Iowa Car Accident Law, Lawyers and Attorneys
UPDATED: February 17, 2020
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Iowa Car Accident Resources
Iowa Car Accident Law, Lawyers and Attorneys
Car accidents are an unfortunate fact of life, occurring every day and in every state and municipality across the country. Iowa is no exception. In 2008, there were over 61,000 traffic accidents in the state of Iowa. What should you do if you’ve been in one of these accidents? The resources and information below should be of some help to you. Of course, the first thing you should do if you or someone you know has been injured in an accident is to call 911 immediately. The information available here is meant to help you assess your rights and responsibilities after the accident, but only after you’ve taken care of your immediate health needs. Our car accident articles cover a wide range of issues, from claims and fault data to liability issues, as well as the context behind structured settlements. You’ll also find rules, laws and other information specific to the state of Iowa, as well as links to Iowa personal injury attorneys who can assess the value of your claim and provide advice on the best course of action for you.
Iowa Car Accident Articles:
How an Auto Accident Insurance Claim Works
What is Your Car Accident Injury Claim Worth
Who is at Fault?
Car Insurance and Auto Accidents: Are You Covered?
What You Can Expect to Recover for Property Damage in Auto Accident Cases
Auto Accidents: Options if You’re at an Impasse with the Insurance Adjusterï¿½
Car Accidents Involving Government-Owned Vehicles and Government Workers
Structured Settlements ï¿½
Iowa Car Accident Lawyers:
Special Rules for Iowa Car Accidents:
Iowa Fault: Proportional Comparative Fault @ 51%
Iowa Car Insurance Requirements/Limits: Iowa allows drivers to demonstrate financial responsibility either with a valid liability insurance policy (details explained below), or by personally handling all the documentation & financial payments associated with an accident immediately after the accident. For those with suspended licenses or under the threat of having a suspended license, proof of financial responsibility takes the form of a surety bond, cash or securities filing of $55,000. For most of us, this is not practical, and a standard bodily injury and property damage liability policy is appropriate. The minimum levels required by law for this coverage are:
$20,000 per person for bodily injury
$40,000 per accident for bodily injury
$15,000 per accident for property
Proof of this liability insurance must be kept available in the vehicle at all times, including when registering a vehicle, renewing license plates, or anytime a police officer or the Department of Revenue asks you to show proof of insurance.
Iowa Small Claims Limits: $5,000
Iowa Personal Injury Statute of Limitations: 2 years
Iowa Auto Accidents Involving Government Vehicles: In most cases, government entities receive protection from private lawsuits under a legal doctrine known as “government immunity” or “sovereign immunity.” This doctrine doesn’t necessarily provide complete protection though; sometimes it just imposes extra notice requirements.ï¿½ For more information on this type of government protection, follow this link to the FreeAdvice.com article on vehicle accident claims against government entities. Keep in mind that, depending on which government entity, there are frequently special requirements for how long you have to notify them of your claim. See below for some Iowa specific details:
Requirements for Filing Against Government Entities:
1) For filing against the Federal Government: Use Standard Form 95 and follow the instructions on the back page. The form must be completed and submitted to the appropriate agency within two years after the incident giving rise to the claim.
2) For filing against the State of Iowa: All accidents in Iowa resulting in injuries or damages in excess of $1,000 must be reported to state government authorities within 72 hours, otherwise your driving privileges may be suspended. A link to the general Iowa Accident Report form is here.
3) For filing against an Iowa county or municipality: The requirements vary by county or municipality, so you’ll have to contact the specific county or agencies involved. See Iowa Personal Injury Venue below for more information on where and how to file a claim. See this directory or a directory of all Iowa state departments.
In dealing with accidents involving government entities and workers, be aware that there are always special notices to be filed against the appropriate government unit responsible, whether in risk management, the attorney general’s office, or local agencies, and the time periods are limited in all cases (as little as 30-180 days). The rules can be confusing, so carefully check the forms linked above before you fill them out, and/or call the Department of Transportation directly before filing your claim. Accident claims involving the government can be complicated. Any mistakes in filing or failing to file on time could result in your inability to recover for your damages and injuries. Consult an experienced attorney right away to preserve your rights. Also seeCar Accidents Involving Government-Owned Vehicles and Government Workers.
Iowa Personal Injury Venue (Where to File Your Lawsuit): In the municipal or justice court located where the defendant (the person you are suing) lives or does business. Alternatively, you might consider filing in a court located where the accident occurred. If you are filing a claim against a government agency and are unsure of which agency is responsible, the most prudent course is to file a separate claim against each agency, or just contact an Iowa auto accident attorney.