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Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

Helping surviving loved ones with wrongful death actions

Losing a loved one is often one of the most difficult times individuals in Iowa will go through. Although death is a part of life, when a family member or friend is suddenly killed at the hands of a negligent party, this can be emotionally and mentally devastating. Whether it is a negligent driver, medical professional, manufacturer or employer, the negligence or recklessness of a party could be the reason a loved one was fatally injured. When this occurs, surviving members should understand that they may be able to hold a liable party responsible for their negligent acts.

At Galligan & Reid, P.C., we understand that a person's world can completely change after a loved one is killed in a fatal accident. A catastrophic event can leave surviving family members dealing with a tremendous amount of emotional, mental and financial distress. This may be especially true if the victim was the main income earner for the household.

What are some common causes of fatal boating accidents?

With warm whether finally settling in Iowa and other states across the nation, residents are getting their boats ready to put in the water. While nautical activities such as riding in speedboats, jet skis and small fishing boat are a great way to enjoy a warm spring or summer day, these activities do pose some risks to those on the water. Driving a boat, much like an automobile, requires a driver to use caution and care when operating a watercraft. The failure to do so could cause a serious or even fatal collision.

What are the common causes of fatal boat accidents? A recent report by the U.S. Coast Guard examined the recreational boating statistics for 2014 when assessing the cause of fatal boating crashes. Based on this report, 4,064 accidents occurred in 2014, and out of those boat accidents, 610 involved deaths.

Motorcycle fatality rate in the state of Iowa

While many Iowa residents are still waiting for spring weather to manifest a firmer presence before they take their motorcycle out of storage, others have been able to enjoy the sporadic warm weather on their bike. Whether it is for a short trip around town or a long motorcycle ride across the state, motorcyclists should take caution each time they hit the road. Moreover, other motorists should continuously be on the lookout for these small vehicles, because the failure to stop and yield to motorcycles frequently results in a serious or fatal collision.

According to recent statistics, there were a total of 39 fatal motorcycle accidents in the state of Iowa during 2015. Of those, 41 individuals died in these accidents. While most motorcycle crashes occurred between July and September, three fatalities occurred in March and four fatalities happened in April. This indicates that even during early spring when it might still be somewhat chilly, motorcyclists are still likely to take a chance on the roads.

Iowa cyclist stuck and injured by hit-and-run driver

While numerous residents in Iowa rely on motor vehicles to get around, some ride bicycles or travel by foot. Although these are efficient and often safe methods of transportation, there are some dangers associated with riding bicycles and being a pedestrian. Often times, cyclists and pedestrians travel near or next to traffic; therefore, this presents some chances for a bicycle or pedestrian accident, especially if a driver is distracted or otherwise fails to uphold their duty to drive safely.

According to recent reports, Iowa authorities were recently dispatched to a hit-and-run accident involving a cyclist. Davenport police believe that the accident occurred around 10:20 p.m. when a driver struck the 56-year-old man riding his bicycle. The cyclist suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash.

What type of violations could truck inspections reveal?

While it is not uncommon for drivers in Iowa and elsewhere to share the road with large trucks, the drivers of these semi-trucks and tractor-trailer trucks have to undergo additional training to drive these large vehicles. Moreover, commercial trucks also have to undergo inspections and routine maintenance to ensure that they are safe to travel long distances. If a trucking company or truck driver fails to meet the standards set by federal trucking regulations, they will likely receive a citation for their violation and ordered to be out-of-service. Additionally, failing to comply with these regulations could result in hazards on the roadways and possibly serious and even fatal truck accidents.

What type of violations could truck inspections reveal? According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance or CVSA, roughly 70,000 trucks and buses were inspected in June of 2015. Of those, 44,989 trucks received a Level I inspection, which resulted in nearly a quarter of them being placed out-of-service.

Rate of fatal drunk driving accidents in Iowa

Drunk drivers are a hazardous presence on the roadways. Whether or not a driver believes they can safely operate a vehicle, if they have consumed enough alcohol to put them over the legal limit, they are drunk driving. A drunk driver not only risks their own life and those within their vehicle but also the lives of those traveling near their vehicle. Driving under the influence could cause a driver to cross the centerline, enter the wrong side of traffic, fail to stop at a sign or signal or yield to a pedestrian. These negligent acts could easily cause an alcohol-related crash.

According to recent statistics, the number of fatalities caused by a drunk driver in Iowa from 2003 to 2012 was 968. The rate of deaths in Iowa during 2012 was 3.2. This rate did not deviate much from the national average, which was 3.3 that year.

Helping drunk driving victims seek justice

The dangers of drinking and driving are well known; however, some drivers in Iowa and elsewhere negligently get behind the wheel after they had too much to drink. Even when a driver believes that they are not over the limit and are capable of driving a vehicle, he or she may not be able to operate a vehicle safely. This could unfortunately result in an automobile collision.

At Galligan & Reid, P.C., we understand that tragedy often befalls a drunk driving accident, and victims and their loved ones are left dealing with a tremendous amount of pain and emotion. Those harmed by a drunk driver often seek to hold a driver responsible; however, victims must prove fault and liability. Our legal team is prepared to handle ass aspects of a drunk driving case, from investigation to representation at trial.

How dangerous is distracted driving?

With the growing technology today, more and more individuals in Iowa and elsewhere rely on technology to get through their days. Additionally, vehicles today are equipped with more gadgets and gizmos to make the vehicle more efficient and alluring. And while added technology within a vehicle can be appealing, using technology while behind the wheel can generate many risks on the roadway. Whether a driver is using automobile technology, texting while driving or doing another distracting activity, distracted driving poses many threats to driver safety.

How dangerous is distracted driving? A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America focused on the riskiest driver-related factors that resulted in a collision. The study collected data from more than 3,500 drivers over a course of a three-year period by continuously collecting observation data via multiple onboard video cameras and sensors.

Improving the safety of intersections in Iowa

Every day, motorists in Iowa travel through intersections. Depending on the traffic that moves through an intersection, either signs or signals will be used to control the vehicles. While these measures are used to make intersections safe, if an intersection is not properly controlled, it could be more prone to intersection accidents. This is especially true if a driver is negligent or distracted and fails to stop at a sign or red light.

In order to improve the safety of intersections in Iowa and elsewhere, certain countermeasures are implemented. Depending on the factors that make an intersection dangerous or risky for travelers, various countermeasures are likely to be more effective in improving safety than others.

Fatal medical errors and lack of public disclosure impact Iowans

Individuals in Iowa go to hospitals because these facilities are equipped with medical professionals and tools necessary to diagnose, treat and heal ill and injured patients. While hospitals serve the purpose to help those in medical need, some patients unfortunately end up in a worse condition than when they entered the facility. A medical error, no matter how simple or how major it is, could even cost the patient his or her life.

According to a recent report, it is estimated that every two minutes, a patient at a U.S. hospital dies dues to a medical error. Moreover, most of these fatal medical errors are never publicly reported. Due to the way hospitals report medical errors occurring within their facility, many consumers are unable to determine what hospitals are likely to cause a medication mistake, surgical error or even a misdiagnosis.