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Right now you may have so many questions that you don’t even know which questions to ask first. Here, you can browse some of the most frequently asked questions our attorneys receive from truck accident victims and read our answers to those questions.
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How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident injury in Iowa?
You probably don’t have as long as you think.
Iowa, like other states, limits the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit in state court after a truck accident. This limitation is not meant to pressure you, but instead it is meant to provide benefits to both you and to the defendant. By acting within a certain amount of time:
- You have the benefit of getting evidence while is still available and the benefit of making a fair recovery as quickly as possible.
- The defendant has the benefit of knowing that a claim will be pursued by a date certain or not at all.
While these purposes of statutes of limitations generally apply across the states, each state has its own law that establishes how long you have to act.
In Iowa, You Typically Have Two Years to File an Accident Case
This two-year timeline typically starts running on the date of your truck accident. However, there are some exceptions to the general rule. Specifically, the statute of limitations may be extended if:
- You did not know (and could not have reasonably known) of your injuries on the date of the accident. In this case, the statute of limitations will start running on the date that you knew or should have known about your injuries.
- You were under the age of 18 at the time of the accident. The statute of limitations will be two years or until your 19th birthday—whichever gives you more time.
- You were involved in a crash with a government vehicle. This may shorten the amount of time that you have to take action after a truck wreck.
If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, then you can expect the defendant to file a motion requesting that your case be dismissed and you can expect the court to grant that motion. You will not be able to recover any financial damages in court and the insurance companies will be unwilling to settle your claim with you knowing that you have no legal remedy.
Accordingly, it is important to take action before the statute of limitation prohibits you from doing so. For more information about how to do that and about how an Iowa truck accident case works, you need to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 today for a free case evaluation.
Can I file a truck accident case in Iowa?
You have the right to file a truck accident lawsuit in the state of Iowa if you have standing to sue. Iowa, like other states, only permits a person to file a lawsuit if that person was the one who was actually injured in a truck crash or if that person has a certain legal relationship to a person who was hurt in the crash.
Specifically, you may have standing to sue after an Iowa truck wreck if:
- You suffered a physical injury in the accident. If you were hurt in a truck accident that was primarily someone else’s fault, if you are over the age of 18, and if you are of sound mind, then you may have standing to bring a lawsuit in an Iowa court.
- You are the parent or guardian of a minor child who was hurt in the accident. In this case, your child does not have the legal right to file a lawsuit. You have the right to do it on behalf of your child. Any damages that are recovered in a settlement or in court would be for the benefit of your child.
- You are the legal guardian of someone over the age of 18. If you have been appointed by a court as the legal guardian of someone over the age of 18, then you likely have the right to make legal decisions for that person. This includes deciding whether or not to file a lawsuit on that person’s behalf. If you do file a lawsuit, then any damages that are recovered would be for the benefit of the person who was injured.
- You are the personal representative of the estate of someone who died in the truck crash. In the event of a wrongful death, you may have standing to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the estate.
If you file a lawsuit and you don’t have legal standing to sue, then your case likely will be dismissed and you will not recover damages.
Accordingly, it is important to know your rights before you file a case. You can speak with our experienced truck accident lawyers today to learn more about standing and about how Iowa truck accident cases work. Contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678. We would be pleased to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights.
I was partly to blame for the truck accident that left me injured, but I was not the only one at fault. Should I file a lawsuit?
Truck accidents are rarely the fault of only one party. Even if you were partly to blame for the crash that resulted in your injuries, you may still be able to file a lawsuit and recover damages. However, before you decide whether or not to file a case, it is important to know what to expect.
Iowa Contributory Negligence Law Applies to Truck Accident Cases
Iowa law allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit after a truck accident case as long as you were not more at fault than the defendant for causing the crash. For example, if you were drinking and driving, you failed to stop at a light, and you collided with a truck, then you may be primarily responsible for the crash even if the trucker bears a small percentage of the liability for speeding. In this scenario where you are more than 50% responsible for causing the accident, you should not file a lawsuit because you will not be able to recover damages in a court of law.
However, if the situation was reversed and the trucker was primarily responsible for the crash, then you should file a lawsuit even if you bear a small percentage of the liability for your injuries. According to Iowa law, you can make a legal recovery but that recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to you.
Expect Your Percentage of Fault to Be a Significant Issue in Your Case
As you can tell from the example provided above, the issue of who is more at fault is going to be hotly contested in any truck accident lawsuit. You will need strong evidence and compelling arguments to convince the insurance company or court of the percentage of fault that is truly attributable to you and of the damages that you deserve. Our experienced truck crash lawyers can help you do that. Simply contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 today for a free, no-obligation consultation and we will review your claim with you and discuss the pros and cons of moving forward with a lawsuit.