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Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

One killed and two injured in Iowa truck crash on Interstate 35

Iowa residents are aware that various types of vehicles fill the major and minor roadways of the state. Some major roads, such as Interstate 35, experience high levels of traffic at certain hours of the day, making them more prone to accidents. Moreover, this interstate is frequently used by large vehicles such as semi-trucks. While these massive trucks could travel safely on these roads, unfortunately a truck crash could ensue due to driver negligence or dangerous conditions on the roadway.

A fatal crash recently occurred in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, involving a pickup truck and a semi-truck. According to preliminary reports, the incident occurred on Interstate 35 near the Clear Lake exit when a semi-truck rear-ended the pickup truck. Officer indicated that the 67-year-old woman driving the pickup truck was stalled in a lane of the interstate. Shortly after, the stalled vehicle was struck from behind by the semi-truck.

Drivers must comply with federal trucking regulations

It occurs everyday. Residents in Iowa encounter large trucks on the roadway. Semi-trucks are considered very beneficial to society and commerce in the nation. They help transport goods across a state, several states and even across the entire nation. Despite the many benefits these large motor vehicles provide, there are several risks and dangers. In some cases, truck drivers are pressured to make timely deliveries to a long-distance destination, leading to long hours behind the wheel of a truck.

In order to address the concern that truck drivers are behind the wheel for too long and do not take enough breaks, federal trucking regulations have been implemented to address the numerous concerns related to this issue. Many are fearful that long hours lead to driver fatigue, which could result in the driver falling asleep, being distracted or inattentive. Such a situation could result in a serious and even fatal truck accident.

How could financial responsibility be applied in an accident?

There are numerous concerns following a car crash. Not only are accident victims shocked by the events leading up to and following an accident, but the aftermath of the crash could also significantly impact their life. They could suffer physical, emotional and financial hardships, and if another driver was at fault, the accident victim may be able to take certain steps to ensure financial responsibility is placed on the negligent driver.

How is financial responsibility applied to a driver at fault in an accident? Because Iowa does not have compulsory insurance law, financial responsibility must be shown by either the driver or owner of a motor vehicle in the event of a car accident. According to the Financial and Safety Responsibility Act, this helps protect accident victims from a financially unsound and reckless driver.

Rights and options for accident victims of a DUI crash

Despite the efforts to keep negligent and unsafe drivers off of the roads in Iowa, these drivers do get behind the wheel of a vehicle and put numerous lives at risk. Drunk drivers are a major threat on the roadways and could be the cause of a serious or even fatal car accident. Our law firm understands that Iowa residents neither expect to be involved in an automobile collision nor are they prepared to deal with the aftermath of the accident. Furthermore, accident victims of a DUI crash may have the right to pursue a cause of action, and the alleged drunk driver could face both criminal and civil charges following the incident.

Our attorneys realize that a drunk driving accident could be particularly difficult for accident victims and their loved ones. When the reckless behavior of a driver causes serious injuries or fatalities, accident victims or the loved ones of the deceased are left seeking answers.

How do you prove negligence in a car accident?

It is a known fact that whenever a driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle they are at the risk of being involved in a car accident. In order to reduce these chances, most drivers in Iowa practice safe driving and follow the rules of the road. Despite these efforts to drive safe and avoid a collision, this does not guard the individual from a negligent driver. When an accident occurs and a victim is injured, they often seek to assign fault to another driver due to that driver's negligence or recklessness.

How do you prove negligence in an automobile collision? While the following is for informational purposes only, in order to establish that another driver was careless and caused the accident, one is required to prove four elements to make a negligence claim.

Diagnosing and treating whiplash after a car accident

When individuals in Iowa are involved in a car accident, they have many concerns. While it is obvious that the collision could have resulted in damages to the vehicles, there are more concerning issues such as the health of an accident victim. Whether it was a major collision or a minor collision, a driver or a passenger could suffer injuries. Even in cases when a victim does not immediately note a major medical problem, it is important to rule out a minor or major medical issue that could present itself later on.

While it is considered a minor injury, whiplash is frequently occurring injury in car accidents. While this neck injury is categorized as minor, failing to diagnose it and treat it in a timely manner could lead to prolonged issues. Moreover, it could lead to temporary and even partial disabilities.

Snowdrift may have played a role in 2-car Iowa crash

When drivers are traveling on the road, it is expected that they will uphold their duty of care while behind the wheel. That does not only mean traveling at a safe speed and remaining attentive, but it also requires that a driver stops safely, yields to other drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, signals turns and looks for oncoming traffic before making a maneuver. Failure to comply with these requirements could result in a serious accident, injuring those involved.

Authorities in Iowa recently responded to two-vehicle car collision that occurred in Sioux Center, Iowa, around 5:30 p.m. According to preliminary reports, a driver of a pickup truck was stopped and supposedly looked both ways before entering the road in order to proceed westbound. When the driver made this maneuver, they did not see an oncoming vehicle.

Can you still collect damages if you are partially at fault?

When Iowa residents are involved in a car accident, they often seek to understand the cause of the collision. In addition, discovering the cause of the accident will help authorities better establish fault and liability. In cases of multi-vehicle collisions, it is possible that more than one driver is at fault. In these matters, comparative fault is used.

If comparative fault is determined to be an issue, can an accident victim still collect damages for the injuries and losses they suffered in the accident? According to section 668.3 of the Iowa Code, if comparative fault is discovered this will not bar an accident victim from recovering damages. But in order to collect a monetary award for damages caused by the accident, the accident victim must not have contributed a greater amount of fault than others found liable for the crash.

Seeking damages for the wrongful death of a loved one in Iowa

Many thoughts go through the minds of family members when a loved one dies. While death is an inevitable event, it is an emotional time no matter the cause or circumstances. It is especially difficult for friends and family members to process the tragic event when the life of a loved one is suddenly taken away in a fatal accident. This not only creates emotional grief but could also lead to damages and other losses.

When a loved one is killed in an accident caused by another, family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Iowa Code 633.336 outlines the damages for wrongful death. If it is determined that a wrongful act produced the death of a person, damages could be dispersed according to the type of damage or loss it is.

Taking action after the death of a loved one in a fatal accident

Death is often noted as a difficult life event that is hard to cope with. Whether it is a friend or a family member, a person's sudden and tragic death can be difficult to move on from. This is especially true if a loved one was killed in a fatal accident.

Our law firm understands that the loss of a loved one in an accident is an emotional and life-altering event that makes it challenging for Iowa residents to navigate the legal remedies available to them. Our attorneys are dedicated to working with loved ones of the deceased to better understand their rights and help through the process of a civil action.