Auto Accident Attorney DC
Car accidents are something that affects every person who gets on the road, whether you are taking public transit, driving your own vehicle, or riding in a carpool to work. Washington DC and the surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia are notoriously difficult places to drive, with some of the worst traffic. If you are lucky, your closest brush with an accident will be running 15 minutes late to work because of rubbernecking. Unfortunately, car accidents are all around us – in the United States, over 37,000 people die in car accidents each year, and 2.35 million people are injured or disabled in car accidents.
Car accident cases begin at the scene of the accident, at which time it is very important to document all the damages and injuries resulting from the collision. It is an insurance adjuster’s job to save the insurance company as much money as possible, which means that anything not carefully documented will be disputed at length. For this reason, many victims of car accidents seek representation by a personal injury attorney. An attorney can give you an informed evaluation of your case and how much you could expect from a settlement.
At the start of your case, your attorney will first contact your insurance company to determine what kind of benefits and coverage exists under your policy. In some states, you may be eligible for additional benefits called PIP – person injury protection benefits. The amount of PIP coverage you can get varies from state to state, but is mandatory in several states including Maryland. PIP will cover some medical costs.
Your car accident attorney will contact the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Their insurance provider will use witness and driver statements, police reports, photographs, and other information to determine whether their driver was liable. If they determine that their insured was at fault, your attorney will help you seek treatment, and will begin assembling a demand package. If they deny fault, then the next step is to consider filing suit.
The demand package will be sent to the at-fault insurance company once you have completed treatment for your injuries. It is a compilation of your medical bills, lost wages from your employer, and other documents that total your financial loss due to the accident. Once received, the adjuster will review the information and make a settlement offer to your attorney. This is when your attorney’s experience and knowledge of car accident cases becomes crucial. If your attorney feels the offer is too low, he will negotiate with the adjuster until a satisfactory settlement is reached. If a settlement can’t be agreed on, you may choose to pursue litigation.
Car accident cases can be very lengthy, even when a settlement is able to be reached. It is important to stay patient and seek representation from a personal injury attorney who has dealt with car accident cases many times before.