Auto Accident Attorney Washington DC
Every day throughout the nation, millions of Americans get into motor vehicles and drive either for work for pleasure or a mix of the two. The automobile is almost a national symbol in America, making it possible for people to enjoy more independence and agency, traveling vast distances unassisted. However, motor vehicles while powerful, can also be dangerous, and it is all too easy for a motor vehicle mishap to result in a serious injury or, tragically, death.
Vehicular accidents occur daily throughout the country, while the causes and consequences of those accidents vary, one thing is always a concern. Determining whether there is any fault in an accident is an important step, and sometimes it requires an auto accident attorney in Washington DC.
Truth & Finances
One of the most important reasons for trying to determine who—if anyone—is at fault in an auto accident is for financial recovery. Drivers are, by law, required to have motor vehicle insurance before being allowed to drive. If an accident occurs, that insurance is then used to recoup the costs of vehicle repair and, if the situation requires it, medical treatment or in the most extreme circumstances, funeral costs.
However, while insurance policies exist to handle these contingencies, if someone is at fault for causing the accident, it is to the responsible party, and the insurance company of that party, that the burden of costs will go. This is, unfortunately, is also one of the reasons why an auto accident attorney in Washington DC can be of great help. In a situation where culpability equates to financial liability, insurance companies can sometimes be very aggressive about trying to evade their obligations. When that happens, an auto accident attorney in Washington DC can help to set things right.
An Array Of Considerations
In any auto accident, vehicular damage is likely, which will require repair to a vehicle, if possible, to fully restore its appearance and get it back in working order. However, the more serious consequences are if injuries occur to drivers and passengers. Auto accident injuries have a huge variety of permutations including
- Soft tissue injuries like whiplash or other sprains
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
In the best-case scenarios, these injuries are temporary, and with suitable medical treatment, a full recovery is possible. In the worst-case scenarios, these injuries may be permanent—such as an amputation, for example—and require the victim to readjust to a new life with a disability, possibly even having to find a new line of work as the injury makes the previous career impossible to return to. Tragically, some injuries are so serious, they are fatal, resulting in the death of a friend, family member, or other loved one.
Fighting To Recover
When an accident occurs, and its time to determine how the insurance companies will go about issuing compensation, this is when the real battle sometimes begins. No insurance company survives by paying out full damages every time a policyholder makes a claim. It’s not unusual to find insurance companies actively working to evade responsibility and claim their policyholder is not at fault, and therefore not financially accountable.
This is where a team of claims adjusters, insurance investigators and policy experts within a company can work together to try to disprove the validity of a claim. It is a job made even easier because Washington DC is one of the last areas in the United States to use a “pure contributory fault” legal doctrine.
This means, in the case of auto accidents, that the victim of an accident can be proven to be even 1% at fault, this is legally considered to be completely at fault. In cases where victims are pedestrians or cyclists, comparative or contributive fault is in effect, where if the victim can be proven to be less at fault than the motorist, the motorist is legally considered responsible. It’s a harsh, unforgiving legal precedent, and one that an auto accident attorney in Washington DC is familiar with confronting.
Making Your Claim
If you find yourself in a vehicle accident in this area, and you believe you’re not at fault, but there is a dispute about that claim, quickly seek the legal advice of an auto accident attorney in Washington DC. You claim may go to court if it meets the following two requirements:
- The damage costs exceed the Personal Injury Protection coverage of your insurance company
- The injuries are severe, such as permanent disability, disfigurement or impairment lasting more than 180 days
Bring your insurance policy and your claim to an auto accident attorney in Washington DC for a consultation. If, after a careful evaluation of your situation, the attorney determines your claim is legitimate and is being ignored, you can pursue a personal injury case in court.