What Constitutes a Reportable Accident in Iowa?
The chances of getting into an accident are directly proportional to the number of drivers on Iowa's roads. The annual accident rate is about 20,000.
According to Iowa law, drivers are in charge of notifying the appropriate parties and exchanging information with them following an accident. Any of these obligations unfulfilled could lead to the suspension of a person's driver's license.
One can save time in the future by becoming familiar with the fundamentals of reporting auto accidents in the state.
In Iowa, a person involved in an accident with no injuries, fatalities, or total damage to property less than $1,500, is not required by law to file a report.
Whatever the accident's severity, victims will be able to recover all losses through their insurance or in a personal injury lawsuit based on the degree of fault.
Which Type of Accidents Should Be Reported?
It's a good idea to alert authorities following any accident, even though the individual is not compelled to do so when the only damage is to property.
Police officers are well-trained to examine accident scenes. The reports they create might come in handy in a lawsuit for personal injuries or property damage later.
When to Report an Accident to the Police?
Iowa law requires that a person involved in an accident immediately contacts the sheriff of the county where the accident occurred if it resulted in any injuries or fatalities.
When to Report an Accident to the Department of Transportation (DOT)?
A person must write a report with Iowa's DOT less than 72 hours after an accident. This is compulsory if the incident causes any death or injury or if there are property damages that surpass $1,500.
It is easy to lose driving privileges for not submitting the form on time.
Filing an Iowa Car Accident Report
Any accident that results in a fatality, a person getting hurt, or property damage totaling over $1,500 must be recorded on an Iowa Accident Report form.
Pay close attention to the request for insurance information on page four of the report. Driving privileges and registration may be suspended for failing to give information about insurance coverage. Insurance also follows the car and not the driver in the state of Iowa.
People should be noted that if a police officer investigates the collision on the spot, they automatically file this report on the accident victim's behalf.
A copy of this accident report can be acquired from the police for $4.
Receiving a Copy of Your Accident Report
Officers often write an accident report while on the scene of a collision. A copy of this is available for purchase online or offline at the responding sheriff or police officer's station.
Only those directly involved in the accident, their lawyers, or insurers can request these reports under state law.
If they want a copy, a person must submit a formal request that includes the date, time, and place where the incident took place. This should also include the names and license numbers of all the drivers who were at fault.
Whose Fault Is It? Using the Pure Comparative Negligence Law
Iowa is an at fault state. This means that all parties are liable for damages in proportion to the amount of fault they contributed unless the plaintiff is found to have been negligent to the extent that it exceeds 51%.
In summary, the compensation a person gets will be diminished by the proportion of their contribution to the accident if they are found to be partially at fault.
Victims to receive $20,000 in damages will only get $16,000 if the court determines they were 20% to blame for the accident.
The individual won't be eligible for compensation if the judge determines that they are more than 50% at fault.
Iowa Car Accident Claim Concerns? Contact Tom Fowler Law
It's difficult to get life back on track after an accident. Finding adequate compensation might be challenging, especially when there is substantial property damage or an injury.
Vehicle accident lawyers in Des Moines can represent victims in negotiations with insurance companies and fight for a just settlement.
Tom Fowler is a veteran who is now a dedicated personal injury attorney. He works hard to get justice for those who deserve it and has won several claims for his clients.
Contact Tom Fowler Law at (515) 203-8434 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced attorneys.