Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) or under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited in Iowa. On suspicion of impaired or drunk driving, the police can stop your vehicle and ask you to take a field sobriety test, among other DUI tests. Understanding your rights with a field sobriety test is imperative to know what to do when pulled over for DUI and ensure that you do not implicate yourself inadvertently.
Dos and Don’ts After an Injury
If you have sustained an injury because of someone else’s negligent conduct, you might be entitled to financial compensation. However, you may have questions regarding what you should and should not do when pursuing compensation after an injury.
When filing a personal injury claim, there are certain things you should and should never do to maximize compensation and ensure the best possible resolution of your case. The personal injury attorneys at Balduchi Law Office, PC help injured people throughout Iowa obtain the compensation they deserve. From its office in Des Moines, Iowa, the law firm serves injured victims throughout Polk County and surrounding counties.
The Dos When Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Below are some of the guidelines you should follow when filing a personal injury claim to ensure a fair and speedy resolution:
1. Do Contact an Attorney Right Away
The first step in filing a personal injury claim is to contact an attorney right away. Many people make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to take action, which can affect the outcome of the case. Your attorney will help you navigate the complicated legal process from start to finish so that you can focus on your medical treatment.
2. Do Keep Records of Everything (Including Receipts of Your Medical Bills)
When filing a personal injury claim, documentation is key. Be sure to keep records of everything, including receipts of your medical bills, medication expenses, therapy sessions, and even missed workdays. This information can help your attorney assess the value of your claim and negotiate a fair settlement.
3. Do Disclose All Symptoms and Discomfort to Your Doctor
To strengthen your personal injury claim, you must disclose all symptoms and discomfort to your treating doctor. If you fail to report any symptoms at the time of your medical visit, it could be harder to prove that your injury is related to the accident. Your attorney will use your medical records to help establish causation and liability.
4. Do Record How the Injury Is Affecting Your Life, Including Your Ability to Work
Your personal injury claim may include compensation for lost wages or even future earnings. To support your claim, it is essential to record how the injury is affecting your life, including your ability to work. Keep track of any time you miss work due to the injury, as well as any future work limitations. This information can help your attorney calculate the full extent of your economic losses.
5. Do Be Honest and Transparent With Your Attorney
Last but not least, it is essential to be honest and transparent with your attorney. Your attorney needs to know all the facts related to your injury to build a strong case on your behalf. Be truthful about what happened, and do not exaggerate the extent of your injuries. Honesty is always the best policy when filing a personal injury claim.
The Don’ts of Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Below are some of the common pitfalls involved in filing a personal injury claim:
1. Do Not Refuse Medical Treatment
One of the most crucial steps to ensuring the success of your personal injury claim is seeking immediate medical attention. It is understandable that you may feel hesitant or in shock at the moment, but refusing medical treatment can harm your case later on. Without proper medical documentation, it becomes difficult to prove the extent of your injuries to the insurance company and/or the courts.
2. Do Not Provide Statements to the Insurance Company Until You Talk to an Attorney
Insurance adjusters may try to contact you right after the accident to discuss the details of your case. In most cases, they will ask you for a recorded statement, hoping to catch you saying something that could minimize the value of your claim or get it dismissed. Before speaking to anyone about your case, consult with a personal injury attorney who can guide you on what to say and what not to say.
3. Do Not Accept Any Settlement Offers Early On
In many cases, insurance companies will make an initial settlement offer to end the case quickly and cheaply. Do not fall into this trap. Accepting the first settlement offer may seem like a convenient option, but it is often not enough to cover all your expenses. Do not let the insurance company dictate the terms of your case. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.
4. Do Not Wait Too Long to File a Personal Injury Claim
It is essential to act quickly when pursuing a personal injury claim. Waiting too long can cause you to miss the deadline to file, known as the statute of limitations. Typically, the deadline to file a personal injury claim in Iowa is two years from the date of the injury. If you miss the deadline, you may lose the right to file altogether.
5. Do Not Discuss the Details of Your Case With Anyone (Including on Social Media)
It is common to want to share your experience with others, especially on social media. However, keep in mind that anything you post online can be used against you in court. For this reason, keep the details of your case to yourself and your attorney. It is better to err on the side of caution and refrain from posting anything related to your accident on social media until your case is resolved.
Trusted Legal Assistance
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, seek trusted legal assistance with your personal injury claim at Balduchi Law Office, PC. The attorneys at Balduchi Law Office, PC serve injured victims in Iowa with integrity and commitment. The law firm provides every client with the personalized attention they deserve. Call today to request a free consultation.
Most of us have seen police shows on TV where an officer informs someone in custody that they have a right to remain silent and be represented by an attorney during questioning. This statement, required by a 1966 U.S. Supreme Court decision, is known as your Miranda Rights.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was enacted to protect citizens from any unlawful search and seizure by government authorities, including law enforcement officers. Unless under certain exceptions, it is illegal for a police officer to search a person's home, vehicle, or property without obtaining a valid search warrant or following the guidelines for conducting searches.