Cedar Rapids, IA – Every jurisdiction in the United States has time limits related to when a cause of action can be filed. This is especially important for accident victims, because if they wait too long to consult with a lawyer after being injured, the state’s laws may prevent them from bringing a case at all if more than a few years have passed. For these reasons, accident victims should schedule their initial consultation with a local personal injury attorney in Iowa as soon as realistically possible after any kind of motor vehicle accident.
What is a statute of limitations?
A statute of limitations is a time limit that prevents a case from being filed after a certain length of time has passed. These time limits exist in each area of the law, and they are different depending on the type of case in question. Just like a person only has a few years to file an accident lawsuit after the incident, the government cannot bring charges for certain crimes if several years have passed since the suspect committed the illegal action. As the name implies, the state’s statutes that cover each area of the law also mention this time limit.
Iowa’s state law
Chapter 614 of the Iowa Code provides an abundance of information about various kinds of limitations on all lawsuits. Most legal actions have a two to ten year limit under Iowa law.
Iowa’s statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the time of the accident. This is true for negligence cases, which are the most common actions tied to motor vehicle accidents, as well as certain other intentional torts and civil actions. The time limit starts to become effective from the date of the incident, not from the time it is reported, or an insurance company is notified, or based on any other factor.
Exceptions to the statute of limitations rules
Courts will only grant exceptions to this timeframe for some very rare circumstances involving residency issues, mental illness, and other conditions that usually do not apply to most cases. As a general rule, the defendant can notify the court that the action was filed more than two years after the incident and have it dismissed immediately. Due to the rarity of these exceptions, most individuals who are considering a lawsuit should assume the two year limit applies.
Information from accident local attorneys
There can be some complexity to figuring out damage claims, negligence laws, the insurance process, and other aspects of an accident case. Eells and Tronvold Law Offices offer accident victims solutions to these problems with decades of experience in personal injury law.
Firm contact info:
1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400