A personal injury claim is a lawsuit filed by a person who is a victim of an accident that occurred due to someone else’s carelessness. In Iowa, an individual who has suffered this type of injury is entitled to claim compensation. Personal injury can encompass various types of injuries including, but not limited to:
- Vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall accidents
- Fatal accidents
Statute of Limitations
Iowa has set a time limit for the time required to file a personal injury case known as the statute of limitations. This time limit is set to TWO YEARS. The statute of limitations in Iowa starts running from the date when the accident took place. During instances when the injury is discovered some time after the incident, the time starts from the date on which the injury was discovered.
Motor Vehicle Insurance Policies in Iowa
Iowa follows ‘fault’ laws for motor vehicle insurance. A person may file a claim in court against the at-fault party in order to prove fault and seek compensations. He or she may also decide to file insurance claim with his or her own insurance company. Following this policy, the injured is provided with several options. The rules under insurance policies are as follows:
- The injured party may decide to file a claim in the court and seek for compensation of damages.
- The injured party may file a claim with the insurance company, either with his or her own insurance provider or with other party’s insurer directly.
Determining Fault in Personal Injury Cases
In Iowa, rules for determining the fault in a personal injury case are based on comparative fault laws. This means that if you are found to be partially at fault in your injury case, your compensation may be reduce or get eliminated depending on your share of the fault.
Here’s an example: Imagine you are crossing the road when the traffic light is red. And suddenly a speeding driver hits you. Since you were not following the traffic rules, you are found 20 percent at fault while the speeding driver is found 80 percent at fault. As a result, the compensation gets reduced to $16,000 where it should have been $20,000.
Damage caps in Iowa
Some states place caps on the amount of damages that can be awarded in personal injury cases. Iowa however, does not place any damage caps on personal injury cases. The decision of how much compensation is to be granted totally depends upon the jury involved in the lawsuit.