Every 16 minutes, someone is killed in a car accident. In 2012 alone, more than 2.3 million people were injured in car accidents across the United States, and sadly, more than 33,000 people lost their lives. When you or someone you love is injured in a car accident, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. To makes matters worse, struggles with insurance companies are unfortunately common during this traumatic time, resulting in financial difficulties and strains for already struggling families.
Washington, D.C. Car Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident in Washington, D.C., Maryland, or Virginia, the experienced car accident attorneys at Patrick Malone & Associates can help. Call us today at 1-202-742-1500 or 1-888-625-6635 or fill out our confidential contact form for a FREE Consultation and review of your case.
Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents occur more frequently here in the Washington, D.C. area than in any other area in the country. According to a U.S. News report, Washington, D.C. drivers were 107.3% more likely to get into a car accident than other drivers across the country. These car accidents range from mild fender benders to traumatic and catastrophic head-on collisions. Types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end car accidents
- Side impact car accidents
- Frontal or head-on car accidents
- Rollover car accidents
- Car accidents due to defective parts
- Car accidents due to defective tires
- Hit and run car accidents
- Car accidents with DUI or impaired driver
- Car accidents due to distracted driving (texting and the like)
- Car accidents with an uninsured or under-insured driver
- And more
Types of Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
Car accident injuries can range in severity depending on the type of accident, the speed at which the vehicles were traveling, and the safety features of the automobiles. Common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Internal organ damage
- And more
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Washington D.C.
There are numerous causes of car accidents in Washington D.C., and surrounding communities, including:
- Driving under the influence – driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol can result in catastrophic and deadly accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,265 people lost their lives in drunk driving crashes in 2015 alone.
- Distracted driving – distracted driving is on the rise, thanks to car infotainment systems and smartphones. Using a cellphone while driving increases your chances of getting into a serious car accident by 3x!
- Speeding – going above the speed limit can result in horrific crashes. According to the NHTSA, speeding killed more than 9,700 people in 2017 alone and is responsible for 26% of all traffic fatalities.
- Aggressive driving – driving recklessly endangers the lives of everyone on the road. Tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, stopping suddenly, and running red lights are all examples of aggressive driving that could result in a serious injury accident.
What to Do After a Car Accident
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the steps you take can have an immediate impact on your ability to collect the money you need after your crash. No matter how your accident occurred or who is to blame, take the following steps:
- Call 911 – calling 911 will alert both police and emergency medical services to your crash. The police will need to fill out a detailed accident report during this time and help clear the wreckage. The police report will be invaluable to you and your attorney after your accident because it can be the first step towards establishing liability.
- Seek medical attention – even if you do not believe that you are injured, it is best to be examined by a qualified medical professional. The adrenaline from the accident is sometimes enough to mask serious injury. An experienced healthcare professional can diagnose any injuries and help you obtain treatment quickly.
- Take pictures – if you are able, snap some pictures of the accident scene and the damage to your vehicle. It is important to consider taking those pictures from a variety of angles to give your attorney a more accurate idea of the crash scene. In addition, be sure to take pictures of anything you believe may have contributed to your accident, such as overgrown shrubs, missing stop signs, or debris on the road.
- Gather contact information – write down the other driver’s contact information, as well as the contact information for any passengers or eyewitnesses. Be sure to get a copy of their insurance card and driver’s license as well.
- Contact a car accident attorney – if your accident resulted in injury or damage, it is best to speak to an experienced car accident attorney before attempting to negotiate a claim with the insurance company. Your attorney will be able to review the accident and ensure that you receive all of the money you need to recover.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident can be a confusing and scary time. All you want is to repair your vehicle and put your life back together again. Knowing what “not to do” after a car accident is key to protecting your future and giving yourself the best chance of recovery.
- Never admit fault to the police
- Never speak to the “at fault” driver’s insurance company alone
- Avoid posting about your accident on social media
- Never accept a settlement without first speaking to an attorney
- Never downplay your injuries
- Never accept medical advice from the insurance company
- Always seek medical treatment from your own physician
- Never give a recorded statement to the insurance company
- Never skip a treatment appointment or doctor’s visit
- Never return to work before getting your doctor’s approval
Car Accident Attorneys Working for You
When you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to know that you are not alone. Immediately after you are injured, your car accident attorney will begin building a case that is designed to obtain the maximum fair compensation for your injuries.
This involves a thorough investigation of the accident and the events that caused the crash. Your car accident lawyer may need to obtain toxicology reports or BAC (blood alcohol content) results in order to determine if the driver responsible for your accident was impaired. If necessary, your lawyer will even employ accident reconstruction experts and other forensic specialists to recreate the moments of the crash to establish a clear chain of liability.
After establishing liability, your attorney will need to work closely with doctors and therapists to determine the full extent of your injuries and future prognosis. Any potential complications or long-term needs will need to be thoroughly evaluated before negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you undoubtedly have many questions. Who will pay for my medical expenses after the accident? What if I need surgery? Will my car get repaired, or is it totaled? What happens if I never recover completely?
During this time, insurance companies will attempt to get you to settle quickly for a fraction of what they know you need. When this occurs, you need an experienced and skilled Washington D.C. car accident lawyer on your side from the start. There are many reasons for hiring a car accident attorney, including:
- Avoid missing critical deadlines for filing a claim
- Help to understand the full scope of damages
- Proving liability is easier with legal assistance
- Liability laws differ in various states
- Proving your case can be complicated and may require extensive resources
- Avoid financial losses
- Protecting your rights to full compensation against insurance company agendas
Types of Car Accident Compensation
With the help of an experienced Washington D.C. car accident lawyer, you may be eligible to collect compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. The driver who is responsible for your accident is also responsible for paying these damages. Injured accident victims in D.C. may be able to seek compensation for:
- Past & present medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Property loss
- And more
Time Limits for Filing a Car Accident Claim
In Washington D.C., the statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claim after a car accident is just three years. If someone you love died as a result of a car accident, you only have two years from the date of their death to file a wrongful death claim.
While this may seem like enough time, it can pass quickly when you’re struggling to put your life back together again after a devastating accident. In addition, valuable evidence can be lost or destroyed if you don’t act quickly. An experienced Washington D.C. car accident lawyer can ensure that you do not miss this critical deadline for filing your claim.
Car Accident FAQs
- What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance? There are many drivers in Washington D.C. that simply do not have enough insurance or any insurance at all. If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you may need to turn to your own insurance company for help. If you purchased an UM/UIM policy, then your attorney can help you file a claim.
- Will my car get repaired or is it a total loss? The insurance company will determine if your car can be repaired or if they believe it is a total loss. If the retail market value of your vehicle is less than the cost of repairing it, then the insurance company will declare it a loss. It is important to discuss your case with an attorney, however, if you believe that your vehicle has been valued inappropriately.
- Can I even afford a lawyer? Most car accident attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t owe them anything unless they can win or settle your case for you. At the time you settle, your attorney will collect a percentage of the total settlement. In most cases, the net amount of the money you receive out of your settlement (your share) will nearly always be more than you would receive if you do not have an attorney.
- Will I have to go to court? Most car accident cases are settled out of court through negotiation. However, there are times when insurance companies simply aren’t playing fair. When this occurs, your attorney will be prepared to take your case to trial and fight for you. As such, it is important to choose an attorney with extensive experience litigating complex car accident cases.
- The insurance company offered me a nice settlement, should I take it? No matter how nice the settlement looks, it is important to speak to an experienced car accident attorney before signing anything. Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators, and they know that you need money now to pay for medical expenses. They also know that your injuries may end up costing you more than you realize. Their main goal will be to get you to sign as quickly as possible, for as little as possible. Never sign a settlement without first speaking to an experienced attorney.
Contact Our Experienced Washington D.C. Car Accident Lawyers
When you are injured in a car accident in Washington D.C., it may seem as if your entire world has been turned upside down. You may be struggling with injuries and uncertain of how you will support yourself during your recovery. When this occurs, it can be beneficial to speak to an experienced and skilled car accident attorney immediately.
At Patrick Malone & Associates, our Washington D.C. car accident attorneys know that you need money now – not just tomorrow. To learn more about your legal rights after a devastating injury accident, contact our law firm by calling (202) 742-1500 or (888) 625-6635 or filling out our confidential contact form. We offer a free initial consultation for all injured accident victims and can help you choose the legal path that is best for you. Call today!