Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P.


Serving Story County and Central Iowa since 1906

323 6th St.
Ames, IA 50010-0664
USA
 

Phone: (515) 232-4732
 

MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS :: Back to Practice Areas

Q. Can I be compensated even if the accident was my fault?
Q. Who can I sue for compensation for my injuries?
Q. How much compensation can I get?
Q. Will I have to go to court?
Q. Where will the money to pay for my injuries come from?
Q. When will I get my money?
Q. What do I do if I can’t afford a lawyer?
Q. Do I have to go to the doctor?
Q. How soon must I file my claim?
Q. What if the responsible driver or his or her insurance company offers me a check?


Q. Can I be compensated even if the accident was my fault?

A. Compensation if the accident was your fault depends on the laws of your state.  In some states, who was at fault in the accident is not considered with regard to compensation.  In those states, part or all of your economic damages may be paid by your no-fault insurance policy.  In other states, which driver is responsible for the accident is important for compensation.  However, you may still be able to recover the costs of your injuries, even if the accident was partially your fault.  In that case, you will have to show that the other driver was more responsible for the accident than you were or you may have to reduce the amount of costs you can recover by the amount that you were responsible.


Q. Who can I sue for compensation for my injuries?

A. In some cases, a person who was injured in an accident may be able to sue other people than just the responsible driver.  For example, if the responsible driver did not own the car he or she was driving, you may be able to sue the car’s owner.  If the responsible driver was drunk, you may be able to sue the person who served him or her alcohol, if that person served the driver even though he or she was obviously drunk.  In other cases, you might be able to sue a person who wasn’t involved in the accident, such as an automobile manufacturing company or a construction company, if there was a defect in the vehicle or the road that caused the accident.  If the accident involved a semi-truck and the driver violated rules and regulations, you may be able to sue their employer.


Q. How much compensation can I get?

A. The amount of compensation in each case varies widely.  Compensation can depend on many variables and the amount can’t be determined without analysis of the injury, medical costs, loss of wages, and the permanency of the injury.  There is no set rule for compensation and each case is unique.


Q. Will I have to go to court?

A. Many motor vehicle accident cases do not result in a lawsuit.  Most lawsuits are settled without a trial.  Settlements avoid the cost and the huge time commitment of a trial and may result in a greater amount of compensation than a trial.  However, if the case can’t be settled in a way that is acceptable to both sides, it might be necessary to go to court.


Q. Where will the money to pay for my injuries come from?

A. The responsible driver’s insurance company pays your compensation in many states.  If you are in a no-fault insurance system state, your own insurance company may pay some of your compensation.  If the responsible party doesn’t have enough insurance cover to compensate you for all of your injuries, your own insurance policy may have coverage for the remainder of your compensation.


Q. When will I get my money?

A. When you get the compensation from your motor vehicle accident case depends on several variables, including the severity of your injury and whether your case goes to court.  If you have a serious injury, you want to wait until your doctor has released you or until your doctor can determine your future medical costs related to the accident with reasonable certainty.  The time you need to heal from your injuries may be the determining factor in amount of time it takes to settle your claim.  Additionally, if you have to go to court, it may take longer to get your money than if you settle your claim.


Q. What do I do if I can’t afford a lawyer?

A. Many law firms will take your personal injury case on a contingency fee basis.  This means that your lawyer will get a percentage of the amount that the lawyer collects for you.  If you don’t get anything, your lawyer won’t get anything either.  However, you are generally responsible for any court costs, filing fees, and witness fees, no matter what the outcome of the case.


Q. Do I have to go to the doctor?

A. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should go to a doctor, both for your peace of mind and to document your injuries to support your case.  Often, a car accident injury isn’t apparent right away.  Go to your family doctor, an emergency room, or another trained medical professional as soon as any symptoms appear.


Q. How soon must I file my claim?

A. The time period within which a person has to bring a claim for injuries in a motor vehicle accident varies from state to state.  The way that the time period is computed also varies.  The time period may also vary within a state depending on the circumstances of the accident, including the injured person’s age, the type of claim, the particular facts of the injury, and when the injury is discovered.  It is very important that you know the time limit for your situation, or you may not be able to get any compensation for your injury!


Q. What if the responsible driver or his or her insurance company offers me a check?

A. If you accept a check from the responsible driver or his or her insurance company, you may be barred from getting any additional compensation from the driver or the insurer.  You shouldn’t accept a check or sign a release until you have spoken with a lawyer.  Generally, your lawyer will advise you to wait until you have finished the treatment for your injury and have been released by you doctor, so that you know that you have enough compensation for all of your medical expenses.  An insurance representative may encourage you to settle your case for the lowest amount of compensation possible and not to speak with a lawyer.  You should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before accepting any payment, signing any release, or settling your claim so that you can make sure that you are receiving fair and full compensation.

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Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., is an Iowa general practice law firm with practice including, but not limited to  Administrative Law, Adoption Law, Agricultural Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Banking Law, Business Law (including business organization, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), incorporations, and sales of businesses and business assets), Civil Rights, Commercial Law, Construction Law, Corporate Law, Criminal Defense, Elder Law, Employment Law, Family Law (including divorce, prenuptial agreements, child support, child custody, dissolution modification), Government, Government Contracts, Litigation, Personal Injury (including Motor Vehicle Accidents and Wrongful Death), Product Liability, Professional Negligence Law, Real Estate (including mortgage loan closings, IRC Section 1031 exchanges, subdivisions, platting, condominiums, and cooperative housing), Municipal Law, Taxation Law and Tax Preparation, Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning & Probate Law (including financial and medical powers of attorney, guardianships and conservatorships, trust administration, and estate administration), Workers Compensation, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

The offices of the Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., are located in Ames, Iowa. The lawyers and staff of the Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., serve clients throughout Iowa, including the cities of Ames, Nevada, Gilbert, Huxley, Slater, Zearing, Story City, Roland, McCallsburg, Colo, Cambridge, Sheldahl, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Fort Dodge, Waterloo, Marshalltown, Boone, Webster City, Eldora, Grundy Center, Newton, Adel, Eldora, Ankeny, Johnston, Indianola, Cedar Falls, Jefferson, Marshalltown, Clarion, Knoxville, and the communities that make up Story, Polk, Linn, Webster, Blackhawk, Marshall, Boone, Hamilton, Jasper, Dallas, Hardin, Warren, Greene, Wright, and Marion counties.