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Personal Injury Law Is More Complex Than You Think

I always assumed that personal injury cases where pretty straight forward. After being in an accident, any financial losses that you suffered would be reimbursed by the liable party's insurance company. Unfortunately, things only work this way in a perfect world. In the real world, personal injury cases are extremely complex and getting the insurance company to pay a fair settlement requires the expertise of an experienced injury lawyer. Unfortunately, it took me several months to finally seek out the legal assistance I needed. As a result, I waited much longer than necessary to get the compensation I so desperately needed. During this time, I learned more about personal injury law than I ever thought I would. It is my hope that this blog will allow me to share that knowledge with you so that you can avoid making some of the same mistakes that I did.


Personal Injury Law Is More Complex Than You Think

Guidelines For Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit In Iowa

by Christine Wagner

If you were injured by another party, possibly due to an auto accident or medical malpractice, then you might be thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are some facts that you should know before you seriously commit to filing a lawsuit. For starters, you want to make sure that you abide by the laws of your state. If you are planning on filing in Iowa, then here are just a few of the regulations that you will need to follow:

Comparative Fault

When you are seeking compensation, many states will want to know whether or not you were responsible for your injuries. The repercussions of your responsibility can vary quite a bit from state to state. In stricter states, any responsibility can render you ineligible to receive compensation. Other states are more lenient, and simply reduce your compensation by a percentage that is similar to your level of responsibility.

For example, if you were in a car crash and were distracted, then you might be found to be 40% responsible for your injuries. As a result, your compensation will likely be reduced by 40%, to accurately reflect your responsibility.

Iowa falls somewhere in between these two extremes, simultaneously reducing your damages relative to your responsibility, but also harshly punishing you if you are found to be responsible for the majority of your injury. If you bear more than half the responsibility, then you may lose out on compensation completely.

Auto Accident Fault

You also need to be aware of a very specific concept if you are filing regarding an auto accident, and that is whether or not you are in an "at-fault" state. Iowa is an at-fault state, which essentially means that you have quite a few options when it comes to pursuing damages.

You might want to file a claim with your insurance company, you might want to file a claim with the other party's insurance company, or you might even want to file a lawsuit against the other party.

The main distinction that you need to be aware of is that some states are no-fault states, while others are at-fault. In at-fault states, you can sue for essentially any auto accident. In no-fault states, you can only sue if you suffered catastrophic damages. The exact definition is a little nebulous, but often involves disfigurement, amputation, or serious impairment of quality of life. If you think that you might have a catastrophic injury but aren't sure, then talking to accident & personal injury attorneys is a good idea.