Comparative fault in vehicular collisions is no different than the issue of comparative fault in other types of tort cases. Under Iowa law (Iowa Code Chapter 668) an injured driver does not have to be 100% fault free in order to obtain a judgment against another negligent driver. Under Iowa law, an injured plaintiff can recover against a tortfeasor so long as the jury determines that the injured plaintiff is no more than 50% at fault. This is very significant and allows someone who is injured to still maintain a recovery against the negligent person despite any allegation of the injured person’s fault.
If an Iowa jury were to find a defendant 80% at fault and the injured party 20% at fault, the court then is legally required to reduce any judgment by the same percent of fault allocated to the plaintiff, which in this hypothetical is 20%.
Therefore, even if it might seem that the injured party was negligent, it is still worth presenting to your lawyer for a legal investigation to determine whether the alleged negligent victim could still recover at least a certain percentage of his or her damages. At the Beattie Law Firm we frequently encounter situations where an injured plaintiff could be assessed fault to some degree. We are not afraid to represent such an injured plaintiff, and we will be honest and forthright in discussing with you our assessment as to what we believe that comparative fault might be determined by a jury.