Auto Accident Lawyer Des Moines IA
Those who have been hit by a vehicle driver who was being reckless on the road may want to seek justice through filing a personal injury lawsuit for compensation with an auto accident lawyer from Des Moines, IA. Whether or not the victim receives restitution is based on the extent to which he or she can prove fault. It can be very challenging to prove fault in a car accident case, but it is not impossible. If you have been involved in an auto accident, you should contact an auto accident lawyer Des Moines, Iowa trusts from Johnston Martineau, LLP.
Car Accident Awareness: Steps to Take After a Crash
Those who have been part of a car accident, must be aware of how to handle the situation in order to protect themselves. It is the legal obligation of both drivers to halt after the vehicle collision. While some drivers may attempt to flee, this can only result in worse consequences. A driver who became the victim in a car crash may wonder what steps he or she should take at the scene and in the weeks after the impact.
Drivers who have sustained serious injuries and vehicle damages due to the fault of the other driver, may even have a solid foundation for a civil lawsuit. If you are interested in taking legal action against the driver responsible, consider talking with a reputable Des Moines, IA auto accident lawyer.
Q: It is necessary to call the police?
A: It is highly recommended that you call the police after being in an accident. The officer can create an incident report of what happened, which can also be a useful document to have for your lawsuit. This report often includes officer observations of the scene, facts, and statements from each driver about the incident. If you do not call the police, you may not be as protected.
Q: How can I prove the other driver was at-fault for the accident?
A: It often requires evidence that a driver violated laws of the road. While some violations may be very obvious, like tailgating, running a red light, or not stopping at a stop sign, there are other scenarios that may need a more in-depth investigation. After the accident, you can talk to witnesses and get their information so your Des Moines, Iowa auto accident lawyer can follow up with an official statement of how they saw the crash occur. These witness statements can be hugely influential if you decide to file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you because they were not abiding by traffic laws.
Q: Is it my responsibility to figure out who was at-fault?
A: Never admit or state blame when it comes to who was responsible for the car accident. That may only makes things more tense at the car accident scene and your insurance policy states that you must not assume liability or fault for vehicle collisions. It is best to keep any opinions to yourself and let your insurance company do the talking. What you can do, however, is gather as much evidence as possible before leaving the accident area to help your insurance company and auto accident lawyer in Des Moines, IA fight for your side of the story.
Q: What should I do if I get calls from insurance adjusters?
A: After the car accident, you may be contacted by insurance adjusters, hoping to offer you a settlement amount for damages, losses, and injuries you sustained. However, in many cases these settlements are way lower than what the victim of the crash deserves or even requires in order to get back onto their feet financially. The settlement may not factor in the total cost for your medical bills, pain and suffering, vehicle repairs, or loss of earnings. If you get these calls, you may want to hold off on accepting or denying the settlement until you have spoken with an experienced auto accident lawyer from our Des Moines, Iowa office.
Q: How do I know what car damage is old or new?
A: If the other driver’s vehicle has plenty of damage, it may be difficult to determine what is old or new. Your insurance company may use certain strategies to figure this out when evaluating the car accident claim. The best thing you can do is take photographs of all the damage you see, then let your insurer figure out the rest.
Q: What should be my priority after the car accident?
A: Get yourself a medical exam immediately after the accident to ensure you didn’t sustain any injuries that require treatment. This is also a good way to officially document the injuries you did have, which can be used as proof in your lawsuit later on.
Examples of important medical documents to request copies for are hospitalization records, prescription medication, doctor exams, diagnostics, test results, receipts for anything paid for out-of-pocket, and treatment plans. All of these documents can be useful in proving the severity of your injuries and can be used by your auto accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you need to get back onto your feet.
Q: What can hiring a lawyer do for me in a car accident case?
A: Being involved in a car accident can truly change a person’s life. The victim may have suffered serious injuries that require long-term care, in addition to having his or her bank account emptied due to medical costs. This may be especially true for victims who were sent to the emergency room or were hospitalized due to the accident. An auto accident lawyer in the Des Moines, IA area can help you get the compensation you need to overcome such a setback. A lawyer can also offer legal advice, gather witness statements, represent you in court, fight for your behalf, and help you complete the necessary paperwork for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Q: How much may I receive in compensation for what happened?
A: The victim of an auto collision may be entitled to receiving a substantial monetary sum through a personal injury lawsuit. How much a person may be awarded depends on how serious the accident was, and what the victim endured because of the crash. Factors that can contribute to the outcome of your lawsuit include severity of injuries, transportation costs getting to and from doctor visits, length of treatment, current and future loss of income, how the accident occurred, and the extent of vehicle damage.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Crashing your car on the way to work is not the best way to start your day. It may set the tone for days and even months to come depending on the severity of the incident. While some accidents are inconvenient, others are downright life-threatening. You may find yourself the cause of the crash or just a victim of circumstance. To help prevent you from becoming a statistic, it never hurts to brush up on some of the most common causes of crashes so you can do your part to avoid perpetuating them.
There has been a lot of talk in recent years about the growing number of distractions drivers face. The rise in smartphone use has been the most common culprit, but the practice has gone on for many years. Cellphones aren’t the only thing that can take a driver’s attention away from the road. Radios, passengers, pets and even eating can all serve as distractions. The campaign to end distracted driving is intensifying in the face of the fact that it is the number one cause of vehicle crashes.
Driving Under the Influence
Drunk driving is a criminal offense, and in some cases, the punishment is quite severe. Deciding to operate a vehicle after a few drinks is more than just reckless: It is deadly. Drunk or buzzed driving is responsible for half of all fatal crashes. When enjoying adult beverages, the safest practice is to always designate a non-drinker to drive home or call a cab.
Everyone has been late at one time or another, and making a choice to speed can end badly for you and others. Speeding may lead to the loss of vehicle control resulting in a crash. When this happens around other cars, it may mean impacting others. Speeding can also make it harder to stop without striking the vehicle ahead. Depending on the other circumstances, this may cause a chain reaction with other vehicles crashing behind you.
Driving takes on a whole new level of difficulty when Mother Nature decides to act up. Weather conditions, like rain, sleet and snow make seeing and maintaining control difficult. When the road gets a layer of ice, it can mean the tires can no longer get a good grip. Learning how to drive in these conditions is essential.
There are many ways vehicles may crash. When you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a collision, a Des Moines auto accident lawyer may be your best way to go to ensure you are covered.
Three Things To Do After a Car Crash
Becoming the victim of a car accident is never anyone’s intention when the day begins. Since this doesn’t stop crashes from happening, it is a good idea to educate yourself on some of the steps you should take to preserve your rights to file a claim.
Auto insurance coverage requirements vary from state to state, as does the law about what happens after an accident. Some states operate under a no-fault provision, which means each driver goes through their respective insurance companies regardless of who caused the crash. Other states divide fault among the parties, allowing the victim to recover a proportionate share of the damages. Regardless of what kind of law dictates in your state, you should still perform specific actions after a collision to make sure you have all you need to take care of yourself.
Get the Other Driver’s Information
Being able to identify and find the other driver in the days following a crash is crucial for your insurance company. Adjusters launch investigations into findings of fault to ensure that the guilty party is held responsible and that company on the hook for damages, both to the vehicle, personal property and the occupants in the innocent vehicle. After you are sure everyone is safe, make sure you get the other driver’s:
- Driver’s license
- Insurance card (current)
- License plate number
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Take pictures of everything you can. You want to be able to give your insurance company what you can to help them locate the driver, especially if things don’t turn out to be on the up-and-up with one of the elements above. Some people don’t have insurance or a driver’s license, and therefore they either try and leave the scene or pass off expired documents.
Find Witnesses Who Saw the Crash
Don’t be afraid to canvas the area close to the crash and find someone who may have seen the incident. Third-party witnesses are people in other vehicles or the street where the accident took place. Passengers in cars do not typically count as witnesses as a relationship with the driver may bias them. If you find someone who saw the events, get their phone number and full name. Your insurance company will want to speak with them.
Call the Police
Immediately after the crash, you should always call the police. Even if the crash isn’t bad, a police report helpful during the claims process. This helps in your insurance company’s investigation, especially if the officer decided on who caused the crash and issued a ticket.
If you have been a victim of a car accident, you should reach out to a lawyer trusted by your community. In Des Moines, Iowa, Johnston Martineau, LLP is the trusted law firm to provide an experienced and dedicated auto accident lawyer. Contact Johnston Martineau, LLP to schedule a consultation with a Des Moines, IA auto accident lawyer today.