Why Does My Iowa Personal Injury Lawsuit Require My Tax Returns? (Video)

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Posted by Tim Semelroth

If you file an Iowa personal injury lawsuit, be aware that you will have to share a certain amount of private information with your own personal injury lawyer as well as with the other side. Let’s talk about why that must happen.

Filing a Lawsuit Means Giving Up Some Privacy

Filing a personal injury lawsuit is a more invasive process than most people realize. The other side can and will request your personal information. This can include your tax returns, medical records, and other paperwork you may have thought was private.

These requests are part of the personal injury lawsuit process. The legal term for this exchange of information is “discovery.”

What Discovery Means in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Discovery is an important part of the lawsuit process. It lets both sides learn the strengths and weaknesses of the case. This eliminates most of the surprises that could pop up during trial.

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that discovery means that the other side will have access to a lot of your personal information.

Before your lawsuit is filed, your personal injury lawyer should explain to you what the discovery process will likely involve in your case. Even after getting this explanation, the amount of information requested by the other side can come as a shock. You may receive written questions from the other side that will ask for details you may not feel comfortable sharing. Unfortunately, the fact that you feel uncomfortable is not a valid excuse for refusing to answer those questions.

If You Are Claiming Lost Earnings, You Will Have to Turn Over Your Tax Returns

If you are asking to be compensated for lost earnings in your personal injury lawsuit, the other side will likely ask for your tax returns from the previous 5 years. Whenever you make a claim for lost earnings, Iowa law says that you must turn over your previous tax returns so the other side can see whether you are asking for a fair amount of compensation.

If you have questions about the discovery process in your case, call us at 1-319-774-1542. We’ll answer any questions you might have.

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