Car crashes happen in the blink of an eye, but the effects can last a lifetime. If you’ve been involved in a collision, you know firsthand how traumatic one can be. The days after can be confusing, but being informed can go a long way, and our Des Moines car accident lawyer can help with a number of different tasks to put your mind at ease.

What should your first steps be after a car crash? Do you really need a Des Moines car accident attorney and how can you find the best one for you? What kind of compensation is available to car accident victims? Find out all of this and much more in our definitive guide to car accidents in Des Moines.

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Table of Contents:

Des Moines car accident scene with woman on the phone

Common Causes of Car Accidents

It’s important to understand the usual causes of car accidents for several reasons. Primarily so you can avoid those actions and keep yourself safe. But if you have been in an accident, you can benefit from this list for liability purposes. Here’s how most car crashes in Des Moines and the rest of Iowa happen:

  • Distracted driving. Blame it on cellphones, another screen in the car, a child in the backseat, or simply taking your eyes off the road. Either way, just like the rest of the nation, distracted driving is the single largest cause of auto accidents in Iowa. An accident could occur if you look away from the road ahead of you for even a few seconds.
  • Drunk driving. The general recommendation is that drivers do not operate a car after consuming alcohol, but for legal purposes, the limit is a blood alcohol concentration of .08. You’re legally considered intoxicated at any level higher than that, and if you’re in an accident while intoxicated, you’ll be facing criminal charges.
  • Speeding. Posted speed limits are there for a reason, and exceeding that limit can mean you don’t have enough time to react and avoid an accident. According to our car accident lawyer in Des Moines, speeding-related crashes often see a more severe injury rate than slower speed ones, so maintaining a proper speed is of the utmost importance.
  • Drowsy driving. Some organizations claim a sleepy driver is just as impaired as a drunk one. More than 1,500 deaths happen each year because a driver was too tired and either drifted into another lane, left the roadway entirely, or failed to stop in time.
  • Inexperience. Iowa has a three-tiered graduated license system, but at age 17, a driver can have a full license without restrictions. Teenage drivers often don’t have experience on the roads, making them statistically more likely to be in an accident than adults.

Common Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents

Injuries sustained in Des Moines car accidents vary depending on several factors. Some people can walk away from a car crash without a scratch, while others sustain life-altering, and sometimes ever life-ending injuries. The most frequent car accident injuries include:

  • Whiplash. When your muscles are strained beyond their normal range, soft tissue can be damaged without an actual bone break. Known as whiplash, this condition can be excruciating and take a long time to heal.
  • Broken bones. Due to the force of impact against a seatbelt or the impact of an airbag, bones in the neck, ribs, or back are the most common ones broken in car accidents. But breaks to the clavicle, leg, and sternum happen frequently.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Whether it’s the anterior cord, central cord, or posterior cord, spinal cord injuries often happen in car accidents, and they can be devastating. Complete spinal cord injuries can even result in paraplegia.
  • Brain injuries. From concussions to contusions to nerve damage or shearing, there are many ways the brain can be damaged in a car accident, all traumatic.
  • Internal bleeding. Exterior scrapes and abrasions are typical in a car accident, but so is internal bleeding. Bleeding inside the body can be especially dangerous if it’s not detected quickly.

If your car accident was anything more than a minor crash, it’s important to seek medical care immediately, as some injuries don’t manifest until much later.

What You Should Do After an Auto Accident in Des Moines

Most people only deal with a severe car accident a small handful of times in their life, so they don’t know what their steps should be after having one. It’s important to be aware of what you should do because it can affect your physical recovery and your chances of getting fair compensation.

According to our Des Moines car accident lawyer, while you’re still at the accident scene, you should first call the police. You may need a police report later, so this is a critical step. After that, gather evidence. This includes taking photos of the scene (including signs, damaged property, and skid marks) and getting the other driver’s license and license plate number, insurance policy information, and contact information.

Additionally, you should take down information like the weather conditions at the time of the accident and information about the other driver. Did you see them on their phone before the accident, or did you smell alcohol when you got out? Those are details that could help you later on.

Maybe the most important thing you can do, though, is seek medical attention even if you think you’re fine. Many injuries don’t show up until weeks later, so it’s critical to get help early on.

Our Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Navigate These Complicated Times

If your car accident was anything more than a minor fender bender, you probably stand to benefit from legal representation. At Hupy & Abraham, we’re ready to help. It’s important to be aware of your rights after a car accident. You may be entitled to not only have your medical bills compensated but also to receive compensation for the mental strain, for missed wages at work, and more. Request our free e-book, Ultimate Guide for Automobile Accident Victims for a simple walkthrough of everything you need to know surrounding your accident.

How to Find the Best Car Accident Lawyer in Des Moines

There are several factors you can consider when searching for the best car accident lawyer in Des Moines. You want an attorney with plenty of experience dealing with your style of case, that is well-reviewed by their peers and clients, and who treats every client with care. Specifically, you can research:

  • Reviews and testimonials. One of the biggest ways to get a feel for how a lawyer treats their clients is to read testimonials and reviews. It’s easy for a firm to tout its own merits, but reading what other people have to say will let you know what you can expect.
  • Awards. In addition to checking what other people have to say, check what their peers or governing bodies have to say. Has your law firm won any awards? At Hupy and Abraham, we’ve received a number of awards and accolades, including AV Preeminent (the highest peer rating standard), Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum (one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the country, limited to accomplished attorneys who have won multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements), Litigator Award (a prestigious legal accolade given to less than one percent of trial attorneys across the nation), and more.
  • Case results. Nothing speaks louder than facts. Research to see if your car accident lawyer in Des Moines discloses specific case results. If they share their successes, you can see the type of compensation you may be eligible to receive. For example, Hupy and Abraham has won over $1 billion for our clients.

car accident lawyer Des Moines

What to Expect During Your Initial Consult With Our Des Moines Car Crash Attorney

An initial consultation with an attorney is a first date of sorts. You’re both deciding if you want to continue further. During this meeting, you’ll sit down to discuss the specifics of your case. Our Des Moines car accident lawyer will lay out what they think is the best plan moving forward, and you’ll decide what you want to do next.

While it can be intimidating to meet with a car crash attorney, remember that you hold the power of decision! Be sure our lawyer is a good match for you by asking important questions that can make your decision easier.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Car Accident Lawyer in Des Moines

  • What will I be paying to hire you? By asking this, there won’t be any surprises down the line. Make sure you ask about legal fees, about their percentage of your compensation, and about the costs of doing paperwork.
  • Why do you think I have a good case? Asking this question can potentially weed out a car accident lawyer that’s just trying to take on your case so they can charge you exorbitant fees. Finding out why your lawyer thinks your case will be a success will give you insight into their process too.
  • How many cases like mine has your firm handled? Just because an attorney has been around for a long time, that doesn’t mean they’ve worked with cases like yours before. You want to make sure your attorney has at least handled some cases similar to yours.
  • How will you keep me updated along the way? You want a car accident attorney in Des Moines that will keep you informed during the process, so you’ll know where things stand.

Why Hiring Hupy & Abraham is Your Best Bet

If you’ve been in a car crash in Iowa, you don’t have to handle the aftermath alone. Our skilled Des Moines car accident lawyer can take the confusing days after your crash and guide you through the process, from initial consultation to a successful resolution.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Let our car accident lawyer in Des Moines help fight for you. Call us today at 1-800-800-5678, start an online chat or fill out our online contact form by clicking the button above to have one of our attorneys evaluate your case for free.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.