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How does a distracted driver cause an Iowa motorcycle accident? What should I do if I’m hurt in this type of crash?
You’ve probably seen the public service announcements and read the news headlines. Distracted driving is dangerous.
But You Also Need to Know Why
In Iowa, it is against the law for:
- Novice drivers to use a cell phone while driving.
- Any driver to text and drive.
However, texting is only one example of distracted driving. Even if all drivers followed the distracted driving law, distracted driving accidents would still occur because a driver may be distracted anytime his or her…
- Eyes are off the road.
- Hands are off the steering wheel.
- Attention is off driving safely.
In addition to cell phone use, this could include things such as eating, drinking, daydreaming, talking to a passenger, attending to kids, changing the music, or following directions. Any of these things could lead to a driver failing to see a motorcyclist and causing a serious accident.
You Need to Know What to Do If You Are Hurt in a Crash
If you think that another driver’s distraction was the cause of your motorcycle accident, then you are going to have to prove it in order to recover damages. In other words, you are going to have to collect evidence that shows that it is more likely than not that the driver’s distraction caused the accident and that the accident resulted in your physical injuries.
It can be difficult to prove this, but you may be able to do so by:
- Collecting evidence at the scene of the accident.
- Getting a copy of the police report.
- Making sure you have contact information for witnesses.
- Getting prompt medical care for all your injuries.
- Talking to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who can guide you through the legal discovery process and help you get the information that you need to protect your rights.
If you would like to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself after a distracted driver has hurt you, then please call us today at 1-800-800-5678 to schedule your own free, no-obligation consultation.
Can I file a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Iowa?
Sometimes, the answer to your question is straightforward. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence and you are a legally competent adult, then you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in an Iowa court after a motorcycle crash.
But You May Also Have Standing to Sue in Other Situations
Specifically, you may also be able to bring a lawsuit on behalf of someone else if…
- You are the parent or legal guardian of someone under the age of 18 who was hurt in the crash. If your child was the rider or motorcycle passenger who was injured, then you may be able to bring a lawsuit on his behalf, because your child does not yet have the authority to bring a lawsuit for himself.
- You are the legal guardian of someone over the age of 18 who was hurt in the crash. Part of being a legal guardian may be having the authority to start legal actions on behalf of someone else who may not be competent to do so on his own.
- You are the personal representative of the estate of a person who died in the crash. In this case, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate.
Having Standing to Sue Doesn’t Mean You Have to Handle the Lawsuit Yourself
Instead, you have the right to have an attorney file the case for you. When you hire a lawyer to write and file the complaint that will be filed in court, then you can be confident that all of the court’s requirements and deadlines have been met and that your legal rights have been protected.
To find out more about beginning a lawsuit after a motorcycle wreck, please browse the articles on our website and start a free live chat with us now.
Can I still recover damages in an Iowa motorcycle accident case if I was partly to blame for the accident?
Few accidents are clear-cut with 100 percent of the liability resting with just one driver. Real life is complicated; while the other driver may have been primarily responsible for the crash, you may have also been partly at fault.
This May Not Prevent Your Recovery
Iowa liability law uses a principle known as a contributory negligence. The law states that:
- You may recover damages if you were partly at fault for the accident, but not primarily at fault. In other words, your portion of the fault must be 50 percent or less.
- Your damages may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to you. For example, if you were 30 percent at fault for the crash, then your total damages would be reduced by 30 percent, because it would not be fair to require the other driver to pay for your mistake.
If the other driver or his insurance company can establish that you were partly to blame for the accident, then you should expect that driver or insurance company to argue that you were responsible for a larger percentage of the accident than you believe is true. By making this argument, the other party will try to lower the amount it has to pay to you.
Be Prepared for a Fight
You will have to provide strong evidence that proves what happened during the crash and you will benefit from having a skilled lawyer advocate on your behalf. That way, you can make sure that your rights are protected and that you get the fair recovery that you deserve—even when the situation is complicated.
Don’t let your own potential liability prevent you from contacting an experienced Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer for a free consultation. You deserve to find out the truth about how an Iowa motorcycle case works and about how to protect your recovery. Call us today at 1-800-800-5678 or start an online chat with us now to learn more.
What are the minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance in Iowa?
Iowa does not have a compulsory insurance law, but the Motor Vehicle Financial and Safety Responsibility Act requires that all motorcyclists (and drivers) be able to prove that they have insurance or show another form of financial responsibility in the event of a motorcycle accident. If a motorcyclist cannot show some form financial responsibility, he risks losing both his license and registration.
Financial responsibility can be demonstrated in the following ways:
- Having a valid Iowa motorcycle insurance policy.
- Posting bond with the Office of Driver Services for all charges relating to the accident.
- An agreement to pay property damage and medical bills resulting from the accident on an installment plan.
- Submitting official releases of liability from everyone involved in the accident.
- Providing documentation showing a full settlement of all damages or injuries related to the accident.
- A warrant for confession of judgment with a damage payment schedule.
- A copy of civil damage action decision that shows you have no liability for damages resulting from the accident.
This sounds like a lot of options and it may lead you to believe that you don’t really need motorcycle accident insurance in Iowa.
But You Do Need Insurance
If you cause an accident and you do not have insurance, then you are going to have to pay for all of the damages that result from the crash. This can be financially devastating. Accordingly, it is important to purchase accident insurance.
All Iowa motorcycle insurance policies must meet the following minimum requirements:
- $20,000 bodily injury liability for the injury or death of a single person.
- $40,000 bodily injury liability for the injury or death of two or more people.
- $15,000 property damage liability coverage.
Hupy and Abraham fights for the rights of motorcyclists. To learn more about your rights after a bike crash, please request a free copy of The Ultimate Guide For Motorcycle Accident Victims or contact our office at 800-800-5678 to schedule a free consultation. Additionally, you can browse our website for more tips and resources for riders.