- Personal Injury
When a person or company causes an accident or behaves irresponsibly, others often get hurt. They may suffer financial loss from hospital bills, lost wages and/or property damage. Those hurt also deserve to be compensated for the pain and other losses they suffered as a result of these negligent or wrongful actions.
Victims of such action in Des Moines can seek justice in our civil courts. When a person seeks compensation in court because they were hurt due to another's negligence or wrongful actions, it is called a "tort." They can have a skilled attorney fighting for them and representing them, both in negotiations with an insurance company and in the courtroom.
Des Moines Personal Injury Lawyer
At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., you will find aggressive Des Moines personal injury lawyers who will fight for you. We will seek compensation for your injuries and help you recover what you've lost. We can negotiate with the insurance company to get the highest settlement they will offer. If they don't offer a satisfactory settlement, however, we have no fear of taking them on in court. Our attorneys have more than seven decades of legal experience for you to rely upon. Call us today at (515) 279-9700 to set up a consultation.
We are based in West Des Moines, and represent accident victims throughout the state of Iowa, including anywhere in Polk County or Dallas County.
Iowa Personal Injury Information Center
- Negligence in Iowa
- Damages You May Recover in a Polk County Personal Injury Suit
- Types of Des Moines Personal Injury Actions
Most personal injury actions involve negligence. Negligence means that a person or a company was supposed to act in a certain way, did not act that way and, as a result, a person was injured. The plaintiff, or person filing the lawsuit, must prove negligence when suing by a preponderance of evidence, meaning he or she must show that, more likely than not, what they are saying happened indeed happened.
There are four "elements" to negligence, and the plaintiff must prove all four:
- Duty: The defendant, or person being sued, must have had a duty to act a certain way. Most often, this duty is to act as a "reasonable person." For instance, a reasonable person would not run a red light, causing a t-bone accident
Property owners have a duty to maintain their property and keep it safe, especially commercial properties that invite customers onto the grounds. The property owner may have a duty to warn others of any dangerous conditions that might exist.
Doctors, lawyers and other professionals have a heightened duty to act according to the standards of their profession.
- Breach: Once the plaintiff has proven that the defendant has a certain duty, he or she must prove that the defendant breached that duty, or failed to act according to the standards of the duty.
- Causation: The breach of that duty must be the cause of the damages the plaintiff suffered. The plaintiff must prove the breach is both the actual and proximate cause of the damages.
- Damages: The plaintiff must prove he or she suffered damages.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you may recover damages for what you've lost. These are called compensatory damages. There are two types of compensatory damages: economic and noneconomic.
Economic damages are the tangible expenses incurred due to the accident, property damage that occurred and money you lost out on as a result of the other party's negligence. These are things you can show a bill, receipt or paycheck to demonstrate your losses. They may be hospital bills, doctor's bills, physical therapy bills, costs to replace destroyed property, costs to repair damaged property, lost wages and lost ability to work.
Noneconomic damages are the less tangible but still very real damages you suffer. These damages can include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, anxiety, loss of enjoyment in life and disfigurement.
Depending on your case, punitive or exemplary damages may be available. Punitive or exemplary damages are meant to punish people for grossly negligent or intentional acts. Your Des Moines civil attorney can help you determine whether these damages might be available.
In most cases, you will be seeking to recover from an insurance company. The insurance company has lawyers on their side. They may offer you a settlement. The settlement is often much lower than the real extent of your damages. You do not have to accept this. Your lawyer can negotiate for a better settlement. If you are not satisfied with what they offer, your lawyer can take them to court.
Auto Accidents: Auto accidents are the most common cause of injuries in Iowa, and someone is usually at fault. They could be caused by speeding, not following the rules of the road, drunk driving, texting while driving or other bad driving habits.
Commercial Truck Accidents: 18-wheelers and big trucks can cause significantly more damage to a passenger vehicle. A rollover, underride or jackknife accident could leave you or a loved one with lifelong injuries.
Premises Liability: Property owners have a duty to people coming onto their property to keep their property safe. That duty depends on the victim's right to be on that property. Retail stores and other commercial property owners have an especially high duty to keep customers and clients safe from slip and falls and other accidents.
Wrongful Death: The most tragic loss a person can suffer is the loss of a loved one. Iowa law allows certain family members to bring civil suit when another's actions or mistakes caused a person's death.
Dog Bites: Dogs and other animals can cause severe injuries. The owner can be held liable for the damanges caused.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: Nursing homes agree to take on a tremendous amount of responsibility when they accept patients to live in their establishment. When they fail to live up to that responsibility, the results for loved ones can be tragic. The family can seek justice for these victims.
Injuries to a Child: A child who suffers an injury can suffer a lifetime of trauma and miss out on certain opportunities. Parents can bring suit against the responsible party and seek compensation for these injuries.
Government Liability Accidents: While the government cannot be sued in most cases (called "sovereign immunity"), there are instances in which a person harmed by government action can seek compensation.
Product Liability: If you are injured using a product that was defective - including driving or riding in a vehicle - a number of companies may be liable for your injuries, including the manufacturer.
McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. | Polk County Personal Injury Attorney
If you've been injured due to the negligent or wrongful acts of another, you deserve justice. A skilled Des Moines personal injury lawyer can help. At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., we are experienced trial attorneys, and we will put our decades of courtroom experience to work for you. Call us today at (515) 279-9700 to set up a consultation.