Car Accident Attorney – Auto Accident Lawyer DC
Car accidents happen frequently and pose a serious threat to human safety, and often may require a car accident lawyer. As anyone who has ever driven on the beltway during rush hour can attest, driving in the Washington, D.C. region is a trying ordeal. It’s also dangerous. A recent study by a national insurance company found that Washington, D.C. ranked #1 in the nation for car accidents (Alexandria, Virginia was #10 on the same list). Car accidents are so common in our region that — except for the traffic they cause — you probably barely notice them during your commute.
All of this changes when it’s you in the accident on the side of the road or in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. A car accident lawyer is often much needed in the wake of a car accident. While car accidents are a common occurrence for the D.C. area, they are anything but common for the people involved. Even if you’re lucky enough not to be injured — dealing with insurance companies, taking time off work to get your vehicle fixed, and not having transportation while the car is getting repaired — it’s a huge hassle. Now, if you add that to a severe injury, the inconvenience can become a nightmare.
In Washington DC, there are almost 450,000 active drivers registered, according to the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV). But the unique thing about D.C. is that millions of drivers from other states, like Mayland and Virginia, commute daily to D.C. In addition to those drivers, D.C. is a hotbed of tourist action.
In May 2019, Destination DC reported that almost 22 million domestic tourists visited the District in 2018, which is 1 million more domestic tourists than in 2017. Many of those tourists either rented a car or drive their own, causing a great deal of traffic and drivers on the roadways, which of course, leads to more accidents.
D.C. has notoriously terrible traffic, which is often a result of a car or motor vehicle crash. Motor vehicle accidents can also involve public transportation, government vehicles, taxis, rental cars, and commercial vehicles. Almost 6,000 taxis ferry around riders throughout the D.C. area. Adding to the traffic on the road are Uber and Lyft drivers, which drive around residents and visitors.
To give you a little perspective, analysts estimate that the average driver in the U.S. will spend 7 hours a year in traffic and waste 6 gallons of gas. Meanwhile, D.C. drivers are estimated to spend 67 hours a year in traffic and waste 32 gallons of gas while sitting in traffic.
While many cars are on the road in D.C., not all Washington D.C. area drivers are insured. According to the Insurance Information Institute, nearly 12% of motorists in Washington D.C. are uninsured. Many drivers let their insurance lapse after showing proof of motor vehicle insurance, while others can’t afford the payments or forget to renew their policy. If you have been in a car accident with someone who does not have car insurance, you may want to contact an expert car accidents lawyer in Washington D.C. to discuss your situation.
Washington D.C. has uninsured motorist coverage requirements, which is why Washington D.C. also has some of the highest insurance rates in the country. D.C. reportedly ranks 6th in the nation for the highest average insurance premiums, with the average D.C. driver paying $1,773 a year in car insurance.
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, there were 36 traffic fatalities in D.C. in 2018, up from 30 traffic fatalities in 2017. As of July 2019, there have been 14 traffic fatalities in the District. An estimated 40,000 people lost their lives to car crashes in 2018, which is a 1% decline from 2017, which saw 40,231 deaths from car accidents, and 2016, which resulted in 40,327 deaths due to a motor vehicle accident. In 2018, 4.5 million people were seriously injured in car crashes, a 1% decrease over 2017.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a hit and run car accident, taxi car accident, parking lot car accident, head-on car accident, rear-end car accident, side-impact car accident in the D.C. area, you may want to speak with an expert car accidents lawyer at Cohen & Cohen to discuss the facts of your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering, or injuries.
Car accidents can happen for many reasons. Some of the most common causes of an accident include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
- Severe weather conditions
- Design defects/ Faulty manufacturing
The car accident lawyer D.C. trusts can help in many of these cases. According to the 2016 studies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 37,461 people were killed in 34,436 motor vehicle crashes. This comes out to an average of 102 fatalities per day caused entirely by car accidents. While death is the most extreme result of a car accident, there are also many other injuries that car accidents can cause. These can include:
- Broken bones
- Cervical fractures
- Neck or back strain
- Bruises and scrapes
- Head and brain injuries
- Dislocated jaw
- Physiological injuries
In addition to human injury, there is also the risk of property damage. A car accident lawyer may help deal with both human harm and the damage of property. Car accidents cause thousands of dollars in damage. Depending on the severity of the accident and the type of insurance available, a car accident poses a financial burden on all parties involved. The financial impact can be overwhelming to deal with and often confusing.
At Cohen & Cohen, we specialize in representing people who have been injured in automobile accidents. We’ve built our reputation, in part, on providing passionate representation to car accident victims. If you have experienced an accident, a car accident lawyer on our team may help. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully litigating car accident cases. We know how to deal with insurance companies. We know how to get fair compensation for our clients. We are never intimidated or out-gunned.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident, call us right away. Don’t wait by the phone for insurance adjusters to call you back with a fair settlement. Get the automobile accident lawyers who know what it takes to win. Get in contact with Cohen & Cohen to discuss your case details. We will be more than happy to set you up with an experienced car accident lawyer to make sure we’re getting all the facts to gain you reasonable compensation.
Steps to Take if You Were a Passenger in a Car Accident
When you get in the car with another driver, you are entrusting that they will take you from point a to point b safely. We may sometimes get in the car with another driver with little thought to the impact should an accident occur. As a passenger in a car who has been in a collision, you may find yourself suffering severe injuries as a result. Victims are likely left wondering what to do next. At this point, making a call to Cohen & Cohen should be one of your top priorities. Our team of experienced legal professionals can provide guidance and support while also outlining the most appropriate steps that you should take.
If you were a passenger in a car that was in an accident, take the following steps to ensure your rights are protected:
Despite being a passenger, it’s crucial that you not leave the responsibility of gathering information solely up to those around you. Gather as much information as possible, including drivers and eyewitnesses, take pictures, and make sure that law enforcement is contacted. Taking these steps at the scene may be critical for all involved, especially if an accident claim is pursued. In addition, write down your account of the accident in the days or weeks to follow. The more documentation you have, the better.
Seek Care From a Medical Professional
Your safety and well-being are imperative, which is why seeking treatment from a medical professional will be one of the most important steps you can take for yourself. The scene of an accident is sure to be chaotic, and with adrenaline pumping, you may be unaware that you are injured. Seeking immediate care can ensure that injuries are treated, and any underlying conditions are diagnosed. If you choose not to seek treatment immediately after the accident and discover injuries later on- immediately see a doctor. Taking these steps is critical to your care, and your accident case should you pursue damages.
Speak with a Lawyer
Accident cases are complicated, and as the passenger in a car- you may have a few different options to explore. Seeking counsel from an experienced car accident lawyer can help victims understand whether or not they have a case to pursue. Speaking with a lawyer should be reasonably accessible, and often initial consultations are complimentary. As a victim, it’s important not to pass up the opportunity to have a professional review your case.
File a Claim
Depending upon the situation’s specifics, passengers who have been injured in a car accident typically have three options available. They can:
- File a claim with their insurance
- File a claim with the insurance company of the person who was driving you
- File a claim with the insurance company of the other driver
Keep in mind options are contingent upon the details of your case and the recommendations of the lawyer you are working with. Your lawyer will work with you to determine who should be held responsible for the losses you are facing. Once they have reviewed the case, they will work to assign a fair value to your losses and begin the process of outlining a demand letter for the at-fault party’s insurance company.
The process of filing an insurance claim as a passenger in a car can be cumbersome and even overwhelming. To simplify the process and have confidence in knowing you are taking the proper steps moving forward, contact Cohen & Cohen for the representation you deserve.