Washington DC Car Accident Lawyer
Far too many people loose their lives or suffer devastating injuries on the roads of Washington DC Some of the deadly car accidents involve pedestrians, bicyclists or collisions with fixed objects. Others involve multiple vehicles. There are many more auto accidents each year in the District of Columbia that result in serious personal injuries.
With D.C.’s numerous traffic circles, large number of one-way streets and out-of-town visitors, driving in the nation’s capital can be a dangerous proposition. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, someone else fails to exercise the caution needed on these complicated roadways, and causes a serious car accident. When this occurs, you need to take action.
The experienced Washington DC Car Accident Lawyer at The Abelson Law Firm, can help. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about the rights of D.C. accident victims and about how our District of Columbia car accident attorneys can assist you in recovering the maximum compensation you deserve. Please contact us online or by phone at (202) 499-6577 .
Washington DC Car Accident Laws
According to the Compulsory/No Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act of 1982, every driver in Washington DC, is required to have certain types of auto insurance when driving or registering a vehicle. Among the types of insurance required are both personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury and property damage.
The law also imposed “no-fault” rules for car accidents in the District. This means that when an accident happens, you are required to first recover compensation from your own auto insurer under your PIP policy. This PIP coverage will pay for your medical costs and your lost wages no matter who was at fault for the accident.
While no-fault insurance provides you with more coverage than you might otherwise have if you caused a car accident, it also curtails your right to make a claim against another driver who caused you harm.
Exceptions to D.C. ‘No-Fault’ Rules
Although Washington DC is a no-fault jurisdiction that limits your right to sue after an auto accident, this does not mean you can never sue. Washington DC has exceptions to the no-fault rules allowing you to make a claim if:
- The injuries sustained in the car accident are disfiguring or cause permanent scarring.
- The injuries cause impairment that is substantial and that can be demonstrated through medical records.
- The injury interferes with your normal activities of daily living for at least 180 days and medical records can provide proof of this.
- The medical bills and costs associated with treating the injury are higher than the PIP benefits available.
In any of these situations, it is possible to make a personal injury claim in order to recover broader compensation than you otherwise would through a PIP claim. Our Washington DC Car Accident Lawyer can help you to determine if your case falls within an exception to no-fault rules and, if so, help you prove it.
Holding the Other Driver Responsible
If your injuries are serious enough to justify a personal injury claim, you still need to show that the other driver was responsible for the accident in order to hold him or her liable. Typically, this means showing that the other driver was negligent.
There are two ways to show the other driver was negligent. The first is by showing that he or she violated some type of safety law, such as a speed limit. In these cases, the driver can be considered negligent per se and no negligence actually needs to be proved. The second is by showing that no reasonable driver would have been so careless.
A number of different causes of Washington DC, car accidents may either be considered negligent or fall under the category of negligence per se. Some examples include:
- Distracted driving (driving while texting or on the phone)
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- Reckless driving
- Failure to drive in a manner safe for weather conditions
- Unsafe lane changes
- Wrong-way driving
- Improper turns
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Road rage
In any of these or other situations where a driver is not behaving in a prudent manner, our car accident lawyer can help you to prove negligence and to hold the driver responsible for your losses.
Other Car Accident Causes
An accident can also occur because of improper car maintenance or because of a design defect with the vehicle or the road. In such cases, other parties besides the drivers involved may be held responsible for injuries that occur. For instance, the manufacturer of a defective vehicle could be sued for any harm related to the defect.
When a third-party or factor not related to driving causes the accident, this is a different type of personal injury case. For instance, when the manufacturer of the defective vehicle is sued, the case arises under product liability law rather than under Washington, DC, car accident law. This means that no-fault car accident rules may not limit recovery to serious injuries.
Talk To Our Car Accident Lawyer Today
It is important to take prompt action to fully protect your legal rights after an accident occurs. Contact The Abelson Law Firm, today online to schedule a free consultation.