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How Does Iowa Law Address Long-Term Care Needs in Catastrophic Injury Cases?

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The Importance of Long-Term Care for Catastrophic Injuries

It’s not uncommon for people to use terms like serious injuries, severe injuries, and catastrophic injuries interchangeably. However, it’s important to recognize that there is a distinction when it comes to the “catastrophic” label. Put simply, such injuries often leave a person disabled or dealing with injuries for the rest of their lives. Because of this, it’s important to understand how Iowa law addresses long-term care needs in catastrophic injury cases.

After all, such injuries typically require years of recovery. Severe trauma to the spine or brain is typical for these incidents, but outcomes such as severe burns, amputation, internal injuries, and other injurious consequences are also normal. Of course, this list is not exhaustive. The key point to remember is that catastrophic injuries often result in the need for long-term care, and injury victims need to understand how to access such care.

How Does Iowa Personal Injury Law Come Into Play?

A person could suffer catastrophic injuries for any number of reasons. Perhaps they fell down the stairs in their own home, or maybe they were involved in one of the many Iowa truck accident cases that occur every year. After all, our state ranks fourth in the nation for fatal truck collisions. Regardless of the reason, personal injury law will come into play when a third party’s wrongful acts cause the accident.

Such acts could include negligent, reckless, purposeful, or illegal behavior. If a person is injured due to any of these issues, it’s often contingent on the liable party to provide financial compensation. For catastrophic injuries in Iowa, this often includes financial recovery intended to pay for long-term care needs. However, it’s important to realize that there are multiple ways to approach this — and Iowa law can sometimes complicate matters.

Settlements vs Court Awards

When a person suffers an injury due to another party’s wrongful acts, the most likely form of compensation will come in the form of a settlement. In fact, the majority of personal injury cases are resolved in this way. The simple fact is that insurance companies often want to avoid litigation, and this means they’ll offer a settlement to avoid trial. However, it’s critical to have an attorney negotiate on your behalf.

This is because insurers will try their best to minimize your compensation. This can prove disastrous when you have long-term care needs following a catastrophic injury in Iowa. When adjusters refuse to offer what you deserve, litigation may become necessary. Once you’re at this point, your attorney may be able to secure damages much higher than any potential settlement offer. This approach takes longer, but it’s often worth the effort.

What Is Comparative Negligence?

Iowa law practices comparative negligence. This means that all liable parties in a personal injury case have to pay compensation commensurate to their level of fault. If two people were each 50% responsible for your catastrophic injury, each will have to pay 50% of whatever court award you receive at trial.

Of course, it’s sometimes the case that injury victims contribute to their own harm. If this is the case, the courts will reduce the compensation provided to the victim by their proportion of fault. And if it’s decided that the person is mostly at fault for their injury, they’ll be barred from any recovery. This is why it’s critical to work with a legal professional from the start.

What if You Can’t Recover Personal Injury Compensation?

While the law in Iowa addresses long-term care needs in catastrophic injury cases, it’s important to realize that personal injury compensation will not always be possible. For instance, perhaps no third party contributed to your accident — or maybe the courts decided your own actions bar you from financial recovery. Regardless of the underlying situation, there may be other options that can help cover long-term care needs.

Many people benefit from long-term care insurance. This is usually a type of coverage secured through one’s own employer. However, the rise of the “gig economy” has increased the number of independent contractors who seek out their own policies. Unfortunately, there are many people who do not have this luxury. Only around 3% of the U.S. population has such coverage, but even if you don’t fall into this category, there may still be other options.

The most common approach to securing long-term care following catastrophic injuries in Iowa — at least when personal injury compensation isn’t possible — is to seek Social Security Disability. Individuals who have earned enough work credits in their life can access these benefits. Unfortunately, the process isn’t always simple. Many people actually face denials initially. However, keep in mind that such denials can be appealed.

How to Ensure Iowa Long-Term Care Needs Are Met Following Injuries

Victims of medical malpractice, slip-and-fall accidents, vehicular collisions, and other injurious events often face a long road to recovery. Unfortunately, this is even more true for individuals who suffer catastrophic injuries. When this happens, securing some form of financial support is the only way to ensure your long-term care needs are met without destroying you financially. In every case, an experienced attorney may be able to assist.

The simple fact is that there will always be barriers to recovering financial compensation. This is true even though Iowa law addresses long-term care needs in catastrophic injury cases. It’s often the case that insurance companies and liable parties will try to avoid taking responsibility. Even the Social Security Administration can complicate matters due to challenging application processes. This is why it never hurts to have a legal professional on your side.

At Cornell Injury Law, our Iowa personal injury attorneys are here to assist. Contact us at 319-219-2800 to schedule a free consult and review your options.

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