People who have been injured as a result of another person’s negligence have the right to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault parties to recover compensation. However, they must do so before passing the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit, which is known as the statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, you will not have the opportunity to recover compensation for your injuries.
Each state has its own statute of limitations laws, so it’s important to understand how long you have to file a personal injury claim in the state of Iowa.
The Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Cases in Iowa
You have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state of Iowa. This statute of limitations applies to all types of personal injury lawsuits, including car accidents, defective products, medical malpractice cases, slip and falls, and more. Most of the time, the clock on this statute of limitations will start to tick as soon as the event causing the injury occurs. For example, if you have been injured in a car accident, the deadline for filing a personal injury claim will most likely be two years from the date of the accident.
In some cases, the two year time period will not begin on the date that you sustained the injuries, but rather on the date that you discovered the injuries. For instance, let’s say that a doctor misdiagnoses you in January by telling you that you are cancer-free, when in fact you do have cancer. Unfortunately, you may not realize that the doctor has made a mistake until you start to experience more severe symptoms months after the initial misdiagnosis. Therefore, the deadline to file a personal injury claim would be two years from the date that you discover the doctor’s error and realize the severity of your cancer. This type of delay in the two year time period is common in medical malpractice cases, but it can happen in any type of personal injury case where the victim did not immediately realize he was injured.
It’s important to note that all medical malpractice claims have to be filed within six years from the date of the healthcare professional’s negligent act, regardless of when you discovered the injury. For example, if you did not realize that you were injured until five years after the negligent act, you would only have one year left to file the claim instead of the full two years that other victims have. This rule applies to all medical malpractice victims who are at least eight years old. Victims under the age of eight have to file a claim within two years from the date the injury occurred or by the victim’s tenth birthday, whichever is later.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Cases
There are a few exceptions to this two year statute of limitations in the state of Iowa. If the victim was a minor at the time he sustained injuries, he does not have to meet this deadline. Instead, the statute of limitations would be one year from the time that the minor turns 18. The statute of limitations is also extended if the victim was not mentally competent at the time of the accident or if the defendant was in the middle of filing bankruptcy.
The Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Cases in Iowa
The two year statute of limitations also applies to wrongful death cases. However, the two year period does not necessarily begin on the date that the victim was injured, but rather on the date that he passed away. If your loved one was seriously injured in a car accident, for example, he may have spent days in a hospital before passing away from his injuries. In this situation, the two year time limit would begin on the date of his death, not the date that the accident occurred.
The Statute of Limitations on Property Damage Claims in Iowa
Some victims often attempt to recover compensation for property damage that occurred at the same time they were injured. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, it’s very likely that your car suffered damage in the collision as well. It’s important to note that the statute of limitations for property damage claims is five years in the state of Iowa, which means you have more time to recover for property damage than you do for your injuries.
File A Claim As Soon As Possible
Two years may seem like a long time, but it can fly by rather quickly. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last possible moment to file a personal injury claim. It’s strongly recommended that you contact a personal injury attorney and begin the process as soon as you discover the injuries. Why? The at-fault party’s insurance company will not wait very long to contact you about your injuries. You should never talk to an insurance adjuster about your injuries or what caused them before speaking to an attorney. Remember, the insurance company is only interested in protecting their profits, so they don’t have your best interests in mind. If you communicate with the insurance company without an attorney, it’s possible that you could make a mistake that will affect how much compensation you are able to recover. For this reason, it’s important to seek legal representation as soon as possible after you have been injured.
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will help you seek justice against the negligent parties and recover the compensation that you deserve.