WASHINGTON DC CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS
If you have been involved in a car accident in Washington DC, you may have found that your world has been turned upside down by the injuries that you have sustained. Medical bills pile up, insurance companies are constantly calling, you may have missed time from work, and you may be worried about how you are going to get back on your feet. You need an experienced Washington DC Car Accident Lawyer to help fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. You need the team at Blaszkow Legal that will investigate your case, and vigorously and aggressively assertive your claim to enforce your rights.
Contact an experienced attorney who knows the law in DC, and knows how to investigate your claim, and maximize your recovery. Let us fight for you today, and call 703-879-5910 for a free consultation!
How Washington DC car accident affects you
Car accidents are universally recognized to greatly impact your life. No one knows what that impact is like better than you. But simply saying how this accident has impacted you as often not enough. Because of the way the law works, you have to prove it. You have to prove your damages, which are economic and non economic. An experienced DC car accident lawyer is going to be able to help document the inconveniences, injuries, and impact that this accident has had on your life.
Here are some examples of damages that can be claimed as the result of the DC car crash:
Emergency room evaluations
Physical therapy costs
Medical supply expenses
Loss of earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Different kinds of DC car accidents
The kinds of accidents that you can be involved in really run the gamut, but all of them have the ability to inflict serious injury upon you. Blaszkow Legal has experience in handling all manner of car accident cases in DC, as well as throughout Maryland and Virginia, including:
Side impact crashes
Roll over accidents
Texting while driving accidents
Drunk driving accidents
Turning lane accidents
Negligence and DC car accidents
If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault in the District of Columbia, whether as a passenger or a driver, then the burden of proof lies with you (and with us as your attorneys) to prove that the other person was at fault. This can be done, but it has to be done through competent and immediate investigation. Call Blaszkow Legal today for help with your Washington DC car accident, so we can begin investigating now.
The worst kind of car accident to work, from a legal perspective, is what we call a "word versus word" crash. This is when your version of the facts differs from the at-fault party's version of the facts, and there is no independent evidence to tip the scales. In a car accident case in DC, you have to prove your case to a preponderance of the evidence, that means 51% more likely than not likely. Independent evidence is the best way for us to meet our burden of proof.
Independent evidence can include many things, but the absolute best evidence that we can obtain is surveillance camera footage or dash camera footage. Camera footage, however, is not saved forever. Some high-end systems will record data for 30 days, but some lower end systems will only keep it for 72 hours. It is extremely important to call a DC car crash attorney immediately, so the team can get started finding this footage to prove your claim.
Settling a DC car accident claim
There are a couple of common questions that we get asked in every car accident case. The first of them is: will we have to go to court? No lawyer can look into the future and give you the correct answer. We can tell you what the statistics show: 85% of all car accident cases will settle without having to go to trial. 50% of the cases that we do file, will still settle before trial itself. Sometimes the insurance companies will deny a claim, to test whether or not the plaintiff is willing to go all the way. That is why you need an attorney with a track record of not bowing down to the insurance companies, and who is ready willing and able to fight them at every step of the way for your interests, not theirs.
The second most common question that we get is: how much is my case worth? Again, we cannot answer that question in a vacuum. No two cases are identical. Just because you were rear-ended in a car accident on 14th Street, does not mean that your case is worth as much or as little as your friend who was rear-ended on 14th Street 5 years ago.
The determination of how much your case is worth is based on many factors, such as what happens with your medical treatment and how the accident has impacted your life. A person who needed corrective surgery does not have the same case as a person who had a month of physical therapy.
As experienced counselors, we can guide you with approximations, but it is only an estimate. An attorney that tells you a value of the case without having looked at Medical Records or done an independent investigation probably blowing smoke!
Personal Injury Protection Coverage in DC
Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is a first-party coverage available after a DC car accident. Instead of coming from the at-fault insurance company, however, it comes from your own car insurance coverage.
DC PIP coverage does not operate like first party coverage in DC. It operates as a "tort election," meaning that if you elect to pursue DC PIP coverage, then generally you cannot file a third-party claim against the at-fault party. Also, unlike a third-party claim, PIP is not based on fault.
There are limited exceptions when you can do both (first party claim and third party claim), such as when "The injury directly results in substantial permanent scarring or disfigurement, substantial and medically demonstrable permanent impairment which has significantly affected the ability of the victim to perform his or her professional activities or usual and customary daily activities, or a medically demonstrable impairment that prevents the victim from performing all or substantially all of the material acts and duties that constitute his or her usual and customary daily activities for more than 180 continuous days." See DC Code 31-2405.
Never elect to pursue your first-party benefits if you are a DC resident without speaking to an attorney!
Insurance companies and DC car accidents
Many people come into our office for help after DC car accidents, and have already spoken to insurance companies. This is unfortunate; car insurance companies are working for themselves, and for their stockholders. They want to pay as little money as possible, which means they will use every trick and tactic in the book to attack your claim, at every stage. Insurance adjusters sometimes get bonuses for undervaluing a case. Don't settle for that!
Never speak to an insurance company without speaking to an experienced DC car accident lawyer. As attorneys, our obligation is to do what is in your best interests. Not for the insurance company.
Insurance adjusters are very good at their jobs, and they are very well trained. They are trained to speak very softly and sweetly so that you think they are on your side. You think that they want to help you. But that is not the case! They want you to reveal information that they can use to allege that you have been in some way contributorally negligent for the accident. If they can do that, they can defeat your claims.
Just like in Criminal court, in a civil case everything that you say Canon will be used against.
Insurance adjusters will also want you to sign medical release authorizations. Never do this! They want to find evidence to say that the injuries you claim from the car accident are pre-existing, and thus no "causally linked" to the accident.
DC car accidents and uninsured motorist claims
Unfortunately, Washington DC has a higher than national average of uninsured motor vehicles, which means there are cars on the road without the appropriate insurance coverage. If you are involved in an accident with one of these vehicles, then you have the right to continue to pursue a claim, but it is pursued through the uninsured motorist coverage of your own car insurance. This is not a quick or easy process, and indeed, it is an adversarial process! Even though it is your insurance company, your car insurance company is now working against you, to minimize and deny your claim.
If you have any reason to believe that the at-fault driver is uninsured, do not speak to your insurance company without contacting a DC car accident attorney first!
Statute of Limitations for DC car accident cases
DC law imposes a 3-year statute of limitations on all personal injury claims, including car accidents. However, that is not the only deadline you have to worry about!
For example, if the driver who caused your accident, the at-fault party, lives in Alexandria, but the accident happened in DC, then legally you have the option of filing your lawsuit either in DC, or in Alexandria, Virginia. You can do this because when filing a lawsuit, you can file it in one of two places:
where the tort happened, or
where the defendant resides
The statute of limitations in Virginia is only 2 years! Call an attorney today who is a Member of the Bar in all three jurisdictions: DC, Virginia, and Maryland.
There are also notice deadlines. Under DC Code 12-309, if you have been involved in an accident involving a DC government vehicle, then you have to file a notice of your claim with the city by providing notice within 6 months of the accident. If you do not meet this burden, no matter how severe your injuries are, you may have waived your claim. Don't let that happen, and hire an experienced DC car accident lawyer immediately.
Some examples of DC government vehicle accidents include:
DC Water and Sewer Authority
DC Housing Authority
DC Public Libraries
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
DC Department of Transportation or DDOT,
DC Metropolitan Police
DC Fire Department
Federal government vehicles also require notice under the federal tort claims act.
Contact a Washington DC Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, do not try to fight alone. The at-fault party is protected by their insurance company, and a whole team of insurance adjusters and defense lawyers. Do not let them run over you, and do not let them take advantage of you. The DC Car Accident Lawyers at Blaszkow Legal are very good at holding negligent parties accountable, and getting the compensation that you deserve.
Get Justice with Joe Blaszkow, and call 703-879-5910 for a free consultation!
Contact a DC Car Accident Lawyer today!
Call 703-879-5910 for a free consultation.
We don't get paid unless you collect money!