Iowa Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury & accidents in Iowa is two (2) years (Ref: Iowa Code § 614.1). 


What this means is that you (or your attorney) must file a lawsuit against a defendant within two years of the date of your accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within two years, generally you forfeit any potential claim against the defendant as a matter of law - meaning there will be no opportunity for a settlement, arbitration or trial. 


Disclaimer: Although the information presented on this page is generally true there are some exceptions to this information, and the Iowa Statute of Limitations (and the exceptions) may change over time. If you or a family member was involved in an accident and considering seeking compensation for your injuries it is crucial that you speak to an Iowa personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim and potential recovery.

Variations on Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit in Iowa

There are some variations & exceptions to the 2 years statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Iowa. Because of this, it is critical you discuss your matter with a lawyer who is highly experienced in personal injury law. 


  • If the person you're suing is a non-resident of the state of Iowa for any amount of time after your right to file the lawsuit arises, that period of non-residence probably won't be counted as part of the two years.
  • And if the property owner is under the age of 18 or is suffering from a mental illness at the time the incident occurs, he or she will typically have one year to bring the lawsuit once the period of "legal disability" ends (meaning the property owner turns 18 or is declared competent).

What if You Miss the Deadline to File a Lawsuit?

If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit and the Iowa statute of limitations passes (barring any exceptions), the opposing party will almost surely move for case dismissal and it will likely be granted. This also means that nearly any hope of a settlement will also be forfeited because there is no leverage to potentially pursue a trial (since it would immediately be dismissed). 

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