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Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

Helping Iowa residents involved in motorcycle crashes

To many, motorcyclists appear to be a fun and effective way to travel around. While these small vehicles can be very reliable and enjoyable to ride, they also pose many risks to riders. Unlike other vehicles, motorcycles do not have a protective shell helping to guard against serious injuries in the event of a crash. Additionally, the small size of these vehicles can sometimes make them difficult to spot. If a driver fails to check blind spots or yield to oncoming traffic, a serious motorcycle crash could ensue.

At Galligan & Reid, P.C., we understand that the aftermath of a motorcycle collision can be tragic and life altering. We also recognize that it can be a difficult time for those suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident. Oftentimes, accident victims suffer head injuries. Even when a helmet and protective gear is worn, riders in Iowa could suffer a traumatic brain injury, spinal injuries and other injuries that could be temporarily or permanently disabling.

Winter weather leads to weather-related car accidents

The winter months can bring all types of weather for Iowa residents. Although it is common to see snowfall, ice, slush, fog, sleet and rain during these months, weather can become severe, making it difficult for motorists to travel safely on the roadways. Whether a motorist is a well-seasoned driver in winter weather or not, inclement weather can play a major role in car crashes. This is especially true if a driver does not alter his or her driving habits for the current road conditions caused by the weather.

Weather can play an active role on the roads, leading to visual impairments and impacting driver capabilities and vehicle performance. According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 5,760,000 automobile collisions occur each year. Of these crashes, roughly 22 percent or about 1,259,000 are weather-related accidents.

Could helmets reduce fatal motorcycle accidents in Iowa?

Although it is not currently motorcycle season, Iowa residents should always be aware of the safety concerns posed to motorcyclists and passengers on roadways across the state. However, Iowa does not have mandatory helmet laws, so even when motorcyclists follow the rules of the road, they could be subject to serious or even fatal injuries if a negligent driver collides with them.

Could helmets reduce fatal motorcycle accidents in Iowa? Based on estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 37 percent fewer motorcycle fatalities would occur if all motorcyclists on the roadways wore helmets. Additionally, victims of a serious motorcycle crash are less likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury if a helmet was worn at the time of the incident.

Iowa pastor injured in drunk driving crash

Day or night, weekday or weekend, Iowa residents could have an unfortunate encounter with a negligent driver. Whether the driver is traveling at a high rate of speed, is texting while driving, is intoxicated behind the wheel or a combination of any of these, a negligent driver could be the cause of a serious automobile collision. When it comes to drunk driving accidents, in addition to the possibility of criminal charges, those harmed by a negligent driver could hold that driver responsible through a civil action.

Iowa authorities were recently dispatched to a drunk driving crash in Newton. According to preliminary reports, the accident involved a pastor from the Community Heights Alliance Church and a 19-year-old driver. Police believe that the accident occurred shortly after the pastor led an evening prayer time with his congregation.

Holding a driver responsible for an alcohol-related accident

A drunk driver on the roadways is dangerous regardless if the motorist has a past DUI or not. Nonetheless, many efforts are made in Iowa and other states to prevent first time and repeat drunk driving offenders. When a drunk driving accident occurs, an alleged drunk driver could face criminal charges. Additionally, injured victims could also pursue a civil action against the negligent driver.

Following an alcohol-related accident or a suspected drunk driving crash, injured victims may want to hold a drunk driver liable for the injuries and damages they caused. When filing a personal injury claim, it is important that victims fully investigate the details of the incident. This also means uncovering information about the accused driver, such as whether he or she was convicted of a past DUI, currently had a suspended or revoked license or was required to use an ignition interlock device.

Are commercial vehicle intervention safety programs effective?

While there are motor safety initiatives regarding commercial vehicles, residents in Iowa and elsewhere and likely concerned about the reduction of truck accidents across the nation. However, by increasing safety measures and accountability, national programs are seeing some success in commercial vehicle accident reduction.

Do intervention safety programs reduce commercial vehicle accidents? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, an effectiveness model has been used as a tool to measure the safety benefits of intervention programs. This is conducted under the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) enforcement program, and includes an array of intervention types such as compliance reviews, warning letters, offsite investigations, onsite focused investigations and onsite comprehensive investigations.

Offsetting financial burdens after the loss of a loved one

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is often a very difficult event to cope with. When a tragic accident suddenly takes the life of a family member this can be a traumatic and challenging time. At Galligan & Reid, P.C., our attorneys understand that dealing with the death of a loved one due to the negligence or recklessness of another party is a tough situation, and because of that, our law firm is dedicated to helping Iowa residents understand the recourses available to them.

Whether it is due to a fatal car accident, truck crash, medical error, work accident or any other fatal incident, our knowledgeable and skilled legal team has helped past clients navigate their civil actions. Our law firm will fully investigate the incident and is capable of taking on complex litigation cases.

Drunk driving and speeding cause fatal crashes during holidays

During the holidays, many Iowa residents are planning and preparing for their celebrations. While this is a joyous time of the year, it is also a time when motorists need to be extra cautious on the roadways. Not only does the weather play a role in motor vehicle accidents during this time of year, but negligent drivers are also a major cause of fatal accidents during the holidays.

There are a lot of reasons for an increase in serious and fatal crashes around the holidays; however, drunk driving plays a major role. In fact, roughly 39 percent of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. Based on a ten-year study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding was also a major factor in fatal holiday collisions.

Why do wrong-way auto accidents occur?

Driver errors can contribute to serious and even fatal crashes on Iowa roadways. As a previous post discussed, driving on the wrong side of the road could be the cause of a car collision. A wrong-way driver could collide with another driver head-on or even initiate a multi-vehicle crash. But what causes this type of driver error? A better understanding could help reduce and even prevent wrong-way crashes.

Why do wrong-way accidents occur? According to a 2012 report by the National Transportation Safety Board, there are several factors to consider when assessing causes and preventative measures for wrong-way crashes. The focus of this study considered alcohol impairment, drug impairment and elderly drivers when assessing the causes of wrong-way driving on high-speed divided highways and access ramps.

Two killed and 1 injured in a wrong-way crash in Iowa

There are various factors that contribute to a car accident; however, in many cases, negligence plays a major role. When a driver gets behind the wheel fatigued, is speeding, is intoxicated or is driving recklessly, he or she is not upholding their duty to drive safely. The negligence or recklessness of a driver could easily lead to a serious or even fatal automobile collision, and those harmed or impacted by such an incident should understand what legal recourse is available.

Authorities in Iowa were recently dispatched to a wrong-way crash. The collision initially involved two vehicles, but a third and fourth vehicle collided with the second vehicle following the original wrong-way crash. According to preliminary reports, the crash occurred on Highway 27 around 9 p.m.