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Washington DC Car Accident Lawyer | DC Car AccidentWashington, DC Uninsured Motorist Crash

If you have been hurt in a car accident that was not your fault, you have to deal with yours injuries and also your insurance company trying to take up pieces of your time, which takes away from your recovery, and is probably adding unneeded stress to your life. If the person who caused your accident does not have car insurance, you are going to have even more stress from trying to figure out where your compensation is going to come from. Thankfully, Blaszkow Legal is here to help!

Attorney Joe Blaszkow, the DC injury attorney, is one of the most experienced litigators in the DMV, dealing with all manner of uninsured and underinsured car accident claims. We will help you fight against the insurance companies so you can get the compensation that you deserve. If you have been hurt in a DC car accident that was caused by an uninsured motorist, or even a hit and run driver, call us today. 703-879-5910. All consultations are free, and we don't get paid unless you collect money.

Filing an Insurance Claim After an Uninsured Car Accident in DC

Your claim after a car accident that was not your fault, even though it is against the person who caused the accident and caused your injuries, is still going to be handled through your own uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured motorist cases (UM) are defined as those collisions where the at full driver did not have any car insurance, or whatever insurance was had for the vehicle disclaims coverage, meaning the coverage does not apply. Also, hit and runs are considered uninsured motorist vehicles. Any instance when you cannot properly identify the party who caused the accident is going to be considered a um claim.

Underinsured motorist claims (UIM) are collisions where the other side does have enough insurance coverage to meet the minimum requirements of the law, but does not have enough to appropriately compensate you for your injuries. If, for example, the other person only has $25,000 of insurance coverage, but you have $50,000 in medical bills, you will have your original claim against the other person, but also an underinsured motorist claim to help you get all of the compensation that you deserve.

Many people get a little confused with this process because they are wondering why their own car insurance company is getting involved. This is part of having car insurance - protection from the negligent actions of other drivers, especially those who do not carry insurance, or simply do not carry enough. All car insurance policies have uninsured motorist coverage along with the regular third party liability limits.

Damages That You Can Claim After a Washington DC Collision

After you have been involved in a Washington DC car accident, you have the ability to file a claim for your injuries and other damages. Damages is an all-encompassing term that is designed to represent all of the ways that your life has been affected by the crash.

Some of the elements that make up your damages include:

  • Medical expenses

  • Future medical expenses

  • Time lost from work

  • Future lost wages

  • Loss of earning capacity

  • Pain and suffering

  • Emotional distress

  • Permanent injuries

  • Scarring

  • Disfigurement

  • and more

Have you been injured in a DC Hit and Run car accident?

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Washington DC Car Accident AttorneyTips to Protect You After a Washington DC Car Accident

As we discussed, many people forget that they are dealing with their own insurance company, and they expect their insurance company to be on their side. Unfortunately, this could not be farther from the truth. Once you have an uninsured motorist claim, the insurance company begins an adversarial proceeding, meaning that they are working against your interests. Consider the reality: insurance companies would not stay in business if they paid everyone what they asked for. Their very business model requires them to attack your claim, and to give you as little money as possible. This is one of the many reasons you need to consult with a Washington DC personal injury attorney, because an attorney's job is to fight for you, not the insurance company!

If you do ever have to speak to an insurance company, whether it is discussing a property damage claim, or an injury claim, follow these guidelines to protect yourself:

  1. Never answer more than is asked. If they want information, it is their job to ask for it, it is not your job to volunteer it. Let them ask you the questions.

  2. Never admit to anything. You have to remember that Washington DC is a contributory negligence state. If they can allege that you are even 1% responsible for the happening of the accident, they will defeat your claim on procedural grounds.

  3. Never discuss your medical history. Insurance companies will work very hard to attack your claim and your injuries, to suggest that they were pre-existing, or otherwise not caused by the collision.

  4. Never sign releases, waivers, or authorizations for information. If you do, the insurance companies will utilize these documents to obtain medical records that they may then utilize against you.

  5. Never lie! It is a crime to committee Insurance fraud. It is better to say nothing, than to misrepresent the truth. Even if they do not prosecute you for that crime, they may simply deny coverage, which can be reported to other insurance companies and make it difficult for you to obtain anything but the most expensive coverage in the future.

  6. Never accept settlement offers. An insurance company is not required to tell you all of the things that you can claim, and once you have accepted a settlement, you have ended your claim.

We strongly recommend that you always speak to an experienced car accident lawyer. Call us for a free consultation, especially if an insurance company has approached you about settling your case. An experienced lawyer is going to be able to tell you all of the elements that you can claim, and to make sure that you are being offered full value for your case. If you have dealt with an insurance company without a lawyer, than it is highly likely that they are not giving you everything that you are entitled to!

An Overview of Washington DC Minimum Car Insurance

In order to comply with the law in Washington dc, you must carry the minimum car insurance coverage that the law requires. It is important not to get confused with this, however. Many people believe that they have "full coverage," when really all they have is full compliance with the law. The law is the minimum!

Minimum insurance company in DC includes

  • $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident of bodily injury liability. This is the coverage that helps other people in the event of an accident that you cause

  • $10,000 per accident, property damage liability. This is to reimburse another person after an accident that you cause, for damage to property, such as a vehicle. Remember that property damage and injury claims are two different things.

  • Personal injury protection coverage, or PIP. This is an alternate means of recovery that provides payment for certain medical expenses after an accident. Unlike Virginia and maryland, you cannot get PIP coverage and file a third party liability claim for a Washington DC car accident.

  • $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident of uninsured motorist bodily injury. These are the same limits for underinsured bodily injury coverage.

  • $5,000 per accident for uninsured motorist property damage.

Remember that these are minimum limits. You can always opt for more coverage than this, and we almost always recommended!

What is the DC Uninsured Motorist Fund?

Washington DC specifically has a government-run uninsured motorist fund to help people who have been involved in collisions with uninsured motor vehicles. This coverage can apply to motorists themselves, as well as passengers and pedestrians. However, coverage is extremely limited.

This program is run by the DC Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking. After a claim is filed, through a lengthy application, they will begin investigating the case, the same as an insurance adjuster would. If they believe that you have contributed to the happening of the accident, they will deny your claim (remember, contributory negligence is still a factor in UM/UIM claims in DC!).

There is a very strict timeline for these claims. They have to be filed within 45 days of the accident. You have to provide additional documentation within 6 months, but the initial notification must be made!

What is the Statute of Limitations on Washington DC Car Accidents?

The DC code imposes a statute of limitations on all car accident cases within the District of Columbia, under DC Code 12-301. The statute of limitations is 3 years from the date of the accident. This means that after your collision, you have three years to file the underlying lawsuit. If you do not, you may find your claim defeated on legal procedural grounds.

It is very important to remember that this 3-year deadline is not the only deadline that you have to be aware of! There are other deadlines that are just as important, and sometimes, even more so:

  • If you were involved in accident with a DC government vehicle, then you have to provide notice to the city, to the mayor and to the Office of the Attorney General within six months of the collision. (See DC Code 12-309)

  • If you were involved in a claim with a federal government vehicle, you have to file your claim against the government within two years of the date of the accident! (See Federal Tort Claims Act)

Speak to an Experienced Washington DC Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been involved in a crash that was not your fault, then you can speak to an experienced DC car accident lawyer. There is no risk or cost to talk to some to see if you have a claim. Uninsured motorist cases such as hit and runs are fraught with problems, and you're going to have questions. Call a lawyer right away, and we will help you to fight for your rights, and to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Call Blaszkow Legal today - 703-879-5910

Meet Joe Blaszkow

Joe Blaszkow is the DC Injury Attorney! He graduated from Georgetown University Law, and has been fighting for the rights of people injured in Washington DC ever since. He has worked hard to teach a new generation of associate lawyers to use the Blaszkow Legal Methods to maximize value, and keep the insurance companies on their toes.

If you have been hurt, you don't just need a lawyer, you need a litigator! Call Joe Blaszkow today: 703-879-5910