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June 2013 Archives

Iowa Personal Injury Dog Attacks Increasing

Two dogs recently attacked and severely injured a 62 year old man in Des Moines. The injury to the man's arm was so severe that his treating plastic surgeon, Dr. Bryan Folkers, thought that he would have to amputate the man's arm. Fortunately, Dr. Folkers and Dr. Bergman, were able to save the man's arm and he is recovering.  The two dogs were chows and one of the dogs, a male, has now been euthanized.  The Des Moines Register reported that this was the latest in an increasing number of dog bite injuries.  The Register did not cite any study in support of this opinion and it appears to be based on antidotal evidence.  Dr. Folkers was quoted as saying he regularly treats five or more dog bites a week and the Register reported a recent case in which a Dallas County woman's nose was bitten off by a dog. 

2 Iowa motorcyclists injured in hit-and-run accident

Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling way of getting from one place to another. Especially during the summer months, riders can be seen all across Iowa highways. For the most part, motorists respect motorcyclists and share the road responsibly with the smaller vehicles. But unfortunately, too many riders are catastrophically injured in accidents caused by drivers who are not so responsible.

New study on designated drivers reveals sobering statistic

Drunk driving accidents are some of the most senseless types of crashes on the road. Generally speaking, these accidents are completely preventable. And yet there are too many times when people are catastrophically or fatally injured in a crash simply because a driver has gotten behind the wheel after drinking too much. Any driver who has consumed a certain amount of alcohol can be affected by impairment, but too many people do not take this risk seriously. They do not seem to realize that their impaired reflexes, poor decision-making skills and blurred vision make them a hazard on the road. All too often, however, these are the drivers who end up crashing into an innocent victim. 

Distracted drivers still a threat to pedestrian safety in Iowa

Too many of us have come face-to-face with a distracted and dangerous driver. In many cases, a person is simply walking on sidewalks or in crosswalks when suddenly a car comes out of nowhere and either hits the pedestrian or nearly hits the pedestrian. These types of collisions are far too common in Des Moines and pedestrian accidents are often caused by a driver who is distracted by a phone and fails to pay attention. 

$32.8 Million Verdict in Personal Injury Case

The Iowa Court of Appeals recently affirmed a jury verdict awarding six plaintiffs and their family members a total of $32.8 million. The plaintiffs sued Cooper Tire and Rubber Company following a rollover accident involving a single multi-passenger van accident.  The involved van was ten years old at the time of accident and had multiple prior owners.  The odometer reflected over 145,000 miles on the van.  The service history of the van was not known.  The van's tires were all replacement tires.  Two of the tires were manufactured by Cooper Tire.  Immediately prior to the accident, the tread on one of the Cooper tires separated, which led to the rollover accident.  The tire was estimated to have over 35,000 miles on it at the time of the accident. One passenger was uninjured, one was killed, one was paralyzed from the neck down, and the others suffered varying degrees of personal injuries.  Of the $32.8 million in damages awarded by the jury, $28.4 million was awarded to the paralyzed passenger, and of this amount $24.5 million was primarily for the cost of 24 hour in home care for the remainder of her life.  The evidence regarding the cost of future medical care was provided by a certified life care planner.

Side effects of allergy medicine may include car accidents

Getting in the car to run some errands, drive to work or pick up the kids from soccer practice is something that we do nearly every day. Driving may simply be a way to get from here to there and many of us have been doing it for years. And unless alcohol is involved, people generally do not think about whether or not they are fit to drive before getting in their car.

Missed Statute of Limitations Results in Dismissal

For the second time in less than two months, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court's dismissal of a wrongful death case in a medical negligence case. On May 30, 2013, the court issued its opinion in Hammen et al. v. Lynette I. Iles, M.D. and Washington County Hospital and Clinics. In Hammen, the parents of an infant boy brought suit in their name after their son died from complications suffered during birth. The two year statute of limitations ran on on June 10, 2011. While the parents had filed suit in their name prior to this date, an estate for their infant son had not yet been opened when the statute of limitations ran. The parents later opened an estate and tried to amend their lawsuit to add the estate's claims. The trial court ruled, and the Iowa Court of appeals affirmed, that since no estate was in existence on the date that the statute of limitations ran that the estate was not entitled to maintain a wrongful death claim and the case was dismissed. The Hammen case illustrates the importance of naming the proper party as well as the importance of filing a wrongful death lawsuit caused by medical negligence within two years of learning of the the death. It also illustrates the importance of seeking legal advice from a law firm experienced in prosecuting medical negligence cases.  Fortunately for the parents, the entire case was not dismissed and the parents' claims for loss of their son's consortium was allowed to continue, despite the Defendants' efforts to dismiss those claims.

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