Iowa Car Accident Laws and Lawyers
Iowa is a Midwestern state located near the heart of the country. Agriculture forms a big part of Iowa’s economy, especially corn. Des Moines and Cedar Rapids are two of the state’s more notable cities, but smaller towns throughout the state also offer attractions for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. The state is more populated than one might initially think – Iowa is, in fact, the 30th most populated state in America (according to 2013 census data) and has a population of 3.09 million people.
The laid-back feeling that some may get from living or vacationing in Iowa may lead one to let his or her guard down when it comes to practicing safe driving habits. This can lead to the person being involved in a motor vehicle crash and suffering serious (or even fatal) injuries. These injuries can require the injury victim to undergo extensive and expensive medical treatment, miss considerable time from work, and endure mental pain, anguish, and suffering. Compensation for these and other losses may be available through an Iowa car accident lawsuit or claim.
Iowa Car Accident Statistics and Data
Iowa’s Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division, maintains statistics and data about the number of fatal accidents that occur in Iowa each year. This data can be analyzed by policymakers and others who wish to see if Iowa’s roadways are becoming safer or more dangerous. The most recent data for the State of Iowa shows that 320 people were killed in Iowa during 2015 in 282 fatal collisions (meaning that, in some fatal collisions, more than one person was killed). This number is essentially unchanged from 2014 when 321people were killed and 2013 when 317 people were killed. These numbers do not account for the number of people who are injured in motor vehicle crashes in Iowa.
Many Iowa car accidents are not truly accidents but are instead crashes caused by the careless actions of one or more individuals. Fatal and injury crashes could oftentimes be avoided if the drivers involved had merely acted with more care. Driving while intoxicated, paying more attention to a cellphone than the roadway, or driving in violation of well-established traffic control laws are all actions that drivers can choose not to participate in and are all activities which, if avoided, would decrease the likelihood that that driver would be involved in a car crash.
Iowa is a “Fault-Based” Insurance State
If you live and drive in Iowa, state law requires that you purchase an auto insurance policy with sufficient policy limits (as set by the state) that can provide compensation to injury victims in the event you cause a car crash that injures or kills others. When you cause an injury or fatal car crash, the injured party or parties submit claims to your “fault-based” insurance policy. If your insurance carrier verifies that the loss is covered and that you were at fault for causing the crash, your insurance carrier will typically pay the claim.
If you submit a claim for compensation to an at-fault driver’s insurance and the insurance company either does not pay the claim or does not offer adequate compensation to you, you may be entitled to file a car accident lawsuit and pursue the compensation you need. In a car accident lawsuit, the injury victim’s fault and degree of responsibility for causing the crash will be examined, but it will not preclude the victim from recovering compensation so long as the victim is 50 percent or less at fault in causing the accident (the amount of fault attributable to the injury victim will cause any compensation award he or she receives to be correspondingly reduced).
File Your Iowa Car Accident Case Quickly
If you do find yourself needing to file a car crash lawsuit in Iowa, Iowa’s statute of limitations (Iowa Code Ann. Sec. 614.1) only gives you two years from the date of your car crash in which to file your case. (There are exceptions to this general deadline, but many of the exceptions do not apply in the case of car crashes.) Two years is not a long period of time, especially when you are attempting to recover from your injuries, ascertain your legal rights, investigate the facts of your case, struggle with insurance companies for benefits, and preparing your case for filing. Many injury victims find it beneficial to have an experienced attorney help them handle the legal aspects of their car accident injury while the victim him- or herself focuses on his or her recovery.
When to Contact a Car Crash Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured or suffered a loss because of a car crash caused by another person, let the experienced and compassionate law firm of Stern Law, PLLC help you put the pieces of your life back together. Attorney Ken Stern will help you understand your rights and what must be done to obtain the compensation you need for your injuries. Call Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529.