FAQs for Personal Injury
1. Can I still recover for my injuries if I was partially at fault for the accident in which I was injured?
Answer: Iowa has a comparative fault system. The simple version of this system generally means that the injured person’s damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the injured party. In other words, if an injured party was 10% at fault for the accident, their damages will be reduced by 10%.
2. What kinds of compensation am I entitled to receive for my injuries?
Answer: Under Iowa law there are several main categories of personal injury damages:
- Loss of past earnings.
- Loss of future earning capacity.
- Past medical expenses.
- Future medical expenses.
- Past and future loss of function of the mind and body.
- Past and future pain and suffering.
3. I was in an auto accident and the other driver is not insured, or only has minimal limits. Can anything be done?
Answer: Check your own insurance policy. If you have the proper uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage you can collect damages through your own policy.
4. Is there a time limit for bringing lawsuits in Iowa for auto accidents?
Answer: In Iowa, a lawsuit must be filed against the driver and owner of the adverse vehicle within two years of the accident. Additionally, there are also other types of claims that can arise out of an auto accident, and there may be shorter time limits for these other claims. There are many important questions that have to be researched and answered before a lawsuit is filed so it is important to move forward quickly.
5. I was injured in a construction site accident that was the fault of another contractor. I am receiving workers’ compensation benefits from my employer. Can I bring a claim against the other contractor?
Answer: Under Iowa law you do have a potential claim against the other contractor. See the “Workplace Accidents” section of this website for more details on the nature of such claims.
6. I was bitten by a neighbor’s dog. The dog reportedly has never bit anyone before. Do I have a potential claim for this dog bite?
Answer: Under Iowa law the owner of the dog is liable for all damages caused by the dog when it is attacking or attempting to bite a person. Iowa does not have a “one bite” rule. Iowa dog owners are liable for the damages caused by their dog’s first bite.
7. I tripped on a raised piece of sidewalk while visiting a friend’s home. Do I have a potential personal injury claim?
Answer: Iowa law generally requires that a property owner exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of their premises to protect lawful visitors. However, there are many factors to investigate and research relating to claims based on unsafe property conditions in order to determine whether a claim can be successful.
8. One of my children was a passenger on a boat, and was injured in a collision on the river. Can I do anything?
Answer: Owners and operators of boats are required to comply with both federal and Iowa law regarding the care and operation of watercraft. These laws generally prohibit anyone from operating a boat in a careless or negligent manner. These safety duties apply to all types of vessels including motor boats, sailboats and personal watercraft.