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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.

How is this accomplished? First, suspending the operating and registration privileges of the driver or vehicle owner who has not been able to show immediate financial responsibility following an automobile collision could do this. Second, requiring license suspension or revocation because of a conviction, unsatisfied judgment or an OWI to prove financial responsibility could help ensure they could cover future damages or injuries they could cause.

When does a driver need to prove financial responsibility? A driver at fault in a car accident where the personal injuries and damages caused exceed $1,500 to an accident victim must prove financial responsibility. This is commonly done by showing that the driver or automobile owner is covered by automobile liability insurance.

When an accident victim suffered serious injuries, it is important that there are able to prove liability and hold the party at fault accountable for their actions. Filing a personal injury suit could help the victim pursue compensation to recover the losses and damages related to the incident.

Source: Iowadot.gov, "Iowa's motor vehicle financial responsibility law," accessed March 9, 2015

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