What are common mistakes to avoid after a car accident?
A car accident lawyer Des Moines IA residents call understands that when people are involved in car accidents, it can be an overwhelming and emotional time. This is especially true if they suffered serious injuries in the crash. The immediate reaction of a victim is often to focus on their injuries or the injuries of their loved ones in the vehicle with them. They may not even consider that things they say or do at this point could have an impact on a future injury claim they may file against the at-fault driver.
Each of our Des Moines car accident attorneys at Johnston Martineau, PLLP has successfully represented many car accident victims. They understand that a victim’s confusion after a car crash may inhibit their ability to gather the necessary information for an injury claim. However, even in those scenarios our lawyers will use all available resources to help clients recover their financial damages suffered from accident-related injuries.
The average car accident attorney Des Moines IA trusts has likely seen many car accident victims make mistakes that jeopardized their chances of getting fair compensation. Let’s take a look at some of these common mistakes so that you can avoid them:
1. Not Contacting the Police
A car accident attorney Des Moines IA clients depend on realizes that some car accidents victims may either forget or deliberately avoid calling the police after an accident. Sometimes, the at-fault driver will convince the injured party to not contact the police, promising that the two of them can work out damage liability without police involvement. This may happen in cases where the at-fault driver has a bad driving record or driving on a suspended license and is trying to avoid criminal legal issues. Or, they may be driving illegally because they don’t have auto insurance.
Unfortunately, not calling the police can hurt you if you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. When police come to the scene of a car accident, they make a police report that includes important details about the accident, such as how the accident happened and who was at fault. Without a police report, it then comes down to your word against the other driver’s word. A car accident attorney Des Moines IA provides also knows that even if the other driver admitted fault at the accident scene, they can very easily deny it without a police report to refute it.
If you are involved in a car accident, call the police as soon as possible and ask for a copy of the police report that you can give your car accident attorney in Des Moines IA.
2. Forgetting to Obtain the Names of Witnesses
If there were any bystanders present during the car accident, do not forget to ask for their names and contact information. If your personal injury case makes it to court, your car accident attorney Des Moines IA respects may need these witnesses to testify on your behalf.
3. Not Taking Photos and/or Notes of the Accident Scene
Even if you have a police report and witness statements, a car accident attorney Des Moines IA clients recommend can use physical evidence to strengthen your injury claim. If you are physically able to do so, take photos with your cell phone of the accident scene, including the damage to vehicles, skid marks, traffic lights or signs, and any other factors you feel could be pertinent to your case. It is also a good idea to write down notes, such as weather and road conditions which can help your car accident attorney in Des Moines.
4. Talking to Insurance Companies
After a car accident has occurred, the other driver’s insurance company may try to contact you. However, you should avoid talking to them. Insurance companies are in the business to make money and may try to offer you a settlement that is too low or they may even try to deny your claim completely. A car accident attorney Des Moines IA provides knows that insurance adjusters are trained to manipulate conversations and twist what a victim is saying. They may record your conversation with them and later use your own words against you.
For example, even though you know you were not at fault for the accident, you may feel badly about the situation, and may even feel badly the other driver is in this situation. The insurance adjustor may sense that from you and steer the conversation in such a way that you apologize for the accident. The company will then use that statement against you, saying you admitted fault for the crash, even though that was not your intention when you said it.
Let your car accident attorney Des Moines IA relies on handle all communication with insurance companies. This is what a car accident attorney in Des Moines IA is trained to do.
5. Not Seeking Medical Care
If you do not feel any pain immediately after a car accident, you might not think that it is necessary to seek medical attention. However, some injuries do not present symptoms until days or even weeks after the accident. It’s important to have a doctor examine you as soon as possible after an accident. Getting medical care right away can also prove to insurance companies that you were indeed injured. Remember to obtain copies of your medical records before leaving the hospital or doctor’s office.
6. Not Contacting an Attorney
If you plan to file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you, it may be in your best interest to speak to a Des Moines car accident attorney as soon as possible. An experienced car accident attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case and improve your chance of winning fair compensation. Your lawyer can also handle all communication with insurance companies and significantly reduce your stress.
Many car accident attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they take a percentage of your recovered damages. If you do not win your case, you don’t have to worry about owing your car accident attorney Des Moines IA depends on any money.
If you are looking for a car accident attorney Des Moines IA offers, call Johnston | Martineau, PLLP at (515) 493-4878, or if you prefer, fill out a contact form on our website.