Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Personal Injury Lawyer?
As a state and country, we have established certain safety rules to help protect our community and society. At times, Corporations, Insurance Companies and other individuals may break these safety rules, causing harm to people in our community. Jim Fitzsimmons & Mindi Vervaecke are personal injury lawyers who work within the American Civil Justice System to enforce these safety rules deterring future bad conduct, making our community safer and helping people in our community recover what's fair for the harms and losses they suffer.

What types of harms and losses can I recover if I am injured due to safety rules and standards broken by a company or other person?
In Iowa, depending on the type and extent of your injury, some of the harms and losses that you may recover include your medical bills, lost wages, loss of the normal function of your body, and pain and suffering, including not being able to do some of the activities you enjoyed before the injury.

If I am injured at work, what are my rights?
Iowa Workers' Compensation Law requires employers, or their insurance companies, to pay specific benefits if you are injured at work. You have the right, under the law, to have your medical bills, prescriptions, mileage and wages for time at doctor's appointments paid. You are entitled to payment for time that a doctor keeps you off work due to your work injury. If your injury results in a permanent impairment to your body, you may be entitled to payments for that impairment, even after you return to work. For certain types of work injuries, you may also be entitled to payments if it has caused you to lose the ability to do work or compete for jobs that you could do before the injury.

Do I get to go to any doctor I choose if I am injured at work?
In Iowa, the employer or its insurance company have the right to choose which doctor you see for your work injury, though there are limitations regarding this decision. Their choice of a physician, or authorizing a medical procedure recommended by a physician, must be done reasonably and in a timely manner.

What is a statute of limitations?
All claims for personal injury and workers' compensation must be brought within a certain period of time. That time period is called a statute of limitations and generally cannot be waived. If your case is not filed within the statutory period, the person or company breaking the rules in our community will not be held accountable for their actions and you will not be able to get the relief you are entitled to under the law.

What is a mediation?
Mediation is a private, informal way to resolve a dispute. A mediator is a neutral third party who tries to aid disputing parties in reaching a mutually agreeable solution to their differences.

Do you charge a fee for the initial consultation?
No, we do not charge a fee for the first meeting. We are happy to meet with you and answer any questions you may have and there is no obligation to hire us during that first consultation.

How do you charge for your legal services?
Most people can't afford to pay $100 to over $200 per hour, like Insurance Companies pay their Corporate Defense Lawyers. Our fees are based on what we recover for you. This is known as a contingency fee. If we do not get anything for you, then we do not get paid for our time helping you. If we are successful, then our fees are generally one third of what we get for you.

What should I do after I hire a lawyer?
Communication is very important in achieving a successful lawyer client relationship. If there are changes or developments that might affect the legal issues your lawyer is working on, you should tell him or her about it. On the other hand, you have the right to know the status of your case, and your lawyers should be willing to spend time informing you about developments in your case.

Can you guarantee that I will win my case?
Of course not, however the lawyers and staff at Fitzsimmons & Vervaecke Law Firm will do our best to hold companies and people who break safety rules accountable for injuring people in our community. As a result, we will do our best to obtain for you what is fair under the law.