You can’t change what happened. You can’t go back in time and avoid the accident that left you injured or purchase more car insurance to cover your costs. Second guessing your decisions won’t change our reality, but understanding how an Iowa car accident case works and what damages you may recover after a car crash could change your future.
How Car Accident Cases Work
If you are injured and you will be pursuing a car accident lawsuit in Iowa, then it is important to know:
- How much time you have to file a case. In most cases, an injured party must file a complaint in an Iowa court within two years of being hurt or the statute of limitations will expire. However, some exceptions do apply.
- Whether you have the legal authority to file a case. If you are over the age of 18 and of sound mind then you have the right to file a lawsuit for your own injuries. Additionally, if you are the parent of a minor child or guardian of an adult person them you may be able to start a lawsuit on their behalf if they are hurt in crash. The personal representative of an estate may also start a case on behalf of an estate of a person who has died in an accident.
- How to deal with insurance adjusters. Insurance adjusters are not looking out for your best interests. Instead, they want to maximize the profits for the insurance companies who employ them. Accordingly, it is important to know what to say and what not to say when talking to an insurance adjuster after a car crash.
- How your own actions (or inactions) can impact your recovery. You may have been partly responsible for the crash that caused your injuries. However, if you are found to be 50% or less responsible for the accident, then you may still recover damages. Your damages may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to you.
- Whether you need expert witnesses to help get a fair recovery. Expert witnesses may be very important in some cases and not important at all in other cases. It is important to know if your case could benefit from an expert witness, what type of expert witness you might need, and how to find the witness that could help you.
- How settlements work. Most car accident cases settle before trial, but this does not happen automatically. Instead, you need to know how to reach a fair settlement.
- Whether you need an attorney. Iowa law does not require that you have an attorney to file a car accident case, but a lawyer can make a significant difference to your recovery. Therefore, you need to know whether it is important for you to hire a lawyer.
Together, this information can help you understand whether you have a potential claim for which you can recover damages.
But You Still Need to Know What Those Damages May Be
If you are successful in an Iowa car crash case or if you settle an auto accident claim then you may be able to recover compensation for your past, current and future:
- Medical expenses. This includes any medical-related costs such as hospitalizations, surgeries, doctors’ appointments, medications, physical therapy, and assistive devices such as crutches or wheelchairs.
- Out-of-pocket costs. Examples of out-of-pocket costs might include insurance deductibles, transportation, help around the house, or child care.
- Lost income. Whether you are self-employed or an employee, you may be able to recover for an income, wages, or benefits that you are unable to earn because of your injury. This may be a partial or total loss depending on your injuries and your job.
- Pain and suffering. Your physical pain and emotional suffering may be hard to quantify, but they may be among your most significant damages. You may recover for both your pain and your suffering if you know how to value these damages and advocate for your fair recovery.
Any other costs that were directly related to your accident injuries may also be recovered.
To learn more about your rights and possible recovery, please start a live chat with us now to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced lawyer. You can also learn more by downloading a free copy of our report, The Ultimate Guide for Automobile Accident Victims.