The statute of limitations is a law that governs the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. Statutes of limitations can vary from state to state and from one cause of action to the next.
In Iowa, most personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the injury or illness, or within two years from the date when the plaintiff discovered the injury or when it should have been reasonably discovered.
The statute of limitations can be extended in certain situations. For example, except in cases of wrongful death or medical malpractice, plaintiffs who are minors at the time of their injuries have one year from the date of their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
If you attempt to file your claim after the statute of limitations has expired, the defendant or his or her attorney will most likely ask for your lawsuit to be dismissed, and the court will probably grant it. As such, it is critical that you take legal action as soon as possible after your accident.
A Cedar Rapids injury attorney from Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC can help you meet all relevant deadlines and avoid costly mistakes during the claims process. Call 319-393-1020 today to schedule a free initial consultation.
What Is the Statute of Repose for Medical Malpractice Cases?
Pursuant to Iowa Code Section 614.1, there is a catch-all deadline for medical malpractice cases. This is called a statute of repose, and it prohibits plaintiffs from filing medical malpractice lawsuits more than six years after the date the malpractice occurred. Even if you did not know or could not have known about the malpractice, you cannot file your lawsuit after six years has passed.
The statute of repose does not apply if a medical worker leaves a foreign object inside a patient’s body that causes an injury or death. In these cases, the plaintiff has two years from the date that the medical error is discovered to file the lawsuit.
How Long Do I Have to Sue for Property Damage after a Car Accident?
If your vehicle or other property was damaged in a car crash, you have five years from the date of the collision to file a lawsuit for property damage.
Common Mistakes That Can Harm Your Personal Injury Claim
Not filing your claim before the statute of limitations expires is just one mistake that could harm your claim. Other common mistakes include:
- Making a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster;
- Forgetting to claim compensation for future damages;
- Accepting a settlement before you have fully recovered from your injuries or reached maximum medical improvement; or
- Posting sensitive information about your case on social media.
A Cedar Rapids accident lawyer from Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC can help you avoid these mistakes and fight for the maximum payout. Call 319-393-1020 today to schedule a free consultation. Visit USAttorneys.com to learn more about personal injury claims in Iowa.