have been in a car or motorcycle accident

Iowa Car Accident Attorney 

If you have been injured in a car or motorcycle accident, you likely have been or will be contacted by an insurance company and may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the process of dealing with the insurance company. Here are a few pieces of simple advice that may be helpful. 

Advice for Iowa Car Accident Victims 

 

  1. Hiring a lawyer. Not everyone who is injured in a car accident will benefit from having a lawyer (and that is coming from a lawyer!). If you sustained injuries that required little treatment and you have fully recovered, you may be better off resolving your case directly with the insurance company without getting a lawyer. However, if you have sustained injuries requiring substantial treatment or you have not recovered from your injuries, you may benefit from having a lawyer. If you are not sure if you would benefit from a lawyer, I am happy to talk to you about it. My job is to help people who have been injured, and so I always try to give an honest opinion about whether hiring a lawyer (almost always on a contingent fee) will likely increase the amount that you are able to recover for your injuries. 
  2. Talking to the insurance company. If you are considering hiring a lawyer, you should talk to that lawyer before giving a statement to the insurance company or signing a patients' waiver. Insurance companies want to save money and sometimes that means trying to shift the blame for an accident or minimizing your injuries and damages. Oftentimes you are simply better off not talking with the insurance company. If you have already spoken with the insurance company, do not fret, an attorney can still help you. 
  3. Document your injuries and damages. You should take photos of your injuries and of any damage to your car. You should also save any medical or other bills that you have.
  4. Getting Medical Care. You may be confused about what insurance company should be paying for your medical treatment. This often depends on your situation and you should always ask your lawyer who should be paying your medical bills. This is another topic I am always happy to discuss with people when they contact me. 
  5. Know the time limit for bringing a claim. In Iowa, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years from the date of injury, with some exception. You should know the statute of limitations applicable to your claim because if you try to bring your claim too late, you may not be able to do so. 

If you have questions about whether you should hire a lawyer, please contact our office at (319) 826-2250. We offer a free consultation, and I always provide helpful, honest advice to injured Iowans. 

This website is designed to provide general information and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship

It's not about me...

Ann Brown Legal 

Ann Brown Legal 

Over my years practicing as a trial lawyer, every single case has been different, but they all share one simple fact: not one case has been about me. If I am being authentic, I must confess that I like to argue, like to stand in front of the jury, like to win. But victories don't belong to me, they are my clients' and my only role is to tell their story and to stand with them through the process. 

People do not become my clients during the happiest or easiest times of their lives. They need me during times they have suffered great loss or injury or been subjected to injustice. They often come to me overwhelmed, heartbroken or angry - never the best version of themselves, but always the best they can be at that difficult moment in their life.

I have represented all different types of people, many of whom I never would have met but for this job. All of my clients have had their own strengths and their own flaws and every case has its own challenges.  But every one of my clients has been deserving of some form of justice that only the civil court system can provide and that is why I will always choose to stand with families over corporations and people against insurance companies.  

It is a privilege to tell my clients' stories and to help them right injustices. Sometimes I am able to watch my clients come through the difficult time that brought them into my office and get back to the life they love. Some harms my clients have suffered are too difficult to ever overcome, but I hope that obtaining justice helps to lighten their burden. Many of my clients have stayed in touch after the conclusion of their case and I now am able to share in their continuing story.

While no case has ever been about me, I have been impacted by every case I have had. My clients have been a very big part of my story...and I am honored and humbled by it.