Find A Lawyer Legal Articles Attorney Login

How Car Accident Compensation Works In Iowa

Injured? Call Now
Talk to a LAW.COM Premier Attorney today!

Injured In An Iowa Car Crash? Find Out How Much Your Claim Could Be Worth 

Car accidents in Iowa caused by another driver often quickly turn into complicated legal cases. That’s because many collisions often result in serious injuries. You may be dealing with a concussion caused by a collision on I-80 in Des Moines. Or perhaps you’re in pain due to whiplash caused by a rear-end accident on I-380 in Cedar Rapids. 

Whatever the circumstances of your crash, you need to take steps right away to protect your health and your rights. One of the big reasons why is because your accident-related expenses can add up fast. And if you don’t act fast, you could end up having to pay for your crash out of your own pocket.

A Lawyer!

Free Evaluation

Tell us about your potential case.

By submitting you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy.
Injured? Speak to a LAW.COM
Premier Attorney

1-866-828-0442 or Submit Your Case Form

Yes. Like most states, Iowa has what’s known as an at-fault car insurance system. This simply means the at-fault party is responsible for paying for the accident. Often, this responsibility falls on the shoulders of the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

In addition, Iowa has a "modified comparative negligence" system, which is also known as "modified comparative fault." Under this system, injury victims must prove that the at-fault driver was more at fault than them. This is very important if the injury victim’s accident claim turns into a legal case.

In the event that the case goes to trial, the judge or jury will assign a percentage of fault to each party involved in the accident. If one party is found to be 50 percent or more at fault, they will be barred from recovering any compensation.

Additionally, the amount of damages (financial compensation) that the injury victim (known as the plaintiff) can recover will be reduced based on their degree of fault. For example, if the plaintiff is deemed to be 30 percent at fault for causing the accident, they will only receive 70 percent of the damages awarded to them.

What type of car insurance is required in Iowa?

Iowa drivers are required to have insurance. The mandatory minimum car insurance requirements in Iowa include:

  • $15,000 per accident for property damage caused by the insured driver.
  • $20,000 for bodily injury-related expenses or the death of one person caused by the insured driver.
  • $40,000 per accident for bodily injury-related expenses or the death of two or more people caused by the insured driver.

All three types of mandatory car insurance in Iowa are known as liability coverage. This is a legal term that applies to insurance that pays for accident-related expenses caused by the insurance policyholder. In other words, the liability insurance on your policy doesn’t pay for your injuries, it pays for someone else’s injuries in an accident you cause. Likewise, if you are injured in an accident caused by someone else, it’s their liability insurance that will apply to your claim.

What optional car insurance is available in Iowa?

Along with the mandatory minimum car insurance requirements in Iowa, some drivers choose to get additional insurance. Some of the most common types of optional car insurance in Iowa include: 

  • Medical Payments (MedPay) Coverage – This insurance pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of fault.
  • Collision Coverage – In the event of an accident, this type of coverage will pay for the damage to your vehicle regardless of who was at fault. It can also cover damage caused by hitting a stationary object like a guardrail or tree.
  • Comprehensive Coverage – If your vehicle is damaged due to uncontrollable events like theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters, or collisions with animals, this insurance will pay for the repairs.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage – This type of insurance protects you in case of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. It can cover your expenses related to the accident.
  • Roadside Assistance Coverage – This insurance offers support if your vehicle breaks down while on the road. Services like towing, tire changes, jump-starts, and fuel delivery are included.
  • Rental Reimbursement Coverage – If your car is damaged in an accident and requires repairs, this insurance will cover the cost of a rental car.

Your car accident claim could be worth thousands of dollars or perhaps significantly more. The difference depends on which accident-related expenses you are compensated for after your collision in Iowa. It may also depend on the amount of available insurance coverage.

Many times, insurance companies only take into account short-term expenses when calculating how much money you should receive for your accident. However, when such expenses occur should not be an issue. If you have future accident-related expenses due to your accident, you should be compensated for them, no matter how many months or years they occur after a collision.

This is why it’s important to talk with an experienced car accident lawyer in Iowa. They can review your case and help you better understand how much money you should receive for your collision.

What expenses can I be compensated for in Iowa?

As explained, you should be financially compensated for all your accident-related expenses, including past, present and future anticipated expenses. Such expenses can include:

  • All medical care due to your accident injury, including follow-up doctor’s appointments, surgical procedures, physical therapy and prescription medications for long-term chronic pain.
  • Modifications to your home, including installing a wheelchair ramp if necessary.
  • Vehicle repairs due to damage caused by the other driver.
  • Purchasing a new car if it’s a total loss due to your collision.
  • Replacement income if you cannot work while you’re recovering from your car accident injury.
  • Lost future income if you cannot return to work or can only work in a limited capacity due to a permanent disability.

How is car accident compensation calculated in Iowa?

Insurance companies often insist they have complicated formulas they use to determine how much money to pay car accident injury victims. In truth, most insurance companies only take into account short-term accident expenses immediately after an accident. They often leave out future expenses that could significantly affect the value of your claim – that is, the amount they have to pay you.

So how do you know if your Iowa car accident settlement offer was calculated correctly? The best method is to consult with an attorney familiar with the car accident compensation process in Iowa. They can review any settlement offer you receive and conduct their own calculations to help you better understand how much money your car accident claim could be worth.

Soon after an accident, it’s common for insurance companies to make a settlement offer. If you receive such an offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you may be tempted to take the offer and settle your case. But remember, once you take the insurance company’s money, your car accident claim is permanently settled. As a result, you cannot request any additional money for your accident, even if your accident expense (like medical bills) turn out to be much higher in the future.

Insurance companies know this. That’s why many of them make settlement offers immediately after an accident. They know that if they can convince you to accept their initial offer, they can avoid having to pay for future accident expenses, which can often be significant.

Can I ask for more money for my car crash claim?

Yes. You have the right to request more money for your Iowa car accident. And if you receive a lowball settlement offer that does not cover the cost of all your accident-related expenses, you should demand more money. Remember, you didn’t do anything to cause your collision. You should be financially compensated for all your accident expenses, according to the rules of Iowa’s at-fault car insurance system.

However, negotiating a better settlement offer with an insurance company can be very challenging. This is because insurance companies have years of experience handling negotiations and teams of attorneys and adjusters protecting their bottom line.

So what’s the best method for requesting more money for your Iowa car accident? It’s simple: having an experienced attorney representing you at the negotiating table can improve your ability to demand more money.

Who decides how much money I receive for my Iowa car accident?

As briefly explained above, insurance companies often have the most to say when it comes to how much money you should receive for your car crash. However, they’re not the only ones who have a final say on the total value of your accident claim. You can be part of these important conversations.

The best way to be part of these negotiations is to have an experienced attorney, who thoroughly understands how Iowa’s car accident compensation system works, representing you. That way, you can make sure that your voice is heard loud and clear.

Yes. You have the right to take legal action in Iowa in response to your car accident. In some cases, this might be the best way to get the money you deserve for your accident-related expenses. This is especially true if the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to negotiate a better settlement offer or denies your car accident claim.

Keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of time to file a car accident lawsuit in Iowa. The deadline, known as the statute of limitations, is two years from the date of your accident for filing a personal injury lawsuit, according to Iowa Code Ann. §614.1. If you are filing a property damage claim in response to your car accident, the statute of limitations for filing a property damage lawsuit in Iowa is five years from the date of your accident, according to the same Iowa law.

Such deadlines might seem like a long time. But the reality is the sooner you take legal action, the better. That’s because the evidence you need to build a strong legal case can be lost or destroyed soon after your accident. And without such evidence, you could have a hard time winning your legal case.

Can I get money for pain and suffering for a car accident in Iowa?

Yes. If you decide to file a lawsuit in response to your car accident injury, you can sue for non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering.

Damages (financial compensation) for car accidents are divided into two categories – economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are expenses that have a specific financial impact, such as the cost of repairing your damaged vehicle. Non-economic damages don’t have a specific dollar amount but refer instead to the overall impact on someone’s life due to a car accident.

In most cases, there is no legal limit to how much money car accident injury victims can receive for pain and suffering in Iowa. However, only an attorney can tell you how much your pain and suffering claim might be work.

What happens if the other driver doesn’t have car insurance?

If an uninsured driver crashes into your car in Iowa, the legal options available to you depend on what type of car insurance you have. If you have uninsured motorist insurance, your own insurance policy should pay for your accident.

But just because you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage doesn’t mean that your insurance company will automatically pay for your accident. In many cases, insurance companies, including your own, will try to reduce the amount they pay you and may even deny your UM accident claim.

That's why it's critical to seek the advice of a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible after your accident. A qualified Iowa attorney who understands how the car accident compensation system works in Iowa can help you navigate the claims process and explore other potential sources of compensation for your uninsured car accident.

Just because the other driver’s insurance company is supposed to financially compensate you for your accident does not mean they will automatically pay you. In many cases, insurance companies will do everything they can to pay injury victims as little as possible or nothing at all.

This is just one of the reasons why car accident injury victims in Iowa should have an attorney helping them with their car accident claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can demand the money you deserve for all your accident-related expenses.

This process often starts with a free consultation offered by the lawyer. There, you can ask the attorney legal questions about your potential case. If you decide to hire a lawyer, they will keep you informed throughout the legal process, while working hard to obtain the maximum financial compensation for your accident-related expenses.

Injured? Call Now
Talk to a LAW.COM Premier Attorney today!

Free Evaluation

Tell us about your potential case.

By submitting you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy.
Injured? Speak to a LAW.COM
Premier Attorney

1-866-828-0442 or Submit Your Case Form