Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact Lombardi Law Firm. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.
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After having a car accident I found myself asking what would happen to my daughter’s support if I had died.
Question Detail: After having a car accident I found myself asking what would happen to my daughter’s support if I had died. The accident was severe enough to break bones and I find myself laid up for a long period of time with a lot of time to think. I’m curious as to what would’ve happened to any settlement reached with the insurance company as a result of the accident? The mother and I aren’t together so any support would be solely from her ability to earn a living. I wonder, does that change what would need to be done in order for my dependent daughter to recover? Would that money be protected for her future? Would she still have access to it as needed before she’s the age of majority? If I had a will which stipulated how I wanted my assets divided would it affect how the money from the car accident settlement was allocated?
Answer: You asked a good question. There would be two settlements, one for your estate and the other for your dependent daughter. Any settlement into your estate would be distributed according to your will or if no will, then according to Iowa law. (You need a will.) Any settlement disbursement to your daughter would go into a trust and some money would be available for her benefit before she is of the age of majority, eighteen in Iowa. The money would need Court approval to be withdrawn. The mother could not just withdraw it without court approval. The mother is the likely person in charge of the conservatorship, unless you have a will and direct who you would like to serve as the conservator.
You should also read this question and answer: How can you get financial help after a parent paying child support dies?
As a pedestrian how do I write a personal injury claim to the insurance company?
Question Detail: I was recently hit by a car while walking across a pedestrian walkway. The driver was given a ticket and I have minor injuries i.e. scratches, bruises, and a bump on the back of my head that's sore to touch (I've also had a headache since the accident and occasionally have difficulty walking on the side of my body where the car hit me.) I do not believe my case is serious enough to need to hire a lawyer but I have no idea how to start writing a claim to the insurance company. They have agreed to pay medical bills, lost income, damaged property, and pain and suffering but about how much should that be? I don't need a specific amount just a guide on how I should proceed. I've already talked to the insurance company over the phone, should I tell them to contact me by email instead? I just want everything to be fair. I am not trying to rip of the insurance company nor do I wish to be ripped off by them. Thank you.
Answer: Interesting question but one without an easy answer. You don't just write a personal injury claim. You can make one but from start to finish is a process that takes months, not minutes to complete. No lawyer has a quick recipe for a personal injury claim. Go and hire a competent personal injury lawyer who handles pedestrian accidents and do it quick so you don’t lose valuable evidence.
Will I be compensated if I have been a victim of hit and run on the job?
Question Detail: If I was injured on the job would I be covered by the insurance for my pain and suffering? I have a baker cyst to the left back of my leg I'm not able to walk without a cane.
Answer: Yes, you will or should be compensated under possibly two types of insurance coverage. 1. Workers compensation and 2. your or your employer's auto insurance coverage. Pain and suffering won’t be covered directly as a separate element of compensation. Pain and suffering is an element of damage in a district court case, because this is a tort action, as opposed to a workers’ compensation claim.
Now, I suspect this isn’t as clear to you as it is for me, but then again I’ve been at this for over thirty years and have litigated in both the Iowa Industrial Commission and the Iowa District Court system. What I suggest is you schedule an appointment with a personal injury lawyer who also represents clients with workers’ compensation injuries. He or she can draw a schematic that will help you realize the full potential of your several claims.
And as always if we can help you call or fill out the form on this website. Best of luck with your claim.
What is a shoulder surgery worth in a personal injury case?
Question Detail: I've had to an injury at work. I am currently out of work and still going through physical therapy. It has been seven weeks since the second surgery. Worker's compensation is denying the claim for the second surgery. Worker's compensation wants to settle my case instead of going to court.
Answer: The maximum amount is "a fair and reasonable amount". There isn't a number all lawyers use in every shoulder surgery case. It's not that simple. We need more information to be able to put a reasonable value on any given case. In this instance there isn't enough information to value it.
Do I really need an attorney for a personal injury case? I was wondering whether I can file and process my petition for personal injury on my own.
I doubt any layperson knows enough about the practice of law to be able to effectively handle their own district court case. Even lawyers hire personal injury lawyers, but if in small claims you can probably handle it, although I would not be surprised if you make mistakes.
Do I need a doctor to testify for me to prove there is a personal injury case?
Yes, but the level or type of proof required differs depending on whether you’re in district court, small claims court or before the Iowa Industrial Commission. Small claim and IC actions require less formal proof than does the Iowa District Court. In all Courts you need a doctor to provide testimony that there any medical care you received was caused by the accident.
Do I need to correspond with the insurance company and should I hire an attorney?
Yes, someone will need to talk directly with your insurance company’s adjuster. If you aren’t familiar with how they operate then by all means hire an attorney; look for one that works on a contingent fee. It will be less expensive. Also I have a lot of tips on the Lombardi Law Firm website that can help you. Go there and read.
Does getting injured by another party count for personal injury? How should I know if I should file?
Yes it "counts". See a personal injury lawyer and they should be able to tell you if your case is worth filing.
What evidences do I need to show for personal injury? How can I make my case strong?
The evidence you need to prove a claim is specific to the type of injury, the theory of recovery and the defenses alleged. It's not easy that's for sure. Medical opinions drive the damage case and the causation linkage that allows you to ever get to the damage question. I don't recommend laypeople try to prove their own case.
Can I estimate my own settlement and push for it?
Question Detail: Can I estimate my own settlement and push for it? Are there regulations about the amount of compensation possible for personal injury claims?
Answer: Your question has a funny sound to it. You don't "push for it", you negotiate it. You argue the facts, which to someone not used to doing it is someone pushing for it. If you needed a heart transplant would you try to be the surgeon? How about liver disease would you prescribe your own home remedies? You get my point. You wouldn't be on this site if you knew what you were doing. You're trying DIY law practice and that usually ends not so well.