If you recently fell on someone else’s property and are seeking compensation for the injuries you suffered, while it is understandable that you may be in need of funds right away, there are a few benefits to waiting before you file a claim against the at-fault party. Now, if you’re wondering “why would I wait if I am receiving bill after bill from my physician and I am unable to work?” For many individuals who are the victim of a slip and fall, their injuries don’t heal right away which means they are required to attend regularly scheduled doctor’s visits, whether it is to see their primary care physician, a specialist, or a therapist.
The point is, being that your injuries are still fresh, it may be unclear as to how much medical care you might need or how your injuries are going to impact your ability to return to work in the near future. It is for this reason that some victims often take advantage of the state’s statute of limitations and wait to file a claim so that they can place an accurate value on their damages. For those who file a claim right away, they might be losing out on a significant amount of compensation as they were unaware of what their damages were so early on.
To help you better understand why it might be advantageous for a victim of a slip and fall incident to wait to file a claim but still within the statute of limitations window, below we provide a hypothetical situation to better illustrate our point.
A 54-year-old man was shopping in a department store when he slipped on a substance on the aisle he was browsing on. He suffered injuries to his neck and back and racked up $15,000 in hospital bills. After being released from the hospital, it was recommended for the victim to schedule a visit with his primary care physician who then referred him to a chiropractor. After about two weeks of treatment and a few thousand more dollars added onto the medical expenses he previously acquired, the victim still wasn’t feeling better.
As a result of the accident, the victim was also unable to work for a few weeks which placed a financial strain on him and his family. Now, if we were to take an average as to what this man was entitled to in damages, we could guess about $40,000. However, at the point of deriving at this estimate, the victim still wasn’t working and was still required to receive medical attention. What this means is that over the next few months, he may incur more medical expenses and may have missed out on bringing home more income as his injuries still prohibited him from working.
Therefore, by waiting a little longer to file a claim, you may be able to determine how much your injuries actually permit you to collect rather than basing it off of the current circumstances you are facing. You should understand that while it can benefit some individuals to wait, others are encouraged to take immediate action. To better determine which option is the right one for you, you should consult with one of our experienced Iowa personal injury attorneys.
Understanding Iowa’s Statute of Limitations Law
As we discussed why waiting to file a claim might be beneficial to someone who was the victim of a slip and fall accident in Iowa, you need to be aware of just how much time you have to file a claim. According to §614.1(2), the State of Iowa gives you two years from the date of your injury to file your claim. After these two years have passed, you then forgo your opportunity to file suit against the negligent party who caused your incident.
Ready to discuss your accident and injuries and find out how much you are entitled to recover?
If you answered yes, contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. today to schedule a time to come in and speak with an IA personal injury lawyer.
You can reach Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. at:
1921 51st Street NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Phone: (319) 393-1020
Fax: (319) 393-4000