What Are the Odds of Winning an Iowa Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

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Posted by Pressley Henningsen

You may be curious about your odds of winning a medical malpractice claim in Iowa. If you talk to attorneys about these cases, you’ll hear that well over 90% of these cases across the country result in the defense winning. That’s about the same in Iowa as well.

While that isn’t our record, you need to know Iowa medical malpractice cases are difficult to win for a variety of different reasons.

Why Medical Malpractice Claims are Difficult to Win in Iowa

First of all, they’re difficult to win because we live in a culture that has placed doctors above others. When your lawyer is questioning a doctor at trial, that means you’re starting in a deficit.

Second, they’re difficult cases because they involve complex medical information and sometimes jurors can be confused by that if those things are not discussed with simplicity and understanding in mind.

Third, the Iowa legislature has passed laws that prevent victims of medical malpractice from recouping certain damages. If you were in a car accident where you were hurt and had medical bills from those injuries, you could get compensation for those medical bills. However, in a medical malpractice case, you cannot recover damages for any medical bills you get because you were injured.

Another challenge of receiving fair compensation for your medical malpractice injuries is based on how well you recover from your injuries. If you recover well from a medical situation, you face the general bias that most jurors hold that you should count your blessings. Many jurors don’t hold much sympathy for victims who recover well from their injuries – even if they were very badly hurt.

One of the more challenging things we have to do here at RSH Legal is telling people that have been harmed by doctors or healthcare providers that we can’t take their case. But because of the reasons outlined above, we only take medical malpractice cases involving death or very serious injury that affects your day-to-day life.

Iowa’s Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Claims

In Iowa, generally speaking, there is a two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. We want malpractice victims to contact us as soon as possible after they’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed. This is usually no later than 18 months before the statute of limitations.

The reason for this is that it takes us at least six months to investigate your case and decide if we can help you. During this time, we:

  • Order your medical records and analyze them for possible malpractice.
  • Send your medical records to an expert for review. This medical expert has to have the same experience and training as the medical professional who hurt you.
  • Obtain a Certificate of Merit from the expert who has reviewed your records – this certificate is an affidavit signed by the expert who has reviewed your case and says it has merit. This certificate is required by law.

Hiring an expert to review your case is very expensive – it can cost between $50K-$100K to investigate and take a claim to trial. We work on contingency so our clients don’t worry about having to pay out of pocket for those costs – but it’s another reason why we limit the cases we accept.

Do I Need to Hire an Iowa Lawyer That Knows Medical Malpractice Claims?

Medical malpractice cases are very expensive to prosecute and they are difficult to win. If you have a serious medical malpractice claim, you need to make sure you’re working with an attorney that has tried malpractice cases in front of a jury. Before you choose an attorney for your claim, make sure to ask each one “Have you tried medical malpractice cases to verdict?” If they have, ask for their record in winning versus losing these types of cases at trial.

While it is a challenge to win a medical malpractice case in Iowa, here at RSH Legal, we have a record of winning malpractice cases. We cannot promise you that we will win your case – we have not one every case that we have tried – but we do better than the national average at winning cases.

The reason for this is the way we handle these types of claims. At RSH Legal, we only take a handful of cases each year so we can laser-focus our efforts on helping those who have been most seriously injured by a healthcare provider. We don’t take a case unless we’re willing to see it through all the way to trial and a verdict.

If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed because of medical negligence, call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1903.

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