A statute of limitations is a statute, or law, that restricts the period of time, after certain events, that a person may initiate legal proceedings. These time limits vary depending on the type of case and the state where the particular cause of action occurred. After the time limit has passed, the injured person no longer has the right to sue to recovery money damages, unless a legal exception applies. The following provides a brief summary, in alphabetical order, of some of the limitations periods for the state of Iowa for those actions related to personal injury, medical malpractice, and some products liability. Please contact a qualified Iowa lawyer to find out how a statute of limitations applies to your situation.
Actions based on fraud must be filed within 5 years. This five year limitation period begins to run from the date the fraud was discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered.
These types of actions must be filed within 2 years from the date of the action.
All actions against medical professionals must be filed within 2 years of the date of the act resulting in the injury, or within 2 years of the date the medical malpractice injury was, or should reasonably have been, discovered. However, in no case may the suit be filed once six years have passed from the date of the act resulting in the injury. If the injured party is a minor under the age of eight, the suit must be filed by the minor’s 10th birthday or within 2 years from the date of the injury, whichever occurs later.
Personal injury actions must be filed within 2 years from the date of the injury.
Product liability actions must be filed within 2 years from the date of the injury. As there are several exceptions to this limitations period, please refer to the statute directly.
Wrongful death actions must be filed within 2 years of the date of death.
Special Rules Tolling the Statute of Limitations:
A statute of limitations is tolled when certain conditions are present. When a statute is tolled, the limitations period is essentially put on hold for a period of time. Some typical reasons that a statute is tolled include situations when the victim of the injury was a minor at the time of the injury (minority), when the victim of the injury was mentally incompetent at the time of the injury (mental incompetence), and when the defendant has filed bankruptcy.
In Iowa, when the injured party is a minor the limitations period begins to run on that minor’s 18th birthday. Minors have one year from their 18th birthday to file a legal claim. This exception does not apply in medical malpractice cases, however. In those instances, please refer to the above information, or refer to the statute directly.