If you or a loved one are injured by a dog, Iowa law entitles you to recover various types of damages:
- Medical Expenses: The cost of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses that you have due to the injury and that you are likely to have in the future because of your injury can be recovered. These expenses include past (already-incurred) medical expenses and also future medical expenses, which may be caused by the original injury or that result from an increased likelihood of future injury. All forms of care and treatment, whether hospital, medical, therapy, nursing, diagnostic testing, surgery, physical rehabilitation or pain management are included. You can recover the full value of your medical expenses from the responsible party even if your health insurer has paid all or part of your bills.
- Lost Wages (Loss of Earnings): You are also entitled to recover your lost wages (a/k/a loss of earnings) caused by your injuries. Wages, commissions, bonuses and all other earnings and fringe benefits that would have been earned if you weren't injured are recoverable. You can recover the full value of your lost wages even if your employer or disability insurance has paid all or part of them.
- Future Loss of Earnings: If your injuries permanently limit your ability to earn money that you earned at your job before being injured, you can recover the value of the reduction in your earning capacity if it is likely it will occur in the future. These damages compensate you for your lost earning power at your job over the remainder of your working years.
- Pain and Suffering: Ordinarily, the most "valuable" element of your bodily injury claim is the right to compensation for physical pain and mental distress you have suffered and will endure in the future because of your injury. These general damages are in addition to and may be far more than the amount of your lost earnings and medical expenses.
- Loss of Full Mind and Body: This part of your bodily injury claim is designed to reimburse you for any loss of function or use of your body or mind. Basically, they pay you for your inability to use a part of your body the same as you could prior to the injury which includes mental injuries. These damages are in addition to your other damages described above.
- Disfigurement: If the injury causes scarring or other unsightly marks, you are entitled to recover for the disfigurement and humiliation or embarrassment associated with the disfigurement.
- Damage To The Child or Marital Relationship: Serious injuries to a spouse or child may cause damage to the relationship. If this occurs, you are entitled to recover for the loss of the relationship with the injured person and the change in their ability to assist at home the way they did prior to the injury.
- Death: Damages for "wrongful death" are available to the beneficiaries (often the wife, husband, parent or child) of the deceased person. Sometimes, persons related by blood or marriage, who were dependent upon the deceased, may also recover. Damages are not limited to the financial loss caused by the death and may include damages for loss of consortium which the law defines as loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, affection and aid the relationship, general usefulness, industry and attention within the home and family. Damages are also available for the deceased's lost accumulation of value to his/her Estate.
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