When there is a personal injury caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person, the injured party can seek compensation for all damages suffered under Iowa Law. Compensation for the following damages may be sought if you can show by the greater weight of evidence that you will suffer the following losses.
First of all you can seek to recover the reasonable value of all necessary hospital charges, doctor charges, prescriptions, and the cost of other medical services from the date of the injury to the present time. If you are going to need future medical treatment you can seek recovery for the present value of reasonable and necessary hospital charges, doctors charges, prescriptions and other medical services which will be incurred in the future.
If you were working at the time of the injury and you lost wages or income as a result of injuries you suffered in the accident, you can seek recovery for the reasonable value of your lost wages or loss of income from your business from the date of the injury up until the present time. If your injuries will cause you to suffer future loss of earning capacity you can seek recovery for that as well. Loss of future earning capacity is the reduction in the ability to work and earn money generally rather than in a particular job.
In most cases of personal injury there will be physical and mental pain and suffering. Physical pain and suffering may include but is not limited to bodily suffering or discomfort. Mental pain and suffering may include but is not limited to mental anguish or loss of enjoyment of life. If you suffer physical and mental pain and suffering after an accident you can recover for both physical and mental pain and suffering from the date of injury to the present time. If there is medical testimony that you will suffer from future physical and or mental pain and suffering you can make a claim for this item of damage as well.
Sometimes injuries sustained in an accident are significant enough that you will lose the loss of function of your mind and/or body. If you suffer the loss of the function of you mind and/or body as a result of an accident you can seek recovery for that loss of function both for the past and in the future.
The amount that you are entitled to recover for physical and mental pain and suffering, loss of future earning capacity of loss of function of the mind and body both in the past and in the future cannot usually be measured by any exact or mathematical standard. In cases where these items of damage are suffered the jury will be told that they should use their sound judgment based upon the evidence in assessing the amount of recovery for each of those elements of damage. The jury is also told that their judgment as to the amount for those elements of damage cannot be influenced by any sympathy or prejudice for or against the parties.
If someone dies as the result of an accident there are special rules under Iowa Law which apply to death cases. As a general rule, if there is sufficient evidence to support a recovery, the personal representative of the estate can seek recovery for any physical and mental pain and suffering that the decedent suffered prior to his or her death following the accident. The personal representative can also seek recovery for the present value of the additional amounts the decedent would reasonably be expected to have accumulated as a result of his or her own effort if they had lived out their normal life expectancy. Costs of burial can also at times be recovered. If there is a surviving spouse who was dependent upon the decedent for financial support those damages can be recovered.
Additionally, if the decedent died having minor children damages for loss of financial support for those minor children can also be recovered. Whenever someone is killed in an accident and they are survived by a spouse or children, there can also be a claim for loss of spousal and/or parental consortium. Spousal consortium is the fellowship of a husband and wife and the right of each to the benefits of company, cooperation, affection, and aid in every aspect of their marital relationship including general usefulness, industry and attention within the home and family. It does not include loss of financial support form the injured spouse nor mental anguish caused by the spouse’s death. Parental consortium is the relationship between parent and child and the right of the child to the benefits of companionship, comfort, guidance, affection and aid of the parent in every parental relationship including the parent’s usefulness and attention within the family. It does not include the loss of financial support from the injured parent nor mental anguish caused by the parent’s death.
The amount of compensation which you can recover in cases of personal injury or death are unique to your case. Because there is no one like you, you should not compare your case with anyone else’s case. Because there are no mathematical standards or rulers that you can look at in determining the amount of compensation that you are owed it is wise to seek legal advice or assistance.