Washington DC and Maryland Auto Accident Law Firm
In 2018, 36,560 people died in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. A car accident can be a jarring and frightening experience, even when the injuries sustained do not result in a fatality. When you are involved in a car accident, the first thing to do is assess your injuries, those of your passengers and those of the others involved in the accident. You should immediately take note of your car’s location and determine if you remain at risk of further injury by virtue of your car’s location on the roadway.
Once you move to a safe location and have had the time to digest the stressful experience, a car accident boils down to dealing with auto insurance companies.
Types of Automobile Insurance
Bodily Injury Liability
This coverage pays another driver’s expenses when you are at fault in a car accident. This includes: medical bills, lost wages, legal fees and funeral expenses.
Property Damage Liability
Property Damage Liability coverage pays for the damage to someone else’s car when you are at fault in a car accident. Generally, this does not include damage to your own vehicle.
Collision coverage pays for damage to your own car if you hit someone else’s car, a stationary object such as a tree or pole, or when someone else hits your parked car.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damages to your car that are weather-related such as storms and natural disasters; vandalism and theft including broken windows; and damage caused by animals and falling objects.
Uninsured coverage pays for medical expenses or damage caused by a driver who is uninsured.
Underinsured coverage pays for medical expenses or damage caused by a driver who has insurance but their liability coverage limits are too low and do not cover your injuries from an accident in which they were at fault.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP coverage pays for medical expenses that are not covered by your own health insurance as well as lost wages. This is a form of no-fault insurance and it covers the car’s occupants, regardless of who is at fault. Importantly, PIP does not cover damages for pain and suffering.
It’s important to speak to your lawyer about this because you could be waiving a claim against another driver in Washington DC, when you make a PIP claim.
“FAULT” vs. “NO-FAULT”
The District of Columbia is considered a “No-Fault” insurance state. This means that drivers are covered by their own insurance regardless of who was at fault during an accident. In order to file a claim against another driver, you must prove that serious and permanent physical injuries, including those which make it difficult for you to perform your daily activities for at least 180 days. You can also prove this by showing that your medical bills are in excess of the no-fault coverage.
Maryland is considered a “Fault” insurance state. This means that drivers who caused the accident must pay for damages to the non-fault driver. Generally, this is accomplished through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you suffered an injury in an auto accident, you should file a claim with your own insurance company. Your insurance company will then make a subrogation claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You can also file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Finally, you have the right to pursue a lawsuit in court against the at-fault driver.
When Should I Contact A Lawyer?
There is a time limit for initiating a personal injury lawsuit. In Washington, D.C. and Maryland you have three years from the date of the injury to make a claim. Wrongful death matters are treated differently in the District of Columbia where the time limit is two years. In Maryland, there is a three-year limitation on wrongful death cases. Contact us for a free initial consultation.
Car accident cases require a full investigation including an accident reconstruction report and a detailed review of driving, medical and other important records. We have the best accident reconstruction experts and the best medical experts to help us analyze your case. It is very important to move quickly if we are to pursue a cause of action against the responsible party.
If you wait too long to contact a lawyer, you may be unable to pursue a case. When you reach out to us, your personal injury attorney will thoroughly analyze your case and conduct a full investigation to determine a proper strategy.
Washington, D.C. Car Insurance Requirements
- Bodily Injury Liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property Damage Liability: $10,000 per accident
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: $5,000 per accident with a $200 deductible
Maryland Car Insurance Requirements
- Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000 minimum per person / $60,000 minimum per accident
- Property Damage Liability: $15,000 minimum
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: $30,000 minimum per person / $60,000 minimum per accident
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: $15,000 minimum
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
An experienced lawyer can greatly increase your chances of being treated fairly by the big insurance companies.
Our firm has the experience of going up against the global insurance companies. We will fully investigate your case in every way possible so that we can enforce your rights to full compensation for your injuries and loss. An experienced lawyer is critical for obtaining the best possible result.
I Cannot Afford to Hire An Attorney. Can You Help?
We work on a contingency basis which means that you will not pay us anything for our services unless we are successful in resolving your case. In the case of a favorable outcome, our fee is a percentage of the total amount recovered. If we are not able to obtain a favorable outcome, then you owe us nothing for our time or expenses.