Injured in a motor vehicle crash, slip and fall on property, or another type of accident?
You’re probably considering filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover your losses.
As you mull over your decision, remember that there are time limitations that affect your rights. These time limits are called the statute of limitations.
There’s a statute of limitations in every US state, including Iowa, and the law can have a significant impact on whether you can get compensation for your losses.
Though you should trust a personal injury lawyer to handle the details, you should still review the time limits to file a case in your state.
Overview of the Iowa Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
A statute of limitations establishes a time limit on your right to file a lawsuit in a personal injury case.
Under Iowa’s statute of limitations, you have two years, in most cases, to start litigation against the at-fault party. The clock starts running on the date of your accident.
Note that filing a claim with an insurance company is NOT the same as filing a lawsuit in court. The statute of limitations doesn’t stop while you’re trying to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.
The time limit may be as short as a year when a state, a county, or a city is involved.
This is why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you with your claim as early as possible.
Severe Consequences for Missing the Filing
If you don’t start a lawsuit in civil court within the one or two-year statute of limitations, you lose the right to seek compensation.
The law acts as a complete defense, which means that the defendant can request the court to dismiss your case.
You’re forever barred from recovering monetary damages once you are beyond this time limit.
Special Considerations Under the Iowa Statute of Limitations
There are some notes to keep in mind about the law, which could still allow you to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has run out:
- If you were not able to discover your injuries through reasonable diligence, you may have extra time to file a lawsuit. This situation occasionally arises in medical malpractice cases, where the patient didn’t know about the injury until more than a year or two after it occurred.
- Under 18, you’re a minor and under a legal disability. Only adults can file a lawsuit. The clock starts when you reach the age of 18.
- There are other limited circumstances when there may be an argument to get around a statute of limitations. This takes an experienced attorney to identify and guide you through these situations.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney for Free
If you have more questions about the Iowa statutes of limitations and how it applies to personal injury cases, please contact VanDerGinst Law and talk to one of our attorneys or intake specialists today.
We can provide more detail on your claim after we learn more about your circumstances.
The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.