Process for Car Accident Cases in DC
If you have been involved in a car accident in DC, you may be overwhelmed by the recovery you face and the prospect of an accident claim can seem daunting.
A DC car accident lawyer is essential help to you after an accident as they can help guide you to all the steps you should take after being involved in a car accident. The process for car accident cases in DC can be complex, so an attorney can help streamline your claim right away.
Steps of the Process
The process of a DC car accident case starts from the moment that the accident happens. The person should collect themselves, determine how they feel, and if they are okay generally, then they should not move the car but should try to take pictures if they can. They should call the police to investigate and get statements and find the witnesses.
Then they need to concentrate on treatment. It is very important to document their injuries or conditions or how they feel. Even if the case does not go anywhere, at least it is documented. That way, causation has been established to the accident by seeking medical treatment right away, and that is very important.
Dealing with Insurance
Anytime there is an accident, there will be an at-fault party (or parties) that have caused the accident. There will be the injured victims, those who are not at fault in the accident, but who have been hit and have been injured. There are going to be the insurance companies for both the at-fault party and the victim. The insurance company who will be the most involved will be the at fault insurance company, but there are other reasons why a person’s own insurance company would be involved. That would be for property damage perhaps, or for no fault coverage if applicable.
In the initial time frame following the accident, both insurance companies will be active for both sides. Going forward, it is more likely just to be the at fault insurance company. If it goes further and goes to court, then there will be attorneys on both sides. Up to the point of litigation, there would be an attorney for the injury victim, but the at-fault side does not usually get an attorney directly involved because the insurance company first has their adjusters handling the files. Once a lawsuit is filed, there would definitely be a defense attorney of record in the case on behalf of the driver and insurance company.
Mistakes to Avoid
The most common mistake to avoid in the process is when people apologize at the scene and provide a recorded statement. From there, in terms of frequency of issues, some people accept money simply because it is offered without understanding that that precludes any further recovery further on down the road.
Role of an Attorney
Attorneys assist with the initial process. At the initial part of the case, the injured person is going to be inundated with phone calls of people requesting information. It is important for the injured person to understand the information that they are looking for and what ramifications may stem from providing them information.
Once a person retains an attorney, there can be no direct communication with the injured person. All communication goes through the attorney. At a minimum, it would reduce or stop the inundation of the contact that is done by insurance companies. The attorney knows what to say and knows how to handle things and the attorney will take over entirely for the injured person.
Contacting an Attorney
Contacting an attorney is the most important thing to do following an accident, only after medical treatment. Cut off any contact with the at fault insurance company and allow the attorney to investigate, gather the information that is available from witnesses, and deal with the insurance company in all facets of investigation. The attorney should get the claim up and running with the at fault insurance company as soon as possible.
A lot of people have not been involved in accidents and therefore do not know all the ins and outs and do not know at the end of the day what their case is worth.
The injured party should have the benefit of having an attorney involved and navigating through all these issues and maximizing the recovery.