Hiring a Washington, DC, Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents change the lives of innocent victims daily in the Washington, D.C., area. In 2015 alone, 24,265 vehicle crashes took place in the nation’s capital, resulting in 6,215 injuries and 26 deaths, according to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). And that’s not counting the toll taken by accidents in the Virginia and Maryland suburbs, or the property damage all of those accidents caused.
Sometimes, a car crash is no one’s fault in particular. But, when an accident is caused by someone’s carelessness or recklessness, anyone injured in the accident may have a claim for insurance proceeds or damages from the responsible parties. These may include damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses, among others.
At The Abelson Law Firm, we represent Washington, D.C., area residents who have been injured or killed in auto accidents. Our goal is to fight to protect your legal rights and to ensure that you receive compensation from all parties who should be held accountable.
Washington, D.C., Car Accident Facts
According to DDOT data, motor vehicle accidents rose steadily in the District from 2007 to 2015. The good news is that fatalities fell over that period. The bad news is that injuries continued to rise. In 2015, most collisions happened during daytime hours, with the highest concentration of crashes (and injuries) happening between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday had the largest number of crashes of any day of the week, and crashes appear to peak consistently in October and May.
It is more common in Washington, D.C., for crashes to occur at or within 100 feet of an intersection than any other known location. Approximately 5 percent of crashes involve pedestrians, and between 2 and 4 percent involve bicyclists. Male drivers consistently account for two-thirds of all accidents in the District.
Causes of Washington, D.C., Car Accidents
The DDOT reports a variety of factors that appear cause motor vehicle accidents in Washington, D.C. The primary contributing factors to accidents, when identifiable, were driver inattention, changing lanes without caution, and following too close. Speeding, alcohol and drug use, and failing to cede the right-of-way also contributed to a significant number of accidents.
The DDOT data also suggest that some intersections and areas of the District are particular dangers. The intersection of New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road in Northeast D.C. consistent ranked as the most dangerous from 2013 to 2015, followed by 1st Street and Union Station Plaza. The most dangerous intersection in Northwest D.C. was at 14th St. and U Street.
Who Can Be Held Liable for an Auto Accident?
Sometimes, an auto accident isn’t anyone’s fault, or it’s the fault of the driver alone. In those cases, so long as no one other than the driver or his property is injured, a driver may recover money from his insurance company.
But, when an auto accident is the result of someone’s carelessness or recklessness, then they may be held liable for injuries and property damage the accident caused. Drivers of cars, obviously, may be held liable, if they are responsible for an accident because of inattention, speeding, or some other negligent or dangerous action. If a poor road condition causes a crash, those responsible for maintaining the road might be held liable. If the crash results from a malfunction of a system in the car, such as the brakes or accelerator, the car manufacturer, a parts manufacturer, or the car’s regular service garage could be found liable for failing to design, construct, or fix the car properly.
What Damages are Recoverable from an Auto Accident?
Drivers, passengers, or bystanders injured in a car crash may need hospitalization and may miss work as a result. Their life functions may be temporarily or permanently impaired. They may suffer from long-term mental health effects that disrupt their lives. In a legal action to recover damages, these victims may recover for their pain and suffering, their lost wages, and their medical expenses.
When a crash results from actions that are particularly reckless, especially when a victim of the crash dies as a result, a jury may also award punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer and to make sure the reckless conduct does not happen again.
Finally, when a motor vehicle accident results in property damage, the costs of repairing that damage may also be recovered in a legal action or from an insurer.
Safety Tips for Avoiding Auto Accidents in Washington, D.C.
It is important for drivers to remember that Washington, D.C. is a town with lots of out-of-state drivers unfamiliar with the roads. Be patient and be prepared for sudden lane changes ahead of you. Also remember that a significant number of District residents walk to work, and are in a hurry. Add to them the tens of thousands of tourists in town every day, and drivers must also be prepared to brake for pedestrians. Speeding and distracted driving (particularly texting and fiddling with GPS) can be especially dangerous in the District.Washington, D.C., Car Accident Attorney
Accidents happen. When they do, it’s important to have strong, experienced legal representation at your side. Recovering from injuries sustained in a car crash, or grieving the loss of a loved one tragically killed in one, takes an enormous emotional and physical toll. It is no time for you to be worrying about how you are going to pay medical bills, or replace family lost income, or obtain justice.
That is where the experienced legal team at The Abramson Law Firm comes in. We represent Washington, D.C., area residents and their families who are victims of auto accidents. While our clients recover or grieve, we work tirelessly to make sure their rights are protected and they receive the compensation they deserve from every insurer and responsible party.
If you or a loved one is the victim of a Washington, D.C., auto accident, contact us today or call (202) 331-0600 for a free consultation about your options.