Drunk driving is a particularly egregious action because, more often than not, the driver willfully gets behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. This decision endangers the lives of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
If you were injured in a car accident with a drunk driver, then you may be able to recover compensation for economic damages, non-economic damages and exemplary damages. Exemplary damages, or “punitive damages,” are not recoverable in every personal-injury claim. Their purpose is to punish the defendant for willfully endangering other people.
If you were hurt or lost a family member in a drunk driving crash in Iowa, contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC. An accident lawyer in Cedar Rapids will evaluate your case in a free initial consultation. Call 319-393-1020 to make an appointment.
What Factors Determine Whether Punitive Damages Are Recoverable in Iowa?
Pursuant to CHAPTER 668A PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, the court will consider these two factors when determining if punitive damages should be awarded:
- The injury or death was a result of the defendant’s wanton and willful disregard for the safety or rights of another person; and
- Whether the defendant’s conduct was directed at the victim.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal-Injury Claims in Iowa?
In most cases, the statute of limitations for personal-injury claims in Iowa is two years from the date when the injury or accident occurred. This timeframe may be extended if you could not have reasonably discovered the injury until a later date. This may be the case if your injury occurred over time. If you are making a claim against a state government agency, the statute of limitations is two years.
Does Iowa Have a Cap on Non-Economic Damages?
Many states cap the amount of compensation a claimant can recover for non-economic damages, also called “pain and suffering.” However, Iowa does not have a cap for non-economic or economic damages.
Why Should I Hire an Accident Lawyer?
Although you have the right to file your claim pro se, this is usually a bad idea. A small oversight during the claims process could significantly reduce the amount of damages you recover, or prevent you from recovering any compensation at all.
For example, there are important steps that you must take immediately after a car accident. If you put off a medical evaluation, the insurance company may argue that your injuries worsened because they were not treated and, therefore, you do not deserve a full payout. The insurance company may also argue that your injuries are not serious enough to warrant compensation because they did not require treatment.
Your attorney will handle correspondence with the insurance company so you do not make any misguided statements. Your phone calls with the insurance provider will probably be recorded, and adjusters have strategies to coerce claimants into making statements that harm their claim.
If you would like to speak with an accident lawyer in Cedar Rapids, contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC. Call 319-393-1020 to schedule a free initial consultation with a drunk driving accident attorney.