Discover What to Do If You Are In a Car Accident in Des Moines, IA

Nobody ever plans on being in a car accident. When they do happen, people are often at a loss. The following information is meant to let you know generally what to do if you are in a car accident.

Stop your vehicle: If you leave the scene of an accident, you may face hit-and-run charges and criminal prosecution. Even if the accident occurred at a slow speed and there doesn't appear to be any damage to either vehicle, you are still required by the law to stop.

Call the police: Technically, there is not much that the police can do. They did not witness the accident, so they cannot determine liability or issue citations. However, they can provide you with the steps you need to take in order to fill out an accident report. They can also help with uncooperative drivers and can de-escalate a situation should tempers flare up.

Exchange information with the other driver: Be sure to get the other driver's name, address, phone number, driver's license number, insurance provider and the name of the insurance policyholder. If there were any witnesses to the accident, it is also helpful to gather their names and contact information.

Take photos: If you are able, take photos of the accident scene and photos of the damage to both vehicles.

Complete and file an accident report: In most cases, it will be necessary to complete and file an accident report. If you do not receive an accident report from the officer at the scene, you can contact your closest Department of Motor Vehicles or your nearest police precinct to find out how to get an accident report form. These must be filed shortly after the accident, so it is important to not delay this task.

Seek medical attention: This may seem like stating the obvious but some injuries, especially soft tissue injuries and certain back injuries, may not make themselves known until days or even weeks after the accident. It is important to get checked out regardless of how minor the accident may have seemed.

Get legal advice: It can be tempting to take the first offer from the insurance company and to move on with your life. However, insurance companies operate for themselves, not for your best interests. You do not want to develop serious medical issues related to the accident only to find that you cannot recover any more compensation. A lawyer can let you know what type of case you have and can help recover the monetary damages you deserve.

Contact The Iowa Law Firm Of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call our West Des Moines law office at 515-224-4400 or contact our attorneys online.