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  • Posted on 2/11/2016 Iowa Reconsiders Making Fireworks Legal

    With a study to show tax revenues in the range of $1 million to $1.5 million the Iowa state lawmakers will likely pass a law legalizing fireworks. Veteran’s groups oppose the bill knowing how exploding fireworks will effect veterans with PTSD. One legislator pointed out fireworks statistics that outline the injuries of severe burns, loss of fingers and loss of eyesight. 

    When commerce and democracy meet the results can be messy.

    “The new fireworks bill that passed a Senate committee this week would allow for the purchase of fireworks from licensed dealers in the months of January, May, June, July and December -- and only between the hours of 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.”

    What they are not discussing are the number of house fires caused by fireworks.

    "Fireworks also are responsible for thousands of home fires each year. The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2011, fireworks caused about 1,200 structure fires."

    Emergency room visits should increase accordingly. 2014 CPSC Fireworks Injury Report

    “Fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,500 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2014 (95 percent confidence interval 7,700–13,300).”

    National Safety Council, Best to Leave Fireworks to the Experts

    CPSC 2014 Fireworks Annual Report, Fireworks-Related Deaths, Emergency Department-Treated Injuries and Enforcement Activities During 2014

    Consumer Product Safety Committee Injury Statistics, CPSC Reports Increase in Fireworks-Related Deaths and Injuries in 2013

    How many injuries nationwide can we expect?

    “An estimated 7,000 fireworks-related injuries (or 67 percent of the total estimated fireworks-related injuries in 2014) were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during the 1-month special study period between June 20, 2014 and July 20, 2014 (95 percent confidence interval 4,900–9,200).”

    Fireworks – NFPA, National Fire Protection Association

    Consumers who decide to purchase legal fireworks are urged to take the following safety steps:

    • Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.

    • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Parents may not realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees─hot enough to melt some metals.

    • Always have an adult close by to supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.

    • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, which is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.

    • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

    • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

    • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.

    • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

    • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.

    • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

    • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.

    • ATF encourages the public to report the manufacture or sale of illegal fireworks to your local law enforcement agencies or to the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).

  • Posted on 2/10/2016 Falling Tree Limb Kills Woman, Untrained Eye Concludes, Freak Accident

    This past week a 90-foot tree fell onto a house in suburban Philadelphia killing a woman in her bed

    Falling limbs is a specialty area of the law of personal injury. When limbs or entire trees fall down, they can cause personal injury and property damage on unsuspecting neighbors. Trees are alive until they begin to die or get diseased after which gravity usually does its work. 

    Weather can help limbs weaken and later to fall along with lightning strikes, diseases and/or a lack of maintenance. But not every death or serious injury caused by a falling limb is actionable. In fact more are not than are and so when a lawyer is called upon to give advice we oftentimes must first have the tree examined by an expert. What we are looking for is the reason behind the weakened trunk or limb. Is it diseased, is there rotted wood, a heavy snow load of some other cause? And then the a good legal mind must ask whether the situation was obvious or should have been to the owner?

    A tree trunk or a limb falling and causing a death is not in and of itself an actionable case. Accidents do happen, but not as often as some people would like to think. It is an untrained eye that quickly concludes it was a freak accident.

    Godzilla might cause a freak accident. Zombies cause freaky accidents. Nature, on the other hand, is a predictable instigator. 

    Here is what the police chief was quoted as saying in this case.

    The chief says Alan Cooper's injuries didn't appear to be serious.

    A wet snow was falling but Murray says he doesn't think the incident was weather-related. He calls it a "freak accident."

    Freak accident huh? How did you get from A to Z so quick and without an arborist?

    Concluding this was a freak accident is not justified. What may look like a freak accident to an untrained layperson, which the chief would be, may actually have been by a condition that simple maintenance would have made obvious to the tree owner. We all carry homeowner’s insurance for a reason and most insurance policies don’t provide coverage based on strict liability; which means you have to show a defect in the property that was known or should have been discovered by the owner. A diseased and weakened tree trunk or limb is such a defect. 

    What is an arborist? No, not an arsonist, but an arborist. ARBORIST

    “Tree experts, known as Arborists, provide a variety of services to help you care for the valuable investment you have made in your trees. An arborist can determine what type of pruning is necessary to maintain or improve the health, appearance, and safety of your trees.”

    So in this situation examining the tree before the insurance company comes in to haul it away to destroy it is not just advisable, it is imperative. Because without the tree limb all your evidence is gone as is your way of proving a case. There are reasons to hire a lawyer the day of the accident and not because you are a greedy litigious bastard out to get your neighbor. You need someone who can gather and preserve the evidence you will need if you should later want to file a personal injury or property damage claim. Insurance companies want it to be a freak accident and you won’t. Insurance adjusters run in to “clean up the mess” but with the intention of cleaning up the evidence. Yes, they do.

    Insurance Claim Tip: Keep the diseased limb or the trunk. It's your yard it fell in so you get to say who comes on your property and what they can remove. Call a lawyer ASAP and hopefully one who knows his or her way around the courtroom. Because without the tree limb all your evidence is gone as is your way of proving a case.

    Insurance companies do not help people to prove claims, quite the opposite. And so if you find yourself in this situation and are talking to a very friendly insurance adjuster, (even if they are from your own insurance company) don’t be fooled by their friendly demeanor. Do yourself a favor and secure the tree limb as evidence and then don’t let it out of your control until your lawyer has been hired and the lawyer has had the limb examined by an expert arborist.

    And yes, on occasion we do handle these cases. But never when the evidence has already been destroyed.

  • Posted on 2/9/2016 Is it a free lunch or a taxable time-bomb when student loans are forgiven?

    Is the student loan forgiveness program really all it is cracked up to be or is it a sucker punch waiting to rob you of your inheritance?

    According the IRS if your loans are forgiven that amount is considered taxable income. (And you thought the government was trying to do you a favor.) So if you have $100,000 of your student loan balance forgiven you will owe the IRS probably between $30,000 and $50,000 along with penalties and interest that accrue if you can’t immediately pay your tax bill or work out a payment plan. And so you go from owing the student loan organizations (Wall Street's hedge funds) or you owe the IRS. 

    And so unsuspecting students will go from owing the pathetic student loan machine to now owing the heartless IRS. Pick your poison. 

    Here is what Melanie Lockert, the Student Loan Hero wrote in August 2015.

    “Under current Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules, any loans forgiven under these programs are considered taxable income.

    In short, this rules means that you could face a hefty tax bill when your loans are forgiven.

    Let's say that after making payments under IBR for 25 years, you’re left with $40,000 in debt. That $40,000 in forgiven debt would be considered taxable income.

    In this case, your lender would send both you and the IRS a 1099-C form, stating the amount of debt forgiven—the same amount you’ll use when completing the necessary tax forms.

    So, though you may not have to pay $40,000 in student loans, you would still have a hefty tax bill to pay. That $40,000 in loan forgiveness could mean a $10,000+ federal tax bill, and that doesn't include potential state income taxes.

    Of course, many variables determine your tax rate, but getting your loans forgiven could lead to a remarkably surprising tax bill.

    If you can’t pay the tax bill, then you'd be forced to set up a payment plan with the IRS to make payments towards your tax debt. If you don’t take any action, then you could face a penalty and have to pay interest on this debt.

    In another sense, if you dislike your student loan lender, then I imagine that you won’t be too fond of dealing with the IRS, either.”

    Will Student Loan Forgiveness Rob You Of Your Inheritance all over again?

    I absolutely hate what the student loan program has become. It is too easy to get money while in college. And it has become a wolf in sheep’s clothing with universities robbing this generation of their inheritance while providing a psychology degree which entitles the graduate degree holder to a buck more than the minimum wage. Probably not what they told you when you applied to college.

    It is probably time to start doing some reading to figure out if your loan forgiveness really is forgiveness or just another form of misery.


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

Straight talk when you need it most because "There's nothing more thrilling than nailing an insurance company!"

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 are often asked and the answers can be found right here 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 or Katrina by dialing 515-222-1110 or writing to [email protected] or [email protected] They look forward to speaking with you.

Personal injury law is our business and for the past 30+ years Steve Lombardi has assisted over two thousand clients with personal injury. Clients come from all over Iowa, we do travel and have handled cases in most of Iowa's 99 counties. Steve has handled cases in Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, California, Florida and Texas just to name a few. 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 on telling you what you need to hear, not necessarily 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 can become a real challenge to putting food on the table and paying the bills. The insurance industry is not there to treat you fairly, because what is fair to you may not be considered fair to them and their insured. You need good representation; someone to help you understand how to win. Keep in mind the insurance industry wants you to lose.

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 will seem 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 and Katrina Phillip can help.  With over thirty years of experience representing personal injury clients in central Iowa, Steve knows the law and can help you to achieve THE BEST result.   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. For two years before his father’s death, the primary care physician diagnosed a pulled muscle. No x-ray was taken. Had this simple test been ordered the lung cancer may have been diagnosed and his life saved. He died two years after a specialist ordered an x-ray. Before going to law school he had never been in a lawyer’s office, because his family couldn’t afford legal services. Today he is there for his clients.

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 simply 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.

So call us and let us HELP YOU TO HELP YOURSELF!

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 [email protected]

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 [email protected].

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected].

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 [email protected]


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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