If you have been injured in a car or motorcycle accident, you likely have been or will be contacted by an insurance company and may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the process of dealing with the insurance company. Here are a few pieces of simple advice that may be helpful.
Advice for Iowa Car Accident Victims
- Hiring a lawyer. Not everyone who is injured in a car accident will benefit from having a lawyer (and that is coming from a lawyer!). If you sustained injuries that required little treatment and you have fully recovered, you may be better off resolving your case directly with the insurance company without getting a lawyer. However, if you have sustained injuries requiring substantial treatment or you have not recovered from your injuries, you may benefit from having a lawyer. If you are not sure if you would benefit from a lawyer, I am happy to talk to you about it. My job is to help people who have been injured, and so I always try to give an honest opinion about whether hiring a lawyer (almost always on a contingent fee) will likely increase the amount that you are able to recover for your injuries.
- Talking to the insurance company. If you are considering hiring a lawyer, you should talk to that lawyer before giving a statement to the insurance company or signing a patients' waiver. Insurance companies want to save money and sometimes that means trying to shift the blame for an accident or minimizing your injuries and damages. Oftentimes you are simply better off not talking with the insurance company. If you have already spoken with the insurance company, do not fret, an attorney can still help you.
- Document your injuries and damages. You should take photos of your injuries and of any damage to your car. You should also save any medical or other bills that you have.
- Getting Medical Care. You may be confused about what insurance company should be paying for your medical treatment. This often depends on your situation and you should always ask your lawyer who should be paying your medical bills. This is another topic I am always happy to discuss with people when they contact me.
- Know the time limit for bringing a claim. In Iowa, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years from the date of injury, with some exception. You should know the statute of limitations applicable to your claim because if you try to bring your claim too late, you may not be able to do so.
If you have questions about whether you should hire a lawyer, please contact our office at (319) 826-2250. We offer a free consultation, and I always provide helpful, honest advice to injured Iowans.
This website is designed to provide general information and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.