Q: What should I do at the scene of a car accident?
A: Immediately determine if anyone is injured, and if so, do not move the injured person. As soon as possible, call or direct someone to call emergency “911.” If the collision is very minor, you may not need to contact law enforcement or law enforcement may determine an investigation is not necessary. If someone is injured, or if there is more than $1,000 in property damage, you must file an accident report with the Iowa Department of Transportation. The appropriate forms can be obtained from law enforcement or from the Iowa Department of Transportation. The Report must be filed within 72 hours of the accident, or your driver’s license may be suspended. If law enforcement are present to investigation the crash, tell the officers what you observed. Do not admit fault at this point, as the excitement of the moment may cloud your judgment and perceptions. Also, make sure you write down the other driver’s name, address, car license, driver’s license and auto insurance information. Be prepared to provide the same information to the other driver. Be sure to record the names, addresses and telephone numbers of people who witnessed the collision or events before, during or after the collision. The individuals include: passengers in the other involved vehicles, pedestrians, residents, construction workers, and employees from businesses located at the scene. Finally, be sure to obtain the investigating officer’s name and badge number.
Q: Should I contact my insurance company regarding the car accident?
A: YES. Notify your automobile insurance agent or company immediately and cooperate with your insurance representatives in their investigation. The other driver’s insurance company may contact you and request that you give a statement. This is not unusual; however, a lawyer may be helpful at this point in giving your statement, if you choose to hire one. When giving your statement, the most important thing to remember is to be honest and truthful and relay only what your observations were. Do not give your opinions as to the cause of the accident or whose fault it was.
Q: If another party is involved, and their insurance company contacts me to settle my personal injury claim, should I talk to them?
A: If you are uncertain as to your legal rights regarding any property damage and personal injuries incurred in the car accident, you should consult a lawyer. The reasonableness of the settlement offer depends upon the type and seriousness of your injuries, the probability of any future complications of those injuries, how much you were at fault in causing the crash, and a multitude of other facts.
Some of the noteworthy cases of our personal injury attorneys include: