Personal injury cases filed in Iowa each year range from dog bites to slip and fall accidents in retail settings. When you suffer a dog bite from a neighbor who knowingly and negligently allowed his or her dog to run free, you may have a case. Personal injury cases may also include repetitive stress injuries that you suffered at work, a traumatic brain injury that occurred after a car accident or a broken arm after a fall in a shopping mall. Working with a qualified attorney lets you learn more about the case at hand.
What to Look for in an Attorney
When hiring an Iowa lawyer, you want to look for someone experienced in personal injury cases. You may find an advertisement in the phone book, the law firm website or get a referral from a loved one. Before you agree to hire that individual, request a free consultation. This gives you the chance to sit down with that lawyer and get a feel for how he or she operates. If you feel uncomfortable at any point during that meeting, or you have any reservations about the lawyer, you can thank him or her and move onto a different firm.
Going to Trial or Settling
Whether you have a slip and fall case, were in a car accident or suffered a dog bite, you can either settle the case or go to trial. Settling often occurs when the defendant’s attorney believes you have enough evidence to go forward but wants to cut down on negative publicity and keep the case out of the public eye. While you may receive more money during a trial, you also risk the judge throwing the case out of court or finding in favor of the defendant and leaving you with no compensation.
Prior to the Trial
If your lawyer believes that a trial is your best choice, he or she will help you prepare for your first meeting in front of the judge. The lawyer should also set about gathering evidence that shows you suffered an injury because of another person and that the person’s negligence or specific actions led to the injury. This may require that your lawyer find witnesses, meet with your doctors and get copies of your medical records. A personal injury case in Iowa may result in you getting compensation for lost wages, emotional pain and your medical bills.