Top 4 Myths that Ruin an Iowa Motorcycle Accident Case

Top 4 Myths that Ruin an Iowa Motorcycle Accident Case

4 Misunderstandings About Iowa Motorcycle Accident Claims: What Every Driver Needs to Know

Introduction

Today’s topic: Debunking Iowa Accident Myths. Today we’ll be shedding light on common misconceptions with Real Stories and Advice for Riders and Drivers

Myths covered in this article

  1. Direct Negotiations with Insurance Adjusters Are Mandatory
  2. The Insurance Adjuster is Your Ally
  3. Piecemeal Settlements (Some Now, Some Later) Are an Option
  4. Hiring a Lawyer is Too Expensive

Every rider and driver in Iowa carries a mental toolkit for handling the unexpected twists and turns of the road. But what if part of that toolkit is flawed? What if the facts that fill the toolkit – the very facts that drivers rely on to make decisions – is filled with myths? 

Misconceptions about accident cases can be as harmful as a loose chain on a motorcycle. They can lead to decisions that compromise your legal and financial future. 

In this essential guide, we dismantle the top four myths about Iowa motorcycle accidents with the precision of a skilled mechanic, replacing them with the solid, reliable tools of real stories and expert advice.


Myth #1: Direct Negotiations with Insurance Adjusters Are Mandatory – You Don’t Need an Iowa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Two motorcyclists on The Dragon's Tail road

Have you ever ridden The Dragon’s Tail? It’s a beast, but more on that in a second.

We’ve got this buddy. We’ll call him Jack. Jack’s a seasoned rider. He’s put in the miles and has no problem telling you all about how he’s been on more than a few cross-country rides- both solo and in a group. 

Jack decided it was finally time to ride the Dragon’s Tail. For those unfamiliar, it’s an 11-mile stretch of road on US 129. For Riders, it’s a notorious stretch of road known for its sharp turns and steep inclines. 

Sure it’s beautiful, but make no mistake, the attraction is the ride itself, not the scenery. Medical help is no less than thirty to forty-five minutes away and it’s at least an hour from the nearest emergency room. With bears, turkeys, deer, and more than a few trucks (that shouldn’t be there), this ride is not for the inattentive or faint of heart. 

Despite his experience and determination to tame the Dragon’s Tale, Jack was – understandably – a bit apprehensive the night before taking the ride. That’s when he met Alex. 

The Power of Experience

Alex is nothing short of a local riding legend familiar with every twist and turn of the Dragon’s Tail. Some have said he knows his way around the curves of the Dragon’s Tail better than the curves of his wife.

Alex is a biker’s biker. The guy is always willing to stop and help if a rider is broken down on the side of the road or, in Jack’s case, offer to guide him through the challenging road. 

As they embarked on the ride, Alex led the way, signaling upcoming hazards and advising on the best lines to take through the tight curves. With each mile, Jack’s confidence grew, buoyed by Alex’s expertise and support.

The journey that started with trepidation ended with Jack conquering the Dragon’s Tail, a feat he once thought was beyond his reach. 

So, what does that have to do with negotiations with insurance adjusters after an accident? This ride underscored the invaluable benefit of having an expert by your side when facing challenging paths, whether on the road or in life. 

Many people believe that when you are involved in a crash, you have no choice but to talk to and try to negotiate with an insurance adjuster.

Reality check: Just like Jack navigating the Dragon’s Tail, you’d be a fool to go at it alone if you had an expert rider offering guidance. Similarly, dealing with insurance adjusters can be navigated more safely with a legal expert by your side.

You’re entitled to appoint an Iowa car accident attorney to engage and negotiate with insurers on your behalf, ensuring your ride to fair compensation is as smooth as possible.

Injured? Ride with us.


Myth #2: The Insurance Adjuster is Your Ally

Image of a woman with an injured knee after a motorcycle accident

To address this myth, it’s time for a new tale, kind of like Jack’s adventure on the Dragon’s Tail, but with a twist that veers into the realm of legal battles rather than asphalt ones.

This is the story of Sarah. Sarah is an inexperienced rider with only a few years of open road under her belt. Her journey took an unexpected detour after a minor scrape with a sedan in downtown Des Moines. This was her first real collision on a motorcycle, Sarah was freaked out… until the phone rang later that night.

The insurance adjuster, with a voice as smooth as a freshly paved road, assured Sarah that they were there to help her navigate through the aftermath of her accident as quickly and smoothly as possible. Sarah felt a wave of relief. Here was her guide, ready to lead her through the insurance claim’s twists and turns. Or so she thought.

As the process unfolded, Sarah realized that her supposed ally was steering her towards a settlement that barely covered her bike’s repairs, not to mention her medical bills.

You don’t know what you don’t know

It was only when she recounted her tale at a local riders’ hangout that she met Pete Leehey, a veteran biker turned personal injury attorney. Pete, with his intricate knowledge of both the roads and the legal landscape of Iowa, pointed out the hidden pitfalls in the insurance adjuster’s route.

Image of Pete Leehey at a biker bar talking to an injured biker

Under Pete’s guidance, Sarah embarked on a new journey. This time, she was not alone on a treacherous path. With an expert navigator by her side, she managed to secure a settlement that truly reflected her damages and losses.

The road to recovery was long, but with the right support, she reached a destination that once seemed as distant as the end of the Dragon’s Tail.

Reality check: Just like Sarah’s initial trust in the insurance adjuster, many riders believe that these professionals are on their side. However, the truth is that insurance adjusters, much like challenging turns on a notorious road, have their own agenda. They serve the insurance company’s interests, aiming to settle claims for as little as possible. 

This story, like Jack’s, underscores the critical importance of having an expert — in this case, a seasoned Iowa accident lawyer — to guide you through the negotiations, ensuring your rights and recovery are fully protected.

Injured? Ride with us.


Myth #3: Piecemeal Settlements (Some Now, Some Later) Are an Option After an Accident

Scene of a car accident with a deer, motorcycle, and several cars

In the heart of Iowa lives a biker named Lucas. He’s known as an adventurous spirit with a knack for storytelling that could captivate any listener. One crisp autumn day, Lucas decided to take on the winding roads that snake through the Loess Hills, a ride that promised both beauty and challenge in equal measure.

Lucas’s journey was cut short when a sudden deer crossing caused him to swerve, leading to a minor accident with a nearby car. Both parties seemed to be physically unharmed, but Lucas’s beloved motorcycle suffered damage, as did the car. In the moments that followed, amidst the exchange of apologies and insurance details, Lucas found himself facing a decision that seemed as complex as the road he had planned to conquer.

In the weeks that followed, Lucas got a call from the other guy’s insurance adjuster with an offer. Eager to get back on the road and confident in his understanding of insurance claims, Lucas initially considered accepting a quick settlement offer for the immediate damages to his bike. The idea of settling some aspects of the claim now and potentially addressing others later seemed like a way to expedite his return to the open road. He knew he should at least sleep on it, so he told them he’d think about it.

Always consider your options

Lucas’s story took a turn when he was sharing his experience while stopping by Loess Hills Country Corner. If you’ve ever stopped in, you know that the Country Corner is a place where tales of the road were as common as coffee refills. It was here that Lucas met Dan Matzdorff, a seasoned attorney with a love for motorcycles and a deep understanding of the twists and turns of personal injury law.

Image of Dan Matzdorff talking with a biker at a diner

Dan, intrigued by Lucas’s tale, offered a tip that would change his course. He likened Lucas’s quick settlement consideration to taking a sharp turn without fully understanding the road ahead. Just as a biker must anticipate every potential obstacle on their path, Lucas needed to consider the full scope of the impact of the crash, including future repairs, medical expenses, and any unseen complications.

Dan explained how accepting a quick settlement was akin to navigating a blind curve at full speed. The initial offer might cover the immediate damages, but it would leave him unprotected against future costs and complications that could arise. Through Dan’s stories of past clients who had navigated similar roads, Lucas saw the value in a comprehensive approach that considered the entire journey, not just the first few miles.

Inspired by Dan’s wisdom, Lucas decided to pursue a complete settlement that accounted for all potential damages, guided by Dan’s expertise. This decision marked the beginning of a new journey, one that promised a more secure and informed path to recovery.

Reality check: Lucas’s initial inclination to settle part of his claim immediately, with the hope of addressing the rest later, is a common misconception among crash victims. However, once a settlement is reached, additional claims for the same accident are typically not an option. Lucas’s story illustrates the importance of seeking expert legal advice to ensure a settlement fully covers all potential damages, safeguarding the rider’s future just as a helmet protects the head.

With the right guidance, navigating the legal aftermath of a collision can lead to a resolution that truly compensates for the entire journey’s impact, ensuring the road ahead is as clear and smooth as the one behind.

Injured? Ride with us.


Myth #4: Hiring a Lawyer is Too Expensive After an Iowa Motorcycle Accident

Image of a woman on the side of the road after a motorcycle crash

In the sprawling landscapes of Iowa, where the horizon stretches endlessly and the roads beckon with promise, there lived a biker named Emma. Her spirit was as free as the wind that rushed past her on her rides, and the blood in her veins pumped in sync with the oil of her motorcycle’s engine. Emma’s passion for the road was matched only by her belief in the camaraderie among those who shared her love for biking.

One evening while riding on a highway just outside of Cedar Rapids, Emma’s life took an unexpected turn. A distracted driver veered into her lane, throwing Emma off her bike and into a ditch on the side of the road.

In the weeks that followed, Emma was struggling. She was hurting from her injuries, couldn’t sleep, her bike was a mess, and she was staring down a pile of bills: for her bike’s repairs, her medical treatment, and more. 

She wished she could call a lawyer. The thought of hiring a lawyer to help navigate the aftermath felt like a pipe dream. “Lawyers are too expensive,” she thought, echoing a myth she’d heard time and again.

Emma decided to meet some friends for lunch at The Chrome Horse Saloon. As she vented about her troubles, the owner pointed to a table where three men in biker cuts sat.

“Sounds like you need a lawyer. Go talk to Pete, he’ll have your back.” 

Image of The Biker Lawyers enjoying lunch at The Chrome Horse Saloon in Cedar Rapids Iowa

Emma introduced herself and began to explain her situation. Pete seemed to understand her situation immediately. He shared stories of the road, of bikers who had navigated the legal twists and turns following accidents, much like Emma’s. He spoke of victories won not just in courtrooms but in the lives of riders who found their way back to the open road, their rights and dignity intact. Emma soon realized that this guy was the real deal – a rider’s lawyer and a staunch advocate for the rights of those on two wheels, and offered Emma a beacon of hope.

Pete listened to Emma’s story, nodding along as she shared her concerns about costs. “I’m sure you’re great at what you do, Pete,” Emma said, “but honestly, I was struggling to make ends meet before the crash. Lawyers are expensive and if you’re half as good as you seem to be, there’s no way I can afford to hire you.”

The truth about hiring a lawyer

That’s when he broke down the myth for her, explaining that not all lawyers charge by the hour or demand a hefty retainer upfront. “In fact,” Pete said, “at The Biker Lawyers, we operate on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case. Our fee? It’s a percentage of the settlement or award we get for you. No win, no fee. It’s that simple.”

Emma’s eyes widened as she fought back tears with realization. Not only could she afford to work with Pete, but she couldn’t afford not to! Pete’s approach to fees with the cases he took on were specifically designed to protect riders like her, ensuring they could seek justice without the fear of upfront costs.

Reality Check: The myth that hiring a lawyer is too expensive prevents many from seeking the help they need. But as Emma learned from Pete Leehey, The Biker Lawyers break down that barrier with their contingency fee approach. This means bikers can get expert legal representation without any upfront cost. The fee is only collected as a percentage of the settlement or award received, making legal support accessible to all riders, regardless of their financial situation.

The contingency fee approach ensures that every biker has the opportunity to fight for their rights and secure the compensation they deserve, with a legal team that rides the same roads and faces the same challenges they do.

Injured? Ride with us.


Conclusion

After cruising through the twists and turns of common myths, we hope the road ahead looks clearer. Just like navigating a challenging route requires the right gear and know-how, tackling the aftermath of an accident demands the right support – legal support that understands the biker’s journey.

At The Biker Lawyers, we don’t just share the road with you; we stand with you in the fight for your rights. Our approach, just like Pete Leehey’s guidance to Emma, is built around the belief that quality legal representation should be accessible to all riders. Operating on a contingency fee basis means our team is your team from the moment you decide to take us on your journey, with no upfront costs. 

We ride together, and we fight together, ensuring you’re not left navigating the aftermath of an accident alone. Injured? Ride with us.

Injured in an Iowa motorcycle Accident and need help?

Click the “Call the Injury Helpline” button on this page to get started, or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch to ride with you on your road to recovery.

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The Dangers of Tailgating: Best Advice to Get Tailgaters to Back Off!

The Dangers of Tailgating: Best Advice to Get Tailgaters to Back Off!

You may think you are familiar with the dangers of tailgating, but did you know the simple act of tailgating puts motorcyclists at a staggering 27 times greater risk of death compared to car occupants according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?

It’s enough to make any biker’s heart race. Imagine cruising down the open road, feeling the wind whip through your hair, only to see a big ass truck closing in quickly and hovering far too close for comfort to your rear wheel. The fear is real and justified, and the danger even more so.

The good news? Bikers have a secret weapon: the “back off” gesture, just one tool in your arsenal against this deadly threat. 

Let’s explore why tailgating is especially dangerous for motorcyclists, and what you can do to stay safe and avoid becoming a statistic.

Why tailgating is a problem: The real dangers of tailgating

Image of the headlights of a car as seen through the reflection in a rearview mirror of a motorcycle

Tailgating is more than just an annoyance—it’s a serious hazard, especially for motorcyclists! The close proximity of a vehicle tailgating a motorcycle reduces the margin for error and can quickly turn into a dangerous or even life-threatening situation.

In Iowa and across the Midwest, we all know the very real threat of a rogue deer suddenly jumping across your path. You quickly brake to avoid a collision, but The tailgating car behind you may not be ready for your sudden stop. The result? A potentially devastating chain-reaction accident.

Image of a deer crossing a highway

Imagine cruising down the highway, feeling the wind in your hair, when a car ahead of you slams on their brakes to avoid a pothole. You have enough time to react and slow down safely, but the tailgating car behind you doesn’t. The next thing you know, you’re rear-ended, potentially thrown from your bike, and facing serious injuries. 

So, how can motorcyclists avoid being tailgated and ensure their safety on the road?

Signaling the Tailgater: The Universal “Back Off” Gesture

Illustration demonstrating the universal hand gesture for "back off" shown by bikers to tailgating motorists

The first step in dealing with a tailgater is to communicate your discomfort and concerns before they become frustration or aggression. This can be done by signaling the tailgating motorist to back off. 

The universal signal for this is simple yet effective, and no, it does not involve raising a fist and extending one finger. Instead, extend your arm downward and repeatedly move the palm of your hand backward, as if physically pushing the car away. This non-verbal communication is generally recognized and respected by most motorists.

Here are a few tips to remember when signaling a tailgater:

  1. Make sure it’s safe to take one hand off the handlebars before signaling.
  2. Use clear, deliberate movements to ensure the tailgater understands your signal.
  3. Avoid aggressive or rude gestures that could escalate the situation.

Finding a Safe Place to Pull Over: Prioritizing Safety Over Speed

Close up photo of the back of a motorcycle that has pulled over safely to the side of the road.

If the tailgating motorist fails to respond and continues to follow too closely, the next best course of action is to locate a safe area to pull over and allow the tailgater to pass. It’s important to prioritize safety over speed or reaching your destination on time.

Speeding up is not a viable solution, as it will likely only result in being tailgated at an even higher speed. Once the tailgater has overtaken you, you can continue to enjoy your ride safely.

The Importance of Maintaining a Safe Distance: The Three-Second Rule

Image illustrating stationary points for counting the 3-second rule for following in traffic

Here is the best way to gauge a safe following distance:

  1. Choose a fixed point ahead of the vehicle in front of you (also known as “stationary points”.
  2. When the vehicle in front passes that point, start counting seconds.
  3. If you pass the same point before you finish counting to three, you’re following too closely.

If you’ve made it this far in the article, it should be obvious that maintaining a safe distance on the road is crucial for all vehicles, including motorcycles, to help avoid the dangers of tailgating.

If a biker tailgates a car, they risk a dangerous collision. Trailing vehicles should keep a three-second (or more) margin between the front of the following vehicle and the rear end of the vehicle being followed. This three-second safety margin is proven to significantly reduce the chance of being involved in a rear-end collision, ensuring safer roads for everyone.

If riding in a group, consider following the three-second rule while riding in “staggered formation” as shown below.

Image demonstrating the proper way to ride staggered formation on a motorcycle

Hit the Brakes, Not the Road: Don’t Let a Tailgate Ruin Your Ride

Remember that terrifying near-miss we talked about earlier? Imagine the consequences if the car behind you wasn’t just tailgating, but slamming into your back wheel. Scary stuff, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t just some hypothetical scenario to highlight the dangers of tailgating. These situations happen more often than they should, and motorcyclists often bear the brunt of the damage, both physically and financially.

That’s where knowing your rights comes in. Don’t just dust yourself off and move on if you’ve been injured in an accident thanks to an accident caused by a tailgating motorist. You deserve compensation for your medical bills, bike repairs, and lost wages. But navigating the legal system can be daunting, especially when you’re recovering from an injury.

Image of a biker on the side of a highway with his motorcycle as he contemplates next steps after a close call with a car tailgating him.

That’s why there are lawyers who specialize in fighting for the rights of injured motorcyclists. They understand the unique challenges you face and know how to build a strong case against negligent drivers.

Here’s the bottom line: You shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of an accident caused by someone else’s recklessness. By seeking legal support, you can hold the tailgater accountable. This means you’ll get the compensation you deserve to get back on your feet (and back on the road safely).

Remember: Riding a motorcycle is about freedom, not fear. By taking steps to stay safe, you can minimize the risk of tailgating incidents.


 Injured? Ride with us. Complete the form below for a free personal injury case evaluation.

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Specialization in Legal Practice: The Power of Niche Knowledge

Specialization in Legal Practice: The Power of Niche Knowledge

If Lawyers can practice any field of law, why specialize?

A person on Reddit recently asked:

“How can an attorney specialize in only one type of law like personal injury and refuse other work? I mean they are licensed by the state. What’s the point of specialization in legal practice? I understand they can suggest you use someone else, but it doesn’t seem right.”

Look, we get it. It seems odd that if a person goes to law school and passes their state’s Bar exam, they should just practice ALL law. From a business perspective alone, aren’t they turning away clients? Why would you want to give business to your “competitors”?

Like most things in life, it really isn’t that simple… and honestly, you wouldn’t want it to be. 

TL;DR:  By specializing in a particular area of law, lawyers can do the following for their clients:

  • Provide customized expert advice 
  • Efficient service
  • Maximize the odds of a favorable outcome

Specialized lawyers provide a level of expertise that surpasses that of a general practitioner (GP). This expertise often comes from years of handling similar cases, staying updated on the latest legal developments in their field, and building a network of relevant experts and contacts to help with any case they handle.

Understanding lawyer specialization in legal practice

Close-up photo of a flame paint job on the gas tank of a Harley Davidson Motorcycle

Think of a lawyer as a specialty mechanic. Say you have a Harley-Davidson. You want a mechanic experienced in working on motorcycles, and specifically Harley-Davidsons. Sure a John Deere mechanic has experience working on farm equipment, but that doesn’t mean you would want him working on your Harley, right? 

On the same note, would you really want a lawyer who specializes in corporate law responsible for your complicated injury case?

Let’s take it one step further. Hypothetically, if you have a medical need – say a broken bone – and need to have it set, sure a Neurosurgeon could help you, but wouldn’t you rather see an Ortho Doctor?

The point is that specializing allows a lawyer to get really good in one or two fields. There are great GPs out there who may be able to give you great advice on real estate matters or estate planning. If you have a serious personal injury case, however, your needs will likely be best served by a personal injury specialist who is almost certainly better equipped to handle your case.

Real-life impact: specialization in action

Image of examples of multiple Real Estate Law documents and a pen

Storytime! We once had a client who was referred to us after getting an initial consultation from her “family lawyer” who was a GP – handling mostly estate matters. She was happy to be working with us but admitted she felt like her family lawyer had kind of passed the buck in referring her to us.  

Now, let’s be clear. Her original lawyer’s inclination to refer her to us isn’t because they were trying to “pass the buck,” quite the opposite, actually. 

When lawyers refer cases outside of their specialty, it’s a sign of professionalism and client care. They recognize their limitations and prioritize the client’s best interest by directing them to someone more knowledgeable in that particular area. 

In fact, according to most state bar associations’ rules of professional conduct, lawyers should not handle cases in areas where they are not competent (Rule 1.1 Competence, American Bar Association model rules of professional conduct). 

Personal Injury Attorneys, The Biker Lawyers Dan Matzdorff and Pete Leehey consult with a client

What does this mean? While lawyers are licensed to practice any area of law, ethical standards encourage them to take on cases only within their areas of expertise or competence.

So what happened with our initially hesitant client? We won her case and she was awarded quite a bit more than she was expecting. Her family lawyer later told her he would have never guessed her claim had value in the ballpark of the verdict we obtained, and that this was one of many reasons he had referred her to The Biker Lawyers.

The moral of the story

It’s in the client’s best interest to work with a lawyer who specializes in the relevant area of law. Just as patients seek out medical specialists for specific health issues, clients benefit from legal specialists who have a deeper understanding of the nuances in their specific legal area. 

If you go with a GP to handle your personal injury case, their lack of specialized experience may cause them to miss something that could have completely altered the direction of your case.

Got questions? We’ve got answers: Your legal specialization FAQs, simplified

Image of two young lawyers, fresh out of law school with piles of legal books in front of them and documents behind them symbolizing how much there is to know when it comes to general law

Let’s recap and cover a few other questions you might have about legal specialization. In this article, we’ve answered the anonymous Redditer’s question and explored the significant advantages of lawyer specialization in the legal field. Just like a mechanic expert in Harley-Davidson motorcycles, specialized lawyers offer in-depth knowledge and expertise in their specific area of law.

Ultimately, specialization leads to more efficient and effective legal service, ensuring clients receive customized advice and a higher likelihood of favorable outcomes.

That said, there are still a few questions about legal specialization that we wanted to make sure we covered.

How do you know if you need Specialized Legal Advice?

You don’t know unless you ask! If you think you may need legal help, give a lawyer a call and ask for a free consultation. If you’re injured in Iowa or Minnesota, give us a call and talk to a personal injury specialist. We’ll be happy to give you a free case evaluation!

Click here for a FREE consultation

Why do lawyers stick to one kind of law instead of doing it all?

It’s like being really good at one sport instead of okay at many. Lawyers who focus on one area, like personal injury, get really sharp in that field. They know all the ins and outs, keep up with new rules, and have the right contacts. This means they can help you way better than someone who tries to cover everything.

If a lawyer is great at one thing, can they still handle cases in other areas of law?

Sure, they can, but it’s like asking the star catcher for the high school baseball team to play point guard for the basketball team. They might know the basics, but they won’t be as slick as someone who plays basketball all the time. Lawyers usually stick to what they know best and will often pass a case to another lawyer who’s a pro in that specific area if it’s not their thing.

How do I know if I need a lawyer who specializes in something?

Think of it like needing a specific tool for a job. If your legal issue is pretty straightforward, a general lawyer might do just fine. But if it’s something tricky or unusual – like a complex injury case – you’ll want a lawyer who knows that stuff inside out. Best bet? Just chat with a lawyer and they’ll tell you if you need a specialist.

What should I look for when picking a lawyer who’s an expert in one area?

It’s a bit like choosing a mechanic for your dream bike. You want someone who’s not only worked on lots of bikes like yours but also knows all the tricks of the trade. Check out their experience in your specific legal area, see what other clients have said about them, and make sure you feel comfortable talking to them.

Cedar Rapids Iowa based Personal Injury Attorney Pete Leehey meets a client outside a courthouse.

Ready for expert legal guidance? 

Contact us for a specialized consultation tailored to your unique legal needs. Simply complete the quick form below to get a FREE case evaluation!

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Tips for Dealing with Winter Storm Road Conditions in Iowa

Tips for Dealing with Winter Storm Road Conditions in Iowa

Introduction: Dealing with Winter Storm Road Conditions

You know dealing with winter storm road conditions is no joke. It’s Monday Night. You saw the weather report. Snow has started to fall. The weather prediction center was saying there’d be a winter storm but you thought to yourself, “How bad could the winter weather get? I’m used to crappy road conditions! I’m taking 80 they always plow 80, I’ll be fine.” You jump in your truck and head for the highway. Before you know it, you find yourself driving through a full-on blizzard on Interstate 80 and you’ve witnessed half a dozen winter storm road emergencies as drivers find themselves in the ditch.

You grip the wheel tighter, leaning forward to see through the sheet of snow ahead. The headlights of your truck hit the falling snow reducing visibility even further, but you push on. Suddenly, the bright red brake lights of the car in front of you force you to instinctively slam your brakes. Your ABS kicks in but it’s too late as you throw your steering wheel to the right and find yourself slamming into a snow bank in the ditch.

Article Roadmap No Stranger to Winter Storm Road Conditions 3 Essential Safety Tips for Winter Driving in Iowa What to Do If You’re Stuck in a Ditch During a Snowstorm 3 Legal Tips to Remember for Multi-Car Pile-Ups Injured? Here’s What to Do Conclusion

No Stranger to Winter Storm Road Conditions

As a seasoned biker and personal injury attorney, I’ve seen firsthand how treacherous Midwest winters can be, especially for motorists in Iowa. According to the Iowa State Patrol, there have already been 3 traffic-related deaths in Iowa, and we’re only a week and a half in.

The recent snowstorm of January 9, 2024, causing multiple pile-ups and treacherous driving conditions serves as a stark reminder of winter’s unpredictability.  With another predicted snowstorm event right around the corner, its obvious that Mother Nature is an untamable beast. Some are even suggesting the next polar vortex could disrupt the Iowa Caucus.

Winter storm road emergencies are ultimately avoidable if you take the right precautions and are vigilant while navigating the roads. This article offers essential safety and legal tips for drivers facing winter road emergencies.

3 Essential Safety Tips for Winter Driving in Iowa

A-snowy-road-with-visible-car-tracks-emphasizing-safety-and-caution-during-winter-conditions.-The-scene-captures-a-typical-winter-road-in-Iowa

  1. Stay Prepared: Before setting out, ensure your vehicle is winter-ready with adequate tire tread, antifreeze levels, and a winter emergency kit including blankets, food, water, and a flashlight. Also, check the road conditions on sites like 511ia.org to make sure you’re up-to-date with what to expect.
  2. Drive Cautiously: Reduce speed significantly and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Remember, it’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on icy or snow-covered roads, and your Anti-lock-break system (ABS) can be tricky when it kicks in unexpectedly.
  3. Visibility is Key: Keep your lights on and windshield clear. Make sure you’ve fully scraped off your windshield and headlights before hitting the road. If visibility is severely compromised, find a safe place to pull over.

What to Do If You’re Stuck in a Ditch During a Snowstorm 

Image of a car that has driven off the road during a severe snowstorm in Iowa

  • Stay Calm and Stay Put: If you end up in a ditch, remain in your car unless it’s unsafe. Keep your seatbelt on and turn on your hazard lights.
  • Assess the Situation: Take a moment to make sure that you and your passengers are okay and no one is seriously hurt.
  • Call for Help: Use your phone to call for roadside assistance or emergency services.
  • Conserve Energy: Run your engine and heater sparingly to conserve fuel. I know I recommended staying in your car, but if you expect to be stuck for a while, safely exit the vehicle to ensure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Download a Free Winter Road Emergency Guide

3 Legal Tips to Remember for Multi-Car Pile-Ups

Drivers exchange insurance and contact information after a multi-car accident due to a snowstorm on I-80 in Iowa

  1. Detailed Documentation:
    • Take Photos: Capture different angles of the accident scene, including vehicle positions, road conditions, and any visible injuries.
    • Note Details: Write down the time, location, weather conditions, and any relevant road signs or signals.
    • Witness Information: If there are any witnesses, politely ask for their contact information.
  2. Exchanging Information Effectively:
    • Essential Details: Exchange names, contact information, insurance details, and vehicle registration numbers.
    • Stay Neutral: No matter how stressful the situation, try to remain calm. Politely exchange information without discussing fault or liability.
  3. Seeking Medical and Legal Attention:
    • Immediate Medical Check: Visit a healthcare professional, even for minor discomforts, as some injuries manifest later.
    • Consult an Attorney: Contact a personal injury attorney, especially if there are injuries or significant vehicle damage. They can guide you through insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

Free Injury Consultation

Remember, these tips aim to help you navigate the aftermath of a multi-car pile-up more effectively and protect your legal rights, even if you’re not dealing with winter storm road conditions.

Injured? Here’s What to Do

A-highway-scene-during-a-snowstorm-showing-tire-tracks-leading-into-a-snow-bank-in-the-ditch-next-to-the-road after dealing with winter storm road conditions If you’re injured, it’s essential to consult with a personal injury attorney who understands the specific challenges of winter driving accidents. Understand Your Rights: An experienced personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process of claiming compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Conclusion

Winter driving in Iowa can be challenging, but being prepared and knowing the right steps to take can make all the difference. Remember, safety is paramount, and legal preparedness is your right. If you’ve been injured in a crash and need legal help, don’t hesitate to fill out the form below or call our free personal injury helpline at (319) 294-4424. At The Biker Lawyers, we’re here to help you ride through the legal storm.

Request a FREE Personal Injury Consultation

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A Slippery Situation: Legal Insights on Slip and Fall Accidents

A Slippery Situation: Legal Insights on Slip and Fall Accidents

Navigating the Slippery Slope: Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents

Introduction

It’s time for a few legal insights on slip and fall accidents.

Picture this: You’ve just left your favorite local shop on a warm evening, and are looking forward to the ride home. Suddenly, your foot catches on an uneven patch of pavement, and before you know it, you’re on the ground, pain shooting through your knee.

Who do you call? If you’re seriously hurt, who’s at fault?

TL;DR:

  • Slip and fall accidents can lead to severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.
  • They are a leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 and older.
  • It’s crucial to seek medical attention and consult a lawyer in certain scenarios.

Public and Private Property Falls

AI Generated close-up image of a person tripping on uneven pavement resulting in a slip and fall personal injury

When you slip and fall on someone else’s property, whether private or public, the property owner might be liable. Property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe conditions for the general public.  Factors like poor lighting, uneven walkways, or slippery surfaces can contribute to these accidents and play an important role in liability.

Slip & Fall Facts and Stats

Seeking Medical Attention

AI Generated image of an African American woman consulting with a doctor after a slip and fall resulting in leg injuries.

If you experience a head injury, loss of consciousness, or persistent pain after a fall, it’s crucial to see a doctor. Even if you feel fine, some injuries, like concussions or internal bleeding, might not show immediate symptoms.

Falls at home are equally concerning, especially for older adults. If you’re injured in your own home, seeking fair compensation from your insurance company can be a complex and even frustrating process.

Understanding Insurance Claims

Navigating insurance claims requires understanding policy details and negotiation skills.

Many people don’t even realize they aren’t required to accept the first settlement offer and simply assume that the insurance company has their best interest at heart.

Unfortunately, that’s not often the case. If you’re insured and have been hurt, you may need help dealing with insurance and fair compensation for your claim. Your insurance company (or the insurance company of the liable person) may owe you more money than you realize.

If you’re facing resistance from your insurance company or are offered an unfair settlement, legal assistance can make all the difference. Never underestimate the power of having a battle-hardened legal team in your corner.


With 40 years of experience, The Biker Lawyers understand the law, your rights, and exactly how to negotiate on your behalf.

When to Call a Lawyer

If your fall is due to negligence, such as unmarked hazards or poor maintenance, it’s time to consult a lawyer. A legal expert who specializes on legal insights on slip and fall accidents can help determine if you have a case and guide you through the claim process.

Legal Expertise for Fair Compensation

Personal Injury Attorney Dan Matzdorff consults with a client about an accident

An attorney can help evaluate your claim in-depth.  They can help ensure you receive fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Conclusion

Slip and fall accidents are more than just minor mishaps. They can lead to long-term health issues and financial burdens. Whether the injury happened in a public space or your home, understanding the implications and knowing when to seek medical and legal help is crucial.

Remember, at The Biker Lawyers, we’re here to support you beyond the road. Our expertise extends to personal injury law in nearly all scenarios, ensuring your rights are protected. If you’ve experienced a slip and fall accident, don’t hesitate to call us at (319) 294-4424 for a free consultation.

Related: Are you liable if someone falls and gets injured on your property?Image of a person slipping on snow-covered stairs to promote an article about slip and fall liability

Small Accident, Big Consequences: The Need for Legal Guidance After a Crash

Small Accident, Big Consequences: The Need for Legal Guidance After a Crash

Minor Crash, Major Impact: The Importance of Consulting a Lawyer

Introduction

Imagine this: you’re cruising down a scenic Iowa road on your motorcycle, the sun setting in the distance. Suddenly, a car swerves into your lane, causing a minor scrape. You feel fine, the bike has just a few scratches, and the car driver is apologetic. It seems like a straightforward, minor incident.

Yet, the next day you start having pain in your back and left shoulder, and the quotes for the repair bills are higher than expected. This story is all too common in the biking community, highlighting a crucial but often overlooked issue: the importance of consulting a lawyer after even the most minor of crashes.

Why? Let’s delve into it, uncovering why legal advice is not just a precaution, but a necessity.

TL;DR:

  • Even minor crashes can lead to significant legal and financial issues.
  • Lawyers help navigate insurance claims and ensure fair compensation.
  • Legal advice is crucial for addressing potential delayed injuries.
  • Attorneys can identify and pursue compensation for hidden damages.
  • Consultation with a lawyer safeguards your rights and future claims.
  • Consider the 4 common concerns after a crash:
    • Cost NOT to hire a lawyer
    • When to consult with an attorney
    • If you actually need a lawyer
    • The risks of going alone against an insurance company

Understanding Your Rights and Insurance Claims

Even the most minor of crashes can result in an overwhelming process to find a resolution. No one expects you to be an expert on what your individual rights are in every situation or on the nuances of navigating negotiations with insurance companies. 

Frankly, insurance companies are banking on being able to take advantage of your understandable lack of knowledge of the ins and outs of personal injury law.

Look at it this way, if your bike had a problem and you didn’t know how to fix it, you wouldn’t trust just anyone to work on it. You’d bring it to an expert mechanic to make sure it’s done right. We’re like legal mechanics when it comes to crashes – no matter how minor or extreme.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Watercolor Splash image of a greedy insurance adjuster sitting in piles of cash

Navigating the complex world of insurance claims is challenging. After a minor crash, insurers often aim to settle quickly and cheaply. A lawyer understands the tactics insurance companies use and ensures you don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Protecting Your Rights

It’s crucial to understand your rights following an accident. A lawyer can explain your rights, helping you avoid decisions that could jeopardize future claims. They ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.

The Hidden Impacts of Minor Accidents

Image of a technician working on detail work of a motorcycle's paint job

Just as a small, unnoticed leak can eventually cause major damage, the impact of a minor accident might not be immediately apparent. It’s easy to overlook the potential consequences when everything seems fine on the surface.

Like a mechanic who catches those sneaky under-the-hood issues, a lawyer spots the hidden effects of a minor crash. This includes stuff like delayed injuries or unseen bike damage – problems you don’t want to miss.

A key NHTSA study, ‘Exploring the Relationship Between Entry-Level Motorcycle Rider Training and Motorcycle Crashes‘, backs this up. It shows that bike crashes, big or small, are complex beasts. The study dives into how crashes affect both new and seasoned riders differently, highlighting why expert legal help is a must. 

It’s not just about the crash; it’s about the curveballs that are thrown at you later.

Delayed Injury Symptoms

A man with a neck injury being evaluated by a doctor

What seems minor initially can evolve into significant health issues. Many injuries, like whiplash or internal bruising, aren’t immediately apparent. A lawyer helps link these delayed symptoms to the accident, crucial for compensation claims.

The Value of Legal Expertise

Personal Injury Attorneys, The Biker Lawyers Dan Matzdorff and Pete Leehey consult with a client

Navigating the aftermath of a motorcycle crash, big or small, can be as complex as disassembling and reassembling an engine. Just as you wouldn’t attempt a major engine overhaul without the right knowledge and tools, handling legal matters without expertise can lead to missed opportunities and unresolved issues.

Attorneys specializing in motorcycle accidents bring a level of expertise that’s like a master mechanic for your legal needs. They have the tools, knowledge, and experience to meticulously work through the legal complexities, ensuring that every component of your case is handled with precision and care.

Expertise in Accident Law

Lawyers specializing in motorcycle accidents possess deep knowledge of relevant laws and regulations. Their expertise is invaluable in navigating legal complexities and advocating on your behalf.

Maximizing Compensation

A lawyer evaluates all aspects of your claim, including medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress, ensuring you receive fair compensation for all damages.

4 Common Rider Concerns After a Crash

Digital art piece showing two people talking in a motorcycle garage

Feeling a bit overwhelmed or uncertain after a minor crash? You’re not alone. 

Over the years, we’ve stood shoulder-to-shoulder with countless riders just like you, addressing worries and smoothing out those post-crash anxieties. 

We get it – the road after an accident can be full of twists and turns. But here at The Biker Lawyers, we’ve seen it all and understand exactly what’s on your mind. Let’s tackle your concerns together, ensuring you’re equipped with the knowledge and confidence to navigate this journey.

1. I can’t afford a lawyer, so why hire one?

Think of it like this: the initial legal consultation is like a free test ride. You’ve got nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. 

Our firm works on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay attorney fees unless we get you money. We’re in it together. There’s no downside to talking to us about your rights. It is likely we will be able to help you recover far more from the insurance company than if you try to go it alone.

2. How quickly should I consult a lawyer after a minor crash?

It’s like checking your bike right after a rough ride. The sooner, the better. Legal issues, like mechanical problems, can get worse over time if ignored. Consulting a lawyer immediately ensures that your rights are protected right from the start, and important evidence is preserved.

3. What if I only have minor pain after the accident? Do I still need a lawyer?

Minor pains after an accident often become worse over time. Even minor injuries need to be checked out and followed. That way, if the injuries get worse later, you will have made a record of your injuries. 

Seeing a doctor for the first time weeks after the accident opens the door for the insurance company to claim your injuries were caused by something other than the accident. 

A lawyer can best help you navigate the problems that can be caused by delayed symptoms if you get the lawyer involved shortly after your accident.

4. Can I handle the insurance claim myself?

Handling an insurance claim alone is like tuning your bike’s engine without the right tools and expertise. You might manage the basics, but you could miss critical details. A lawyer knows the ins and outs of insurance claims and can help you navigate the process effectively, ensuring you get what you’re entitled to.

Conclusion

Cedar Rapids Iowa based Personal Injury Attorney Pete Leehey meets a client outside a courthouse.

The story from our introduction isn’t just a narrative; it’s a reality for many bikers. Consulting a lawyer after a minor crash isn’t about being litigious; it’s about protecting your health, finances, and rights. Don’t let a minor accident turn into a major headache. 

Remember, at The Biker Lawyers, we’re not just attorneys; we’re bikers too. We understand your journey because it’s ours as well. Our role as your legal mechanics is to ensure your journey through this process is as smooth and successful as possible, making sure you’re back on the road with confidence and peace of mind. 

For a free consultation and to ensure your ride remains safe and just, contact us today.

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