Frequently Asked Questions
Medical Malpractice FAQs
Are nursing home cases considered malpractice?
It often depends on the nature of the claim against the nursing home, however, our firm treats nursing home cases as malpractice cases which require a higher degree of knowledge and skill by the attorney handling the case.
Can you file a malpractice claim against someone other than a doctor?
Yes, a claim can be brought against anyone providing medical care who is negligent including doctors, nurses, physical therapists and technicians.
Can you sue for what might have happened?
No, you cannot make a claim for damages that did not occur, despite a medical provider’s negligence.
Do most cases go to trial?
Malpractice cases tend to be more rigorously defended than most other cases, which means they go trial more often than other cases.
How can I afford to hire an attorney to represent me?
Our law firm accepts medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis. This means you don’t have to pay attorney fees unless the case is resolved favorably and a recovery is made on your behalf.
How can I find out if a doctor has been previously disciplined?
Check with your state medical licensing board to see if your doctor has been previously disciplined. If you believe your doctor has committed malpractice while providing treatment to you it is advised that you contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately.
How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
A bad medical result doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve experienced malpractice by a medical care provider. Generally, to successfully prosecute a medical malpractice case, you must have expert medical testimony that no reasonable health care provider would have done what yours did. This is known as a breach of the standard of care. If you believe you or a family member has a medical malpractice case it is advised that you contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately.
Is there a minimum or maximum amount that can be recovered?
No, the amount that can be recovered depends on the injury suffered and the extent of damages.
What is “informed consent?”
When a doctor is going to perform a procedure, he or she is required to advise the patient of the procedure that is going to be performed as well as all of the possible consequences. This is referred to as “informed consent.” If the doctor doesn’t do this, it might lead to a medical malpractice case. There are some instances where a doctor isn’t required to obtain an informed consent, such as a case where the patient is unconscious, a family member can’t be reached in an emergency or if there isn’t a living will.
What is the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case in Iowa?
Typically the statute of limitations is two years from the date the malpractice occurred or two years from when the patient reasonably should have known of the injury suffered as a result of the malpractice. It can often be difficult to determine the statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases. If you believe you may have suffered an injury as the result of a health care provider’s malpractice you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately.
Personal Injury FAQs
How can our law firm help you with your personal injury case?
We ensure that the value of your case is maximized and that you obtain the most compensation possible for the injuries you suffered. We make sure your case is resolved in a timely matter. We gather information from all parties involved. We identify and gather evidence and also plan for a trial in the event a settlement cannot be negotiated.
Will my claim end up going to trial?
Statistically, most personal injury claims are settled prior to trial. However, there is still a small percentage of claims that do result in a trial. Our law firm will always properly prepare your case for trial which forces the insurance companies to treat you fairly, and in the event they don’t, you will have nothing to worry about as our firm will assist you with every aspect of the trial proceedings.
Can I still recover for my injuries if I was partially at fault for the accident in which I was injured?
Yes, although it may result in a reduction in an award of damages. Iowa has a comparative fault system. The simple version of this system generally means that the injured person’s damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the injured party. In other words, if an injured party was 10% at fault for the accident, their damages will be reduced by 10%.
Can anything be done if you are involved in an accident and the other driver is not insured or only has minimal limits?
Yes, if you maintain the proper uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy. Often, such policies require consent prior to accepting the minimal amounts of insurance maintained by the other driver. It is advised that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney prior to entering into any settlement negotiations regarding minimal policy limits and uninsured and underinsured policies.
If you are bitten by a neighbor’s dog and the dog has never bit anyone previously, do you still have a claim for injuries suffered from the dog bite?
Yes, under Iowa law the owner of the dog is liable for all damages caused by the dog when it is attacking or attempting to bite a person. Iowa does not have a “one bite” rule. Iowa dog owners are liable for the damages caused by their dog’s first bite.
How much time do I have to file a personal injury claim?
Personal injury claims in Iowa are governed by a “statute of limitations.” This means that a lawsuit must be filed with a certain amount of time after the injury has occurred. Typically this is two-years, however it can be less in certain cases. If you have been injured, call our law firm for a FREE consultation as soon as possible and we can advise you as to exactly when you need to file your claim.
Workers’ Compensation FAQs
What is a work injury?
Generally there are four types of injuries that may be covered by workers compensation:
- A traumatic physical injury caused by a single event like bending, lifting, or falling.
- A “cumulative injury” includes injuries such as aback back, hearing loss, or carpal tunnel syndrome. This type of injury develops over a period of years and from repetitive stress or exposure.
- A disease that may be related to your job, like heart or lung disease.
- Mental/emotional injury.
What type of work injuries are covered?
In Iowa, an injury may include any health condition caused by work activities other than the normal building up and tearing down of body tissues. Diseases, ringing in the ear(s), and hearing losses caused by work activities or exposures are also injuries.
Who is eligible for workers compensation benefits?
Most employees injured in Iowa while working in Iowa are eligible for benefits. Employees hired in Iowa or whose employment is principally in Iowa may be eligible for benefits even if they are injured outside the state.
What should I do if I have a work injury?
Report it! There are important time limits to reporting a work related injury and if you miss a time limit you may lose your right to benefits.
- Make sure you immediately report the injury to your supervisor and anyone else your employer has designated.
- If your employer does not get timely notice of injury it may defeat your claim even though you suffered a work injury.
What if my employer or insurance company denies my claim or does not pay what seems fair?
You have a right to file a formal claim for benefits. You should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before doing this. An experienced attorney will assist you with the process and make sure that your claim properly submitted and will be able to ensure that a fair settlement is negotiated with your employer and its insurance company.
Can my employer fire or retaliate against me if I make a workers’ compensation claim?
No, the Iowa Supreme Court has declared any retaliation by an employer against a worker for making a work comp claim is against the law. If an employer does retaliate, it can be sued and held responsible for damages suffered by you.
Will it cost me anything to consult with an attorney about my work related injury?
No, our firm will consult with you for FREE and answer any question you may have about your work injury.
How will I pay for an attorney to represent me in my workers’ compensation claim?
Our law firm represents our client’s on a contingency fee agreement. This means that we do not collect attorney fees until a recovery is made on your behalf. Our fee is a percentage of the recovery that we obtain for you.
Slater & Norris
Slater & Norris
5070 Grand Ridge Drive
West Des Moines, IA 50265