Iowa Attorneys Representing Auto Accident, Slip & Fall, Workplace Injuries and Other Personal Injuries
Iowa is often considered one of the safer states in the nation, but there are still plenty of accidents and injuries that put Iowans out of work, rack up medical bills and cause a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering.
Each state allows injured people to collect compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages so they don’t end up paying for the costs of an injury out of their own pockets. Each state has a slightly different spin on these laws. Some of these statutes and rules effect how long after an accident you have to file a claim, the maximum amount you can collect and the types of damages you may be eligible to receive.
Statute of Limitation in Iowa
There are windows in which injury victims must file a personal injury lawsuit. In Iowa, as in most states, there is a two-year statute of limitation on personal injury claims. In most cases, damages must be sought within two years of the accident itself, but there are situations, such as with medical malpractice, where the countdown doesn’t begin until the injury victim discovers the injury.
There are other exceptions to the Iowa personal injury statute of limitations, such as if the injury victim is a minor or the person who caused the injury is outside of the state and unreachable when the injured party attempts to file.
Iowa Comparative Fault Laws
Many states have slightly different comparative fault or contributory negligence laws. Iowa is fairly average with its comparative fault rules – if you are partially at fault you can still collect money in a personal injury case, but the money will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. For example, if your verdict was for $100,000 and the court decided you were 20 percent at fault you would only receive $80,000.
However, if you are found to be mostly at fault – 50 percent or more – you will not be able to collect anything.
No Damage Caps in Iowa
Iowa has not limited the amount of damages you can collect for economic or non-economic damages until recently. The only real caps are in medical malpractice cases against healthcare providers. In 2017 the state senate based a $250,000 “soft cap” on non-economic damages. However, this cap may not apply to every case.
In most Iowa personal injury cases your verdict can’t be reduced to an artificially applied cap, which is often a benefit for plaintiffs with severe, life-altering injuries.
Pain and suffering damages – which are non-economic damages – could be very high in cases where a person is left with severe scarring, physical or mental disabilities or severe emotional trauma in the wake of an injury inflicted by someone else’s negligence.
Iowa is a Strict Dog Bite Liability State
There is no “one bite” rule in Iowa, meaning dog owners can be held liable for injuries their pet causes after the first incident. In some states, dog owners are given one free pass under the assumption that they didn’t know their dog was dangerous prior to the dog biting someone. Iowa puts a higher standard on dog owners, meaning Iowa dog owners need to be extra cautious when it comes to following leash laws and pet discipline.