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Low Speed Car Accidents

Generally, when someone hears about a car accident lawsuit, they think of a major high-speed crash. However, low-speed car accidents can also result in a lawsuit. For example, accelerating to 15 mph and hitting the next car’s rear end can damage a vehicle and even cause personal injuries. Typically, car accidents fall under the legal realm of personal injury law.

In Iowa, individuals are required to report an accident within 72 hours of the accident if either of the following occur:

  • Serious injury or death of anyone; and/or
  • Injuries or property damage resulting in over $1,500 of damage

This requirement is if police are not called to the scene of the accident because they will file a report. However, if the police are not called to the scene of the accident, a form is available on local law enforcement websites.

Iowa Low Speed Car Accident Attorney

At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., our lawyers understand that even collisions at low speeds are a serious matter. If you or a family member has been harmed in a low speed car accident in Iowa, do not wait any longer to seek the legal help you need.

Contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today at (515) 279-9700 for your free case evaluation and let our legal team pursue the compensation you are entitled to.

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. is based in West Des Moines, but our personal injury attorneys accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Adel, Dallas Center, Perry, Waukee, Redfield, Minburn, Van Meter, De Soto, Ankeny, Altoona, Johnston, Polk City, Pleasant Hill and Bondurant.

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Information Center

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Financial Responsibilities Relating To Low-Speed Car Accidents

In Iowa, drivers are required to show that they have financial responsibility for their vehicle, which involves purchasing auto insurance.

Auto Insurance Minimum

Iowa law requires drivers to purchase vehicle liability insurance to protect themselves, other drivers, and pedestrians from financial liability. The minimums required are as follows:

  • Bodily injury liability of at least $20,000 per person.
  • Bodily injury liability of at least $40,000 per accident.
  • Property damage liability of at least $15,000 per accident.

Failure to carry the minimum insurance required in Iowa may result in a fine of $250 and a one-year license suspension.

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Damages In Low-Speed Car Accident Cases

In Iowa, an individual injured during an accident, regardless of if it was the result of a high-speed accident or a low-speed accident, may seek economic or non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are any financial damages resulting directly from the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property loss. Economic damages are relatively easy to calculate because factual numbers are generally set, such as hourly pay multiplied by the number of missed work hours. However, the calculation does get slightly more complicated when future lost wages or medical expenses are required because of the extent of the injuries.

Future Lost Wages

If a car accident results in a long-term inability to work, an expert witness may be required to determine the individual’s career path (e.g., raises and promotions). For example, if someone in the individual’s career would generally get a promotion within the next year and they cannot work to receive that promotion. The wages lost due to the inability to be promoted may be calculated into the economic damages.

Future Medical Expenses

In addition to future lost wages, an expert witness could be called in court to testify regarding future medical expenses. For example, a doctor can testify about what medical treatment and medication will be needed in the future and then estimate the costs of such treatment to be calculated into the economic damages’ compensation.

Economic Cap

In some situations, there may be a soft cap on economic damages. A soft cap means the limit does not always apply, and under certain circumstances, individuals may receive more economic damages than the current soft cap of $250,000.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are not as easily calculated as economic damages because they are relatively subjective and may include pain, suffering, and inconvenience. For example, if someone is afraid to drive after the accident because they are experiencing PTSD, they may receive damages for mental pain and suffering. This mental pain is subjective because not everyone will mentally react the same way as another person, but everyone’s reaction is valid and may be compensated if it is reasonable.

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Comparative Fault In Low-Speed Car Accident Cases

Iowa uses a “comparative fault” analysis which allows a plaintiff to recover a level of damages even when they contributed to the accident. Under the comparative fault doctrine, the percentage of damages received will be reduced by the percent fault allocated to the plaintiff. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 30% at fault for the accident and the damages are found to be $100,000, the plaintiff will only receive $70,000 from the defendant(s).

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Statute Of Limitations In Low Speed Car Accident Cases

Under Iowa law, the statute of limitations for a car accident is two years. This means someone must bring a lawsuit within two years of the accident date. If two years pass and no case is filed, the case will likely be dismissed.

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Additional Resources

Accident Guide in Iowa: The Iowa DMV provides a guide concerning the procedure that should be followed after an accident occurs.

Iowa Code: This website provides statutes concerning all laws in Iowa, including regulations concerning transportation in Chapter 321 of the Iowa Code.

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West Des Moines Low Speed Accident Lawyer | Polk County, Iowa

If you have been injured during a low speed accident in West Des Moines, you should not have to endure the aftermath of this terrifying incident and its devastating repercussions on your own. You deserve to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side that can help you seek the justice you deserve.

For over the past 37 years, the attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have assisted injured clients get the best results possible for their case. We can do the same for you.

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including West Des Moines, Perry, Miniburn, Polk City, Ankeny and Altoona.

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