Is Iowa a No-fault State for Car Accidents? Answer Explained by A Seasoned Lawyer
Most car accidents result in damage and loss for all parties involved, especially if it is severe.
Therefore, many people end up paying high medical bills, property repairs, lost wages, and more.
Drivers involved in such incidents could be liable for damages. In order to pay for them, they have two options: file a claim against their insurance policy's no-fault coverage or against the at-fault party's liability coverage.
However, the alternatives available to the drivers depend on the state where they are, as some follow at-fault rules while others have a no-fault system.
What happens if the driver is in Iowa? Is Iowa a no-fault state for car accidents? Here's what the state laws say.
Iowa Is Not a No-Fault State: Understanding the System
In a no-fault state, when there is a car accident, each driver can file a claim with their respective insurer to cover related expenses, regardless of who was at fault.
However, unlike Minnesota and other states governed by no-fault laws, Iowa is an at-fault state.
In other words, the car insurance laws in this state indicate that the driver who causes the accident is held responsible for the injuries and losses of the other.
Iowa handles car accident cases under a fault system that determines who is financially responsible for the incident, injuries, vehicle damage, and other consequential damages.
Therefore, the party that is held accountable must use their insurance to pay the other driver the expenses related to the accident.
What Happens If Someone Drives Without Insurance in Iowa?
Under the state's traffic laws, all drivers must have adequate insurance for their safety and property.
Iowa law states that all drivers must have a policy with minimum liability coverage, including:
$20,000 for bodily injury or death to one person in any vehicular accident
$40,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more people in motor vehicle incidents
$15,000 for damage or destruction of property owned by others
A driver involved in an accident who fails to show proof of insurance could face several penalties, including:
A fine of $250
License suspension for one year if damages caused exceed $1,500
Vehicle license plate suspension
How Is Fault Determined in Iowa?
The state of Iowa relies on the modified comparative negligence system to determine fault in an accident.
While this means that both parties involved could be held accountable for the collision or damage, this system determines that a driver can recover damages only if the other is at least 51% at fault.
Compensation is limited based on the percentage of fault, meaning the amount can be reduced according to the plaintiff's liability.
If a driver was 71% at fault in an accident in a case that awarded $10,000 in the ruling, the plaintiff receives $7,100.
Iowa law states that compensable damages are:
Pain and suffering
Car rental after a property loss or damage
What Can Affected Parties Do After a Car Accident?
Since Iowa is an at-fault state, people who are involved in a car accident due to others' negligence or wrongdoing have the right to take legal action and seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
In this sense, victims can:
Make a claim against the at-fault party's insurance company
File a lawsuit against the other driver if they were negligent and caused the accident
Make a claim on their own insurers if they have comprehensive coverage
Should Victims Seek Legal Help?
Anyone who has suffered injuries or losses in a car accident caused by another driver can seek legal assistance and take legal action to obtain the compensation they deserve.
A vehicle accident lawyer in Des Moines will know all of Iowa's related laws and processes. Therefore, they are ready to help victims fight for their rights if the negligence of others affects their lives.
Drivers who have suffered a collision or other type of car accident caused by others can get help at the Tom Fowler Law Firm. Call for legal guidance on specific circumstances such as if an employer can cancel health insurance while on workers comp or what constitutes a reportable accident.
As a dedicated personal injury attorney, Tom Fowler works hard to help car accident victims get the justice they deserve!
Those who want to get their case reviewed or find more information on Iowa at-fault car insurance laws can get a free consultation at our firm today!