Personal Injury FAQ's
How do I know if I have a case?
If you or someone you love has been hurt, injured or even died as a result of someone else's failure to follow the rules, recklessness, and/or carelessness, the first question you will ask is whether you have a worthwhile legal case, lawsuit, and/or personal injury claim. To recover money damages and fair compensation, you must prove three things.
Three Essential to Prove to Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim:
- NEGLIGENCE - YOU MUST PROVE THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS NEGLIGENT or in other words AT FAULT IN SOME WAY – was the other person(s) careless (negligent) in his behavior. For example, if a truck driver crashed into an innocent victim's car because he ignored a stop sign, the truck driver, under the law, would be considered negligent. He failed to follow the rules of the road that everyone learned as a teenager. In some cases, it may be more complicated and require the testimony of an expert witness such as an engineer specializing in accident reconstruction.
- HARM – YOU MUST PROVE that the negligence YOU PROVED in step #1 caused you or a loved one to suffer personal injury or death. That is that the negligence was a cause of damage to you (the plaintiff). In the above example, if the innocent victim sustained broken bones, a head injury, PTSD, etc… as a result of the crash. This step always requires expert medical testimony from either your treating doctors or a hired forensic medical expert.
- VALUE – YOU MUST PROVE the fair market value of the HARM (injury/death) you PROVED in step #2. Under Iowa law, this is referred to as DAMAGES. Proving damages also will require the testimony of an expert such as a doctor or vocational expert.
How long do I have to file a personal injury case?
Two Years from the date of the harm (INJURY) caused to you by someone's negligence is the Standard Time Limit for Iowa Personal Injury Lawsuits. This is called the Statute of Limitations. The specific statute of limitations in Iowa can be found in Iowa Code Chapter 614. However, there are EXCEPTIONS to the statute of limitations for specific situations and types of personal injury lawsuits that require the personal analysis and advice of attorney Danny Cornell. This analysis is very important because, if you fail to act in time you will BE FOREVER BARRED FROM FILING A LAWSUIT. Most importantly, CONTACT DANNY CORNELL ASAP if you believe you have a personal injury case. We can do a much better job for you if we are involved early and often in the process. You are at a tremendous DISADVANTAGE trying to deal directly with an experienced insurance adjuster. Make no mistake, the goal of the insurance adjuster is to pay the bare minimum to you. In exchange, you lose all your rights to recover forever. Think about David vs. Goliath on steroids!
What should I do if an insurance adjuster contacts me?
The answer to this question depends on what company the insurance adjuster is working for. If the adjuster is working for your insurance company then you have a duty to cooperate with his “investigation” under your first-party contract of insurance. If the adjuster is working for the other driver's insurance company then you have no duty to speak to him and should not without your lawyer's advice and consent. The best thing to do is to politely take the insurance adjuster's information and call Danny Cornell Law for professional the best legal analysis and advice. We have been handling these situations for more than 25 years and there is no charge for the initial analysis and advice. There is never any attorney fees for a personal injury case unless the client wins. No recovery, no legal fees plain and simple.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
Well, first of all, there is no guarantee that your claim will “settle”. If a lawyer tells you differently or gives you anything like a “guarantee” get up immediately and leave his office. Some lawsuits do settle and some lawsuits go to a jury trial. I NEVER file a lawsuit that I am unwilling to take to JURY TRIAL. Neither should you. Insurance companies will try repeatedly to “buy” your case for as little as possible. That is their business model, plain and simple. You need an experienced and tough lawyer to fight for your full recovery under the law. This could be 1 year or 3 years, each case is different. Honestly, some lawyers settle cases fast and cheap. Their business model is like a McDonald's drive-through. Insurance adjuster's love to see those lawyers on a claim file.
How do I pay for a lawyer in a personal injury case?
At Danny Cornell Law, we operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if and when we win your case. Our fee would come in the form of a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount we obtain.