How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim After a Car Accident in Iowa?

Back to Articles

Posted by Tim Semelroth

If you have been in a car accident in Iowa, you probably have more important things on your mind than getting a car accident case started. Getting treatment for your injuries should be the first thing and most important thing you should worry about. But you need to be aware that you have a limited amount of time to make a claim for a car crash, or you will not be able to get compensation for your injuries.

The Statute of Limitations For Iowa Car Crash Claims

In Iowa, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit or settle your car accident case. This rule is known as the statute of limitations. This Iowa law says if an injured person does not either sign settlement paperwork with the other side’s insurance company or file a lawsuit in court within two years of the crash, that person’s claim for compensation is barred forever.

While there are some exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations for Iowa car accident claims, you should definitely consult with an experienced Iowa car accident attorney before you assume you have more time.

If you were seriously injured in the crash, you may find that you need more than two years to heal from your injuries. If that is the case, you should file your lawsuit before the two-year deadline to preserve your right to compensation. Filing a lawsuit does not automatically mean you must go to trial – you can still settle your case after a filed lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit only puts a stop on that two-year clock and lets you continue to heal on your own time.

Ready to Settle Your Iowa Car Accident Case?

When you are ready to settle your claim, you need to be aware of the different types of losses for which you can receive compensation under the law. In Iowa, you can be compensated for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of function of the body or mind
  • Physical or mental pain and suffering

The burden of proving the losses eligible for compensation under the law falls on the injured person.  That is why it is important to consult with an experienced Iowa personal injury lawyer to find out what steps you should be taking to get a fair settlement.

Although filing a lawsuit can get you more time to heal, it does not mean the other side’s insurance company will pay you compensation for your injuries any sooner. Auto insurance companies generally won’t pay for anything until there is a settlement or trial verdict in your favor.

This can leave you in a tough spot if medical bills are piling up. If you have been off work due to your injuries, you may have less money coming in as well. The insurance company may be telling you if you settle your claim, they’ll get a check in the mail right away.

Keep in mind the auto insurance company is looking to settle your claim quickly and cheaply.  The problem is that “quick” and “cheap” do not always mean “fair.”

To make sure the insurance company isn’t taking advantage of you, we recommend speaking with an experienced Iowa car accident attorney about your claim. Since most initial consultations with personal injury lawyers are free, you can get peace of mind about your claim from a knowledgeable expert who knows what you should be getting under the law.

Get a free, no-obligation case evaluation from one of our Iowa car crash lawyers by calling RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1903.

Looking for Iowa Legal Help?

Find out how to get treated fairly after an injury or disability in Iowa

For a free, no-obligation case evaluation, call us at (319) 409-6575
or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to reach us online