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Is DC a No-Fault Car Accident State?

Unlike the states surrounding the District, Washington, DC is a no-fault accident state, which makes a personal injury claim a little more difficult to pursue. The no-fault system may not be a problem when a minor fender bender occurs. However, when a car accident victim sustains severe injuries from a crash, the no-fault system can restrict them from recovering the compensation they will need to offset medical expenses and property damage. If you get into a car accident in Washington, DC, it’s best to speak with a DC car accident attorney to learn your legal options.

The Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers are experts in their field. They are deeply knowledgeable about Washington, DC law, the DC court system, and various insurance policies. We have secured millions for our clients, including a recent $14 million settlement for a car accident victim.

Do not let Washington, DC’s no-fault system stop you from pursuing what is rightfully yours. Call Regan Zambri Long today for a free consultation with a seasoned Washington, DC car accident attorney who can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

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What Does a No-Fault Accident State Mean?

A no-fault accident state requires drivers to file a claim with their own insurance, regardless of who was at fault for a car accident. In most no-fault accident states (there are 14 in total, including DC and Puerto Rico) drivers are required to obtain auto insurance to cover their own injuries rather than being able to sue the other driver for compensation.

In Washington, DC, the District of Columbia’s Compulsory/No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act requires mandatory coverage, which includes:

  • Property damage liability ($10,000 minimum)
  • Third-party liability ($25,000 minimum)
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury ($25,000 minimum)
  • Uninsured motorist property damage ($25,000 minimum)

Washington, DC is one of the few jurisdictions that require uninsured motorist coverage. This particular insurance will help provide compensation for injuries if you are involved in an accident with a motorist who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your injuries or property damage.

No-Fault Insurance Exceptions

There are exceptions to the no-fault rules in Washington, DC. If you are injured in a car accident, you may still be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver if specific requirements are met. The two thresholds that need to be met in Washington, DC to pursue a claim against the negligent driver who caused your accident are:

  • Your medical expenses exceed your policy. For example, if your policy allows for $10,000 in property damage coverage, but it will take $15,000 to repair or replace your car after the accident, you may file a claim against the other driver.
  • Your injuries are severe and include permanent scarring, disfigurement, impairment, or total impairment lasting 180 days or more.

A Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyer will work with you to determine if your case meets DC’s required thresholds. During your free initial consultation, a skilled DC car accident attorney will give you a reasonable assessment of your claim and discuss all your legal options moving forward.

Can I Still Pursue Compensation if I Was Partially At Fault For My Injuries?

On top of the restrictions of a no-fault state, Washington, DC is also one of the few jurisdictions that still practice contributory negligence laws. Contributory negligence basically means that if the claimant (the person who files the personal injury claim against another driver) bears any responsibility in the car accident, then he or she cannot collect compensation. For example, if your car accident was mostly due to the other driver being distracted by his cell phone, but you were also speeding at the time of the accident, you could be partially responsible for that accident and you would not be able to recover any compensation for your accident.

The only states that still practice contributory negligence are Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Because contributory negligence is so strict, you must have a Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyer by your side during the claims process. We will obtain the police report, investigate the scene of the accident, speak to eyewitnesses, and collect other documentation to prove you played no role in causing the crash. We will determine all negligent parties and hold them fully accountable for your injuries.

What Are My Options After a Car Accident in a No-Fault State?

Although it may seem limited in a no-fault state, you have many options to secure enough compensation to offset any medical and property damage costs. Here is a step-by-step process of what you should do:

Contact a Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyer

Christopher J. ReganBefore you speak to your insurance company, especially if you are making a recorded statement, contact the car accident attorneys at Regan Zambri Long. We know how insurance companies work and the manipulative tactics insurance adjusters use to lowball you. Wait until you have an experienced lawyer by your side to call your provider. Your legal advocate will take care of the correspondence and make sure you do not commit to a low settlement.

File a claim with your insurance company

No-fault states require the claimant to exhaust their coverage before filing a claim against the other driver. Your Regan Zambri Long car accident attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to maximize your compensation.

File a personal injury claim against the other driver

If you sustained severe injuries that are ongoing or permanent and will require more compensation than your insurance coverage provides, a Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyer will guide you through the process of filing a claim against the other driver. Your attorney will seek the following damages:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

An Experienced DC Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Being involved in a car accident is traumatizing. The aftermath, including physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens, can be overwhelming. Navigating the DC no-fault insurance system, as well as various laws and policies is often too much for a car accident victim to do alone. With a Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyer by your side, there is no need to take this one by yourself.

Our lawyers will take care of the paperwork, the deadlines, and the negotiations. We prepare every case as if it were going to trial, so if you do not receive a favorable settlement, we will use our extensive resources to take your case to court. Car accident cases can be lengthy. Smaller firms in the DC area may not have the financial backing to see your case through as DC is a no-fault accident state, but Regan Zambri Long does. You can rest assured your lawyer will be with you until the very end.

Call the Regan Zambri Long Washington, DC car accident lawyers today for a free case evaluation. Let us take on the insurance companies and claims process while you focus on recovering and rebuilding your life. Call (202)960-4596 today.

Schedule a Free Consultation

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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