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Steve Lombardi, Attorney

No because roads don't cause drivers to make poor decisions. Drivers dont' consult with a "road" before deciding on speeds, slowing down, pulling over or how to drive the car or truck. Drivers decide how to drive. Road conditions are only one factor to take into consideration.

Every driver has an obligation to drive using due care and at a speed that allows them to maintain control of the car or truck. To do otherwise would excuse everyone during Iowa’s icy winters or during a rain storm. We can’t have safe roads if we don’t hold people responsible. Yes we need safe roads but more so we need safe drivers.

Consider the Matterhorn and my son and I attempting to climb it. You see the icy surface? Well, if we attempted the summit, fell and were injured would you blame the mountain or the mountaineers? Obviously the mountain can not be at fault. It could be our technique, how fast we climbed, our equipment of the guide, but never the mountain. 

It’s every driver’s obligation to fully appreciate the weather related conditions, especially ice and icy roads. When it’s winter you simply have to drive at slower speeds and icy roads don’t excuse you from that obligation. Do otherwise and you’re simply negligent or at fault for violating the due care requirement. When you are at fault you may be called upon to pay damages for personal injury your driving causes. That’s true in Des Moines, Waterloo, Davenport, Sioux City, Marshalltown and every other town in Iowa.

Here is an example from the Iowa State Patrol. In this Mills County accident, in my opinion, the non-negligent driver died. (Randall Jones from Henderson, Iowa, 62-years-old.) The guy coming the opposite direction has a legal obligation while driving on Iowa’s roads during the winter to slow down so he can control his car no matter the weather conditions. Take a look at this ISP Accident Report and see if you are able to dicern fault and then who you would hold to be at fault, if you were on a jury. 

Crash Information

 

L
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C
A
T
I
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N
Date of Accident
1/11/2012
Time of Accident 
05:00 PM
County
Mills - 65
Accident occurred within corporate limits of (city) Law Enforcement Case Number:
2012001883
Literal Description 
.8 MILES WEST OF 350TH ST ON HWY 34
Legal Intervention?
No
Private Property?
No
X-Coordinate:
287020.9
Y-Coordinate
4545262.
U
N
I
T

1
Driver's Name - Last
ARGUETA
First
AGUSTIN
Middle Suffix
City
OMAHA
State
NE - Nebraska, US
Zip
68108
Driver's Age
40
Citation Charge Code 1
PENDING
Citation Charge 1
Gender
Male
State
NO - None, US
Class Endorsements
None
Restrictions

None
Citation Charge Code 2 Citation Charge 2
Alcohol Test Given?
1 - None
Drug Test Given?
1 - None
Citation Charge Code 3 Citation Charge 3
Citation Charge Code 4 Citation Charge 4
Seating Position
01 - Front: Left Side / Motorcycle Driver
Injury Status
2 - Incapacitating
Occupant Protection
2 - Shoulder and lap belt used
Airbag Deployment
5 - Not deployed
Airbag Switch Status
1 - Switch in ON position
Ejection
1 - Not ejected
Ejection Path Trapped
3 - Extricated by mechanical means
Transported to:
CREIGHTON HOSPITAL
Transported by:
MALVERN RESCUE
Insurance Co. Name
Year
1997
Make
Ford - FORD
Model
F150
Style
TRUCK
Approximate Cost to Repair or Replace
3000
Initial Travel Direction
4 - West
Vehicle Action
01 - Movement essentially straight
Speed Limit
55
Point of Initial Impact
08 - Left Front
Most Damaged Area
08 - Left Front
Extent of Damage
5 - Severe, vehicle totaled
Underride/Override
1 - None
Total Occupants
03
Traffic Controls
01 - No controls present
Vehicle Config.
02 - Four-tire light truck (pick-up, panel)
Cargo Body Type
01 - Not applicable
Vehicle Defect
01 - None
Driver Condition
1 - Apparently normal
Vision Obscured
01 - Not obscured
Contributing Circumstances, Driver (up to 2)
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS First Event
04 - Crossed centerline/median
Second Event
21 - Vehicle in traffic
Third Event Fourth Event Most Harmful Event (by vehicle)
21 - Vehicle in traffic
Emergency Vehicle Type
1 - Not applicable
Emergency Status
3 - Not Applicable
Carrier Name City State Zip
Number of Axles Gross Vehicle Weight Rating Placard # Hazardous Materials Released?
U
N
I
T

2
Driver's Name - Last
JONES
First
RANDALL
Middle
WESLEY
Suffix
City
HENDRSON
State
IA - Iowa, US
Zip
51541
Driver's Age
62
Citation Charge Code 1 Citation Charge 1
Gender
Male
State
IA - Iowa, US
Class
D - Chauffeur
Endorsements
3 - Pass Veh less than 16 Pass Design
Restrictions

B - Cor Lenses
Citation Charge Code 2 Citation Charge 2
Alcohol Test Given?
1 - None
Drug Test Given?
1 - None
Citation Charge Code 3 Citation Charge 3
Citation Charge Code 4 Citation Charge 4
Seating Position
01 - Front: Left Side / Motorcycle Driver
Injury Status
1 - Fatal
Occupant Protection
2 - Shoulder and lap belt used
Airbag Deployment
1 - Deployed front of person
Airbag Switch Status
1 - Switch in ON position
Ejection
1 - Not ejected
Ejection Path Trapped
3 - Extricated by mechanical means
Transported to:
DOUGLAS CO MEDICAL EXAMINER
Transported by:
HERTZ FUNERAL HOME
Insurance Co. Name
Year
2003
Make
Buick - BUIC
Model
LESABRE CUSTOM
Style
4DR
Approximate Cost to Repair or Replace
6000
Initial Travel Direction
2 - East
Vehicle Action
01 - Movement essentially straight
Speed Limit
55
Point of Initial Impact
08 - Left Front
Most Damaged Area
07 - Left Side
Extent of Damage
5 - Severe, vehicle totaled
Underride/Override
2 - Underride, compartment intrusion
Total Occupants
01
Traffic Controls
01 - No controls present
Vehicle Config.
01 - Passenger car
Cargo Body Type
01 - Not applicable
Vehicle Defect
01 - None
Driver Condition
1 - Apparently normal
Vision Obscured
01 - Not obscured
Contributing Circumstances, Driver (up to 2)
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS First Event
21 - Vehicle in traffic
Second Event
01 - Ran off road, right
Third Event Fourth Event Most Harmful Event (by vehicle)
21 - Vehicle in traffic
Emergency Vehicle Type
1 - Not applicable
Emergency Status
3 - Not Applicable
Carrier Name City State Zip
Number of Axles Gross Vehicle Weight Rating Placard # Hazardous Materials Released?
ACCIDENT ENVIRONMENT ROADWAY CHARACTERISTICS
Major Contributing Circumstances:
WORKZONE RELATED? SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
Location of First Harmful Event
1 - On Roadway
Weather Conditions (up to two)
08 - Snow
Environment
2 - Weather condition
Location First Harmful Event of Crash (use codes 11-42 only)
21 - Vehicle in traffic
Manner of Crash/Collision
2 - Head-on
Roadway
02 - Road surface condition
Type
Light Conditions
2 - Dusk
Surface Conditions
3
Type of Roadway Junction/Feature
01 - No special feature
Workers Present?
P
E
R
S
O
N
I
N
J
U
R
E
D
Name- Last
JIMENEZ
First
HECTOR
Middle Suffix
City State Zip Code
Age
21
Sex
Male
Unit No.
01
Seating Position
02 - Front: Center
Injury Status
2 - Incapacitating
Occupant Protection
1 - None used
Airbag Deployment
6 - Not applicable
Airbag Switch Status
3 - No ON/OFF switch present
Ejection
1 - Not ejected
Ejection Path
1 - Not ejected/not applicable
Trapped
1 - Not trapped
Transported to:
CREIGHTON HOSPITAL
Transported by:
MALVERN RESCUE
NON-MOTORIST Type Location Action Condition Safety Equipment Contributing Circumstances Unit No. of Vehicle Striking
                         
P
E
R
S
O
N
I
N
J
U
R
E
D
Name- Last
ALVAREZ
First
RUBEN
Middle Suffix
City State Zip Code
Age
28
Sex
Male
Unit No.
01
Seating Position
03 - Front: Right Side
Injury Status
2 - Incapacitating
Occupant Protection
2 - Shoulder and lap belt used
Airbag Deployment
1 - Deployed front of person
Airbag Switch Status
1 - Switch in ON position
Ejection
1 - Not ejected
Ejection Path
1 - Not ejected/not applicable
Trapped
1 - Not trapped
Transported to:
CREIGHTON HOSPITAL
Transported by:
MALVERN RESCUE
NON-MOTORIST Type Location Action Condition Safety Equipment Contributing Circumstances Unit No. of Vehicle Striking
                         
D
I
A
G
R
A
M

0
 
NARRATIVE

VEHICLE # 1 WAS WESTBOUND ON HWY 34. VEHICLE # 2 WAS EASTBOUND ON HWY 34. THE DRIVER OF VEHICLE # 1 LOST CONTROL ON THE ICY ROADWAY, CROSSED THE CENTERLINE AND STRUCK VEHICLE # 2 ON THE FRONT LEFT SIDE. VEHICLE # 2 THEN ENTERED THE SOUTH DITCH. VEHICLE # 1 CAME TO REST IN THE ROADWAY. A TECHNICAL INVESTIGATION IS BEING CONDUCTED BY THE IOWA STATE PATROL.
 
Officer
MICHELSEN
Badge No.
076
Time Officer Notified of Accident
17:30
Time Officer Arrived At Scene
18:21
Name of Agency
P03
Date of Report
1/12/2012
Investigation made at scene?
Yes
T.I. #

 

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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