Last Updated: 6/8/2023

Knowing what to do at the scene of an accident is important to preserve evidence when filing a car accident claim. Auto accident scenes can be filled with chaos and confusion. Yet it is important that injured victims do everything he or she can to remain calm and avoid making mistakes that can harm the case. Victims may also benefit from a consultation with a Des Moines, Iowa injury lawyer.

Things Not to Do at the Scene of the Accident

Iowa Car Accident HelpOne of the first mistakes many people make is to refuse medical treatment when it’s necessary. Later on, an injured person might try to submit medical records as evidence, but if there was a delay in receiving treatment, it can make proving the severity of an injury difficult.

A second mistake made by Iowans is that they fail to treat on a regular and consistent basis.  If you are still having problems due to an injury caused by a car accident then you need to go back and see the doctor preferably monthly.  If your doctor tells you to call him or her if you are having problems and you do not call to schedule an appointment, then in the mind of the doctor, the insurance company and eventually the judge or jury you must have been fine.  If later on, you claim that you have continued to have problems and your medical records show no medical treatment for the condition for a period of months, then it will be difficult to prove that your ongoing problems are related to the accident. 

Along the same lines, follow your doctors' orders.  If your doctor tells you to go to physical therapy twice a week and you decide that you are only going to go once per week, then this can damage your case.  It is always a good practice to do what your medical providers recommend.  This includes exercises, stretching, etc. that your physical therapist may recommend that you do at home.

There are several things that you should do regarding both your medical care and keeping documentation regarding your damages.  With regards to your medical care, it is important that you tell your medical providers everything that hurts and all the problems that you are having caused by the accident.  If you forget to tell your doctor about all of your problems and it does not make it into your medical records, then chances are that you will receive no compensation for the medical condition.  If you have to bring notes with you to your appointments that are fine.  This will help you remember to tell the nurses and your doctors everything that is causing you problems from the accident. 

Another mistake to avoid is taking the blame for the crash, apologizing (even if not responsible), or making other comments that are suggestive of being at fault. The less that is said about what caused the accident, the better it may be for a car accident claim.

Certain details can be sorted out later with help from a Des Moines, Iowa injury lawyer. And when it does come time to talk about the crash, such as to the responding officer, stick to the basic facts. Don’t try to offer an opinion or make assumptions about the accident, which is the third mistake to avoid.

Other mistakes that can be made at the scene of the accident is to not take pictures. Thinking that damage to a vehicle is minor and that the injuries are mild could later put a claim in jeopardy. The damage could be much more significant than originally thought and symptoms from injuries don’t always present themselves immediately.

Lastly, don’t make the mistake of not getting contact information from any witnesses. Relying upon one’s own statement may not be enough. In fact, testimony from others could be what puts the car accident claim in an injured person’s favor.

Avoiding these mistakes could help preserve necessary evidence for an accident claim. Accident victims may also benefit from consulting with a Des Moines, Iowa injury lawyer about what to do at the scene of an accident.  If you would like additional information about Iowa Car accidents including 4 other things that you should do in every case along with 10 Myths about car accident cases in Iowa log onto where you will find a book being offered at no cost.  

Corey Walker
Connect with me
With over 28 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.