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Accidents and injuries can unexpectedly derail lives. In these difficult moments, Iowa City personal injury lawyers become invaluable allies. They specialize in advocating for individuals harmed by the negligence of others, ensuring they obtain fair compensation. This article explores the essential role Iowa City personal injury lawyers play, guiding individuals through the intricacies of their claims and helping them rebuild their lives.

What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident in Iowa

Experiencing a hit-and-run accident can be a disorienting and distressing situation. Knowing the necessary steps to take can help you protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. Learn what to do after a hit-and-run accident in Iowa from experienced Iowa car accident injury attorneys.

Prioritize Your Safety and Health

The most important thing after a hit-and-run accident is your safety and health. Seek medical attention for any injuries you or your passengers may have sustained. Once you’re in a stable condition, proceed with the following steps.

Avoid Chasing the Driver

It’s natural to feel anger and frustration after being the victim of a hit-and-run accident. However, resist the urge to chase down the fleeing driver. Chasing them can escalate the situation and put yourself and others at risk. Instead, try to remain calm and focus on gathering information, and remember the events leading up to the accident.

Collect Information

Collect as much information as possible about the accident as soon as it’s safe to do so. This includes:

- The make and model of the vehicle
- The license plate number
- A description of the driver
- Names and contact information of any witnesses

This information will be invaluable for both law enforcement and your insurance claim.

Contact Law Enforcement

Immediately contact the police to report the hit-and-run accident. Provide them with all the details and information you’ve gathered. The police will create a report documenting the incident, which will be crucial for your insurance claim and any legal proceedings.

While waiting for the police to arrive, take photos or videos of the accident scene and the damages to your vehicle. These visual records can serve as additional evidence to support your case.

Seek Legal Representation

Navigating the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident can be complex, especially when it comes to seeking compensation for your losses. Consulting with a knowledgeable car accident attorney in Iowa is essential to understand your legal options.

An experienced attorney can help you pursue compensation through avenues such as uninsured motorist claims or, if the at-fault driver is identified, filing a claim against their insurance. They will guide you through the process, advocate for your rights, and work to secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

Establishing Fault and Liability

In many states, drivers are required to possess no-fault car insurance. In these states, those involved in an accident file a claim under their own insurance policy, unless the injuries and damages reached a certain severity. In Iowa though, the individual who was legally at fault for the car accident is liable to cover the costs of property damage or any resulting injuries the other driver suffered.

In order to file a personal injury claim in Iowa, you need to be able to prove that another party injured you. Iowa follows a system of modified comparative negligence, meaning that you will be able to recover damages for your claim if you can show that the other party was more than 50 percent responsible for the accident.

DUI Accidents and Iowa Law

Iowa’s DUI laws add additional factors that you must consider during the process if the other party was intoxicated at the time. It is important to understand how Iowa DUI laws apply to your car accident claim if you were involved in an accident with someone who was driving under the influence.

If the other driver was drunk at the time of the accident, a citation, charge, and conviction for DUI may help establish that he or she was negligent. You must also establish that the driver caused the accident. If you were speeding, ran a red light, and crashed into a drunk driver who was otherwise following the rules of the road, you may be mostly at fault and unable to recover damages.

But if you can establish that the driver was impaired and ran a stop sign or drifted into your lane, for example, you may be able to recover compensation from the drunk driver’s liability insurance.

Evidence to Prove Fault

To prove the fault of the other driver, it’s important to have evidence that backs up your claim. In light of this, and according to Chapter 321J.2, of the Iowa Code, an individual is in violation of DUI laws if he or she is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

Furthermore, Chapter 321J.6 of the Iowa Code dictates implied “consent to the withdrawal of blood, breath, or urine and to a chemical test.” These tests are used to determine the level of an individual’s BAC at the time of the arrest. Results from the tests are admissible as evidence if you pursue a civil case against the drunk driver.

If an individual refuses to consent to these tests, he or she may be subject to fines, license revocation, and other specific punishments. This refusal to submit is also admissible evidence in any civil proceedings.

You’ll likely require other evidence to establish that the impaired driver is at fault for the accident, this might include:

- Eyewitness testimony
- Photographs of the scene
- Expert witness testimony
- More

Third Parties Who May Be Liable in an Iowa Drunk Driving Accident Claim

If you’re hurt in a drunk driving accident, the driver and other parties may be liable for your injuries. There could be several other parties who hold liability for damages done in the wreck, depending on the circumstances of the case. If you were hurt in a DUI accident, consult an Iowa personal injury attorney to find out who may be liable for your injuries.

Third parties who may hold DUI liability include:

- Restaurants, bars, and establishments – If a restaurant, vendor, or establishment knowingly serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, they may be held liable for damages if a DUI accident occurs.
- Social or party hosts – If a drunken driving collision happens after the driver leaves a party or social gathering in which alcohol was provided, the host of that party or event may be held liable for injuries.
- Passengers in the vehicle – A passenger could hold DUI accident liability if he or she allowed another passenger to get in the vehicle while aware of the driver’s inebriated state.
- Police officers – In some instances, if a police officer allows a driver to continue driving while intoxicated, he or she may be considered liable.
- Taxi driver/company – If a cab or limo driver drops a noticeably intoxicated person off at his or her car, the driver or company could be held responsible in the event of a drunken driving accident.

If you were involved in a DUI accident, you may be due punitive damages in addition to the compensation you receive for your injuries and other damages. This is intended to punish the party responsible for your injuries and discourage such behavior in the future. Your lawyer can review your case to determine if you may be due these damages as well.

We Are Here To Help

Remember, you are not alone in recovering from your injuries. We have helped thousands of Iowans through their physical, emotional, and financial recoveries. If you have questions about what you are going through, feel free to call our office for your confidential injury conference. We will take the time to listen to you and give you our advice concerning your injury matter at no cost or risk to you.

Free Book at No Cost 

If you are not ready to speak with an attorney yet but would like to learn more about Iowa injury cases including tips about how you can avoid making common costly mistakes request a copy of our Iowa Personal Injury book which includes 14 myths about Iowa injury cases and 5 things to know before hiring an attorney.

If you have specific questions about your injury matter feel free to call our office to speak with our Injury team at 641-792-3595 or use our Chat feature by clicking here 24 hours a day/7 days per week. Your information will remain confidential and there is no cost or obligation.