If you’ve been bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog in Iowa, then the state limits the amount of time that you have to bring a lawsuit against the dog owner. The reason for the time limitation is not to pressure you or add unnecessary stress to what is already a difficult time. Instead, statutes of limitations exist to promote a fair and timely resolution to your claim so that evidence remains available and both parties have some certainty about the timeline for the claim.
Generally, You Have Two Years to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Iowa…But There Are Exceptions
Iowa law provides you with two years to file a lawsuit in court. The statute of limitations starts running on the date of your injury, unless an exception to the law applies. The statute of limitations may be extended if:
- The person bitten by the dog was a minor at the time of the bite and his or her parents did not bring a claim. In this case, the statute of limitations would typically expire on the victim’s 19th birthday.
- The person bitten by the dog was not mentally competent at the time of the injury. Thus, the victim could not make a competent decision about whether to bring a claim.
- The defendant (typically the dog owner) files bankruptcy. In this case the statute of limitations may be put on hold while the bankruptcy case is proceeding.
Whether or not these exceptions apply, there may be benefits to filing a claim sooner rather than later.
Don’t Wait—Take Action Today
There is no reason to wait until you are close to the time that the statute of limitations may expire. Instead, there are two important benefits to taking action quickly after you are hurt. First, the sooner you file a claim the sooner you may be able to recover damages, and second, more evidence may be available if you pursue a claim quickly.