This may be the first time you’ve ever considered filing a personal injury lawsuit. You already know that you’ve been hurt and you believe that another driver caused the crash that hurt you. You already know that you can file a lawsuit to recover damages for your injuries, but what you don’t yet know is how an Iowa car accident lawsuit works.
Seven Things You Must Consider
In order to recover damages you are going to have to pursue a recovery consistent with Iowa law. To that end, it is important to know:
- Whether you have the legal right to file a lawsuit. You can file a complaint on behalf of yourself if you are an adult and you were hurt in the crash. You may also have standing to sue if you are the parent of a minor child or guardian of an adult, or if you are the personal representative of the estate of the person who was killed in the accident.
- How long you have to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations limits the amount of time that you have to file a case. While there are some exceptions to the rule, you generally have two years to file a case. If you fail to file the case before the statute of limitation expires then the defense will likely raise this argument as a reason to have your case dismissed which the court will likely grant. Accordingly, it is important to file your claim before the statute of limitation expires.
- Whether your actions might prevent your recovery. Often, more than one party is responsible for a crash. Iowa law allows you to recover for your injuries as long as you were not 51% or more responsible for the accident. However, your damages may be reduced because of your role in the crash.
- How to handle insurance adjusters who contact you. Insurance adjusters can use anything you say against you in settlement negotiations. They are professionals who negotiate with accident victims, and their attorneys, for a living. Thus, you can protect your recovery by knowing how to talk to them without hurting your potential recovery.
- How insurance settlements work. The first offer the insurance company makes to you is likely not the best offer that you can receive. Settlements typically require negotiations in order for you to recover the fair damages that you deserve.
- Whether you need to find expert witnesses. Expert witnesses may testify about the cause of the accident, your injuries, or the impact of your injuries on your life. However, not just anyone can be an expert witness, and it is important to find the witnesses who may be useful for your claim.
- Whether you need a car accident lawyer. You have the right to file your own complaint in an Iowa court after a car crash. However, before you decide whether you should represent yourself or hire an attorney to fight for your recovery, you should understand the benefits of hiring a lawyer.
There are many specific rules related to filing a lawsuit, but the process does not need to be intimidating. Instead, you need to follow the rules and have the representation that you need to make sure that your rights and your potential recovery are protected. To learn more, please order your free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Automobile Accident Victims, today.