Following a motor vehicle accident, adrenaline may be high, people may be in pain and tempers may flare. After all, both you and the other driver may be looking at expensive car repairs, months of inconvenience and significant medical bills. It is understandable if someone gets emotional.
Even if you believe the accident is your fault, you are wise to remain quiet and say nothing beyond exchanging basic information with Iowa police and the other driver. However, in such circumstances, especially if the other driver threatens to sue you, contacting a legal advocate as soon as possible may provide the defense strategy you need if the case goes to court.
Components of the other side's case
From the first moments of the accident, you can start gathering the information that will help your attorney build a case for defending you if the other driver files a civil claim. In order to know the kind of information you will need to share with your attorney, it may help to know the documentation plaintiffs commonly use to make their cases for compensation. The other driver is likely gathering the following:
- The police report, especially if you received a ticket for the accident
- Information that you provided at the scene regarding your insurance policy
- Information provided at the scene by any witnesses or other passengers in the vehicles
- Pictures of the scene, of the plaintiff's injuries or damage to the plaintiff's vehicle
- Medical records related to injuries and bills resulting from medical care
- Reports from mental health professionals who may have treated the plaintiff for emotional distress after the accident
- Documentation from the plaintiff's employer of the time and wages lost because of the accident
- Details of anything you may have said at the accident or statements you made to the insurer
This is why it is important to allow your attorney to correspond with the insurance companies and to refrain from saying anything unnecessary, especially offering an apology, at the scene of the accident. One careless word may weaken your ability to adequately defend yourself in court.
You might think that you don't have to worry about this because your insurance company will cover it. However, even if the other parties are successful in their claims for compensation, your insurer is only responsible for paying what your policy covers. You would be wise to seek legal advice about the options available to you when facing monetary claims following a personal injury accident.