If you are involved in a car accident, there may be several responsible parties involved. If you suffered an injury or have property damage to your car through no fault of your own, you will want to seek compensation from all responsible parties.
Initially, most people involved in car accident look to all drivers of the vehicles involved, including the driver of the vehicle where a passenger may have been injured. However, if the at fault driver is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may be responsible.
Many who are involved in an accident due to the negligence of another driver are not aware that if the at fault driver is an employee on company business at the time of the accident, the employer may be liable also. If an employee is running company errands during their lunch break, for example, and causes a motor vehicle accident resulting in property damage or injury, the employer may be on the hook for damages.
Teenagers are at highest risk for being involved in an accident and if they do not drive in a reasonably safe manner and another driver is injured, they may be legally liable for resulting damages including medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage and other losses. If you are involved in an accident with a minor, his or her parents may be responsible, most certainly if they own the car.
Keep in mind, a finding of negligence in a car accident is not limited to drivers. If someone who was not in a vehicle contributed to the accident, such as a pedestrian jaywalking or a property owner who left an obstruction in the roadway, they may be responsible for damages. Say for example, a construction company leaves debris on the roadway after leaving a site. That company may be liable for any damage to your vehicle or injuries you suffer if you are involved in an accident as a result of the obstruction left behind.
And finally, remember your own vehicle’s insurance company. If you are injured in an accident, you can make a claim under your own insurance company to cover medical bills and if you have uninsured motorist insurance you may be able to recover even more. The reason people secure insurance in the first place is to obtain coverage in the event of an unforeseen accident. Your insurer should work with you, not against you, to provide you with the coverage you are entitled to.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Iowa personal injury car accident attorneys of Hemminger Law Firm for immediate help at 515-283-2116. We seek maximum compensation to help our clients recover lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and future medical and rehabilitative care.
Following a car accident, the police may respond to the scene to take a report. An officer will typically note the location of the cars involved, take witness accounts and include other relevant information in the accident report. Sometimes the officer’s report will clearly state that one driver violated a specific vehicle code that caused the accident and that the driver was issued a citation. Even the mention of careless driving will help an injured party show that the other driver was at fault.
All drivers have a duty of care which is an obligation to avoid injuring someone or putting them in a dangerous situation. The duty of all motorists is to obey the law and to exercise common sense when driving. A car accident that results from a breach of this duty will typically result in a finding of fault.
For example, an accident may result when a driver is traveling too fast for conditions such as icy roads or reduced visibility in a snowstorm where any reasonable person might have slowed down. It may a situation where a motorist disregards the law by texting while driving or fails to stop at a stop sign. If an officer’s report shows that a driver’s careless or illegal actions led up to an accident, it can clearly establish fault so that an injured party can seek compensation for injuries or property damage.
If an officer was on the scene of your accident, the insurance company for the other driver should receive a copy of the police report, but you will want to make sure and also get a copy for yourself. If you are working with a personal injury attorney, they will certainly collect all the necessary information and documentation surrounding the accident including the accident report and will often go further to photograph the scene, follow up with witnesses, check for prior incidents on the other driver’s record and more, to show that the other driver is in fact responsible for your damages.
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, it is important to seek knowledgeable advise. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage that will often result in a higher payout from the insurance company. Hemminger Law Firm has handled hundreds of Iowa motor vehicle accidents over more than three decades. Our attorneys have the trial and negotiating experience to reach a fair settlement that will compensate you for your injuries and losses. To schedule a free consultation, call 515-283-2116 or contact our offices online today.
Using a phone while driving increases the risk of having an accident significantly and, unfortunately, 75 percent of the over 200 million people that own a phone say that they use them while driving. A study out of the University of Toronto reveals that using a phone while driving quadruples the risk of being involved in an accident – the same risk associated with drunk driving. The NHTSA reports that 80 percent of all accidents are attributed to inattentive or distracted driving which unfortunately includes pervasive texting while driving.
If you are involved in a car accident with someone who was on their phone, texting or otherwise, you would have a good argument that the person on the device was at fault. If the accident happens to occur in a state or city where texting and driving is illegal, you will have a powerful negotiating tool when trying to settle your claim with the insurance company, whether your damages are limited to property or you are injured.
Although you may believe texting and driving was to blame for the other driver’s negligence, proving the other driver was on the phone before the accident may require witness accounts or an admission by the driver when confronted by law enforcement. In the event there are no witnesses and the driver does not admit fault, cell phone records can be scrutinized to establish negligence in court.
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, it is important to seek the help and guidance of an experienced Iowa car accident attorney. For over three decades the Des Moines car accident lawyers of Hemminger Law Firm have handled hundreds of Iowa motor vehicle accidents and our attorneys have the trial and negotiating experience to help you reach a fair settlement that will compensate you for your injuries and hold those responsible. To schedule a free consultation, call 515-283-2116 or contact our offices online today.
New drivers and even people who have been driving for decades can make mistakes on slick and icy roads when winter weather strikes. All too often drivers do not slow down when conditions become hazardous and do not know how to handle a skid if they hit a patch of ice. When drivers do not adapt their driving to weather conditions, accidents can result and sometimes people can get hurt.
On dry pavement, drivers can often get away with accelerating quickly, slamming on their brakes and even making sharp turns, confident that the tires will grip the road. However, when winter storms start brewing, it is time to prepare for a slippery ride and driving has to slow down, become smoother, to avoid an accident.
Many liken it to walking on ice, where you take smaller, tiny steps to avoid a fall. It is much the same when operating a vehicle – every movement must be minimized and slowed to keep from colliding into traffic, hitting obstructions, or rolling into a ditch. All drivers have a duty of care to their passengers and other motorists to drive according to conditions – a failure to do so may result in a finding of negligence.
Every year, twenty percent of the roughly 6 million car crashes involve hazardous weather. Over 5,000 fatalities annually are due to weather related crashes and hundreds of thousands are injured. Slick surfaces can easily result in an accident especially when drivers do not take the necessary precautions so it is important to act responsibly on Iowa roads this winter season.
If you or a family member has been injured in an Iowa motor vehicle accident during slippery road conditions and from the negligence of another driver, contact the Des Moines personal injury law offices of John T. Hemminger for your free consultation and help at 515-283-2116.
Although car accidents are the leading cause of death in children ages 1 through 19 in the U.S., death rates from crashes have decreased over the last decade which many attribute to increased seat belt use, car seats for kids, safety improvements to vehicles, better road construction and growing awareness of the hazards of teen drunk driving.
However, recently, researches note a reversal in the downward trend and an annual increase in childhood car crash mortality rates between 2013 and 2016. Although the cause is still being evaluated, many believe that distracted or impaired driving may be to blame for the recent increase.
Cell phone use by far has resulted in more and more distracted driving among teens, putting drivers, passengers and other motorists and their passengers at significant risk. Add to that the changing attitudes about drugs related to the legalization of marijuana in many states or the scourge of opioid addiction among youth and more teens engage in drugged driving.
An editorial on a recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine comparing kids safety in a variety of countries, underscores the sad fact that a child or adolescent in the United States is 57 percent more likely to die by the age of 18 years than those in other wealthy nations and car accidents lead the list of causes.
Although there has been progress, clearly there must be more effort to protect children across the country, particularly in the age of distracted drivers and impaired driving. If you or a family member has been injured in an Iowa motor vehicle accident contact Hemminger Law Firm for immediate assistance at 515-283-2116.
Drivers across Iowa still haven’t gotten the message that texting while driving is prohibited. Texting while driving can not only result in a costly ticket, but worse, a distracted driving car accident.
Since the law changed making texting while driving a primary offense in Iowa, the number of tickets issued to motorists texting while driving has increased dramatically, underscoring just how many drivers are not paying attention to the road.
Although the law does allow some activity on the phone behind the wheel such as using GPS or making a call, officers are pretty astute at spotting the difference and have seen a bounty of texting while driving offenses.
From weaving on the highway to pulling out phones at a traffic stops, officers have issued a steady stream of tickets for texting while driving that never seems to stop.
Ticketing distracted drivers is not without good reason. Robust texting while driving laws are becoming the norm across the country in response to a spike in distracted driving accidents, many of which result in injuries or fatalities.
Distracted driving accounts for nearly 25% of all motor vehicle fatalities and is the culprit behind 58 % of teen crashes, which not only poses a risk to the distracted driver but all motorists on the road and to pedestrians crossing the street.
As the number of citations increase, the hope is that texting while driving will become a thing of the past reducing the number of distracted driving accidents that occur every year. Putting phones away on the road will make the journey safer for everyone.
Texting while driving is still a problem in Iowa. If you have been injured in car accident by a distracted driver, contact the Des Moines personal injury attorneys of Hemminger Law Firm for help at 515-283-2116.
A post trending on social media showing two intact car seats in a heap of tangled metal underscores just how important using child car seats can be.
The mom of two unharmed boys involved in the accident says it is not the first time she’s seen a child properly buckled into a properly installed car seat come away from a crash with no injuries, which should encourage all parents to use them.
While many parents may understand the importance of securing kids in car seats, sometimes improper use can cause problems. To ensure a safer journey parents should take note to avoid common mistakes:
Do not transition from rear facing – to front facing – to booster – to seat belt, too soon. Do your homework by reading manufacturers’ recommendations based on a child’s weight and height before making changes to your child’s restraint mechanism. It has to be the right fit for maximum protection in an accident.
Do not neglect to anchor the tether strap to the vehicle. All cars manufactured since 2000 have places to secure the tether which is designed to reduce head injuries, a common injury in car accident.
Just like a loose bike helmet will do little to protect a child on a bicycle, a loose car seat restraint will not keep a child safe in a car accident. It is important to make sure the car seat is snug to the car and that a child is snug in the harness.
Make sure you buckle up too. All occupants of a car should buckle up not only to stay safe and set a good example, but to avoid striking other occupants in an accident.
Those who have survived a serious car accident can attest to the importance of wearing seat belts to save lives. For kids, having the right seat restraint can reduce their chance of being injured too. If you or a family member is injured in an Iowa car accident contact the Des Moines car accident Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help today.
Source: ABCNews.com, “Car Accident Reminds Parents to Use Car Seats”, accessed July 20, 2018
If you or a family member is involved in an injury accident with a commercial vehicle, filing a personal injury claim may involve more than one liable party. Determining who may bear responsibility for your injuries starts by seeking the answers to a number of questions.
Is the commercial vehicle driver an employee of a shipping or other private company, or is he or she an independent contractor? If the driver is employed with a larger company, a claim will likely include the parent company and their insurer. If the driver is an independent contractor, compensation may instead fall to the driver’s individual insurer. It is important to determine the driver’s employment status in an accident to seek compensation from all responsible parties.
Did a mechanical problem or maintenance issue contribute to the accident? A percentage of truck accidents are caused by mechanical issues, problems with brakes, wheels and tires. Not only can the trucking company be held responsible for not properly maintaining vehicles, but also service and repair companies entrusted to make trucks safe for the road.
Was your injury caused as the result of an improperly loaded truck? Perhaps the loading company bears some responsibility to pay compensation for your injuries. Improperly loaded semis and tractor trailers are a dangerous problem. Loads may shift during transit, causing the driver to lose control or even dump their load in the path of other motorists resulting in an accident.
Where did the accident occur? Sometimes accidents happen near construction zones along the highways that lack proper signage to alert motorists to hazards. In this case, the construction company may also be partially at fault for causing the accident that lead to your injuries.
If you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, there may be many responsible parties involved in liability. All possible defendants should receive attention in order for you to get the maximum compensation for recovery and financial losses. It is important to secure the help of an experienced commercial vehicle truck accident attorney to help you determine who may be responsible for your injuries so you can recover all your losses to the fullest extent possible. Contact the Des Moines Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for immediate assistance today if you have been hurt in a car accident involving a commercial vehicle.
The Iowa State Patrol has issued a warning to the parents of teen drivers that their kids are driving too fast. This in response to a rash of recent cases involving teenagers speeding on Iowa roads, with some driving more than 100 mph. With 57 fatalities and roughly 13,000 crashes involving young, inexperienced drivers last year alone, police are honing in on teen speeding, as well as distracted and impaired driving, to reduce the number of incidences.
A picture is worth a thousand words and the Iowa State patrol is using social media to drive home the point. Recently, they posted pictures to Facebook of two recent stops involving teenage drivers in the Des Moines area pulled over for excessive speeds. One picture shows a 17-year-old stopped for going 100 mph in a 65 zone; the other shows a 16-year-old traveling up to speeds of 104 mph. Both drivers were given citations for roughly $300 apiece and will likely lose their licenses through the Iowa DOT if convicted.
Unfortunately, the speeding epidemic is not limited to Iowa. Traffic deaths have been rising across the country for the last several years and a recent study by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is pointing a finger at speeding as the main culprit for the uptick in traffic fatalities declaring “speed is what’s killing Americans.”
Looking at U.S. passenger vehicle crashes spanning a decade, the NTSB found that speeding was a major factor in over 100,000 deaths, more than a third of all traffic fatalities. The figures are nearly equal to the number of drunk driving fatalities during the same period, underscoring just how dangerous speeding can be.
“Drunk driving and speeding have a lot in common”, the NTSB report highlights. Drunk drivers and speeders both have a higher likelihood of being in a crash resulting in death or serious injury. Speeding or drunk driving not only puts the driver at risk, but also their passengers, other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike.
There is no quick fix to the problem. One of the major recommendations is to make the consequences for speeding similar to that of a DUI for starters. Other remedies range from expanding enforcement tools like speed cameras to overhauling existing speed limits altogether.
Just raising awareness about the dangers of speeding may help to put a dent in the problem, which is where parents of teen drivers come in, especially in light of the recent stops by the Iowa State Patrol. Helping kids understand how distracted driving, impaired driving and speeding are all risky behaviors behind the wheel may save lives.
If you or a family member is injured in an Iowa car accident, contact Des Moines personal injury attorney John T. Hemminger for help today at 515-283-2116.
Drunk Driving Car Accidents
St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and many festivities are planned in the metro area. Not only will there be a number of party goers, including students returning from spring break, but law enforcement plans to be out in full force to put the kibosh on drunk driving and drunk driving car accidents.
According to a Des Moines Police Department spokesmen, there has been a spike in drunken driving crashes on St. Patrick’s Day and, with 39 percent of fatality car accidents caused by drunk driving in the state, law enforcement hopes that those celebrating St Patrick’s Day will find a designated driver or take a cab to avoid problems.
Despite their best efforts, Iowa law enforcement is well aware that some drunk drivers will not be deterred, however. In fact, some drivers are arrested repeatedly for being drunk behind the wheel, some even after being involved in a fatality accident. It’s a constant struggle costing lives.
In fact, since 2005 more than 11,000 people were charged with intoxicated driving subsequent offense in the state. Over 200 drunk drivers were charged with vehicular homicide, some who had earlier DUI convictions. Of those responsible for causing the death of another while driving drunk, 13 drove after being charged or convicted.
“Why Iowa can’t seem to keep drunk drivers from driving again?” is a question that troubles many in the state, particularly those who have lost someone to a drunk driving accident. Many would like to see Iowa require chronic offenders barred from driving for life, particularly those whose actions have resulted in an injury or fatality car accident. Clearly measures are needed to keep 1st offenders from graduating to 2nd, 3rd or aggravated DUI offenses to keep Iowa roads safe for everyone.
If you or a family member has been injured in an Iowa drunk driving accident, contact the personal injury law offices of John T. Hemminger for help today at 515-283-2116.
What We Do Really Well
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Nursing Home Neglect