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Iowa Negligence Laws

We know that we can't prevent all accidents. The same goes for the unfortunate injuries that can result from them. But what if the accident is genuinely someone else's fault? If you're injured in an accident how do you figure out who is at fault, and can you get some restitution from the responsible party? These cases are referred to as negligence claims and are the legal system's way of determining fault in injury-causing accidents and how much, if anything, they should pay to the injured party.

This is an introduction to negligence laws in Iowa.

Negligence Laws in Iowa

States can craft their negligence laws in different ways, so the law applying to your case may vary depending on your jurisdiction and the specifics of your situation. For example, under Iowa law, your possible recovery may be diminished according to your level of fault in the accident, if any. If your fault is deemed greater than the defendant's, you may not be able to recover any damages at all. This is known as the modified comparative negligence rule.

The chart below lists the details of Iowa's negligence statutes.

Code Section

§ 668 et seq. of the Iowa Code

Modified Comparative Negligence

Contributory fault does not bar recovery unless the claimant's fault is greater than the defendant's, but if the plaintiff's fault is less than the defendant's, the plaintiff's damages will be reduced in proportion to the plaintiff's fault

Contributory Negligence -- Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery


Contribution Among Tortfeasors

Yes, a right of contribution exists if two or more people are liable upon the same indivisible claim.

Uniform Act


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Negligence Cases

There are several elements of a negligence case that a plaintiff must prove for any negligence claim to be successful:

  • Duty: the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
  • Breach of Duty: the defendant failed to meet that duty;
  • Cause in Fact: but for the defendant's failure, the plaintiff would not have been injured;
  • Proximate Cause: the defendant's failure (and not something else) caused the plaintiff's injury; and
  • Damages: the plaintiff has actually been injured and suffered some loss.

Negligence Laws: Related Resources

Negligence law can be complex, and different states treat negligence claims differently. You can find additional articles and resources in FindLaw's section on Negligence.

Call an Attorney Before Filing an Iowa Negligence Claim

If you've been injured and you think someone else is at fault, there's a way for you to obtain compensation. It starts with talking to an experienced personal injury attorney in your area who can explain the process and your chances of success in the legal system.

There are Iowa personal injury attorneys ready to assist you.

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