When you have been in a car accident that was not your fault, you need to speak with a car accident lawyer Iowa drivers trust from Johnston Martineau, LLP. We understand the trauma that you have gone through and know that it can be extremely easy to have racing thoughts and anxiety after a car accident. However, when someone else’s negligence caused the car accident to occur, there are certain steps you can take to help get compensation after the accident. Road safety starts with you. It is imperative that you know how to drive defensively because even if someone else is being unsafe on the road, you increase your chances of getting to and from your location unharmed. However, accidents cannot always be avoided, even if you are driving carefully. When this is the case, contact an attorney to discuss how we can represent you.
The damage wasn’t too bad. Can I just go home?
In every state, you are required to stay at the accident scene until law enforcement arrives. It may look like there is little damage to your car or you may not feel any immediate injuries, but these can creep up over the next few hours or days. Never assume that everything is safe after a car accident.
It may be too old fashioned to have a pen and paper in your car. However, most everyone has a smartphone. Our Iowa car accident lawyer urges you to take notes while you are still at the scene of the accident. As you leave the accident scene, your memory can start to become fuzzy quickly. You may not remember who hit who or if a light was green or red. Always jot down anything that comes to mind after an accident. It can be helpful to try and answer a few questions as you write things down:
- What was the weather like?
- Was I approaching an intersection?
- Were the lights green?
- What was I paying attention to while driving?
- Does anything hurt?
- Is there even a small amount of damage to my vehicle?
- Were there passengers in the car?
Don’t Forget About Witnesses!
Having testimony from any witnesses who saw the accident can be imperative to your claim. You want to ensure if there were any other drivers or pedestrians nearby who saw what happened that you get their name and contact information before leaving the scene.
If you have been injured in a car accident and need to speak with an Iowa car accident lawyer, contact Johnston Martineau, LLC.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
If you were injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you don’t necessarily need to have an Iowa car accident lawyer on your side. However, by choosing to have a legal advocate, you may be able to recover maximum damages. Whereas, without a lawyer, you could risk recovering less than what you need or deserve. Furthermore, if you are being accused for any amount of the accident, a lawyer may help you to avoid liability.
After an accident, you may need medical treatment, rehabilitation, and therapy. Your car may need to be repaired and you might be unable to work. A lawyer can help to protect your rights and interests at a time like this. With their knowledge and experience, you can focus more on your healing and recovery.
Why Is Speaking to a Car Accident Lawyer in Iowa so Important?
Before you can recover compensation, a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company must be filed. You might also be required to file a claim with your own company, or even both. The insurance company, especially that of the at-fault driver may be encouraging of settling with them as soon as possible. They might tell you that you don’t need a lawyer, or other things that sound off-putting. Realistically, you should consult with a lawyer before accepting or agreeing to anything.
You should also know that attempting to negotiate a settlement on your own is not recommended. These companies are very clever and know how to navigate challenges and vulnerabilities. Whatever you say could be twisted, and used against you. Their goal is to settle for the least amount of money possible, and you taking your case into your own hands, could very well give them what they want.
A Lawyer Can Explain the Full Amount of Damages to You
Do you actually know the full worth of your claim? Do you understand both economic and non-economic damages, as well as future prospective damages? Has your injuries left you unable to perform your job duties? Do you suffer from PTSD or depression that is a result of the accident? Perhaps you believe the driver acted with malicious intent. In this case, punitive damages may be available.
No number or value is made up on a whim. Everything that you attempt to recover is backed up by well-documented evidence. This is another reason why it is so important to have a leading car accident lawyer in Iowa on your side. Without a lawyer, you could miss out on thousands of dollars that are owed to you. In a worse case scenario you will have to cover your own losses – even though they should have been included in a claim. Something like this might not sound great to you, right? If this is true, call Johnston Martineau, LLC, for an appointment with a car accident lawyer Iowa residents have trusted for years.
How Long Will It Take to Settle A Case?
One of the most common questions our car accident lawyers in Iowa are asked is “How long will it take to settle my case?” As much as we would love to tell you an exact number, there is no way to know how long it will take. The length of time it might take to settle a car accident case will depend on many factors, including how complicated your case is, whether you have completed treatment, and the extent of your injuries.
Influencing Factors that Should Be Considered
There are many things that can affect the ability to reach a settlement or verdict. Some of these include:
- How complicated your case is
- How many vehicles were involved
- Who was at fault
- Whether the insurance company is strongly denying what happened
- How severe your injuries are
- The extent of property damage
- The strength of any available evidence
- Whether you are finished with treatment
- What the prospective care might be (if any)
We understand you would like to receive compensation as soon as possible. Not only may you be unable to work, but you might be dealing with thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills. The financial burden caused by the accident may be overwhelming – so much so that your recovery could be hindered. You might worry about what the future holds. When you know the accident was preventable, but happened because of the careless actions of another person, your feelings about everything may be significantly heightened.
The last thing you want to do is accept a fast settlement from the insurance adjuster. Keep in mind the adjuster may be telling you the right things at the right time in order to convince you to accept and move on. This is very common with people who are desperate and don’t understand the full extent of their losses. We know of many people who accepted a settlement before their treatment was finished or fully realizing what the extent of their injuries were. When a settlement is accepted, you will not be able to recover anything else. For example, if you accept $10,000 only to find out that your current medical bills are $8,000 and you’ve just been told you need a $30,000 surgery, you may be forced to pay out of pocket for your losses. It is this reason you should trust a car accident lawyer in Iowa to help you.
Expenses and Losses that Must Be Fully Accounted For
- Your medical treatment
- Your prospective medical treatment
- Your lost wages or loss of income
- Property damage
- Non-economic damages
Many lawyers will encourage the victim to complete all treatment, or have a doctor create a future treatment plan, prior to settling a case. This ensures you recover what you need and deserve. Of course, this could slow down the process of the claim, but it will be worthwhile.
As a car accident lawyer Iowa resident’s respect, the average case is settled within 1 year. However, this can vary and be more or less. We would recommend getting started as soon as possible to avoid any delays or issues regarding the statute of limitations. For a consultation, call our Johnston Martineau, LLC, today.