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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.

If fault is attributed to a person and their percentage of fault is greater than the combined percentage of fault attributed to other liable parties, the injured party is barred from recovering damages for injuries, losses and damages in the matter.

In determining the percentage of fault for each party involved in the incident, the trier of fact will consider the nature of the conduct of each party. Next, they will consider the extent of causal relation between the conduct of the party and the damages claimed.

In most matters of comparative fault, if a party is not more than 50 percent at fault, they are able to collect damages for their losses and damages minus the percentage they are at fault. When comparative fault is at issue, injured parties involved in the car accident do not often understand what that means and how that could impact their compensation awarded in a personal injury claim. In these matters, it is important that accident victims understand their rights and remedies available to them. Since this post is not to be considered legal advice, those who wish to learn more about comparative fault may want to seek the guidance of a professional.

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