How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Iowa?

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How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Iowa?

Being in an accident that someone else caused can leave you with medical expenses, property damage, emotional trauma, and many other losses. One of the options you have is to file a personal injury claim to get compensation for what you’ve suffered, but this isn’t as simple as it may seem.

For one thing, there are deadlines you have to watch for in Iowa. Learn more about what a personal injury claim is and how long you have to file one.

Understanding Personal Injury Claims in Iowa

A personal injury claim seeks to understand who caused the accident that resulted in injuries and to compensate the victim, or plaintiff. The first step in the process is to ensure that you’ve suffered a personal injury and that someone is liable.

Most of the time, this means proving negligence. To do so, Iowa requires you to establish that the other party had a duty of care, that they breached that duty, and that this breach led to injuries and losses you can be compensated for.

As a plaintiff, you can claim economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage, while non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

Statute of Limitations In Iowa

According to Iowa Code 614.1, as a general rule, you have two years to file a personal injury claim in Iowa. This statute applies to all types of personal injury claims as well as wrongful death claims filed by family members.

If the defendant leaves Iowa, the statute of limitations clock stops until they return to the state. If the plaintiff is legally disabled (a designation that includes children under 18 and those with certain mental disabilities), they have one year from when their disability ends to file the claim.

There is another exception for victims who don’t know they are injured until later. This can happen in medical malpractice claims when it can take time to realize there’s an issue. In those instances, Iowa has a discovery rule. The discovery rule allows you two years from the moment you realize you suffered an injury.

Iowa Code 614.1 lists statutes of repose for premises liability and product liability claims. These put outside limits on the time you have to file. For premises liability claims, it’s usually 8 to 10 years, but it can be longer. For product liability claims, the limit is 15 years.

Iowa Code 614.1 also covers the rules for medical malpractice claims. The deadline is two years from the moment you discover the injury, but the latest you can file is six years from when the malpractice occurred. This statute of repose doesn’t count if the injury or death occurred because of a foreign object left in a patient.

If a child younger than eight was injured because of medical malpractice, their parents must sue by the child’s 10th birthday or before six years have gone by from the moment of the malpractice.

Turning to Personal Injury Lawyers

Filing a personal injury claim isn’t something you want to do on your own. An experienced personal injury lawyer can offer the guidance you need throughout the entire process. With their assistance, you have a chance to get compensation.

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Our law office is conveniently located at 50th St. and I-235 in West Des Moines. We have successfully represented thousands of personal injury and Iowa workers’ compensation clients. Call 1-515-225-4485 for a free consultation. You never pay attorneys’ fees until we win and recover for all of your losses either in a favorable settlement or trial verdict.

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