DES MOINES, Iowa — The state of Iowa has enacted a new law capping the amount of money a trucking company or commercial driver can be sued for related to non-economic damages after a wreck.
The cap for pain, suffering and emotional distress, etc., in cases that involve death or personal injury is now set at $5 million, according to ACT 228, which was signed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Friday, May 12.
The cap won’t apply if the following items are determined by the court:
- If the driver is operating a commercial motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration, as defined in section 321J.1, of .04 or more.
- If the driver is operating a commercial motor vehicle under the influence of a drug.
- If the driver refuses to submit to chemical testing.
- If the driver is committing a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle.
- The use of a commercial motor vehicle involving the manufacturing, distributing or dispensing of a controlled substance as defined in section 124.101; not including the lawful transport for hire of a controlled substance.
- If the driver knowing operates a commercial motor vehicle without a proper license or while their commercial driver’s license is revoked, suspended or canceled. Or while the person is otherwise disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
- If the driver is operating a commercial motor vehicle without the possession of a commercial driver’s license or commercial learner’s permit valid for the vehicle operated.
- If the driver is operating a commercial motor vehicle involving an act or practice of human trafficking.
- If the driver is operating recklessly.
- If the driver is using an electronic communication device while driving.
- If the driver is speeding 15 miles per hour or more over the legal speed limit.
- If the driver is violating any state or local law or ordinance restricting or prohibiting the use of a mobile telephone, computer, tablet or other device that is not a part of the vehicle while operating the vehicle.
The cap will be adjusted for inflation by the secretary of state on Jan. 1, 2028, and on Jan. 1 of each even-numbered year thereafter.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.