When you are in an automobile accident normally you should not move the vehicle until the police or other investigative personnel have arrived at the scene. If your accident is one where in police officers or other investigative personnel do not come to the scene, try to find out as much information as you can about how the accident happened. Iowa law requires drivers to exchange names, addresses, and registration numbers. It is also very important to photograph all injuries that you may have and any property damage. If you are injured seek immediate medical attention. If your accident was not an automobile accident but some other type of accident such as an industrial accident, construction accident, dog bite and so on, again make sure that you obtain the names and addresses of all witnesses. Photographs of the scene are very important as well. You should take the above steps even if you do not have insurance yourself. Under Iowa Law if the responsible party can be proven to be 50 percent or more at fault you can receive compensation for damages you suffer. Damages include but are not limited to pain and suffering, loss of wages or income and reimbursement for medical expenses. If you are injured in an accident and you suffer permanent injuries you can recover for future losses as well. If you are insured you should notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. You should read your automobile insurance policy to make sure that you comply with all the terms and conditions of your policy. It is not uncommon for insurance policies to set forth time periods in which you must perform your duties or they will deny coverage. If after reading your policy you don’t understand the terms and conditions of the policy make sure you consult a lawyer or some other professional trained to read and understand your policy.
It is not uncommon after an accident to have contact from the other party’s insurance carrier or a person representing the other party’s insurance company. You need to keep in mind that person although certainly interested in how the accident happened and what your condition is, will investigate the accident on behalf of their insured and not on your behalf. A lot of times parties such as yourself are asked to provide or sign patient waiver forms and other releases so that the insurance company can obtain information about your medical condition. You need to keep in mind that if you sign patient waiver forms or releases that the insurance company can then talk to your medical providers without you being present. They also may be able to obtain other medical records that exist with regard to your past medical history. Before you sign any releases or patient waivers you need to make sure that you understand just exactly what it is that you are signing. If you are unsure as to whether or not you should be signing any documents presented to you by the insurance company investigating the accident you should seek legal advice.