Suppose you or someone you love suffers injuries in a car accident in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia. In that case, you should talk to a Washington DC car accident lawyer at Simeone & Miller, LLP, as soon as possible. Whether involved in a minor car crash or a more severe collision with complex traumatic injuries, our lawyers are here to help you seek fair compensation. Contact us today so we can get working on your case.
At Simeone & Miller, LLP, our lawyers have helped thousands of car accident victims and secured several multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements on their behalf. When you call us for help, we will evaluate your auto accident case for free and help you determine how much your claim could be worth. Then, we help you fight for it. So, call us to discuss your options if you’ve experienced a rear-end accident!
In most accident cases, the first 24-48 hours are regarded as the most important. Depending on the accident, it may be necessary for an investigator to examine the scene. Additionally, an accident reconstructionist may be needed to determine the cause of the accident by examining witness interviews and photographs of the scene.
A car accident lawyer can increase your odds of success by:
It is also important to remember that, while your own insurance company may claim to be on your side, their primary goal is to pay as little as possible. Thus, their interests may not be the same as yours, particularly if you are making an uninsured motorist or property damage claim. It never hurts to have a car accident lawyer to look out for your interests.
Here at Simeone & Miller, LLP, we handle car accident cases involving the following:
To learn more about what to do after a car accident, you can also read our Post-Accident Checklist for free.
This depends on the particular facts regarding your car accident, the physical injuries you suffered, and your other damages if any. Some accident cases involve clear liability on behalf of the defendant but have moderate impairments. Different car accident cases involve severe physical injuries like brain and spine trauma. Still, they may include disputes about who is liable for the auto accident.
Once our car accident lawyers have an opportunity to review the facts of your case and the injuries you have suffered, we can arrive at an estimated range of values for your case. This is vital to negotiating a good settlement. One of the reasons insurance companies do not want you to seek legal counsel is that you will learn the true, full value of your case.
Common damages in a car accident case include:
Suppose the car accident was fatal, or the victim later succumbed to their injuries. In that accident case, the surviving spouse and family members may be eligible to recover compensation for pain, suffering, and emotional distress through a wrongful death lawsuit. In addition, family members may also be entitled to punitive damages in many cases involving malicious conduct. Learn more about your right to damages after an auto accident by reaching out to a dedicated car accident lawyer from our firm today.
If you were involved in a car accident in Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia, it is important for you to understand the concept of contributory negligence. Unfortunately, just because an accident is mostly the other driver’s fault does not mean that you will recover. Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia are three of just six jurisdictions in the United States that recognize contributory negligence as an absolute defense in an auto accident case.
Even if the other driver is more negligent than you are, or even 99% negligent in comparison to your 1% negligent, you may not prevail in an accident claim. However, just because you were negligent does not mean that you are barred from a recovery. Your negligence must have been a proximate cause of the auto accident.
Simply defined, “negligence” is a departure from ordinary care. Examples of negligence include speeding, running a red light, failing to yield, weaving between lanes without signaling, or any other careless or reckless act. There are numerous exceptions to § 50–2204.52, the contributory negligence doctrine, so you should consult with us even if you think you were partially at fault for the crash. We can help you determine if you fall within the exceptions.
There is no universal rule about what constitutes a more significant share of fault, making it difficult for car accident victims to determine their role in the accident. However, referencing accident reports, interviewing key witnesses, and talking to experts, lawyers, and insurance claims adjusters will attempt to discover what caused the car accident in DC.
Common driver behaviors that may carry some degree of fault include:
“Fault” is a complicated concept, and accident victims may have difficulty proving they are not responsible for a car crash in DC. However, with the help of a seasoned car accident lawyer, you may have a better chance at securing compensation, whether you’re negotiating an accident claim with an insurer or filing a lawsuit.
The insurance companies will do a market survey to determine the value of your damaged vehicle. They will contact dealers and check ads to find out the selling price of vehicles that are similar to yours. While no two vehicles are identical, the insurance company will base its estimate on the vehicles that are most similar to yours.
If the insurance company declares your vehicle a total loss (also known as “totaled”), you may receive payment that should allow you to buy a replacement vehicle of equal value. In most cases, insurance companies will declare a vehicle totaled when the estimated costs of repair are equal to or more than 90% of the vehicle’s value.
As part of the settlement for the property damage claim, we can also assist you in obtaining a rental vehicle for your use while your car is being repaired. We do this as a service to our clients and do not take a fee from your recovery. The only exception is when we have to go to court to obtain reimbursement of the rental costs.
The only time you should give a recorded statement to the insurance company is when it has been recommended by your attorney. While recorded statements are sometimes helpful in resolving cases, many times, they are taken right after the accident while an injured person is still under duress and not aware of the full extent of their injuries.
In addition, be aware that those who investigate motor vehicle accidents sometimes assume guilt and take a criminalistic approach to questioning, instead of simple fact-finding. The questions are sometimes phrased in a manner that leads you into admitting you were at fault or not injured in the accident, even if that’s not true.
Let your car accident lawyer in DC take care of contacting the insurance companies. Even if you make a statement to your own insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company can obtain that statement and use it against you. The only people you should discuss your car accident case with are the police, medical personnel, and your lawyers.
Personal Injury Protection, or PIP coverage, is a form of no-fault insurance. PIP covers the occupants of a vehicle, regardless of who is at fault for the accident, and provides coverage that could range anywhere from $2,500 to $100,000. However, PIP insurance will only cover medical bills and a percentage of lost wages.
Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia have different laws and regulations regarding PIP. In Washington DC, for example, making a PIP claim can be a waiver of your right to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. If you are a resident of one state and have an accident in another, you could also face a “choice of law” problem.
These issues can be complex, which is why you should be represented by a personal injury lawyer.
At Simeone & Miller, we do not take a percentage of your recovery from a PIP policy. Instead, we charge a small fee, not to exceed $150, to cover our time and expenses. The fee is taken at the end of the case and out of your recovery against the person who caused your accident. If you are not eligible for PIP, we do not accept a fee.
It is advisable to contact a Washington DC car accident attorney, even if your injuries are minor. You may not know the full extent of your injuries until you complete medical treatment. Moreover, the amount of time you would be required to assist us with your claim is minimal. Most of our clients settle their cases without going to court.
In all cases that we accept, we are responsible for the vast majority of the work, and we provide you with plenty of notice before you need to be involved in the case. We also make every effort to reduce the disruption to your schedule. Plus, our fee is a percentage of your recovery, so smaller cases will result in smaller legal fees.
If you don’t have PIP coverage, or it isn’t sufficient to cover your losses after an accident, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. For your lawsuit to be valid, you must submit the claim within the statute of limitations, which may differ depending on where your accident took place. Both DC and Maryland have a three-year statute of limitations, but in Virginia, it is only two years.
The best thing to do after a car accident in Washington DC, Virginia, or Maryland is to call Simeone & Miller, LLP as soon as possible so that we can assist you. There is no cost and no obligation for an initial consultation, and our contingency fee policy means that you won’t pay any legal fees unless we make a recovery in your case. Get started today by discussing your options with a Washington DC car accident lawyer at Simeone & Miller, LLP.