Iowa Personal Injury and Workers' Compensation Attorneys
The lawyers of Gilloon, Wright & Hamel, P.C. practice law in the areas of personal injury and workers’ compensation and represent clients throughout the state. Our Iowa workers' compensation lawyers handle a range of small, medium, and large cases. Regardless of the size and complexity of your personal injury or workers’ compensation case, we approach each case in the same way and we prioritize being available to answer questions immediately or return calls in a prompt manner.
We view each case as unique. We investigate the facts of each case and research applicable law thoroughly. Our attorneys take necessary steps to present the case at trial as effectively as possible, including the deposing of key witnesses, preserving important evidence, and utilizing qualified experts. Our objective is to prepare a winning liability case, and to also make sure that our clients are properly compensated for damages to which they are entitled.
Injury while on-the-job is common and can involve any part of the human body. Common forms of trauma include shoulder, back, and neck injuries. Repetitive strain injuries can affect people in a number of job settings and professions, with the worker experiencing pain, numbness, tingling sensations, swelling, or other symptoms. Ideally, the workers’ compensation insurance company accepts a person’s claim, provides for medical care for injuries, and pays the worker the benefits they are owed, depending upon the nature of the injury. In some instances, the insurance company offers a reduced level of benefits, relative to what the worker is actually entitled to, or rejects the claim altogether. In either instance, this is when having an experienced Iowa workers' compensation lawyer is invaluable. The law regarding compensation for on-the-job injuries is complex, so a skillful lawyer can help the injured worker fight for compensation owed them under the law or, if the claim was rejected, to file a petition. State law entitles injured workers to be assigned light duty work appropriate for the individual or healing period benefits until maximum medical improvement is reached. If the worker has ongoing functional impairment, healing period benefits cease and payment for permanent partial disability begins. It should be noted that injured workers who are laid off prior to reaching maximum medical improvement are to be paid healing period benefits for the time period of the layoff. In addition, injured workers terminated prior to reaching maximum medical improvement are, in most cases, entitled to receive healing period benefits after termination until this milestone is achieved. Workers unable to return to work after an injury are entitled to receive permanent partial disability benefits for up to 500 weeks. If the worker’s injuries have resulted in permanent total disability, the worker is allowed benefits for the remainder of their life. Not all workers are considered employees, so for injured individuals or the loved ones of someone who has died as a result of an on-the-job injury, it is imperative that they speak with a workers' compensation lawyer in Iowa in a timely manner.Personal Injury
In addition to representing victims involved in motor vehicle-related accidents, dog attacks, and slip and fall accidents, the firm of Gilloon, Wright & Hamel, P.C. also assists individuals in other personal injury cases, including intoxicated driver incidents, injuries suffered by a child or minor, railroad accidents, fire or burn-related accidents, and events resulting in traumatic brain injury. A key component of a successful personal injury case is proving negligence, and doing so involves the gathering of accident-related evidence, thorough interviews with witnesses to the accident, and completion of a comprehensive investigation of the events that transpired prior to the person being injured. In the majority of cases, the injury victim, or plaintiff, is entitled to compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages to cover such costs as past and ongoing medical treatment, vocational therapy, lost wages resulting from time away from work during recuperation, and pain and suffering experienced since the accident. Preservation of evidence and the gathering of all of the facts related to an accident in a timely manner are crucial to mounting a successful personal injury case, so it is best to seek qualified legal representation as soon as possible.
Determination of those at fault in a car accident is key to a successful outcome for injury victims. Vehicle drivers have a duty to keep their vehicle under control, be watchful of their surroundings for any potential hazard, and use care when operating their vehicle. The Iowa code provides for what is commonly referred to as comparative fault law. Fault in an accident is assigned to all parties found to have contributed to the events resulting in injuries to affected persons. Once each party at fault in an accident has been identified, a determination is made that sets forth the percentage of fault that each party is responsible for and, therefore, compensation that a given party must be held accountable for. Damages awarded the accident victim can include the cost to repair that person’s vehicle, time away from work, past and future physical and emotional pain and suffering, and loss of companionship, among others.Truck Accidents
Accidents involving large trucks can lead to especially devastating injuries and even death. Investigation is important in any personal injury case, and, in instances in which a truck is involved, the securing of evidence unique to truck-related accidents is critical to building a robust case against those responsible for the crash. Commercial trucks are equipped with event data recorders, commonly referred to as “black boxes.” These truck components can reveal details about the working condition of the truck that can help explain the conditions that preceded the crash. Commercial drivers carry logbooks in their trucks that delineate time spent driving and resting as required by law. Truck accident cases can be complex for a number of reasons, including proper identification of all involved parties. A skilled attorney can uncover information identifying the owner of the truck, the owner of the trailer that the truck was pulling, service providers responsible for routine maintenance, and other potentially responsible parties.Workplace Accidents
In some instances, a person injured at work may be entitled to receive compensation for damages from parties other than their employer. For example, a construction site’s general contractor has hired several subcontractor firms to erect a commercial building. A worker employed by one of the subcontractors is injured on the jobsite. During the course of the investigation of the injury, it may be determined that the construction site’s general contractor had retained some control over the work being performed by a worker employed by a subcontractor associated with the construction project. If so, then the site’s general contractor may be found liable for injuries sustained by the employee of the subcontractor. A worker on an assembly line injured while operating machinery used in the course of their assigned task may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer of the assembly line machine, in addition to a claim against their employer.Premises Liability
Owners or occupiers of land must exercise reasonable care in property maintenance for lawful visitors to the premises. A number of factors are considered when determining whether reasonable care of maintained property was exercised, including possibility of injury to the visitor, the purpose for the visitor’s presence, and feasibility of repair or proper warning of the dangers. Public sidewalks adjoining private property must be cleared of snow and ice within a reasonable timeframe by the owner of the property, in accordance with Iowa law. It should be noted that people walking on public sidewalks have a duty to exercise caution in the presence of dangerous conditions. Iowa’s comparative fault law applies to situations in which dangerous conditions are present on a public sidewalk. A person injured while walking on a public sidewalk can be found at fault if it is determined that the walker failed to exercise reasonable care while using the sidewalk.Dog Bites
A dog’s owner is liable for damages as a result of the dog’s attack on a person or the dog’s attempt to bite a person, under Iowa law. An exception to this rule is possible in the event the injured person acted in an unlawful manner that had provoked the dog to injure the person. Under state law, the concept of ownership in this context is not limited to the registered owner of the dog and can be applied to a person in possession of, and currently harboring, the dog. A negligence claim can be filed against the dog owner in instances in which the dog did not actually bite or attack the victim, for instance if the dog’s behavior resulted in the person falling down and injuring themselves as a result of the fall. In cases in which the physical or emotional harm to the victim is so severe that it results in the need for medical treatment, lost wages, or other damages, the injured person would have the legal right to compensation.Boating Accidents
Boat owners and operators are required to be in compliance with federal and state laws governing the operation and maintenance of motorboats, sailboats, personal watercraft, and other waterborne vessels. Accidents can occur in a number of situations, including when the operator is under the influence of alcohol, operating the craft in an unsafe manner, or in cases in which the operator has failed to take under consideration the presence of other boats, swimmers, or hazardous conditions. Federal law requires boat owners and operators to file a boating accident report with the proper state agency in the event of death, disappearance, or treatment of injuries over and above first aid. In some instances, a boating accident report must also be filed when the accident results in property damage. It is of crucial importance that the craft in question remain in the condition it was in immediately after the incident to allow investigators to reconstruct the sequence of events that led to the accident.Wrongful Death
The criteria used to evaluate wrongful death claims varies, depending upon the age of the deceased person. If the person was an adult, the person’s estate and surviving family members are entitled to recoup financial damages for a number of reasons, including money spent on medical treatments from the date of injury to the person’s death and loss of financial support of the person’s spouse and children. Factors used when determining the amount of financial compensation to be awarded include the deceased person’s life expectancy and age at the time of death, past and potential future earnings, and other considerations. If a minor is killed due to the fault of others, the deceased person’s estate and family have a legal right to financial compensation for a number of reasons, including the amount of money that person would be reasonably likely to accumulate from the point at which they reach adulthood until their death, as well as medical expenses incurred from the date of injury until the date of death. Factors used to assess the amount of compensation include the life expectancy of the person, academic performance and school attendance, and additional considerations.
Iowa’s legal system has a number of deadlines and other requirements for those wanting to file injury or workers’ compensation claims. Our skillful Iowa workers' compensation attorneys review each case to identify and be in compliance with pre-petition notices of injury in workers’ compensation cases. We also make sure to comply with deadlines involving:
- Dramshop claim notices.
- Notices to insurance carriers of potential claims for uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverages.
- Petitions for civil suits or workers’ compensation claims.
As we work on each case we always try to avoid or minimize any delays. Our goal is to prepare each case for presentation as quickly as possible, and keep it moving forward towards resolution at trial or through a negotiated settlement.
Our attorneys have over 90 years of combined legal experience and share this knowledge with each other. Our approach is to have one attorney primarily responsible for each case. However, all of our attorneys consult on each case and offer advice and ideas.Communities We Serve
- Eastern Iowa: Dubuque, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Clinton, Davenport, and Bettendorf.
- Northern Iowa: Decorah, Charles City, and Mason City.
- Southern Iowa: Muscatine, Burlington, Mount Pleasant, and Ottumwa.
- Central Iowa: Fort Dodge, Ames, Marshalltown, and Des Moines.
- Gilloon, Wright & Hamel, P.C. also has attorneys licensed to practice law in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Contact us online or call us at (855) 244-6433 or (563) 556-6433 today to schedule a free appointment to discuss the details of your case with a workers’ compensation attorney in Iowa or get assistance with a personal injury claim. We can go over your case and answer your questions in a location convenient to you, by phone, or at our office.