Accidents happen every single day in Cedar Rapids and all throughout the state of Iowa. Drivers sometimes get distracted or fail to adjust their driving when they run into inclement weather that reduces their visibility. If you’ve been involved in an accident with another driver in Cedar Rapids, IA and believe you were responsible for causing it, while the other driver will be able to file a claim with your insurer, what about you? Who is going to pay for the repairs your vehicle now needs or the medical bills you are now expected to pay for the injuries you suffered?
These are all valid questions and are even some of the more common ones our Cedar Rapids, IA car accident attorneys are asked. So, to give you a basic understanding as to when your insurer would cover a claim for an accident their insured caused, we have taken the time to explain this to you down below.
Understanding Iowa’s insurance laws and how they affect the claims process
The State of Iowa follows at-fault insurance laws which means the person who is responsible for causing an accident is also responsible for covering the damages the other party suffered. But, if you happen to be the at-fault party, then you would need to file a claim through your own insurer in an effort to get your expenses paid that are associated with the collision. Now, before your insurer pays your claim, the adjuster assigned to it will need to verify that you have adequate coverage.
Each state has set its own minimum insurance requirements for its drivers and the State of Iowa’s are as follows:
- $20,000 bodily injury per person per accident.
- $40,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
- $15,000 for property damage liability coverage
- $20,000/$40,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
It is important to note that this coverage can be waived although it is recommended that all drivers include it in their policy.
To clarify, bodily injury liability insurance is what is used to cover the other person who was injured in the accident you caused. It typically will pay for medical care. Uninsured /underinsured coverage will pay for your losses if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance or no insurance at all to cover your losses if they were responsible for the accident.
Now, if you only purchased enough insurance to satisfy Iowa’s minimum insurance requirements, then you won’t have any coverage to pay your claim. However, if you opted to purchase additional coverage such as collision coverage, then you are in luck. Collision coverage is used to repair your vehicle after it has sustained physical damage from an accident involving another vehicle or object. Under most circumstances, when an at-fault driver files a claim with their own insurer in an effort to utilize their benefits, they must pay their deductible first given they have one.
Medical benefits coverage is another type of coverage you can add onto your policy that will help pay for medical expenses and other services needed that are associated with the collision. Medical benefits are there to help you and your passengers when you are at-fault for an auto accident.
What if the other driver was partially responsible for the accident?
Who covers the accident claim then?
If you think that the other driver may share some of the blame in the accident, then you may need to speak with your insurer and find out if a claim can be filed under the other driver’s insurance policy. This might also be a good time to reach out to Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. to speak with a Cedar Rapids, IA car accident lawyer who can provide you with some helpful advice. Now, just because you think the other driver was partially liable for the wreck doesn’t mean their insurer is going to agree.
Before an insurer assigns fault, the adjuster must assess the police report, any verbal or written statements that were given, and more to decide whether their insured was responsible for the accident and if they should cover the claim. If the insurer believes their insured did not share any of the blame, the adjuster could deny your claim.
How to handle a denied car insurance claim in Cedar Rapids, IA?
Whether your insurer or that of the other party denied your claim, we recommended you contact our Cedar Rapids, IA car accident law firm. You may need an experienced car accident attorney in Cedar Rapids to intervene. In some cases, when another party shares some of the blame, you might also be eligible to file what is called a personal injury lawsuit if you wish to recover compensation for your losses. If your percentage of fault was less than 50%, you may have the grounds to sue the other driver if you can prove they were negligent and contributed to the crash.
At Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C., we understand that all of this can be rather confusing after engaging in an accident so if you would like the opportunity to speak one-on-one with one of our skilled IA car accident lawyers, contact us at (319) 393-1020 to schedule a consultation.
You can reach Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. at:
1921 51st Street NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Phone: (319) 393-1020
Fax: (319) 393-4000