Personal Injury

Personal injuries are no laughing matter, and they can negatively affect your life in a variety of ways. First and foremost, the pain and suffering associated with a personal injury can be agonizing, and you may suffer chronic pain and disability for years as a result of your injury. Some injuries cause emotional strain, stress, anxiety, and depression.

Furthermore, an injury can impede your ability to work your normal job, either completely eliminating or drastically reducing your income. Because there are so many negative consequences of personal injuries, you need to make sure that you receive every penny of the compensation you deserve, not only to offset medical expenses and lost wages, but to see that you are fairly compensated for the pain and suffering that can change your life for the worse. Also, be aware that if you were hurt on the job, you are likely entitled to workers compensation.

Personal Injuries are on the Rise

From auto accidents to medical malpractice, personal injuries are extremely common. In fact, according to statistics compiled by the United States Government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 31 million personal injuries that require medical attention occur each year. Unfortunately, some personal injuries even lead to fatalities, in which the family of the deceased is usually entitled to compensation under wrongful death laws. What many people do not realize, however, is that without an experienced attorney to defend their rights, they are likely leaving money for the insurance company to keep, money that should be going to the injured party. Victims of personal injuries caused by the fault of another party are legally entitled to compensation for damages to their health and property.

Seeking Help after an Injury in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City or any of the Surrounding Areas

After your personal injury, the very first thing you need to consider is getting healthcare. Once you have had a chance to catch your breath, and attend to your medical needs, you then need to reach out to an attorney who has expertise with your specific type of injury to seek compensation. Tom Riley Law Firm has helped literally thousands of victims recover restitution for their injuries over the past 35 years, and we would be honored to help you recover financially for your pain and suffering, physical or emotional, too.

Wrongful Death

The passing of a loved one can create an extremely distressing period of time for the family of the deceased, especially when the loss is due to someone’s negligence or carelessness. The last thing you want is a financial burden on top of your emotional stress. Medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost income can create an extremely unfavorable financial situation, but you are likely entitled to compensation to help offset these costs.

What is a Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death results when another individual’s negligence (i.e., carelessness) contributes to the death of another human being. Even though they may be unintentional, an individual’s actions may be held legally at fault for a failure to respect another person’s health or safety. Wrongful deaths are frequently seen with auto accidents, product liability cases, and medical malpractice. The following are some typical examples of wrongful deaths:

Auto accidents resulting in fatalities due to careless driving, especially driving while intoxicated

Deaths from a hazardous work environment (i.e. construction accidents)

Deaths resulting from a fire at an unsafe premises

Deaths resulting from defective building designs

Car-pedestrian/bicyclist fatalities

Medical malpractice fatalities

Defective medicines and drugs

Attacks from pets and other animals

Intentional acts of murder or injury

Many times, if the death was reasonably avoidable and caused in part by the negligence of another individual or company, you have the basis for a wrongful death claim. Furthermore, the immediate family — parents, children, and spouses – are likely entitled under the law to receive compensation for the loss of future family companionship and affection for one another.

Seeking Aid after a Wrongful Death

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another individual, you need to seek help as quickly as possible. Financial issues can overburden a family in a time of need, and the sooner you seek help, the sooner we can help you receive compensation to cover your unexpected expenses. Furthermore, you can bet that if the fault of another driver causes a personal injury or wrongful death accident, the wrongdoer’s insurance company will send an adjuster out to take statements and begin an investigation within days of the accident. Adjusters want to take a statement from the innocent party before he or she visits an attorney who will inform the innocent party of the law and the reasons not to give a statement to an adjuster.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Representing Injury Victims in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and the Surrounding Areas

Work in and of itself can be challenging, especially if you work a job that is very physically demanding. Welders and construction workers are constantly in hazardous environments, but they are not the only laborers susceptible to work related injuries. Engineers, heavy equipment operators, machinists, and many other types of workers are exposed to conditions that can have serious adverse health consequences on a regular basis. Workplaces are bound by governmental safety standards and precautions, but employers don’t always succeed in meeting these safety policies. If you have been injured on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation to fill the void in your income when you lack the ability to perform your regular duties, and your employer will be responsible for the medical bills. The following are some of the more common types of injuries that happen on the job.

Slips and Falls

Many work environments are littered with obstructions, slick surfaces, and uneven footing. A slip and fall injury on the job will likely entitle you to workers’ compensation.


Any kind of heavy lifting can cause strain on your muscles. The most common type of overexertion claims are related to the lower back and the shoulder, but it is possible to harm any number of muscle systems as a result of lifting, pushing, or pulling.

Foreign Object Strikes and Collisions

Auto accidents, pipeline welding accidents, and machining accidents can all cause an individual to be pushed against a stationary object on the job. Nerve damage, painful muscle damage, and broken bones are very common, and these situations often create eligibility for workers’ compensation.

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Though you may not stereotype a repetitive motion injury as a common cause for workers’ compensation, these types of claims are happening much more frequently. Though some of these injuries can be caused by repetitive physical labor (such as swinging a hammer), many can be caused by computer use. Tendons, ligaments, and muscles can wear down over time simply by typing on a keyboard.

If you have been injured on the job, don’t wait to find an experienced attorney to help fight for your right to workers’ compensation. An inability to work is financially perilous, but we can help you recover compensation for your injuries to give you peace of mind.

Products Liability

We like to assume that manufacturers have our safety in mind when they create new products, but this is not always the case. Sometimes pure negligence and a disregard for product safety causes dangers to consumers that could have otherwise been avoided. In other cases, manufacturers use inferior quality parts that pose health risks in an effort to reduce costs and increase profits.

Examples of Defective Products and Health Threats

Many products liability cases can be grouped together in common areas. Some of the more common types of defective products and risks include:

Chemical hazards – unsafe cleaning products containing chemicals that are detrimental to the health and safety of your loved ones.

Dangerous foods – manufacturers have the ability to create soda and other types of food products in mass quantities. However, a defect in manufacturing equipment or an unclean batch of product has the ability to poison masses of people.

Children’s products – children are more susceptible to hazards than adults, and even small objects represent a choking hazard. In addition, some children’s play sets use faulty materials, such as a slide with faulty fastenings.

Inadequate guarding on tools.

Automobile and transportation defects – modern automobile assembly lines and manufacturing plants are very automated. From faulty materials to machining errors, some makes and models of cars, trucks, motorbikes, and mopeds are not safe for the road and cause serious injuries or deaths.

Dangerous medicines – errors in quality control or improper drug testing procedures have the potential to seriously injure or kill thousands of people. Many times the long term side effects of drug treatments are unforeseeable and need to be recalled.

If an unsafe product has injured you or a loved one, you may be owed compensation for an adverse health condition caused by the unsafe product. The attorneys at Tom Riley Law Firm can protect your rights to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Auto Accidents

Even if you are the most responsible driver, the road is fraught with irresponsible and negligent drivers who can injure you and your loved ones’ health in split seconds. While not all auto accidents cause fatalities or require the victims to receive immediate medical attention, over 2 million people visit the emergency room annually as the result of an auto accident.

You need to realize that even if no one was seriously harmed after an auto accident, you can still be entitled to compensation for property damage. Despite the requirements of the law, not every driver is insured, and insurance companies look for ways to avoid making payments for full compensation by employing technicalities, loopholes, and their knowledge of the law to avoid paying fair compensation. (For example, see our FAQ regarding allowing an experienced insurance company adjuster to take your tape recorded statement before you are represented by a lawyer.) For these reasons, you need to find an expert attorney to fight on your behalf to ensure that you receive full compensation for damages to your health and your property.

Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Iowa

Auto accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, but in Iowa, some of the most common causes include:

Driver inattentiveness (distractions such as cell phones, radios, food, and drink)

Driving under the influence of alcohol

Driver negligence

Hazardous driving conditions due to snow, ice, and rain


Drug use

Automobiles with faulty mechanical equipment

Road rage

Finding Help after Your Accident in Iowa

After your accident, you need to seek the help of an expert auto accident attorney to collect the full amount of compensation you deserve. If you live near the Cedar Rapids or Iowa City areas and need the help of an experienced attorney, don’t hesitate to contact Tom Riley Law Firm. We have helped thousands of victims of personal injury since 1980, and we want to help you receive fair compensation for your pain and suffering.

Slip and Fall Injuries

Iowa Slip and Fall Injury Attorneys with Offices in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City

Icy walkways or areas littered with tripping hazards can harm your health and well-being in a split second. One slick surface can harm your lower body or even your arms and hands as you try to brace for the impact of a fall. However, if you have been the victim of a slip and fall injury, you need to find an attorney as soon as possible. Medical expenses for broken hips, broken bones, strains, and sprains can be quite costly, but winning compensation can offset these financial issues. Iowa law entitles the victims of such injuries to compensation for their pain and suffering.

Though slip and fall injuries are among the most common types of personal injuries, too many Americans are not aware that they are entitled to compensation in certain circumstances. Even if your injury was caused on public property, Iowa law dictates that in some instances, adjacent property owners are still held liable for injuries. For example, if a property owner fails to remove tripping hazards in front of his property, he can still be held liable for damages to your health. Although not every slip and fall accident entitles the injured party to a recovery, an experienced attorney can help you understand if you are entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.

Seeking Help in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City or Any of the Surrounding Areas

If you have been victimized, don’t hesitate to explore your options today. The experts at Tom Riley Law Firm can explain the intricate details of how to prove fault or negligence, and we want to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t allow the negligence of one individual to impair you physically and financially for years to come. Instead, consult our legal professionals to ensure a brighter future.

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles are fun to ride, but most motorcycle riders have a common expression: it’s not a matter of if you will lay your bike down, but when you will lay your bike down. Vigilance on the road and proper safety gear can do wonders for your protection, but the negligence of other motorists can still cause serious personal injury or death to operators and riders.

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Another motorist merges into you – for whatever reason (negligence, texting while driving, driving under the influence), sometimes other drivers don’t see you on the road. This is a real problem when they try to merge into your lane without seeing you.

A motorist driving slower than you cuts you off –many rear-end collisions happen as a result of motorcycle drivers being cut off by other motorists. As a motorcycle rider, you always need to be aware of other motorists’ blind spots.

Another motorist rear-ends you – crosswalks, changes in speed limits, and fast braking due to obstructions in the road can mean disaster for motorcycle operators when other motorists aren’t paying attention. Tailgating also contributes to these types of accidents.

General collisions due to a failure to communicate – many motorists can be extremely erratic. A failure to signal before making a turn is another common form of negligence that causes serious personal injuries to motorcycle riders.

Although you cannot possibly be prepared for every type of threat on the road, you should keep these causes in mind if you have recently been in an accident. The negligence of others will likely entitle you to compensation if you suffer the misfortune of being in an accident.

What to Do after a Motorcycle Accident

After your accident, you should consider the aid of Tom Riley Law Firm to gain full compensation for your injuries and property damage. Don’t sell yourself short. Contact us today to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Trucking Accidents

Compared to other parts of the United States, Iowa is known for having harsher winters with more ice and snow. As such, Iowa roads are much more hazardous than roads in the Southern half of the US. Though we are better equipped to deal with snow and ice (e.g., with stocks of salt, sand, and snow plows) than are other states, the risk of a truck accident is still a frightening prospect to many people. When roads become slick or icy, it becomes much easier to lose control of a truck.

While it is true that trucks are equipped with more wheels and more advanced braking systems than standard vehicles to manage their heavy loads, ice still increases the chance of a trucking accident resulting in a multicar pileup. Black ice can cause a driver to jackknife or fail to brake in time, resulting in numerous personal injuries and, sadly enough, even fatalities.

Even small amounts of rain can cause oil spots on the road to become extremely slick, resulting in the loss of control of a fully loaded semi-truck. Unfortunately, trucking accidents are devastating by nature, due to their heavy loads and large sizes. The most common results of trucking accidents include personal injuries of all shapes and sizes, wrongful deaths, and massive amounts of property damage (i.e. totaled vehicles).

After the Accident

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a preventable trucking accident, you need to reach out to Tom Riley Law Firm. We have been helping the victims of trucking accidents since 1980, and we can help you, too. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury under such circumstances, you are likely entitled to compensation. Furthermore, if a loved one has suffered a fatality, his or her family may be entitled to compensation for a wrongful death.

Medical Malpractice

With the outrageous cost of the American healthcare system, we like to think that we get the best care that money can buy worldwide. Shockingly, a recent survey ranked the American healthcare system as 11th best overall. Due to mistakes made for a variety of reasons, some patients end up in worse condition than they were in before they sought healthcare. Medical malpractice is on the rise and is becoming an increasingly prevalent problem in our country. In 2013 alone, 3.7 billion dollars were paid to plaintiffs for medical malpractice damages.

Sometimes medical malpractice errors don’t cause immediate harm. But they can exacerbate existing conditions or cause chronic issues that aren’t felt until years after the accident. You need to be certain you collect every penny from your malpractice claim to ensure that you didn’t suffer without recourse. Medical malpractice can cause new personal injuries, worsen existing conditions, and in some cases, even cause unnecessary deaths.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

While there are very many types of medical malpractice, the following are the most common:

Misdiagnosis (i.e., diagnosing the wrong condition)

The failure to diagnose an adverse condition in a patient

Anesthesia mistakes

Errors during surgery

Prescription medication errors by the doctor or the pharmacy (i.e., misfills)

Child birth errors

What to Do after You Have Suffered Negligent Medical Care

After you experience negligent care or mistreatment that causes a significant harm to you or a loved one, you need to contact an experienced attorney right away. Even though most persons in Iowa will have two years to file a medical malpractice case, you may not be aware that you are a victim of medical malpractice at the time the error is made, and few medical personnel are going to advise you that they have misjudged some aspect of your care or failed to do what they should have done to prevent your injury (or at least reduce the severity of the injury they were treating). Furthermore, medical malpractice cases are usually extremely complex, and may require several different expert medical witnesses to prove that one or more of the treating physicians were negligent. The patient’s lawyer will have to obtain copies of all of the medical records, determine which expert witnesses would be required to prove the case, and then contact suitable expert witnesses who are willing to testify against the defendant in the case. Ordinarily, the patient’s attorney will have to consult experts outside of Iowa in order to get an unbiased opinion from one who is willing to testify against a local medical person.

Regardless of where you decide to seek expert legal advice on the matter, do not put off meeting with a lawyer to discuss your options. It will be very hard to find a lawyer who will take your case if you contact him or her one month or two before the statute of limitations will expire on your claim. A lawyer just will not have sufficient time in one or two months to gather all of the necessary medical records, contact pertinent medical experts, and assess whether the case should be pursued. It helps no one to file a lawsuit against a doctor who did his or her duty and met the standard of care in the profession, even if the patient did suffer an unfortunate result, which certainly can occur. A bad medical outcome is not synonymous with malpractice. It takes time to do the necessary investigation to determine whether a malpractice lawsuit is in order.


Comprehensive Law Services

Our expertise goes well beyond the realms of personal injury law. We have also helped clients in the following area.

Business and Contractual Litigation

Legal disputes are a common part of doing business these days, but the lack of an experienced contract litigation attorney can be disastrous for your business. If you feel that another party has breached a contract, we can help you gain specific performance or win compensation for breaking an agreement.

Lender Disputes

Many financial contracts contain complex language that leaves parties feeling confused. If you feel you have been wronged, our expertise with lender disputes can help correct any damages another party has inflicted on you financially.

Agricultural Law

Farmers and agricultural laborers face a different set of challenges than most other professions. However, we understand and value how hard farmers work each year. In addition, we understand how much money is invested into farming equipment and land, and no one better understands this area of the law in Iowa.

Estate Planning & Probate

Preparing the division of your estate can be very challenging without competent legal assistance. We have helped countless families in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas prepare for the future with estate planning and probate law.

Wrongful Termination of Employment

Sometimes corporations try to “get away with murder” by breaching an employment contract for any number of reasons. However, you have rights that were spelled out in great detail in an employment contract. If an employer is infringing upon this agreement, we can help you win the compensation you deserve.

Civil Rights

Be aware that as an American and a resident of Iowa, you have well-defined rights that cannot be violated by an employer, merchant, or others whom you may encounter. If you have been discriminated against or your rights have been violated, it is high time to seek the help of an expert civil law attorney. Our decades of experience will help ensure that your rights are protected.