Not all injuries are cause for civil action. However, if someone other than you is to blame for your injuries in Iowa, you may be able to sue them to recoup your losses.
An Iowa personal injury attorney with Ben Crump Law, PLLC could help you work towards a settlement with the party at fault. But first, let us look into your recovery options and some of the relevant laws in your situation.
Personal Injury Cases Include Many Types of Incidents
Personal injury cases can stem from any incident of negligence, and many different parties can be held liable for the harm they caused. For instance, if a government employee accidentally hurts you, Iowa’s state tort claim laws apply. However, if a private motorist hits you in a pedestrian accident, negligence, traffic, and auto insurance laws would be in effect.
An Iowa personal injury lawyer studies the various statutes affecting your injury settlement. They can review your incident to determine which laws specifically apply to your case.
Options for Getting a Settlement for Your Injuries in Iowa
Injury victims typically have three ways to seek compensation: file a claim or lawsuit against the other party or agree to a private settlement. The Iowa personal injury lawyer can evaluate your situation before recommending the appropriate option. They will also help gather evidence to support your action.
File an Insurance Claim
Liability coverage is a type of coverage that helps pay for the expenses associated with an accident. Depending on the specifics of the liable party’s insurance policy, you could file a claim with their insurance provider. Based on your accident, you might seek damages from one of the following types of policies:
- Homeowners’ insurance can cover damages caused by the policyholder or other household members.
- Business insurance can have general liability coverage that can pay for damages caused by negligent employees or defective products.
- Professional liability coverage will compensate victims if a professional’s negligence. Medical professionals may have a medical malpractice policy.
- Auto insurance pays for damages caused by the at-fault motorist in an auto accident.
Personal injury lawyers can handle the other insurer and discuss a fair amount.
Bring a Personal Injury Lawsuit to Court
If the insurance claim’s outcome is unsatisfactory, you could opt for an injury case. For example, the other side’s liability coverage might not be enough to cover all your expenses. In a personal injury lawsuit, the civil court will decide the settlement you can receive, not the claims adjuster.
If the injury case goes to court, the Iowa personal injury attorney can represent you during the proceedings.
Discussing Settlement Amounts
The liable party may also propose a settlement to avoid going to court. This can happen if they do not want to deal with a potential injury lawsuit.
The Iowa personal injury attorney can also help you negotiate with the other party in reaching an agreeable settlement amount.
What Damages Are in Your Iowa Personal Injury Claim or Case?
A successful personal injury settlement can compensate you for both the financial and intangible costs of the injury. We refer to these as economic and non-economic damages. Some examples of economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages or business income
Meanwhile, non-economic damages can include:
- Psychological trauma
- Disfigurements and disabilities
- Physical pain and suffering
Compiling as many documents of your expenses as possible will help calculate your financial damages. On the other hand, the amount of non-economic damages generally depends on how severe your injuries are. The Iowa personal injury attorney can assess your injuries and expenses to argue for a fair amount of compensation.
Laws Affecting Your Iowa Personal Injury Settlement
Here are some laws that can influence the outcome of your Iowa personal injury claim or lawsuit:
Time Limits for Filing Personal Injury Cases in Iowa
Part of an Iowa personal injury lawyer’s job is to help you comply with your injury lawsuit’s filing requirements. One such requirement is the statute of limitations or your time limit for filing the case.
The statute of limitations can vary based on the type of accident you were involved in. Therefore, even if you have a few years to work on your lawsuit, it would be best to start early. Missing the deadline would get your case automatically rejected, barring you from recovering anything.
The personal injury attorney can check for tolling exceptions which can extend your time limit. For instance, one exception would be if you were hurt in a crime and the suspect remains unidentified and at large. In this case, the statute clock would not begin until their identity gets discovered.
Comparative Fault Can Reduce Settlement Amount
According to the comparative fault rule in Iowa Code § 668.3, the damages you may recover can get deducted if you share some fault in your personal injury case. The deducted amount depends on the fault percentage.
For example, suppose your damages in your personal injury case totaled $75,000. However, the judge finds you 30 percent liable after reviewing the evidence from both sides. That means you would only recover 70 percent of your damages, or $52,500. However, if you are more than 50 percent liable, you cannot recover any damages at all.
Get Started with Your Legal Action Today
If you get injured because of another person or entity’s mistakes in Iowa, it helps to know that you can take legal action. Ben Crump Law, PLLC is available for your concerns 24/7, so you can consult with us anytime. Our Iowa personal injury attorney is ready to guide you through the laws and represent you in your injury case.
Our legal team handles injury cases and other practice areas, including security litigation, class actions, and wrongful incarcerations. We are also dedicated to fighting against civil rights violations throughout the United States. If you want to discuss your personal injury incident with us, you can call (800) 959-1444 or contact us online for a free evaluation.