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DC Fatal Car Accident Lawyer

When a devastating crash turns your life upside down, you need a lawyer who understands your pain. At Regan Zambri Long, we stand beside families during their darkest times following fatal car accidents in DC. We fight relentlessly to secure the justice and compensation you deserve, offering compassionate support every step of the way. Your grief is our driving force to make things right.

No amount of money can replace your loved one, but we strive to ease your burden by holding those responsible accountable for their actions. Our experienced auto accident team is dedicated to handling the legal system on your behalf so you can focus on healing.

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Your Rights After a Fatal Car Accident in DC

When someone you love dies in a Washington, DC car wreck, you have rights, but proving them often requires the expertise of a skilled attorney. Under DC law, certain family members can file a wrongful death claim against all negligent parties responsible for the fatal collision. Eligible relatives may include spouses, children, parents, and others who depended on the victim financially or for services.

To win an accident claim, your legal counsel will need to demonstrate that another person or company was negligent in causing the wreck. You’ll need evidence proving that their negligence directly led to your loved one’s death.

With an experienced personal injury lawyer proving a strong wrongful death case, families can recover monetary compensation for a wide range of damages associated with this unimaginable loss including medical bills, funeral costs, lost income, pain and suffering. The attorneys at Regan Zambri Long have recovered over $1 billion for our clients and we will fight for your rights to compensation. Below is a sample of some of our verdicts and settlements.

$77M Wrongful Death Settlement
$20M Brain Injury Verdict
$19.5M Wrongful Death Verdict
$16M Premises Liability Settlement
$15.2M Wrongful Death Settlement
$15.2M Wrongful Death Verdict
$14M Personal Injury Settlement
$14M Car Accident Settlement
$11M Med. Malpractice Settlement

What Makes a Fatal Auto Accident a Wrongful Death?

When someone dies due to the careless or reckless actions of another person or company, it is considered a wrongful death. In the case of a fatal car crash, wrongful death can occur if the at-fault driver was negligent behind the wheel. Negligence means the driver failed to operate their vehicle with reasonable care. Common examples include texting while driving, driving under the influence, running a red light, excessive speeding, or failing to properly maintain their vehicle.

To prove wrongful death in a personal injury lawsuit, you must demonstrate that the at-fault driver was negligent and that this negligence directly caused the fatal injuries. Additionally, you need to establish liability, determining who is legally responsible for the negligent conduct that led to the deadly crash. Sometimes, this responsibility falls solely on the at-fault driver. In other instances, a company that employed the driver or manufactured a defective vehicle may share liability.

Ultimately, you must prove that the fatal traffic accident was not a mere tragedy, but the result of wrongful actions that a reasonably prudent person wouldn’t have committed. With a strong wrongful death claim, families can receive compensation for lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.

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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in a Fatal Car Crash?

In the devastating aftermath of an auto accident resulting in death, certain parties have the legal right to pursue a wrongful death claim against those responsible. Typically, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate initiates the claim, acting in the best interests of the estate and entitled beneficiaries. However, specific family members may also have grounds to file suit directly if they suffered losses caused by the untimely death.

Estate representative

When someone passes away, their estate – all assets, belongings, and finances – must be properly administered. The deceased’s will names a personal representative, also called an executor, to manage the estate and represent its interests through the probate process. This personal representative has the authority to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against any party whose negligence contributed to the fatal accident. Any damages recovered compensate the estate for expenses like medical bills and funeral costs.

Family member of the deceased

In addition to the estate representative, certain close family members may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim in their own name. These typically include the deceased’s spouse, children, and parents. Family member plaintiffs can seek damages for their own pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of financial support, and other impacts from this immense tragedy.

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Compensation for Fatal Car Crash Lawsuits

When a loved one dies in a car crash, families not only face emotional trauma but also substantial financial burdens. Understanding the types of compensation available through a wrongful death lawsuit can help alleviate some of these stresses and provide necessary support.

Compensatory damages aim to cover the financial and emotional losses suffered by the victim’s family after a fatal car crash. These damages include economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages

Economic damages in wrongful death cases address the financial impact of losing a loved one. These damages are meant to compensate for measurable financial losses resulting from the accident.

These economic damages are figured out through detailed assessments and are meant to give the grieving family some financial stability, helping them cope with their loss.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages address the intangible losses experienced by the family of the deceased, focusing on the emotional and psychological impact rather than financial losses.

These non-economic damages aim to recognize and compensate for the deep emotional scars and psychological trauma that financial compensation alone cannot address, helping families find some solace in their time of mourning.

Punitive damages

Punitive damages in fatal car accident cases are awarded not to compensate the victim’s family but to punish the at-fault party for especially egregious or reckless behavior and to deter similar conduct in the future.

In the District of Columbia, punitive damages in a car accident claim may be considered when the defendant’s actions are found to be willfully negligent, malicious, or particularly reckless. The purpose of punitive damages in an injury case is to serve as a form of punishment and to set a public example.

To be awarded punitive damages, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions were more than just careless—they must demonstrate that the conduct was intentional, grossly negligent, or exhibited a reckless disregard for human life. This might include motor vehicle crashes involving drunk driving, influence of drugs, excessive speeding, or other behaviors that show a blatant disregard for safety.

Claiming punitive damages involves a separate legal process from compensatory damages. Courts will evaluate the severity of the defendant’s actions, the harm caused, and the need to deter similar actions by others in the future.

The amount awarded in punitive damages is generally higher than compensatory damages and serves to highlight the seriousness of the offense. Again, these damages are not meant to address the victim’s financial or emotional losses directly but to ensure that justice is served by penalizing the responsible party. By holding a negligent driver accountable through punitive damages, the legal system aims to promote safer driving behaviors and prevent future tragedies on the road.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death

It’s important to file a wrongful death lawsuit before time runs out under the statute of limitations. In Washington, DC, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the deceased person’s death. This means that the lawsuit must be initiated within this time frame, or the claim may be barred regardless of its merits.

There are very few exceptions that may provide even a brief extension of this two-year statute of limitations. As such, it’s important for families pursuing a wrongful death legal claim to consult an experienced attorney promptly and make all efforts to move to have their case filed within this statutorily mandated two-year timeframe.

Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents in Washington, DC

Fatal car accidents in Washington, DC are often the result of various dangerous behaviors and conditions. Common types of car accidents causing fatalities in the D.C. area include:

Distracted driving

One of the leading causes of fatal accidents, distracted driving includes activities like texting, eating, or using in-car technologies while driving. In our digital age, taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds to check a text or notification is like driving blindfolded down a football field at highway speeds. This brief distraction can significantly increase the risk of a life-threatening motor vehicle accident.

Drunk driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs the ability of a motorist to operate a vehicle safely and is a major cause of auto accident fatalities.


Excessive speed reduces the driver’s reaction time and increases the severity of head-on collisions. Speed-related crashes often result in fatalities, particularly for vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.

Aggressive driving

This includes behaviors like tailgating, weaving through traffic, road rage, and ignoring traffic laws, all of which can result in a devastating accident.


Drowsy driving is dangerous as it impairs concentration and reaction times, making it a significant cause of serious injuries and fatal accidents.

Poor roadways

Faulty road conditions, such as potholes, poor lighting, and lack of proper signage, can lead to accident injuries and deaths.

Defective car parts

From faulty tires and brakes to flaws with airbag systems, defective vehicles or components can catastrophically fail, leading to destructive wrecks when automakers neglect safety.

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Why Regan Zambri Long is the Best DC Car Accident Attorney for Your Fatal Car Crash Lawsuit

The legal team of Regan Zambri Long stands out as your top choice for handling a fatal car crash lawsuit in Washington, DC. Our team of experienced car accident attorneys firmly believes that victims and their families deserve maximum compensation for their losses when a loved one is tragically lost due to someone else’s negligence.

When you choose Regan Zambri Long as your experienced car accident lawyer, you’re opting for a law firm with extensive experience that specializes in advocating for accident victims. Our legal services are dedicated to pursuing justice through wrongful death claims and survival actions. Our legal experts understand the complexities of such cases and are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients.

If you’re facing the traumatic experience of a fatal car accident and need guidance on your legal options, including seeking fair compensation for clients for medical expenses, property damage, funeral costs, loss of income, and emotional suffering, don’t hesitate to contact Regan Zambri Long for a free consultation today. With our years of experience and successful verdicts, our compassionate and skilled team is ready to provide the support and legal representation you need for your personal injury claim during this challenging time. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.

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Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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