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Iowa Truck Accident Lawyer

Your semi-truck accident may have you feeling lost, upset, or alone. An Advocate can help.

A Truck Accident Attorney Can Help Your Case

Commercial truck accidents are devastating events– while less common than other types of motor vehicle accidents, they are more likely to lead to serious injuries or fatalities. In the event of a collision, the people in a passenger car are more vulnerable than the truck driver, due to the size of the truck.

After a semi-truck accident, you will likely be left with injuries, vehicle damage, and bills piling up around you. You may be wondering how you will take care of your medical expenses or make up for wages you’ve lost. If you’ve decided to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim, you may not be sure what to do next.

The Advocates personal injury attorneys can help with all of these questions and more. Our legal team has decades of experience in negotiating with insurance companies and obtaining fair compensation for our clients. 

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Iowa, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. A personal injury lawyer with The Advocates can evaluate your case and help you determine the best course of action. Call us today for a free consultation.

The Next Steps In Your Case

Injury

Immediately after your accident, check for injuries

Hire Attorney

Contact The Advocates as soon as possible to begin the road to recovery

Treatment

Seek medical attention as soon as you can

Property Damage

Get any property damage assessed and repaired

Treatment Completed

Once you've completed treatment, your case can move forward

Demand

Your Advocate will send a demand letter to the other party

Frequently Asked Questions

Not every accident requires an attorney. However, if the accident resulted in injuries or significant property damage, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process, which can be lengthy and complex. Your attorney will build your case, keep track of your medical records, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. Studies have shown that accident victims who hire a personal injury lawyer can receive settlements up to 3.5 times larger than if they settled on their own.

The best way to know if you have a case is to speak with an attorney. The Advocates offer free consultations—you can speak with a qualified legal team to understand what your case is worth without paying a dime. Once you have decided to hire an Advocate, we will investigate your accident to firmly establish liability.

Your initial consultation with us is always 100% free. There are never any upfront costs or hidden fees when you hire The Advocates.

Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that our attorney fees are calculated as a percentage of your settlement. You will not pay us unless we win your case, and you receive a settlement.

Every personal injury case is different. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to accident claims. The length of the claims process will depend on the severity of your injuries, the willingness of the other party to settle, the court’s caseload, and more.

In general, personal injury cases can take anywhere from several months to a few years. It’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to get your case started. Each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, after which you will lose your right of action.

When you hire The Advocates, we will begin investigating your accident immediately while you finish medical treatment. Once all evidence and medical records have been compiled, your attorney will send a demand letter to the other party’s insurance company. At this point, negotiations will begin.

In many cases, a settlement can be reached during negotiations. If the other party refuses to make a fair offer, you may choose to file a suit. In the litigation phase, your attorney will represent you in court in front of a judge, jury, and/or arbitrator.

A Team of Legal Professionals Assigned to Your Case

For nearly 30 years, The Advocates have been helping victims navigate their truck accident cases, and we are ready to do the same for you. We are a capable, compassionate legal team who make it our mission to help our clients with all aspects of their recovery, not just negotiation and litigation.

In addition to providing legal representation, The Advocates are prepared to help you:

  • Access necessary medical treatment
  • Find body shops in your area for vehicle repairs
  • Get a rental car if needed
  • Communicate with your employer regarding your injuries
  • Keep track of expenses and paperwork related to your accident

You only pay if we win your case!


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Iowa Semi-Truck Accident Statistics


Freeway sign of interstate 80

When do truck accidents often occur?

  • Iowa State University’s Heavy Truck Crash Assessment found that severe crashes tend to occur on weekends and at the beginning of the week (Saturday-Tuesday)
  • Most truck accidents occur in the mornings between 5:00 am and 8:00 am and during midday between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm
  • The large majority of accidents occur on clear days
  • I-80 and I-35 see a high number of semi-truck accidents each year

Iowa truck accident statistics

  • More than 3,000 truck accidents happen in Iowa every year 
  • Over the last decade, 5.8% of people involved in truck accidents were seriously injured or killed
  • Men are more likely to be involved in truck accidents than women
Exhausted trucker leans on steering wheel of the tuck while resting his face in is hand

Common causes of truck accidents

  • Driver fatigue: Commercial vehicle drivers work long hours, often driving on long stretches of rural road. It is easy to become tired, and it is crucial that truckers take regular breaks to rest
  • Distracted driving: Any activity that causes motorists to take focus off of the road in front of them increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents
  • Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol creates a hazard for everyone on the road, regardless of the type of vehicle you drive
  • Mechanical failure: One of the most common causes of semi-truck crashes is faulty equipment, particularly worn-out tires
  • Improper passing or turning: When a passenger vehicle cuts off a big rig, the truck may have trouble stopping in time to avoid an accident
  • Bad weather: When visibility is low or roads are slick, cars and trucks may lose control

Common truck accident injuries

Common truck accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Lacerations and bruising
common truck accident injuries

Iowa Semi-Truck Laws


Trucker shows off his CDL while standing next to his truck

What is required to obtain a CDL?

Truck drivers must be at least 18 years old to hold a Commercial Driver’s License and operate a commercial vehicle in Iowa. 

To obtain an Iowa CDL, a potential truck driver must prove residency within the state, speak and read English, and hold a commercial learner’s permit for at least 14 days before applying for a CDL. They must also complete Entry-Level Driver Training and take a knowledge and/or skills test.

What condition must a truck be in to drive?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the driver of a tractor-trailer must make sure that his or her truck is in good working order at all times. 

“Good working order” means the truck must have properly functioning:

  • Brakes
  • Steering devices
  • Lights
  • Tires
  • Mirrors
  • Wipers
  • Horn 

If any of these components of the truck are not working correctly or are in poor condition, the truck may not be driven until the issue has been fixed. A failure of any one of these pieces of equipment can cause a major safety hazard for the trucker and others on the road.

Trucker inspects tires before driving

How large can a commercial truck be?

Legal trucking loads in Iowa are as follows:

  • Length: 53 feet
  • Width: 8 feet, 6 inches
  • Height: 13 feet 6 inches

The maximum weight for a truck load depends on the roads the truck will be traveling on. On interstate highways, maximum gross weight is 80,000 pounds.

Transporting anything over these sizes requires the trucker to obtain certain endorsements and permits, and may require one or more escorts.

Can truckers in Iowa use the left lane?

Any Iowa driver moving slower than the normal speed of traffic must use the right lane, unless passing or turning left.

In most cases, semi-trucks are moving at slower speeds than other motorists on a highway, and therefore will not have as great a need for the left lane. In some places, the highway is three lanes or more, and it is unlikely the trucker will need to use the leftmost lane to pass.

If a truck (or any other vehicle) is traveling in the left lane without passing, they may be cited and required to pay a $100 fine.

Truck drives down a snowy mountain road
Speed Limit

What is the speed limit for semi-trucks in Iowa?

Most highways in Iowa have speed limits of either 65 or 70 miles per hour. While there is no truck-specific limit, a commercial truck may not travel faster than the posted speed limit.

How many hours are truckers allowed to work?

Truckers are subject to a federal law known as the hours of service rule. This rule states that a truck driver may only operate their vehicle for a maximum of 11 consecutive hours after 10 hours off-duty. The longest amount of time a trucker may be on-duty (driving or not) is 14 hours. 

The only exception to this rule is in the case of adverse driving conditions, when traffic may be going slower than usual. Additionally, truck drivers are required to take a 30-minute break every 8 hours.

These laws are in place to prevent driver fatigue, which can be a major safety hazard. It is common in the trucking industry for drivers to be paid by the mile, which means they are motivated to keep driving, even if they may be feeling tired. If the driver of a big rig falls asleep behind the wheel, it could mean disaster for everyone around them on the road.

Attorney shows client paperwork.

What is the statute of limitations for truck accidents?

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, it is best to call an attorney sooner rather than later. All states have a statute of limitations on both criminal and civil matters. The statute of limitations refers to the length of time a plaintiff has to file a claim before they lose their right of action. In Iowa, the statute of limitations for auto accidents is typically two years. 

The longer you wait to begin your case, the harder it may be to receive damages. As time goes on, evidence may be lost or forgotten. An eyewitness may forget what they saw, or video footage from a nearby business may be erased. The more quickly you are able to compile evidence, get treated for your injuries, and speak with an attorney, the easier it will be to file a claim.


When Should I Hire a Semi-Truck Accident Attorney?


If you were injured in a truck accident, one of the last things you want to do is spend time and energy fighting insurance companies. These multi-million dollar companies will often go out of their way to avoid offering you fair compensation for your truck accident claim. An experienced semi-truck accident attorney can go up against insurance providers for you and fight for your legal rights.

The Advocates are a law firm of competent, caring truck accident lawyers who can help you navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. We will have your back every step of the way, answering your questions and providing regular updates on your case.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, The Advocates are here to help. Contact our law office today for a free initial consultation. You deserve an attorney who puts your best interests first. You deserve an Advocate.

FREE CASE EVALUATION

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