Corporate / Business Law
Criminal Defense
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Motor Vehicle Accidents
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Scott D. Brown
John P. Lander
Kim R. Snitker
Travis M. Armbrust
Kaitlyn J. Ausborn
Brown, Kinsey,
Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C.

214 North Adams,
Mason City, Iowa 50401
Phone: (641) 423-6223
Fax: (641) 423-9995
AUTO / CAR ACCIDENTS - Frequently Asked Questions
I. General Information IV. Injuries and Compensation
II. What to do if you are in an accident   A. Damages
  A. Immediately after the accident   B. Damages for Family Members
  B. When the police get to the accident   C. Insurance
  C. Soon after the accident   D. Amount of Compensation
  D. Later   E. Injuries and Compensation Conclusion
III. Theories of Liability V. Insurance Claims Tips
  A. Negligence VI. Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
  B. Recklessness   A. Uninsured Drivers
  C. Third Parties   B. Underinsured Drivers
       1. Drunk Drivers   C. Collecting Damages
       2. Product Manufacturers      D. Conclusion
       3. Automotive Technicians VII. No-Fault Insurance
       4. Government Entities
  A. A No-Fault Insurance System
  D. General Conclusion   B. Choice No-Fault
      C. A No-Fault Insurance Policy
      D. No-Fault Insurance Conclusion
"Contact an Iowa auto / car accident lawyer representing clients in Clarion, Iowa today to schedule your initial consultation."
Hardin County Courthouse Eldora Iowa  

Theories of Liability


Deciding whether a driver was negligent in a motor vehicle accident can be difficult.  Sometimes you may feel that another driver, a cyclist, or a pedestrian didn’t use a reasonable amount of care, but you may not know exactly which rule or rules he or she broke.  An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you determine if another person was negligent.  The personal injury attorney will consider many sources, including state traffic laws, police reports and the statements of witnesses to the accident.


Courts consider many variables in making a determination that a driver or another person was negligent.  These variables may include:

  • Failing to follow traffic signs and signals
  • Disobeying traffic laws
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Neglecting to signal a turn
  • Driving faster or slower than the posted speed limit
  • Ignoring traffic or weather conditions
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs


A driver may also be held responsible for an accident if he or she acted recklessly.  Reckless driving is driving unsafely, with “willful and wanton disregard” for the possibility that such action will cause an accident.  Reckless drivers intentionally disregard the possible consequences of their actions while driving.  For example, a driver may be found reckless if he or she threatens or harasses another person while driving out of “road rage” and causes an accident.  Road rage is defined as “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or an assault precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.”  Criminal charges may also result.

Between 1990 and 1997, almost 13,000 people were injured or killed in car accidents that were caused by aggressive driving, according to studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Automobile Association.  Another NHTSA study shows that dangerous driving by others, including speeding, is considered a threat by 60 percent of drivers.  Approximately 30 percent of these drivers felt that their personal safety, or the safety of their families, was threatened in the past month.  Sixty-seven percent of these drivers felt that their safety was threatened during the past year.

Aggressive drivers are those who speed, tailgate, move quickly from lane to lane, flash their headlights excessively and use other dangerous driving techniques.  Police officers and traffic safety officers are increasing efforts to catch and punish these aggressive drivers.  Aggressive driving is defined by the NHTSA as “a progression of unlawful driving actions,” such as:

  • Speeding, which can be either going faster than the posted speed limit or driving too fast for current conditions
  • Improper passing by either failing to signal, using an emergency lane to pass, or passing on the shoulder of the road
  • Improper or excessive lane changing
  • Failing to signal a turn
  • Failure to yield to oncoming traffic

The NHTSA offers the following tips on how to avoid an accident with aggressive drivers:

  • Get out of their way; do everything in your power to get out of the way of an aggressive driver
  • Don’t let your pride get the better of you; don’t challenge the aggressive driver by speeding up or trying to hold your place in your travel lane
  • Avoid eye contact; sometimes looking at an aggressive driver can make them even angrier
  • Avoid gestures; ignore any rude gestures made towards you and don’t make any gestures yourself
Report seriously aggressive drivers to the police.  Remember to pull over to the side of the road, however, if you use a cell phone.
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If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa auto / car accident attorney, representing clients in Clarion, Iowa at the Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C.. Give us a call at (641) 423-6223 or email us at
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Mason City, Iowa Attorney practicing in Iowa primarily in Workers' Compensation & Personal Injury. Lawyers at the Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C. are dedicated to serve their clients in Iowa, including the cities of Mason City, Algona, Allison, Boone, Cedar Rapids, Charles City, Clarion, Dakota City, Des Moines, Eldora, Forest City, Fort Dodge, Garner, Grundy Center, Hampton, Marshalltown, Mount Pleasant, Nevada, New Hampton, Northwood, Osage, Toledo, Vinton, Waterloo, Waverly, Webster City and West Union, and the communities that make up Cerro Gordo, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Butler, Chickasaw, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Howard, Humboldt, Kossuth, Linn, Marshall, Mitchell, Polk,  Story, Tama, Webster, Winnebago, Worth, Wright counties.
© MMXIV Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C. Email: Address: 214 North Adams, Mason City, Iowa 50401 Phone: (641) 423-6223
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