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Pain and Suffering Damages in Iowa

From the Amana Colonies to the Field of Dreams to Chestnut Mountain, Iowa offers visitors and residents alike plenty of culture along with all kinds of adventures. But adventures tend to lead to injuries. Whether you are one of Iowa's super smart students, a die-hard college sports fan, an avid outdoorsman, or somewhere in-between, if the things you loved to do before your accident no longer bring you the same joy, you may be entitled to pain and suffering damages in Iowa.

Noneconomic Damages

While the bills that pile up after an accident are compensated by economic damages, your pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and other nonmonetary damages are compensated by noneconomic damages.

Read the chart and information below for more details on pain and suffering damages in Iowa.

Statute of Limitations

Damages Limits

  • No pain and suffering in Worker's Comp Claims (I.W.C. Types of Benefits)
  • No pain and suffering if sustained in a car accident during or while fleeing from the commission of a felony (I.C.A. § 613.20)
  • Otherwise, no limits on non-economic damage awards

Other Limits

Claim Types

Iowa is no different from most states with respect to the types of claims which can bring about a damage award for pain and suffering. Some possible claims include:

Time Limits

Iowa requires injured parties to file lawsuits within certain preset periods of time, known as statutes of limitations. For most personal injury claims, including car accidents and medical malpractice claims, you will need to file your lawsuit within two years. If you were injured by a defective product, you have 15 years from the date you purchased the product to file a claim for damages.

"51% Bar Rule" and Other Limits on Recovery

The court in Iowa will only let you recover from someone you claim negligently caused your injury if your own fault is not greater than the other party's. This is a form of modified comparative negligence known as the "51% Bar Rule" because a plaintiff who is 51% at fault is barred from any recovery. If you are partially at fault, the court will merely reduce your damage award in proportion to your percentage of fault, so long as your own fault for the accident is less than 51%.

Note that while defendants are jointly and severally liable for economic damage awards, they are not jointly and severally liable for noneconomic damage awards. Iowa has an additional very specific bar on pain and suffering damages if you suffered your injuries in a car accident while committing for fleeing from the commission of a felony and are even 1% at fault for your injuries.

Considering Filing a Claim? Speak to an Iowa Attorney Today

While modified comparative fault will help you recover pain and suffering damages even if you accidentally contributed to your own injury, Iowa has instituted some very specific bars to recovering pain and suffering damages. Instead of trying to wrestle through the legalese, speak to an Iowa injury attorney experienced in obtaining pain and suffering damages.

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