What to Do After a Car Accident in Washington, D.C.1901 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W, Suite 300
, Washington, D.C. 20006
- The Fee Is Free™. Only pay if we win.
- America's Largest Injury Law Firm
- Protecting Families Since 1988
- 20 Billion+ Won
- 1,000+ Lawyers Nationwide
Free Case Evaluation
The attorneys featured above are licensed in Florida. For a full list of attorneys in your state please visit our attorney page.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Washington, D.C.
Getting injured in a car accident can be extremely traumatic for the victims, and it’s no different for the busy roads of Washington, D.C. For this reason, it is important to know what to do after a car accident in Washington, D.C. In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one falls victim to someone else's negligence or recklessness on the road, you want to know your immediate best next steps, what evidence to gather at the scene, and other important details. This can help to boost your chance of winning any potential claims you may have.
At Morgan & Morgan, we understand how car accidents can change someone's life physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. For this reason, our experienced team of car accident lawyers in Washington, D.C., is always ready to fight for the injured, ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve.
Not sure if you have a valid claim against the other party? No problem. Please fill out our free case evaluation form. One of our client intake representatives will review your case and contact you to discuss the next step forward. If your case is valid, we may be able to fight for you.
Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.
Morgan & Morgan
Why Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer?
There are many reasons to contact a Washington, D.C., car accident lawyer. For example, suppose the other driver was at fault and you want to file a claim against their insurance company. In that case, an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Another example is if your insurance company won't pay for damages. If so, your lawyer can help you fight for compensation.
Remember that insurance companies make money by managing risks and boosting their premiums. For this reason, they will not write you a blank check just because you got injured or qualify for coverage. Instead, they will try to frustrate the claims process, ensuring you receive the lowest compensation or nothing.
Another reason to contact a car accident lawyer is if you were injured in the accident. The right attorney can help you understand your legal options and whether you have a case against the other party or even your own insurance company.
Finally, even if the accident wasn't your fault, dealing with insurance companies, including your own insurer, and the legal process can be complicated and stressful. We will discuss Washington, D.C.'s fault system shortly. A car accident lawyer can take care of all the paperwork and negotiations on your behalf, allowing you to focus on healing both physically, mentally, and emotionally after the traumatizing experience.
What Are Some Common Causes of Car Accidents in Washington, D.C.?
Many different factors can lead to car accidents in D.C. Some of these accidents occur due to unavoidable circumstances, such as bad weather, while others are due to negligence. However, although bad weather may increase the chances of car accidents, drivers are still required to drive carefully. Negligence on the road is never excusable, regardless of the weather.
That said, some common causes of car accidents in D.C. include but are not limited to:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Poorly-designed roads
- Unsafe and abrupt lane changes
- Street racing
- Lack of road signs
- Defective conditions of motor vehicles
- Reckless driving
Do I Need Medical Attention if I Feel Fine After a Car Accident?
Yes, if you're involved in a car accident, it's important to seek medical attention even if you feel fine at that particular moment. This is because some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately apparent. Therefore, it is better to be safe and get checked out by a medical professional than risk a more serious injury by not seeking treatment.
Keep in mind that, your health aside, it will be more difficult to file a car accident claim for your injuries if you do not seek medical attention. This is because when you visit a car accident doctor for a checkup, they will write an accident report, which your attorney could use to prove your claim and the extent of your injuries. This report will significantly influence the compensation you may be entitled to.
Should I Call the Police After a Car Accident if the Other Driver Asks Me Not To?
If you are involved in a car accident, you should always call the police. Even if the other driver asks you not to, it is important to get law enforcement involved. The police will create a report which can be used as evidence if the other driver tries to claim that the accident was your fault.
The report can also come in handy when filing an insurance claim. The insurance company will likely believe the police report rather than your own version of events.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Lawsuits in D.C.?
In the District of Columbia, you must file a lawsuit three years from the accident date. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time period, you will likely be barred from doing so.
Can I Still Sue if I Got Injured in a Car Accident While Riding an Uber or Lyft?
Yes, you may still be able to sue if you were injured while riding in a rideshare vehicle, such as Uber or Lyft. However, winning your case will likely be more difficult, as you will need to prove that the driver was at fault. Additionally, rideshare companies usually treat their workers as independent contractors, making it difficult for certain plaintiffs to win their injury case, especially without an attorney. Since lawsuits against rideshare companies are complex, it is always advisable to hire an experienced rideshare attorney to fight for you.
At Morgan & Morgan, our rideshare lawyers will work closely with our car accident attorneys to build a strong case for you. This is one of the many benefits of hiring a powerful injury firm to fight for you.
Can I Get Treatment After a Car Accident Even if I Do Not Have Health Insurance?
Yes—you can still get the care and treatment you need, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
If you do not have health insurance, you will likely have to pay for your medical care out-of-pocket. This means that you will be responsible for the total cost of your treatment, which can be expensive.
Also, even if you have health insurance, your policy may not cover all the costs associated with the car accident. For example, your insurance may only cover a portion of your medical bills or may not cover any property damage costs. This could leave you in a financial crisis or even sink you into debt.
Finally, it is important to remember that such accidents can often result in serious injuries requiring ongoing treatment. If this is the case, you should ensure that you have the financial resources available to cover the cost of your long-term care.
But here's the good news—the right car accident lawyer can help you get treatment even if you do not have health insurance. Depending on the circumstances of your case and the kind of resources the attorney has access to, you may be able to sign a medical lien with a healthcare provider.
This legally-binding agreement allows you to receive the medical attention you need to recover from your injuries without any upfront payment. Then, when you win your case, a portion of the settlement goes into settling your medical bills.
Can I File a Car Accident Claim Even if I Was Partly at Fault?
Washington, D.C. follows the contributory negligence legal doctrine when determining settlement in a car accident lawsuit. This principle prevents the plaintiffs from recovering damages if they are partly at fault for the accident, even by 1 percent. That said, although contributory negligence laws are difficult to beat, an experienced attorney can help you navigate these complex areas and explore available options to recover damages after a car accident.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Company Without a Lawyer?
Generally, it is never advisable to speak with the insurance company without first consulting a lawyer. This is because insurance companies are interested in protecting their own interests, not yours. As a result, they may try to get you to say things that could damage your case or result in a lower settlement offer.
Keep in mind that you have nothing to lose but so much to gain by speaking with an experienced attorney. For instance, at Morgan & Morgan, you can always take advantage of our free, no-obligation case evaluation to ask us important questions about your case.
This decision could be the difference between recovering your deserved compensation or nothing.
What Type of Fault System Does Washington, D.C. Use For Car Accidents?
The District of Columbia is one of the few places in the United States where the no-fault system is used for car accidents. However, it is important to note that D.C.'s no-fault system is quite unique, as discussed below.
D.C. drivers are required to have the following insurance to register their vehicles:
- $25,000 worth of liability coverage for bodily injury per individual
- $50,000 total liability bodily injury coverage per accident
- At least $10,000 worth of property damage liability per accident
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per individual and $50,000 per accident
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage of at least $5,000.
Here's how the no-fault system works in D.C.:
Drivers can file a claim with their own insurance company after a car accident. However, they also have 60 days to decide whether to file a claim against the other driver's insurance provider.
In other words, D.C. drivers can choose whether to file a claim with their insurance provider or the other party after a car accident. But they have 60 days to decide. In addition, each option has its pros and cons.
Should I Settle My Car Accident Claim or Go to Trial?
There is no easy answer to the question of whether you should settle your car accident claim or go to trial. Ultimately, the decision will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the amount of damages you seek, and the strength of your case. If unsure what to do, it is always best to consult an experienced car accident attorney for a free case evaluation. The attorney will help you make the best decision for your situation.
It is also worth mentioning that most car insurance claims settle out of court. This is because court processes are usually expensive, exhausting, and time-consuming.
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer, Not a General Personal Injury Lawyer?
Hiring a car accident attorney is way better than a general injury lawyer.
Car accident lawyers have specific experience and knowledge related to car accidents, which allows them to better evaluate your case and determine what compensation you may be entitled to.
These lawyers also understand the claims process and how to negotiate with insurance companies to get you the maximum possible compensation. In addition, they are usually familiar with tactics insurance companies use to deny liability and jeopardize valid claims.
Competent car accident lawyers can help you navigate the legal process and ensure all deadlines are met, and the correct paperwork is filed with the right parties. Finally, hiring a car accident lawyer shows the insurance company that you are serious about your claim and that you are willing to take legal action if necessary.
Let Morgan & Morgan Car Accident Lawyers in Washington, D.C. Fight for You
If you or your beloved has been injured in a car accident in Washington, D.C., it is very important that you consult a Morgan & Morgan lawyer. By now, you probably understand how complex the claims process is in this part of the country, which further emphasizes the need to work with a competent attorney.
And given that we are the country's largest personal injury law firm, hiring us to represent you sends a strong message to the insurance company that you are serious about your claim. Besides, with over $20 billion already recovered for the injured across the country, having Morgan & Morgan by your side gives you peace of mind knowing that your case is in safe hands.
Now that you have a better grasp on what to do after a car accident, are you ready to fight for your right to compensation? Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
How it works
It's easy to get started.
The Fee Is Free™. Only pay if we win.
Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
With a free case evaluation, submitting your case is easy with Morgan & Morgan.
Our dedicated team gets to work investigating your claim.
If we take on the case, our team fights to get you the results you deserve.
stories that inspire and drive change
Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. Based on Select nationwide reviews