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 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

Contact an Iowa auto / car accident lawyer representing clients in Clarion, Iowa today to schedule your free initial consultation.


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.

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.  

Drunk Drivers

In the past year, over one million people were injured in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents and every 30 minutes, someone in the US dies in an alcohol-related accident.  In a drunk driving accident, the drunk driver will be held responsible for the injuries and damages that he or she caused.  In addition, in many states, a bar or a person who hosted a social event or party may also be responsible for these damages if they served alcohol to a patron or guest who was obviously intoxicated.  However, holding the bar or host responsible doesn't relieve the drunk driver from their obligation to pay for the damages.  There are many laws covering liability and an experienced personal injury lawyer will use these laws to take into account everyone who may be held liable for your injuries, including people or business that you might not have considered.

No matter what the situation is with your accident, it is crucial to the eventual success of your lawsuit that you take steps to investigate your accident, protect evidence, and obtain the professional opinion of doctors or other experts about any injuries or damages that you have suffered.  If you have been in a motor vehicle accident, a personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you with all of these things.  An experienced personal injury lawyer will also be able to decide the best method to help you recover compensation for your injuries or property damage.

 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.