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  • Posted on 11/28/2014 How do you handle a slip and fall incident that happens at work?

    Question: What are my options if I fell and was injured at work but outside of the building? I was at work when I slipped, fell and was injured. It just snowed an inch and the parking lot at work was covered. I went to my car for the lunch break and slipped in the parking lot on work property. I broke my leg. Can I get workman's compensation? If not, can I sue whoever owned the building? I don't normally think of suing, but now I need to pay the rent and buy groceries. I don't have any choice. 

    Answer: These next few months Katrina and I will get many questions about slipping and falling on the ice. We do every year. This question is different than a normal tort case because it involves a work injury. In Iowa a fall at work may be covered by workers’ compensation, but then again it may not be. Or it may be covered by the building owner's casualty insurance policy. It will depend on the reason for your trip to the parking lot as well as the conditions and preparation of the walks and lot for employees to safely get in or out of the building. It may also be impacted by the continuing storm doctrine, a legal rule recently discussed by the Iowa Appeals Court. 

    In workers’ compensation law the first step is always to report the injury to your supervisor. You will need to report the injury right away, assuming your supervisor doesn't already have actual notice of the injury. After you report it to the supervisor he or she will report it to the insurance company by filing a claim. After the claim is opened an adjuster will be assigned to your case and shortly thereafter you will be asked to give a recorded statement. We have several blogs about recorded statements and I’d suggest you read those to prepare yourself. If you’re not going to read them then hire me to help prepare you.

    After the claim file is opened the adjuster will make a decision about whether this one claim will be covered by workers' compensation insurance and the adjuster may actually put the building owner on notice of your injury. If the adjuster doesn't put the owner on notice, then you need to put the building owner on notice. This is what lawyers do after you hire one. But let us get back to the work comp insurance. They will either accept or deny the claim. If they deny the claim you will receive a letter stating your claim has been denied. At that point either you accept the denial or you start looking for a lawyer, such as Katrina and I, who practice Iowa workers’ compensation law. I hope by this explanation you understand the importance of the recorded statement. Screw that up and you may have a difficult time finding a lawyer who will accept your case or if you do find one their opinion may be that you have no case because of what you said on the recorded statement. 

    Make no mistake about the insurance industry, they are good at what they do and making you look and sound like a crook is at the top of their list of reasons to speak with you. Never confuse friendliness with who really are your friends.

    Never forget just because someone is friendly doesn’t mean they are your friend.

    Whenever you get ready to agree to give a recorded statement ask yourself if you understand the issues to be discussed and if you don’t, then hire a lawyer who can explain the issues in a workers’ compensation case. If you've uncomfortable with the process then hire a lawyer. We would be happy to assist. Call if you need help. This initial consultation is free, we assume most people don't understand whether or not they have a case, so us giving you the thumbs up or down helps everyone in this system to avoid wasted time.

    Then of course you may also have a second claim with the owner of the property. Building leases, insurance policies, subcontractors who might be responsible for keeping the lot cleared, spreading salt and general maintenance could all be things the lawyer needs to consider. This is complicated and there is no way in this blog for me to cover all that I have learned over the past thirty plus years. What the lawyer will do is contact the property casualty insurance company to discuss the claim. The lawyer will, if hired early enough, take photographs of the location to show the conditions, of where you fell. This is as important as anything that is done in your case. Taking good photographs is essential to supporting your claim. Without it you have a much different case. I believe these photographs are critical, which is why I always want to be hired the day the accident happens. The insurance industry wants you to believe hiring a lawyer so quickly shows you are "sue happy", but that isn't true, quite the opposite. They like it when you delay because then you don't have the photographs to demonstrate the condition and then they will deny, deny and deny some more. 

    So do not delay. Either take good photographs of the conditions or hire a lawyer that will. 

    Note from Attorney Lombardi: I have queued up 7 videos that are relevant to this subject. They might be too long for your attention span. If so watch them a little at a time over several days. But watch and listen to what I have to say because they contain important information.

  • Posted on 11/27/2014 Lawyer Lombardi how do I settle my case without paying you?

    D.I.Y. PI PracticeI need to change my photograph on this site because I must look really stupid. You have no clue about how many times I get asked this question, the one below like the elbow fracture case evaluation. Most of the time I answer it, but sometimes the question (or in this instance, questions) sort of irritate me because it’s obvious the person is either lazy or it’s a lawyer trying to get me to value a pi case for them; a case which they have no business taking, but think it’s going to be easy money. Trust me it isn’t and it won’t be easily made.

    Question: How much would I get for a fracture elbow? (The structure of this sentence should be the first clue you need to hire a lawyer. ) Fractured elbow at work left elbow also hurting. [Please! You call this detail? NOT!]

    Answer: How much will you get? You will get as much as the case is worth. There is no schedule of benefits for broken bones. (Last I checked there is no Personal Injury Handbook for Determining Valuation Based On Any Bone Break.) The case is valued based on a variable of factors too long to list in any Q&A site.

    Asking me this question is like me calling a plumber and asking him what is wrong with my stopped up toilet. He would hang up on my. So why do so many people think a telephone call to any lawyer will result in an instant case valuation?  Why do people think personal injury law is that easy? You think I’m kidding, look at these questions about requests for valuations for broken bones.

    Question: Can I sue my employer for my broken figer and if so how much should I ask for?

    Question Detail: I had my finger broken off in a lathe. My glove got caught, it took a year and 2 surgeries and my finger is at 40% the damage is permanent and I have a 50% grip strength in my prominent hand. My employer told me to wear the gloves so I did. Come to find out the machine is supposed to be labeled "no glove on this machine" I was on workers comp but I will only receive about 3000 for compensation but that seems a little low right?

    Answer: In Iowa you can't sue your "employer". You can sue a supervisor for gross negligence, but not your employer. A gross negligence claim is rarely successful, although they've been known to pay large damages in some instances. I doubt your case, it being for one finger, would be economically feasible to pursue such a claim. But I could be wrong, I'd have to know more about the case and how it affected your ability to earn a living.

    Your workers' compensation case is a scheduled member, which do not pay a lot of money in settlement. Get a second opinion on the permanent partial impairment and that may produce a higher payout. Hire a lawyer in Iowa that understands workers' compensation. This area is technical and not easily learned by the layman.

    Question: How much compensation can I get for a broken rib claim and a crack bone in the spine in a result of a slip and fell accident?

    Question Detail: I was involved in a slip and fall accident six months ago and received broken bone injuries. I have one rib broken and a crack bone n the spine. How much compensation can I get?

    Answer: There is no way to know without more information. You've provided nothing for medical bills, surgery or any surgery, wage loss, reduced earning capacity, pain/suffering, disability or result from surgery. A lot of people ask this type of a question, and I'm sure they think they can get a range and then go settle it without the lawyer and get paid more. But it doesn't work that way. For instance I have truck and its nice how much can I get for it? See you can't answer that question any better than the one you're asking me to answer.

    It is like asking the roofers to show me how to reroof my house for free. This PI work is not easy and if it seems easy you are being taken advantage of by the adjuster. Adjusters love lazy people trying to save money by not hring a lawyer.

    Yada yada yada! Alright already, go hire a personal injury lawyer!

  • Posted on 11/26/2014 Driver Safety: The snow didn't cause the accident!

    The headlines read: Ice and snow blamed for fatal accident.

    This is one of those little things that will drive a personal injury lawyer to distraction. The precision of the English language being what it is [and isn't] when there is a logical inconsistency I tend to perseverate about better word choices. This is one of those cases. So on the Lombardi Law Firm blog I wrote:

    Many know how headlines like this drive me crazy because of how misleading they can be. Snow and ice don’t cause accidents; drivers do. Drivers who fail to slow down and drive according to the conditions and how that affects maintaining control of their car, truck or motorcycle.

    So when a crash occurs like the one reported from Albia, Iowa where a 19-year-old was killed by the car he was a passenger in, sliding sideways, crossing the center line and crashing into the oncoming car; I immediately think, it isn’t the snow and ice that should be blamed but the driver who was probably driving too fast for the conditions. 

    The Verdict

    We remain vigilant on this war of words that instill or attempt to adopt new concepts of fault that relieve those who are responsible from being held responsible. If we want our children to be responsible then we must also hold to firm lines of responsibility for our own conduct.

Des Moines Accident Attorney Serving All of Iowa And Answering Questions About Personal Injury Accidents

Straight talk when you need it most.

Exploring Recent Personal Injury News From Around the State of Iowa

What's my case worth? What should I do right after the accident? Why is the case manager working against me? These are all questions we often are asked and these answers can all be found at the Iowa Injury Law Center. If you have a question that isn't answered or just want to talk to a personal injury lawyer, contact Steve. 515-222-1110 or sdlombardi@aol.com. He looks forward to speaking with you.

Personal injury law is our business and for the past 30+ years Steve Lombardi has assisted hundreds of clients with personal injury. Clients come from all over Iowa, we do travel and have handled cases in most of Iowa's 99 counties. Let us help you or at least help you get to the right attorney. Currently the worst personal injury cases come from interstate highway accidents, drunk driving collisions, rollover accidents, work related injuries, explosions, electrocutions, falls and spinal chord injuries. We've handled most every type of personal injury case in Iowa and would like to evaluate your case. So call us before you talk with the insurance adjuster.  

Free Legal Questions


We pride ourselves telling you what you need to hear not what you want to hear.

Accidents.  They happen anywhere, anytime.  You cut your finger with a knife in the kitchen.  You spill your morning cup of coffee.  You slip on a patch of ice and fall.  Accidents at home are painful and perhaps embarrassing but certainly manageable.  When they happen on the road or on the job, however, they become devastating. 

Whether you’re involved in a serious car wreck, an accident with a truck, or hurt on the job, you’ll find yourself potentially out of work and out of money.  What if you lose your eyesight or a limb?  Your bills will pile up, especially those never ending medical bills that can result in your insurance company raising rates or worse yet, refusing to cover you.

Even though you’re the victim, it seems as if nobody wants to help you and everyone who is supposed to be helping you, wants to blame you. Trying to handle the situation without professional assistance can be just as terrifying as the injury itself.  

At these times, personal injury attorney Steve Lombardi can help.  With over twenty-six years of experience representing civil trial clients in central Iowa, he knows the law and can achieve results for you.   His practice includes personal injury cases; car, truck, motorcycle, and boat accidents; major injury cases including brain damage, loss of limbs, loss of eyesight, death and surgical cases; workers’ compensation; professional malpractice; and a limited number of divorce cases in which significant and valuable property must be divided.

Lombardi Law Firm is located in West Des Moines, Iowa, and serves clients from Polk, Dallas, Madison, Warren, Clarke, Cerro Gordo, Jasper, Linn, Wapello, Clinton, Scott, Pottawattamie, Muscatine, Lee, and Johnson counties, including accidents occurring along the interstate highways I-80, I-35, I-235, and I-380.

Steve Lombardi is the kind of lawyer who cares deeply about his clients.  Just like many of his clients, he too has experienced the breakdown of the health-care system.  When he was thirteen, his father died of lung cancer.  The doctors gave his father no real help.  For two years before his father’s death, they diagnosed a pulled muscle.  Before going to law school he had never been in a lawyer’s office, because his family couldn’t afford legal services.

From those experiences, he draws a great desire to help his clients win their cases involving any type of malpractice, and serious injury, a desire to help his clients find some justice in an imperfect world.  He prides himself on always telling clients what they need to hear not just what they want to hear.

In the pursuit of justice, Steve Lombardi believes his clients are necessary partners in building the evidence that will be used in court:  active, responsive clients with some understanding of the process have the best chance of success.  He is passionate about the work he does and enjoys working closely with his clients to collect the evidence supported by the legal theory.  He believes there are no small issues in a case because every detail could turn a case in the client’s favor. 

Steve Lombardi works very hard to positively impact his clients’ lives.  And while he recognizes that not every case can be won, he just hates to lose.  Justice delayed is justice denied. You can be sure Steve Lombardi will use all of the legal tools available to fight for you, and to win your case.

This week I'm stressing highway safety.  With the cold wintry weather there have been a lot of accidents, injuries and deaths on Interstate 80, 35, 235 and all the other highways in Iowa. I've been posting on some of them.

There are snow plows and Interstate Highway Workers out there and when you see one get over to the side, giving them plenty of room, stop and let them go by or get over and stay clear of the work area. Don’t challenge them or be impatient with these workers. They have a job to do and you challenging them for the road is going to get you no where fast. So back off and let those guys do their job.


Adventure Travel

The adventure travel business is big in the United States and for that matter all over the world.  In the year 2000 the estimated worldwide revenue was $154 billion and was growing at a 20% annual growth rate.  See Adventure Travel Industry Growth Statistics, Christina Heyniger, Xola Consulting. This industry is unregulated and the certifications the guides obtain are of limited comfort because the associations regulating those guiding services have no enforcement mechanism. The release documents the adventure travel customers sign completely relieves the guiding service of any wrongdoing these Generation X "kid" guides do on the trip. I've travelled all over the world and have some observations from my experience. I invite others to join in with comments and if you write to me I'll respect your privacy, if you want me to, and will use your experiences, both good and bad to make everyone aware of the pitfalls. So come join us with Adventure Travel.

Ag-Law Farm Accidents

Iowa farm families when suffering accidental injury can count on the Lombardi Law Firm to assist them in handling their insurance claims. If you need assistance with an insurance claim give us a call. We handle accidental rollover cases, highway collisions, injuries by equipment, grain dust cases, grain bin suffocation cases, explosions, burns from explosions and electric shock, electrocutions and chemical poisonings. If your accident isn't in this list, call us to see if we can assist you. For 30 years we've helped Iowans just like you to recover fairly. Call us at 515-222-1110 or write to Attorney Lombardi at sdlombardi@aol.com

Boating Accidents

Boating safety is a major concern for those who own or operate a boat on Iowa's lakes and rivers. On this site we focus on boating safety and how boaters get themselves in "hot water" with liability. If you're hurt while on the water you should immediately contact a quallified attorney and seek legal advice about how to gather and preserve the evidence you may later need to protect your rights.

Campus and School Accidents

Going to college is an exciting time in a young adult's life. But the college life is one where freedom causes those not yet ready for responsibility to experiment with the bounds of reason leading to unique ways people are injured. Join us at Lombardi Law Firm as we catalogue the university milieu and personal injury in America.

Car and Tractor Trailer Accidents

Although tractor trailers are a vital part of the American economy, their presence on the roads presents a significant problem while car drivers fail to respect them. The accidents are often severe, resulting in spilled products, bad wrecks, and possible death. If you are injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer along the highways of central Iowa, Steve Lombardi of the Lombardi Law Firm in Des Moines can help you handle these troubling times. Call 515.222.1110 for a free consultation.

Car Damage Property Accident Lawyer

With over 30 years of Iowa property damage and personal injury accident law we provide the law experience you need to maximize your personal injury recovery in any property damage case. If you have questions about property damage here are the answers to your questions. Due in part to the number of questions we get about property damage and how to settle the property claim after an accident the Lombardi Law Firm has created this page with a list of commonly asked questions. If your suit has significant personal injury or death claims we invite you to contact us about your case, but due to the time involved in answering questions (and the fact we still have to pay the bills around here) we do not allow non-client questions for just property damage. Clients may contact us at 515-222-1110 or 800-383-0331 or sdlombardi@aol.com.

Client Trial-Deposition Preparation

Lombardi Law Firm believes in trial preparation. We don't rely on luck to win your case. Instead we prepare you from the first moment we talk with you. What we do is listen to how you talk, think and most importantly answer questions. You can be successful if you are prepared correctly. Not all attorneys take the time to properly prepare their clients. We do.

Construction Site Personal Injury Accidents

Construction Site Personal Injury Accidents - Despite attempts to improve safety at construction sites by updating the regulations about equipment and producing detailed safety information, construction sites remain one of the most dangerous workplaces. If you are injured while working on a construction site, contact personal injury attorney Steve Lombardi as soon as possible to help with getting the relief you’re owed.

Criminal Law

Criminal law in Iowa is an interesting exercise in police power and the State of Iowa flexing it's muscle to collect fines and police the state. If we can help you find the right legal counsel to defend you against criminal charges contact Attorney Steve Lombardi at sdlombardi@aol.com or 515-222-1110. 

Dog Bite Accident Lawyer

With over 30 years of Iowa personal injury accident law we provide the law experience you need to maximize your personal injury recovery in any dog bite case.

Drunk Driving Iowa Personal Injury Accidents

Drunk Driving, Alcohol and Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Accidents in Iowa

Guns & Handgun Rights

If you want to carry or (buy) acquire a handgun, rifle, or revolver and you’re running into obstacles, the Lombardi Law Firm is here to help.  Based in Polk County, Iowa, lawyers Steve Lombardi and Katrina Schaefer practice statewide and are prepared to guide you through the getting, keeping, or renewing your permit to acquire or permit to carry weapons. And if you are a gun owner and need legal help we are here to help you with your legal problems.

Here are some of the services we can provide:

  • We can help you apply for a permit to acquire.  If you don’t already have a permit to carry, then you need to get a permit to acquire if you want to get a pistol or revolver. This is a fairly simple process.
  • We can help you apply for a permit to carry.  If you want to carry a loaded firearm in public in Iowa, you need a permit to carry.   We can help you apply.  Need help becoming eligible?  We can help.  Need to know what rights your permit to carry gives you?  We can help you there too. We can also direct you to where to take the concealed or carry permit instruction course.
  • We can defend you if you’ve brought your gun somewhere you shouldn’t have.  Did you bring your gun into a business that has a policy against guns?  Are you facing a trespass charge for being ready to defend yourself?  Need to know whether your firearm needs to be concealed or whether you can carry it openly?   Come to us to and we can help you protect your gun rights.
  • We can help you if your permit has been denied, suspended or revoked.  Maybe you’ve run into trouble with the application process, or maybe you just received notice that an annual background check has placed your right to bear arms in danger.  You can appeal any decision to deny, suspend or revoke your permit to acquire or permit to carry.  And we can help.

Hip & Knee Implants

Hip and knee replacement devices have come under increasing scrutiny in the last few years, as manufacturers began to recall certain types of these implants. One type of hip implant, and perhaps the most controversial at this time, is called a metal-on-metal bearing. With knees we're starting to see Zimmer's NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral component product questions.

I-35 I-80 I-235 I-380 Collisions/Accidents

Interstate highways 80, 35 and 235 personal injury lawyer teams up with lawyers from Minnesota, Iowa, Oklahoma, Illinois, Texas and all other states to provide information to those injured or the families of those killed in accidents and crashes with semi-trucks, motorcycles, cars, SUV's, mini-vans and those working on the highways (State Troopers, highway workers, DOT maintenance workers and others. ) Contact any of these firms for assistance. Steve Lombardi, 1300 – 37th Street, Suite 6, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266 (515)222-1110.

Large Damage, Major-Serious Injury and Death Cases

Damage cases involing death, brain injury, traumatic head injury, spinal injuries, loss of a limb or eyesight or hearing. Most law firms shoe every horse that comes into the barn. We won't and don't. We say no to most cases. We say "yes" to large damage cases so we can focus on getting you the best result.

Motorcycle, Bike and ATV Accident Lawyer

With over 30 years of Iowa personal injury accident law we provide the law experience you need to maximize your personal injury recovery.

Lottery, Gaming and Games of Chance

Winning the Lottery is more than Just Dumb Luck. - You can’t win a lottery without turning in a ticket.

As much as you may want to think this is about fairness, it’s not; it’s about playing by the rules you agreed to when you bought a lottery ticket that is later picked as having the winning numbers.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you won the lottery when you can’t produce the winning ticket. To win the lottery you have to do several things.

  1. Be old enough to legally play the game.
  2. Buy the winning ticket.
  3. Buy the ticket during the time period when the game is active.
  4. Possess the winning ticket. (Can be by gift or other legitimate means. Just not stolen.)
  5. Sign the winning ticket.
  6. Turn the ticket in by the deadline for validation.
  7. Actually turn the ticket into the Iowa lottery.
  8. Have the ticket be validated by the lottery’s machinery.
  9. Don’t engage in fraud or theft to possess the winning ticket.
  10. Don’t wait to turn in the winning ticket if the economy is in down market because the value of the winning prize will probably decline.

The Iowa Lottery recently had a drawing named Hot Lotto that was sold at a Des Moines convenience store with the winning number being drawn on December 29, 2010. That meant the winning number had to be turned in on or before December 29, 2011. It was, but barely.

Pedestrian Collisions Causing Injury and Death

Pedestrian accidents can have many causes. Pedestrian accidents are caused by inattentive drivers, crossing in the wrong place, listening to an iPod or other MP3 device, the weather or a whole assortment of other facts. Lombardi Law Firm explores the many facets of pedestrian accidents. Come join us. Clients may contact us at 515-222-1110 or sdlombardi@aol.com.

Professional Licensure Defense for Doctors, Dentists, Pharmacists, Nurse Practitioners and Nurses

We assist the medical, dental, pharmacist, nurses and veterinary professionals with defense in civil matters having to do with the Iowa Board of Medicine and all other licensing boards. Call for a consultation.

Property or Real Estate related Injuries leading to Serious Injury or Death

If you’re injury or death case happened (caused) on property (real estate) you need to get a qualified legal opinion that will result in a successful insurance claim and lawsuit settlement or verdict. You need a lawyer on your side that is licensed as a lawyer and licensed as a real estate broker. As a lawyer with a client, but who doesn’t practice in this area full time you need direction and a lawyer who can act as co-counsel. We handle referral work all over Iowa and pay thousands of dollars in referral fees to Iowa’s rural practice lawyers. If you’re not sure there is a case call or email Attorney Lombardi and find out; this consultation is usually free of charge. 515-222-1110 or sdlombardi@aol.com


OWI-CDL Lawyers

Without a CDL you can operate. As a truck driver in Iowa an OWI can cost you dearly. Call these OWI-CDL Lawyers for HELP.

Unemployment Benefits in Iowa

If you’re unemployed or partially unemployed and are looking for an attorney to help you get the unemployment compensation you need, the Lombardi Law Firm is here to help.  Based in Polk County, Iowa, lawyers Stephen Lombardi and Katrina Schaefer practice statewide and are prepared to guide you through the difficult process of getting unemployment insurance benefits.

Where can you find legal help with your Iowa unemployment insurance claim? The Lombardi Law Firm is here for you. Call Steve and Katrina at 515-222-1110. 

Whistleblowers / Financially Ripped Off?

Financial crime has increased in America. The amount of retirement funds saved along with government fostering a gambling mentality has creating an environment where greed seems acceptable. Working people, honest people, young adults and the elderly need to be on the lookout to save their hard earned savings and to protect their futures. Join us with the Lombardi Law Firm as we create depository of blog posts that are all about financial rip-off stories that are in the news.

Workers' Compensation

If an individual is injured while on the job, he or she is entitled to worker’s compensation to pay the medical expenses and help cover a percentage of lost pay from mandatory time off. Although the process is relatively simple, getting the full value of your claim is a time-consuming and potentially complicated issue.

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Steve Lombardi
Iowa civil trial, workers' compensation and personal injury lawyer