Bringing A Lawsuit FAQ

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC

Q: How long do I have to bring a lawsuit?

A: It depends on what the nature of your lawsuit is and where you are bringing it. In Iowa, you must follow these time limits:

  • For employment discrimination, 180 days from the last act of discrimination (300 days under federal law, but you lose some remedies).
  • For car crashes, two years from date of accident.
  • For medical negligence, two years from the date you discover (note: this is a really complicated area with lots of twists and turns).
  • Bad products, two years from discovery (note: also very complicated).
  • Constitutional violations, two years or four years (depending).
  • Breach of oral contract, five years.
  • Breach of written contract, ten years.
  • Fraud, four years.
  • Filing sooner is usually better than filing later. The one exception is when you have physical injuries that are likely to get better. We may then recommend that you wait until you have reached the point of maximum recovery, or, in other words, until you are as good as you are going to get.

Q: How can I afford a lawyer?

A: We are contingency fee lawyers. If we believe you have a winnable case, we are willing to share the risk of losing with you. Our fees will be a percentage of your recovery. In employment cases, the defendant may also pay when we win or settle your case. If we don't win, we don't get paid. Take a look at the standard contract on the web site. Remember, costs are different than fees. Costs are out-of-pocket expenses like filing fees, experts, depositions, postage, faxes, and phone expenses. While we can pay these costs for you during the lawsuit, you remain responsible for them.

Q: How do you select cases?

A: We are forced to turn down and refer out most cases just because we are a small firm and we receive so many requests for assistance. The decision to accept responsibility for an employment case is based on the initial phone interview, written materials, and independent investigation. Personal injury cases are accepted after examination of the accident report or medical records and a personal interview. Sometimes, we simply cannot accept any more cases for a while, but we are glad to refer cases to other competent lawyers.

Q: What kinds of cases do you handle?

A: We can help you with the following types of cases:

  • Employment discrimination, sexual harassment and civil rights;
  • Medical malpractice;
  • Catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death,
  • Brain damage and spinal cord injuries;
  • Negligent security;
  • Products and premises liability;
  • Class action lawsuits; and

Other matters which cause injury or harm. For further information, see our letter to clients.