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What Happens If You Are at Fault for a Car Accident?

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Car accidents are often life-changing events that happen in just seconds. One moment you are driving safely toward your final destination and the next you are physically injured and wondering what just happened. A driver will get into an average of 3-4 car accidents in his or her lifetime and let’s face it – not all of them will be the other driver’s fault.

You may be thinking that you cannot collect any compensation for a car accident that was your fault. That is not entirely true. At the Regan Zambri Long law firm, our car accident lawyers have noticed that most car accident cases are not clear-cut. We believe it is worth speaking to an experienced lawyer before agreeing to accept complete liability for the accident.

We offer a free consultation where you can discuss your case with a veteran attorney who will give you a reasonable assessment of your case and what happens if you are at fault for a car accident. If we find that you were not completely at fault for the accident, we will file a claim and work diligently to secure fair compensation. Call today for your free consultation to get the process started.

Who Determines Fault After a Car Accident?

What Happens If You Are at Fault for a Car Accident?Determining fault for the accident is arguably the most important step of any personal injury claim. To collect compensation, we must first decide who should be writing the check. Many drivers have an impulse to quickly blame the other driver, but that doesn’t help the situation. If it is only the driver blaming the driver, then your personal injury claim becomes a he said/she said game.

At the same time, some drivers admit fault too quickly, which will hurt your chances in your claim. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to exchange contact information with the other driver, but say nothing more. Once you exchange information, go back to your car and wait for the police to arrive.

The following parties can help determine who is the at-fault driver:

The Police

After a car accident, you should call the police immediately. They will not only be able to coordinate any medical assistance you need, but they will also begin their investigation of the accident scene and generate a police report. The report will be extremely useful to you during your claim. The officer will interview any witnesses and ask you and the other driver similar questions you’d be asked in court.

The Insurance Company

Once a claim is made to any insurance company, they decide if they will pay and how much they will pay. They will look over the accident report, speak to the accident witnesses, and decide the damages they will award. This is where Regan Zambri Long personal injury lawyers will be most helpful to you. Insurance companies are notorious for lowballing victims and even their clients. A Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyer will be able to handle the insurance company negotiations on your behalf.

A Judge or Jury

If the driver’s insurance company is not willing to offer a fair settlement, your case may go to court. While you are not required to have legal counsel, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney. The Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers have secured millions for clients and can do the same for you. Even if you think you are partially at fault for the accident, you should speak to a lawyer right away. The circumstances surrounding car accidents are sometimes complicated, and you may be entitled to more compensation than you think.

At-Fault States vs. No-Fault States

After determining who was at fault in a car accident, we have to look at another key component of the claims process: at fault vs no-fault states.

A no-fault accident state requires drivers to file a claim with their insurance, regardless of who was at fault for a car accident. An at-fault state allows one driver to sue the negligent driver for damages after a car accident. Regan Zambri Long’s firm extends across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. We are deeply knowledgeable in the laws of all three jurisdictions.

Maryland and Virginia

Maryland and Virginia are at-fault states, which means the victim of the car accident can sue the driver at fault for an accident. This means, that if you are at fault or even partially at fault for the accident, you can be sued for damages by the injured driver.

Washington, DC

Washington,DC is a no-fault state. This means each driver has to file a claim with their own insurance company regardless of fault for a car accident. This rule may help the at-fault driver’s situation – they may not have to pay for damages even though they were at fault for a car accident. However, if the driver sustained any injuries and wants to file a claim against the other driver, it can get tricky in Washington, DC.

If your accident occurred in Washington, DC, reach out to a Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyer today for a free case evaluation and to find out what happens if you are at fault for a car accident. We will provide a reasonable assessment of your situation and offer advice on all your legal options.

Maryland, Virginia, and DC Accident Laws

taking picture of accident sceneThe last component to the claims process that you should understand, especially if you believe you were at fault in a car accident, is the contributory and comparative negligence laws in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington,DC.

Contributory negligence

Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC all follow pure contributory negligence law. This law states that the accident victim can only recover compensation if he or she bears no responsibility for the accident in any way. For example, if you ran through a red light and crashed into another driver, but the driver was speeding or distracted at the time of the accident, then you may not owe them any accident-related expenses.

During a free consultation with Regan Zambri Long, your lawyer will discuss if your accident happened solely because of your negligence, or only partially because of your negligence. If you were not fully responsible for the accident, then you should not be fully responsible for the medical expenses and property damage.

Comparative fault

Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC are three of only five states in the U.S. that do not practice comparative fault or modified comparative fault laws. This type of accident law allows both parties to collect compensation, even if they are partially liable for the accident. For example, if you ran a red light and crashed into the other car, but the driver was speeding or distracted, you may be found 80% at fault, while the other driver is found 20% at fault. If that’s the case, your insurance company will pay 80% of the damages while the other driver’s insurance company will pay 20% of the damages.

Call a Regan Zambri Long Car Accident Lawyer Today

Our attorneys are regularly featured in Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers. We take our role in the DC Metro community seriously and we are committed to our clients. We understand that life is rarely black and white. Car accidents are no different. Even if you think you are partly to blame for the accident, there is usually more to the story.

We will help discover the truth behind the crash to prove that you were not the only responsible party. We will work with medical consultants, accident reconstruction, and other legal experts to prove you deserve compensation. With our help, you are more likely to see a settlement in your favor to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

So, what happens if you are at fault for a car accident? Call today for a free consultation with one of our esteemed attorneys. While you recover, we will do everything we can to protect your rights.

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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