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Have you been in a car accident? Were you injured, or was a loved one killed? When you’ve experienced major losses from a car accident in Washington DC, you need a car accident lawyer to help you recover your total losses. Whether you’re having trouble getting the compensation you deserve outside of court or you’re unsure what to do after your accident, our firm has an established reputation of excellence in car accident cases. Regan Zambri Long is ready to help you successfully navigate yours to get the compensation you deserve. Call (202) 463-3030 or send our team a message now to schedule a free consultation to discuss your car accident and plan your steps forward.

Leading Car Accident Lawyer in DC

A top automobile accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long can help you throughout the claims process after your car accident, whether it be negotiating with the insurance adjuster or pursuing a lawsuit. In the most severe cases, one of our Washington DC car accident lawyers helps family members pursue a wrongful death claim to recover the victim’s full value of life, in addition to other damages.

Our firm has helped thousands of families obtain successful recoveries in car accident cases.  Examples of such cases include claims against Uber, Lyft, WMATA, DC MPD, trucking companies and more routine crashes involving non-commercial drivers. 

We can help you decide which claims to pursue and what path is best to take. Common car accident claims include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage, such as replacing a totaled vehicle
  • Wrongful death
  • Noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering
  • Lost wages and future wages

No matter where you are in the claims process, a Washington DC car accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long is ready to help you get all of the compensation that you are entitled to by law.

Our Recent Settlements

$975,000

A $975,000 settlement in a product liability case resulting from a defectively designed bunk bed which caused the death of an infant.

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$1,400,000

A $1.4 Million judgment entered for the widow of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty while assisting in a traffic accident.

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$2,450,000

A settlement of $2.45 Million in a Maryland malpractice action for severe injuries suffered by a 69 year old patient during routine heart surgery.

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Washington DC Truck Accident Statistics 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported, in 2018 that there were only 30 fatal crashes that resulted in 31 deaths in Washington DC. 

In the most recent report from the Washington DC Department of Transportation in 2017, there were 6,626 injury collisions, 33 fatalities, and 325 that resulted in disabling injuries. Large trucks and tractor trailers accounted for 506 truck accidents with 84 injury collisions and one truck accident that resulted in the wrongful death of a passenger. 

While these may seem like big numbers, Washington DC’s deaths per population is the lowest of all, at only 4.4 auto accident deaths per 100,000 people. Some states are more than quadruple that. And while we do have the lowest, the rest of Virginia averages 9.6 deaths per 100,000. 

The reason for DC’s low deaths per population scores could be attributed to the ease of access, public transportation, and the walkability of the district. But keep in mind pedestrian deaths still happen and in 2018, 11 pedestrians were killed in Washington DC and 118 were killed in Virginia.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in DC Today

What should I do after a car accident?

A car accident can be traumatizing. Knowing what to do after a car accident can give you the confidence you need to pursue damages, recover from injuries, and avoid financial setbacks.

After a car accident, contact authorities and assess damage and injuries. Start gathering evidence immediately. Exchange insurance information with the other driver and get medical help. Call your insurance provider to report the accident. Last but not least, call a car accident lawyer for further guidance.

Contact Regan Zambri Long to get help from a top car accident lawyer after an accident and get a head start on recovering your damages. Get in touch with us today by calling (202) 463-3030 or send us a message now to tell us about your case.

7 Steps to Follow At the Scene of A Car Accident

  1. Call 911– Inform the police about the accident so they can come to the scene to investigate. They will help settle the scene by directing traffic when necessary, helping with any immediate medical needs, and creating the police report. The responding officer will interview any parties involved, as well as any witnesses, to help determine how the accident happened, who was at fault, the extent of the damage, and more. Cooperate with the police throughout the process and stay at the scene until you are told you’re free to go.

    If the other driver tries to persuade you not to call the police, don’t listen to them. And if they offer you money not to call the police or insurance, don’t take it. It’s not going to be enough to cover your expenses and it could hurt your chances of getting the proper compensation from their insurance company.


  2. Assess Damages & Immediate Injuries – Whether it is you, a passenger in your car, or someone in another car, make sure that no one needs any immediate medical help. If they do, you can inform the authorities by calling 911 or telling the investigative officer(s) upon arrival. Police will coordinate emergency medical help and help you or a loved one get treated immediately. Take a look at all injuries and other damages, in general, after a car accident. Note any damage to your car and your personal possessions, as well as any aches and pains you may feel. You can take pictures, write down notes, and more. Keep documentation safe.

  3. Exchange Information With the Other Driver – It’s important to exchange information with the other driver after a collision. You’ll need basic identification information and car insurance provider details, just in case a claim needs to be filed. Plus, you’ll want to take down the other driver’s license plate number.  You may simply take a picture on your smartphone of the other driver’s license plate, insurance details, and driver’s license for your own documentation. If you have any trouble getting this information from the other party, the officer will have the information and can give it to you in the police crash report.

  4. Gather Evidence – Evidence is crucial for getting the full compensation that you are entitled to receive. Document anything that proves the damages you’ve incurred from the accident. This may be done through photos, videos, a written note, testimony, bills, and more. Throughout the process, keep any medical bills and other expenses that are related to your damages, and note any mental or physical pain and suffering you experience. If you have to miss work due to treatment or you are unable to work due to your injury, gather past pay stubs and other employer information to calculate lost wages.

    If there are any witnesses around, collect their statements and contact information just in case you need to get in touch at a later date. Take note of any security or traffic cameras around that might have captured the accident. Witnesses may give differing statements, but a video gives an unbiased and solid recording of the accident.


  5. Get Medical Help – Any injury that is more than a small scratch or bruise should be assessed early on by a physician. You should do a full checkup with a doctor and get X-rays taken because seemingly minor injuries can get worse or turn into something different. Report any pain you’re experiencing, no matter how minor it seems. Follow your doctor’s orders by going to appointments and taking any medicine they prescribe to you. Be sure to get documentation of all treatment, analyses, test results, and more to help prove your condition when needed and get reimbursed for all costs.

  6. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company – Call your insurance provider after the scene is settled. They will need to know the basic details of the accident but will also receive information from the police report. When reimbursing costs for damages, they may interview other parties or yourself to determine the exact details of the damage(s) and claim that is being made.

  7. Contact a DC Car Accident Lawyer – Once you get home, call a car accident attorney to protect your rights. They will tell you that if the other driver’s insurance company calls you to offer you a settlement, you shouldn’t take it. Insurance companies have a reputation for trying to offer very low settlements, and people will take them because they don’t know any better.
    Even if you think the settlement is enough because you’re only experiencing a mild case of whiplash or a little bit of back pain, you never know how much your injuries will cost you in the long run. Pain can always get worse, and healthcare is costly. You might have to take off multiple days from work to make your appointments and end up losing income. It’s hard to predict how high your costs are going to end up being. The best way to get a higher settlement is to contact a car accident lawyer who will negotiate with the insurance company for you.

How We Can Help

We know exactly what to do in the event of a car accident in Washington, DC. After reporting and waiting for the police to arrive, the next thing you should worry about is contacting an experienced car accident attorney knowledgeable in the DC area laws and codes.

Protect Your Rights After a DC Car Accident

You were driving, just like you do every day, when another car crashed into you. Not only were you shocked, you suddenly felt a jolt of pain as well. When you got out of the driver’s seat, you saw that there was a lot of damage you’d need to take care of if you wanted your car to run properly.

Now, you don’t know what to do. The car accident wasn’t your fault, so why should you have to pay for your medical treatment? You know you’re going to have to take off from work to go to the doctor and take your car in to get it fixed. You shouldn’t have to use your insurance and have your rates go up because of another driver’s mistake.

You need a car accident attorney to protect your rights and retrieve the compensation you deserve and we can help with that. 

Maximum Compensation for Your Car Accident Injuries

washington dc car accident lawyer helping a client
Whether you have some bumps and bruises, broken bones, or worse, the lawyers at Regan Zambri and Long know how to ensure you get the maximum compensation possible to cover the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

Rarely, an insurance company may be willing to give a fair amount to settle for your injuries, but more often than not, they are only interested in one thing: their bottom line. We are here to show them that they are still responsible for all the costs associated with your injury, and we aren’t afraid to go to court to prove it. 

The Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict

Many people aren’t sure what the difference between a settlement and a verdict is. A settlement happens when an insurance company holds themselves fully accountable and honest about the amount they need to pay the injured car accident victim. Our trial-tested and proven attorneys know that a settlement is easier, but most of the time, insurance companies have a hard time letting go of the compensation owed to our clients.

That’s why we prepare every case for trial as soon as we get it. We know the best possible way to get each of our clients what they deserve is to go through the court to earn an agreeable verdict through a lawsuit against the insurance company. We aren’t afraid of preparing and fighting cases on behalf of our clients and the insurance companies know it. We’ve earned millions in case verdicts for our car accident clients. 

What types of damages can I recover from my car accident?

A car accident may cause several different types of issues. Physical injuries, mental trauma, loss of wages, and even the loss of loved ones. Talking to an experienced car accident lawyer will help you make sure you aren’t forgetting anything that the negligent party is responsible for. A car accident can be life changing, so make sure you aren’t paying for the mistakes of others.

Additionally, due to the contributory negligence law, if you are found to have any fault in the accident, you become ineligible to receive compensation from the other party. That means it’s even more important to hire a DC car accident attorney that knows not only how the law works, but how to best represent you against the negligent party.

Economic Damages

We all know going to the doctor or the car lot can be an expensive outing, but when someone else is the reason you’re going, know that a car accident lawyer will be able to get those costs fairly compensated back to you. Anything that you’ve received a bill for since your car accident because of the accident can be compensated for by those responsible. This can include:

  • Medical bills
    • Rehabilitation services (physical, occupational, speech, etc)
    • Therapy and counselling services
    • Pharmacy and prescriptions costs
    • Ambulance rides
    • Follow-up appointments
    • Treatments
    • Potential future medical costs 
  • Property Damages
    • Car repairs
    • Car replacement
    • Rental car
    • Personal property lost in the accident
  • Wages
    • Loss of income and wages due to the car accident
    • Loss of earning capacity if the injury prevents you from returning to work in a normal capacity. 

Non-Economic Damages

These types of damages, also called “intangible” damages, are characterized by having no monetary cost attached to them despite the huge change and pain they can cause in the car accident victim’s life. 

Types of non-economic damages include: 

  1. Physical Pain – Pain in the body caused by the accident. 
  2. Mental Trauma – Mental suffering and emotional distress. 
  3. Unexpected Losses – Loss of companionship, quality of life, and enjoyment of life.
  4. Physical Reparations – Disfigurement, physical impairment, and sexual dysfunction. 
  5. Mental Anguish – Fright, shock, anger, and terror. 
  6. Social Disparities – Mortification, nervousness, apprehension, and embarrassment. 
  7. Hardships – Ordeals and inconveniences. 
  8. Mental Hardships- Grief, depression, and anxiety. 
  9. Social Standing – Humiliation, damage to reputation, and indignity. 

Punitive Damages

3 Types of Negligence According to Virginia Law

  1. Simple negligence – “Ordinary or simple negligence is a failure to use that degree of care which an ordinarily prudent person would exercise under the circumstances to avoid injury to another.  Perlin v. Chappell, 198 Va. 861, 864, 96 S.E.2d 805, 808 (1957).”
  2. Gross negligence – “Gross negligence is an utter disregard of prudence amounting to complete neglect of the safety of another.  It must be such a degree of negligence as would shock fair minded men although something less than willful recklessness.  Ferguson v. Ferguson, 212 Va. 86, 92, 181 S.E.2d 648, 653 (1971) (emphasis omitted).” 
  3. Willful & wanton negligence – “Willful and wanton negligence on the other hand is acting consciously in disregard of another person’s rights or acting with reckless indifference to the consequences, with the defendant aware, from his knowledge of existing circumstances and conditions, that his conduct probably would cause injury to another. Woods v. Mendez, 265 Va. 68, 76-77 (2003).” 

How to Be Awarded Punitive Damages

  1. Determining if the actions of the negligent party were intentional, malicious, or overly negligent. They must be classified as “willful and wanton negligence.”  
  2. Researching previous lawsuits to find similar cases where punitive damages were awarded. 

As each state varies on it’s laws of compensatory damages vs punitive damages, it’s important to know how DC applies Virginia car accident laws. Virginia only allows punitive damages for willful and wanton negligence with a cap of $350,000 for an award for punitive damages. Simple negligence and gross negligence are not awarded punitive damages in the state of Virginia.  

What Does Contributory Negligence Mean in DC?

In every lawsuit involving personal injury in Washington DC, fault must be determined for the accident in question. Unfortunately, DC is one of five jurisdictions that use the contributory negligence law instead of the comparative negligence standards. That means that if you live in one of these jurisdictions, no amount of fault may be attributed to you. If you are responsible for even 10% of an accident, you may not seek compensation for your injuries.

5 Jurisdictions That Use Contributory Negligence Law:

  1. Alabama
  2. The District of Columia 
  3. Maryland
  4. North Carolina
  5. Virgina

What is Virginia Contributory Negligence?

If the plaintiff of the lawsuit is found to be responsible for any of the accident, even a single percent, they are not allowed to pursue compensation for their injuries against the other party involved. Comparative negligence, on the other hand, would allow a person who was only responsible for 20% of an accident to pursue compensation up to 80% of the injuries and cost of the accident.

The sooner you contact a qualified and experienced car accident lawyer in DC, the better your representation will be. It’s imperative that you seek legal representation as soon as possible to know whether or not you have a case, and the right lawyer won’t waste your time. The lawyers at Regan Zambri Long will communicate exactly whether it’s worth it to start a case or not.

Common Car Accident Injuries

If you have ever seen or been part of a car accident, you know that they can cause extensive damage in a matter of seconds. Externally, the cars involved are mildly or severely damaged, there’s glass shattered on the ground, and skid marks can be seen on the road. And while all of this is immediately apparent, the damage that comes from even a minor car accident can be catastrophic to a human body.

The following are common car accident injuries that are included in car accident lawsuits.
    • Bruising/Contusions –  A bruise or contusion appears due to trauma and is associated with black and blue coloration of the skin. Blood gets trapped below the surface of the skin with trauma (hitting or the injury) causes the tiny blood vessels to burst. 
    • Soft Tissue Damage – When muscles, tendons, or ligaments are damaged in a car accident, this is referred to as a soft tissue injury. This can cause a variety of temporary or permanent injuries like sprains, tendonitis, bursitis, and strains. 
    • Chest Injuries – When the seatbelt holds you still in a car accident, it’s doing its job to keep you  safe. This can cause chest injuries though in the form of chest bruising, broken ribs, or even damage to the lungs or heart in especially bad car accidents. If you are having any problem breathing, get medical help immediately. 
    • Whiplash – The injury you get in a car accident when your head is whipped forward and stresses the muscles in your neck is called whiplash. This can limit range of motion, cause intense pain, headaches, tenderness, and stiffness in your neck, shoulders, and upper back. 
    • Neck/Back Injuries – Some of the most serious injuries you can sustain in a car accident are neck and back injuries because, if severe enough, they can ultimately limit your ability to enjoy life, your earning potential, and personal mobility. These injuries can result in paralysis, nerve damage, and limit your physical mobility. 
    • Concussions – This is a type of traumatic brain injury that can inhibit or alter your brain function. Concussions have a variety of side effects that include headaches, issues with concentrating, memory loss, balance and hand-eye coordination. Normally caused by a blow to the head, some concussions can cause loss of consciousness or vomiting. 
    • Traumatic Brain Injuries  – Traumatic brain injuries can cause a wide range of mild to severe issues. From heachaches, nausea, and vomiting, to loss of speech, seizures, coma, or neuropathic issues. 
    • Post-traumatic Stress DisorderPTSD can cause several types of mental distress and issues. And while not a physical injury, should not be left out due to the severe effect it can have on the life of the victim. PTSD can be triggered by a terrifying event, such as a car crash, and leave the person suffering from nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, obsessive thoughts about the accident, and uncontrolled aggression. 
    • Broken Bones – One of the most obvious and common injuries is various types of broken bones and fractures. Depending on the amount of force that caused the break, a fracture can take a couple of weeks to heal or it may take months. Fractures in the feet are notoriously ignored or left untreated, so make sure to let your doctor know of any pain you’re experiencing. 
    • Internal BleedingInternal bleeding occurs when you are injured inside your body. This type of injury isn’t easy to diagnose as there are no external markers showing you are hurt. Internal bleeding is usually caused by an injury or trauma and may be life threatening if not treated.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

  1. Distracted Driving – Anything that pulls your focus away from driving is a cause of distracted driving. This can include using a stereo, cellphone, navigation system, eating food, drinking, or talking to friends. Distracted driving caused 2,841 deaths in 2018
  2. Drunk Driving – If you are drinking alcohol, you have no business being behind the wheel. Despite the numerous campaigns against drunk driving, thousands of people would rather drive drunk than call a ride service. In 2018, there were 10,511 deaths from drunk driving that could have been avoided with a phone call. 
  3. Speeding – Speed limits are posted on the sides of roads, yet almost half of all drivers admit to breaking speed limits by 10 to 15 miles over the limit. There were 9,378 speeding-related deaths in 2018. 
  4. Reckless/ Careless/ Aggressive Driving – This a criminal charge that can be defined as “willfully operating a vehicle in a manner that shows an indifference to the safety of persons or property.” Reckless driving accounted for  4,752 fatal crashes in 2018
  5. Drowsy Driving – Driving while you are fatigued or ill can be just as dangerous as being distracted or drunk. It can lead to falling asleep at the wheel, blacking out, lower reaction time, and lack of reasonable decision making. Drowsy driving accounted for 1,221 deaths in 2018
  6. Weather/ Road Conditions – Snow, rain, sleet, and fog can sometimes cause accidents. Even the most attentive drivers can slide off a road or run off a road in thick fog. That’s why it’s important to make sure you can safely drive before you leave your home. If safety is in question, it’s best to wait. Road and weather conditions led to 2,716 deaths in 2018
  7. Vehicle Defects – If there is something wrong with your car that caused your accident, you may have more than just a car accident lawsuit on your hands. Cars may come with a variety of defects like airbags failing to deploy, faulty tires, brake or gas pedals that fail to engage and more. 

Car Accident Questions and Answers

You might be thinking that you don’t want to get into a lawsuit. Aren’t those expensive? Don’t they take up time and energy? You aren’t a litigious person.

However, when you work with a car accident lawyer, you will have to do very little. All you need to do is provide your lawyer with details about your accident, and they can collect your police and medical records for you. They can also attempt to get the footage from the cameras, if necessary. They’ll reach out to the insurance company and negotiate the highest settlement possible to cover your medical bills, lost wages, car damage, and pain and suffering, if it applies in your case.

Essentially, your car accident attorney will protect your rights and give you the freedom to focus on the healing process during this tough time. Plus, while other types of lawyers work on retainer, car accident lawyers do not. They usually offer free or low-cost consultations and provide you with a network of medical professionals who will work on a lien. You can go to their doctors or your own. If you use their doctors, those costs will come out of your final settlement, along with your lawyer’s commission.

Before you settle, you’ll have a chance to either approve the numbers or ask your lawyer to go back and renegotiate for you. These cases rarely go to trial because insurance companies don’t want to get involved in litigation. They are typically willing to settle once lawyers are in the picture. And once you have your settlement, you can use it however you choose.

After you call the police and make sure everyone is medically okay, you’ll probably start thinking about calling your insurance company to report the accident. Before you do, give a DC car accident lawyer a call for a no obligation, free consultation to see if you have a case. Because of the Contributory Negligence Law, you may need to be careful in how you phrase things to be sure you don’t self-incriminate yourself by accident.

Due to this law, if you are deemed even 1% responsible for the accident, you cannot receive compensation for damages. The defendant’s representation could take something as simple as empathizing as admitting partial fault in the accident. Talk with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer before you talk to any insurance companies to protect your rights.

Give a simple statement. Don’t go into too much detail as you may be in shock, have a head injury, or be confused from the accident. If they keep asking you questions, insist on talking to a lawyer first. Don’t admit fault. Do tell them of any pain or injuries you’re experiencing and whether you need an ambulance or not. The police report needs to be simple and to the point without any conjecture on your side.

If the responding officer didn’t issue a ticket, there are a few things you should do. Make a claim with your insurance company informing them of the accident, then call a DC car accident lawyer. They can inform you what to do and what to avoid. A good attorney will begin preparing your case for trial. And the lawyer on your case is already acting in your best interests, so if you decide you want to pursue litigation, they’ll be able to help. 

Read more in our FAQ What To Do in a Car Accident Where No One Gets Ticketed...

When you’re ready to bring a claim to the local court, you’ll need to look to Washington DC’s statute of limitations, which defines the time period in which you need to file your claim. Outside of the designated time period, you will most likely not be able to recover compensation through a lawsuit.

For personal injury and property damage claims occurring in DC, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a legal claim for the recovery of damages. For wrongful death claims, the family has up to two years to file this type of claim with the local court.  Different statute of limitations apply to accidents occurring in different states.   

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Top Car Accident Attorney

Our Washington DC personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Backed by more than 100 years of combined experience, our firm has an established reputation for pursuing legal excellence. As our client, you will enjoy peace of mind in knowing that your rights will be protected from start to finish. We will do everything in our power to secure the maximum compensation you need to pay for injury-related expenses, such as medical care and lost income, as well as full compensation for all of the physical and emotional consequences of your injuries.

If you have any questions or concerns associated with your case, our firm is here to give you the information you need to make well-informed decisions.
(202) 463-3030
Send us a message
To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.

How quickly do I need to file a car accident claim?

When you’re ready to bring a claim to the local court, you’ll need to look to Washington DC’s statute of limitations, which defines the time period in which you need to file your claim. Outside of the designated time period, you will most likely not be able to recover compensation through a lawsuit.

For personal injury and property damage claims occurring in DC, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a legal claim for the recovery of damages. For wrongful death claims, the family has up to two years to file this type of claim with the local court.  Different statute of limitations apply to accidents occurring in different states.