The rural lands of Iowa contain so many hidden treasures, but it's also no stranger to car accidents and personal injuries. Perhaps it was you who was hurt, or maybe it was a friend or family member who now needs a support system. Whatever happened, if you need guidance for your personal injury case, Enjuris has the answers.
Iowa Personal Injury Cases & Accident Info
Iowa statutes online
This is where you’ll find Iowa's laws. The website has details about how long you have to bring a case, damage caps on personal injury cases, and other important information that you will need.
In Iowa, you have two years to bring a personal injury claim and five years for a property damage claim. That doesn't mean the whole personal injury lawsuit has to be completed in just two years; it just needs to be filed with the court before that time is up.
The first meeting with a personal injury attorney is normally free of charge. (Note that other legal specialties, such as real estate law or tax law, are different.) After that, lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they will receive a third of the eventual reward or settlement, plus whatever office expenses they incurred.
If your case ends up going to trial, the percentage could rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment. These numbers aren't set by law, so don't be surprised if your lawyer suggests something else.
These are some cases of legal significance that came out of Iowa:
Katko v. Briney, 183 N.W.2d 657 (Iowa 1971): This case is famous in law schools and is taught to every incoming class so that they understand premises liability. A property owner, Briney, rigged a shotgun at knee-height in his rather abandoned house. He also set up multiple "No Trespassing" signs, though it did not deter the trespasser, Katko, who very much had his legs shot. When asked if he would have done anything differently, Briney said something along the lines of, "I would have aimed the gun a few inches higher." The court said that deadly force was unreasonable in protecting property. Deadly force would have been reasonable if Briney had been protecting himself, not just his empty house.
Varnum v. Brien, No. 07-1499 (Iowa 2009): This case was the third in the nation that, at the time, legalized gay marriage within a state. However, it was seen as legislation from the bench, and the following year the three judges were ousted by a wave of conservative voters. Their ruling, however, remained law until the Supreme Court took up the issue of gay marriage and made it a federal issue in Obergefell v. Hodges.
Griffin v. Pate, No. 15-1661 (Iowa 2016): Kelli Jo Griffin is an Iowa resident who was disenfranchised (not allowed to vote) because of a non-violent drug-related offense. She and the ACLU asked the court to declare that the Iowa Constitution prohibit the disenfranchisement of people convicted of certain felonies, like her non-violent drug offense. The court disagreed with her interpretation because her offense fell under the definition of an "infamous crime." This means that Griffin will never be allowed to vote. Iowa, Kentucky and Florida are the only states that still follow lifetime disenfranchisement.
There are lots of issues you can solve without the help of a lawyer, surprisingly enough. If you don't know where to start, a law librarian can help you. They are usually legally trained, and they can help you both with texts or online research engines like LexisNexis or Westlaw.