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Go to a doctor!

Experienced Lawyer

After a car accident, many people will call a lawyer when it’s too late.  They will get rear-ended by another driver or hit by a drunk driver, exchange contact information with the other driver, say all the wrong things to the insurance company, forget to go to a doctor, and then call a law firm.  At that point, it may be too late for even the most experienced attorneys and lawyers to save your claim. Why is that?!?

What should you do after a car accident?

First, if you are not in any danger or risk of endangering others, take pictures of the other car.  Every day, our law firm gets calls from innocent drivers who are hit by a negligent driver and then that other driver drives off.  In a perfect world, we would all have dashboard cameras or there would be cameras at every mile along the highway, but of course this is not the case.

Second, no matter the level or severity of the car accident, call the authorities.  It is imperative that you call the police. In order to establish that an accident or crash has occurred, there has to be documentation from the police.  It doesn’t matter if it is a local police officer or the Iowa State Patrol—get it documented that another person hit you and that that person was negligent.

Third, follow the recommendations of law enforcement and emergency personnel.  If they recommend you get examined—get examined. If they recommend you should go to the emergency room—go to the emergency room.  Your health is the most important part of any claim.

But, what if emergency personnel don’t tell you to go to the emergency room?  Then what? As soon as you physically are able, get yourself to an urgent care facility.  Why? Right after an accident, your adrenaline is pumping and oftentimes, you don’t feel any pain.  It’s at that time, when you’re most vulnerable to making an injury worse, that you should go to an urgent care facility.  This is especially true if you feel like you have a headache. Also, if you have a child in the car, although they may seem resilient, children do break bones and get concussions.  Make sure if you are in a car with a young person, a child, or even an elderly person, that you take them to urgent care as soon as possible.

Of course, once you are safe, the police have arrived, the cops have documented your accident, and you are checked out by medical professionals, call Des Moines Injury Law!  Once you are our client, we will do five things: 1) fight for you; 2) organize and investigate your claim; 3) make sure the other driver’s insurance pays as much as possible; 4) make sure you have to pay back as little as possible to your health insurance or Medicaid; and 5) keep fighting for you!

Is that it?  Just call Des Moines Injury Law and everything is taken care of for your car crash?  Almost. Calling our firm is a great step towards protecting your rights. But, if you are injured, you have to follow your doctor’s instructions.  Too many times, we have clients that do everything right, including call our law firm, but then they drop the ball in their medical treatment. It is just as important to call us as it is to listen to your doctor—and to listen to your body.

If the medical provider at the urgent care or emergency room recommends that you go see a doctor for follow-up care—go to a doctor for follow-up care!  People in Iowa, and especially Des Moines, like to think they are tough and that they can just walk off their aches and pains. But, you don’t get extra points, let alone the money you deserve in a settlement if you try muscling through the pain.  Go to a doctor, go to a specialist, go for physical therapy. If you are forced to miss out on work because of doctors’ visits or physical therapy, we will help you recover your lost wages. That’s all part of what the attorneys and lawyers at Johnston Martineau do.

What should you do if you don’t have health insurance?

If you don’t have health insurance at the time of a car accident or motor vehicle crash and you are injured, there are options for you.  First, no emergency room can turn you away for treatment for lack of health insurance. If you do receive care, you will have to pay it back, and when that time comes, we will help you to negotiate down that bill.  In many instances, that is not an issue because you may have medpay coverage on your auto policy. That is no-fault medical insurance for the first portion of your hospital bill. Always check your coverage to see if you have it before relying on it.  Lastly, consider asking the hospital staff for presumptive Medicaid. Medicaid is available to those people that qualify. If you do qualify and you are in an emergency, but don’t yet have Medicaid, the hospital will begin the process of signing you up for it.  That process is simple, and the staff members are glad to assist you.

It is important that you have continuous treatment for the duration of your injuries.  Don’t stop for a few weeks and then go back. Don’t take the month off to see if things will heal themselves.  That will harm your recovery and your settlement. Listen to doctors because they are the experts. If they tell you to go to physical therapy or to go to an orthopedist, or to a specialist, or to take a prescription medication—do what they tell you.

Following your doctor’s orders is the key to getting better and getting the most out of your settlement.

Call a car accident attorney Des Moines, IA trusts today to get help every step of the way! Thank you to our friends at Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and car accidents.

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