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  • Posted on 6/22/2016 Iowa Personal Injury News for June 2016

    News #1: I-35 Truck-Car Accident at Bevington Construction Zone - Three drivers were injured in a late afternoon accident near Bevington, Iowa in the construction zone on Interstate 35 just south of West Des Moines. The crash site caused a detour when a Ford F-150 driven by Kaitlynn Knisley, 19 or Indianola who was heading southbound crossed the centerline and ran into a Ford C-Max car being driven by Randy Thompson of Dubuque. A Toyota Camry being driven by Brittany Winship of Bondurant then ran into the rear of the C-Max Truck. Like most construction zones on the interstate highways in Iowa this one was a two-lane, head-to-head traffic pattern. The most important question of course has to do with what caused the Knisley vehicle to cross the center line and to strike the Thompson vehicle. [Likely legal Issues: Speed, failure to maintain control, crossing the center line, distracted driving and probably failing to drive using due care.]

    News #2: Pedestrian- Train Accident Leads to Fatality - Clarke County, Iowa – The Osceola police are set to investigate a pedestrian accident involving a train near the Osceola Train Depot.

    News #3: Wrong-Way Driver on I-35 in Ankeny, Iowa – There was a wrong-way head on crash with five vehicles being involved and resulting in three DWI (drunk driving or OWI) arrests. The report from KCCI indicates a Red Chevy Cobalt did a U-turn on I-35 northbound and started driving south in the northbound lanes. I have read so many wrong-way accident news reports that even I can’t believe the number of times it is occurring. In Germany they were first to name these types of accidents ‘Ghost-drivers’.

    To learn more about wrong-way interstate driving go to the Lombardi Law Firm website and in the search box type “wrong-way”. A list of blogs, stories and FAQ’s are available.

    According to KCCI-9 here is what happened. “A red Chrysler Sebring crashed into the Saab and then continued northbound.  Troopers said that as the Sebring tried to leave the scene, it crashed into a Silver GMC Terrain, sending both into the ditch.

    The driver of the Sebring, Juanita Rodriguez, of Ames, and the driver of the Cobalt, Bailee Wieden, of Ankeny, were both charged with OWI.

    The interstate had to be closed while the crash was investigated and cleaned up.

    Troopers reported that during that time, a driver on the detour, Beth Trafton, of Ankeny, was also arrested and charged with OWI.”

    Follow this link to see what appears to be the mug shots of three women drivers who were arrested.

    News #4: In another report a 19-year-old man died after his motorcycle crashed while attempting to pass two cars on Iowa Highway 58. While trying to complete the passing move he lost control, struck the center cable barrier and crashed. He died of head injuries, which indicates he may not have been wearing a helmet.

    News #5: An Exxon oil well fire in North Dakota took the life of a field service worker.

    News #6: We should all expect farm accidents to increase over the next few years as farm incomes fall to from a 10-year-average of $80,000 to just $18,000. As incomes fall corners get cut, farmers work longer and longer hours with fewer and fewer helpers as they attempt to reduce costs. As corners get cut, injuries increase. The situation was even worse in Kansas where average incomes are at $4,568 versus the previous year’s average of $128,731.

    Here is a quote from the Iowa Public Radio report along with a link to the Iowa Farm Business Association news item. “The picture was nearly as dire in Nebraska. Average net farm income there in 2015 was $29,432, an 80 percent drop from the previous year, according to data compiled by Nebraska Farm Business financial analysts. In Iowa, the average net farm income was $18,000 in 2015, down from a 10-year average of $80,000, according to the Iowa Farm Business Association.” It’s even worse in the oil-patches around the nation.

    News #7: In Florida the tail-end of the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme continues to wind its way through the criminal justice system as Tony Villegas is tried for the murder of Melissa Britt Lewis. She was a partner in the firm and was murdered in 2008. I first covered this story in March 2008, then asking questions in what seemed like a murder mystery involving a young lawyer. For the Sun Sentinel reporting follow this link. Iowa has its own little Ponzi scheme right up in Waterloo. Link to Waterloo. Law firm is closing down in wake of claimed theft by former president.

    News #8: Ronald McDonald Meets Justice - And the last news item today is the one involving the Warren County Courthouse where repairs are needed, but not being made, and apparently 5th Judicial District Chief Judge, Arthur Gamble has had to meet with the Warren County Supervisors to discuss the need for capital repairs. Most people who enter the courthouse probably do so and don’t realize the courts do not own the courthouses. The State of Iowa employs the judicial staff (judges included) but the buildings are owned by each county where the courthouses are located. In Warren County the problems are particularly acute and now require the Courts, the Clerk of Court, County Attorney and Sheriff’s offices to be moved, likely for three-plus years. According to the news report Warren County’s annual budget is $24 million of which half is payroll. Here is a quote from that news report. “"I have employees here…they'd rather go to the McDonald's bathroom than use the restrooms here at the Warren County Courthouse," Gamble told supervisors.”

  • Posted on 6/21/2016 Free legal advice and the busy law practice

    It is somewhat amusing for me to hear from potential clients who ask for advice while they try to represent themselves in a workers’ compensation case. Why they do this is generally for financial reasons. (Of course we have those who call because the lawyer they’ve hired doesn’t return their phone call to answer their questions, but that is a blog for another day.)

    In Iowa workers’ compensation law has gotten a lot more complex and the entire value of the case can turn on the facts. One case can be successful and another entirely falls apart because the injured worker hasn’t been properly instructed on what counts in the valuation process. (The idea being to focus on what creates value, not what will likely destroy it.) You can have two injured workers with exactly the same injury, surgery and restrictions but who have entirely different industrial disability ratings based on education and experience. History counts in workers’ compensation cases. And industrial disability drives the end value.

    Of course the weekly compensation rate counts a lot when it comes to total value. A rate of $100.00 per week versus one with a $300.00 per week rate is worth one-third of the latter. And while a few dollars per week won’t separate the two by much the industrial disability rating will. That is where experience can make the difference in the case; the experienced lawyer will stress the weaknesses in the workers’ age, education and work experience along with the restrictions that make a difference to future employment. After all a house built on a bad foundation is never going to outlast the test of time or have a good re-sale value, for that matter.

    But being able to refocus attention on certain facts requires an understanding of not just the law but also the client. Who are you? Where have you worked? What sort of work have you done? How bright or how dull are you from an intellectual standpoint? Workers’ compensation is no place to have too much pride. Boasting is not profitable. Leave the cheerleading to the defense lawyers and insurance adjusters. They see your world through rose-colored glasses. We plaintiff lawyers see reality, hungry kids and nervous spouses. We see long periods of unemployment, late mortgage payments, rent not paid, homelessness, a lack of medical insurance coverage, unpaid medical bills, drinking problems and a long list of broken dreams. That’s because plaintiff attorneys field the calls while the defense industry hit the links. It's the difference between golf and the gutter.

    You can represent yourself, but it’s not likely to turn out the way you hoped. And that is simply a matter of your not understanding the law and which facts matter the most. And so write to me if you must, but don’t ask me to take time away from paying clients, those who have hired Katrina and I.  When you write or call for “free advice” you go to the end of the line and get a return call, if at all, at day’s end.

    Attorney Lombardi has been practicing in this area of the law since 1981. He regularly writes about his experiences in the practice of personal injury and workers’ compensation law. He can be contacted through his website or by telephoning his office. Initial interviews are normally by phone. He practices state wide. 

  • Posted on 6/20/2016 A Guide For the Injured Worker NOT Wanting to File A Workers Compensation Claim

    You got hurt at work. You were doing your job, probably injured your shoulder, back, knee or a disc and now are faced with how to submit the medical bills. In the past you’ve watched co-workers who have made on-the-job injury claims and not liked how they were treated, what management said about them and that in the end they lost their jobs. “No way are we going down that road!”, you think. You do not want to suffer the same fate and so you’ve made the decision to not file a work. comp. claim.

    But you still need medical care and maybe even surgery on a shoulder (rotator cuff) or a disc (either on a cervical or lumbar disc). To avoid the supervisor’s wrath, you first went to your own family physician who after an x-ray and/or CT scan referred you to an orthopedic surgeon who concluded surgery will be necessary.

    Hmmm…. You’d not really thought this far ahead and now are wondering, “What do I do next?” and so you delay the decision for surgery.

    You start working with the surgeon to avoid surgery, or at least that was your plan, but it now appears you can’t avoid surgery.

    So now what do you do? How do you proceed and who do you turn for advice?

    For starters at the first visit with both the family doctor and the orthopedic surgeon you made one of two choices: Either you were honest about how the injury occurred and told them it happened at work OR you weren’t and vaguely gave him the impression it was non-work related. Maybe you even checked off the “NO” box for whether this injury was work-related.

    Depending on which way you chose to go your choices now are somewhat limited.

    First of all your health insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, may be refusing to pay the surgery bills because they are now claiming the need for medical care should be paid by the workers’ compensation insurance program and not your private health insurance. That’s confusing to you because you thought you got to choose how to file the claim.

    Well, you don’t and here is why.

    Unfortunately for you that is really not your choice or your employer’s choice; it is a matter of the terms of two written insurance contracts long ago entered into.

    Workers’ compensation insurance agreed to pay for all medical care associated with work injuries and BCBS agreed to cover medical care for non-work related injuries. Choosing to split these two types of events that cause the need for medical care allowed each to collect a premium commensurate with the risks of those injury events happening.

    So what you want to do has little to do with who has been getting paid a premium to cover those medical needs. In your case, this work injury medical treatment was agreed to be paid for out of the premiums collected by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, not BCBS. So the money set aside to cover the medical care necessary for surgery is sitting in the “float” of the workers’ compensation insurance company’s coffers.

    You see you don’t get to re-write the insurance contracts just because you think the workers’ compensation program is a hassle or you fear being fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Those contracts were written long ago and premiums were paid to secure the coverage. You now don’t get to do whatever you want just because you don’t like the program. Now what?

    So either you play by the rules or else you will find yourself personally liable to pay for the surgeon’s or hospital fees charged to do the surgery.

    We handle workers’ compensation claims for injured workers and have been for over thirty-five years. If you are a person with this sort of a problem and need help call the Lombardi Law Firm, answer a few questions and then you will be given an appointment to speak directly with a lawyer who handles this sort of a claim. Your situation is not all that unusual. We hear this all the time and can usually eliminate the damage you are causing by acting as your own lawyer. So call, call now.

    Attorney Lombardi queued up three videos that will help you understand workers' compensation claims for Iowa's injured work force. Here is how to find and watch the right videos. Follow this link and then once on the video page scroll down to the workers' compensation category. Then watch Workers' Compensation 101, Just the Basics; Work Comp: Never Report a Work Injury as Non-Work Related and finally, Always Report Work Injuries as Work Injuries

    Other Work Comp Blogs Worth Their Weight in Gold

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. googlee76264f2c0b96d5e.html

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!

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.

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.

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]


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.

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. 

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.

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.

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