Traffic accident claims can be difficult to navigate and negotiate without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Thousands of residents of the greater DC area suffer from automobile accidents every year. Many of these accidents are caused by another driver’s negligence or recklessness, like speeding or drunk driving. You cannot influence the behavior of other drivers. What you do when they injure you, however, is firmly within your control. Few people immediately realize how serious their injuries are when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. Symptoms of serious injury do not always present immediately after the collision. Concussion, neck sprains, back injuries, and nerve damage may take weeks to detect, and require months or even years of treatment to heal. Even if you feel fine after an accident it is highly recommended that you have yourself examined at an emergency room.
Then call I.S. Law Firm
Traffic accident attorneys at I.S. Law Firm have the experience and knowledge to help you get back on track, armed with the compensation you deserve. In addition to reimbursement for your medical bills and property damage, you may also be entitled to compensation for lost wages and past, present, and future pain and suffering.
We are experts at protecting your rights and ensuring that you receive maximum benefits for your loss. Our dedicated team will help you every step of the way, navigating the complex field of personal injury so you don’t have to. The following steps are generally followed in most cases:
- We obtain police reports and interview witnesses.
- We contact insurance companies and adjusters, and deal with them directly so that they do not take advantage of you and deny you adequate payment.
- We collect all your hospital and medical records, and work with your doctors every step of the way.
- We work directly with your doctors on payment, and negotiate your bills to get you the highest possible compensation.
- If we you are not offered a fair settlement from the insurance representatives, we will litigate to get you the highest compensation you deserve.
- Our attorneys and professionals are adept at handling insurance companies, your medical treatment, and your bills – and we will do everything possible to get you the compensation you deserve.
Please do not speak to an insurance adjuster without first consulting one of our experienced car accident lawyers. It is a common misconception that the insurance companies work for you. On the contrary, The insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible for your injuries, medical expenses and property damages. Our goal, however, is to see that you receive compensation to the full extent allowable by law.
If you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file for financial compensation. Our personal injury lawyers are committed to securing the money you deserve for your injuries. We can achieve maximum results if you contact us immediately after your accident. If you have suffered injury from a car accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights–call I. S. Law Firm today for a free consultation.
Accidents involving trucks are often catastrophic. The sheer size of a truck tends to make truck accidents some of the most catastrophic incidents on the road. When an accident happens, there are many factors involved in determining who was at fault. Truck accidents are held to higher standards in the reimbursement of damages for any caused injuries. Since trucking accidents are very different from regular car accidents due to a truck’s size and weight, the injured parties may suffer very severe injuries.
There are many factors that come into play when trying to identify those liable for an accident. Was it a tired truck driver who didn’t notice another vehicle while he was switching lane? Was it a trucking company which failed to properly train, instruct, monitor or screen its employees? Was a manufacturing company responsible for a defective part? Or was it a leasing company that failed to ensure brakes or lights were in good condition, thus causing an accident?
It is for this reason that there are stringent federal laws and regulations to control the trucking industry. These laws set the standards for all parties associated with the trucking business. Everyone must meet these standards, including truck companies, drivers, leasing companies, shippers, and so on. Thus, when an accident occurs, the responsible party can be identified by determining who failed to meet the required standards or regulations.
Most accidents involving trucks result in serious injuries. Therefore, it often becomes important to identify all possible sources of insurance coverage. Trucking companies are required to maintain commercial liability insurance coverage with high policy limits. Most frequently, the trucking companies would be liable for the negligence of their drivers under the agent-principal theory. The trucking company may also be liable for negligent hiring, failure to properly train and/or instruct the driver, negligent retention, negligent entrustment, and under other theories of liability. An experienced truck accident lawyer can identify the relevant insurance policies, help pinpoint any negligence and win you the best compensation.
Common types of trucking accidents:
Jackknife trucking accidents are among the most dangerous types of accidents one can be involved in. Jackknifing occurs when a trailer starts swinging out to one side and forms an angle with the tractor. From that point on the truck driver has no control over his 18-wheeler. The causes may vary from abrupt braking and turning to possibly unforeseen slipperiness of the road.
Turning trucking accidents are very common due to a truck’s size and weight, making it difficult to turn. It often requires two lanes to complete a turn. All truck drivers must be skilled and experienced to maneuver a gigantic rig without making an error that can result in an accident.
Underride trucking accidents happen when a motor vehicle goes underneath a trailer. The impact of such an accident can cause serious injuries to a vehicle driver. Overloaded trucking accidents occur due to negligence of truck drivers and trucking companies who ignore laws and regulations. A loaded truck may not exceed 80,000 pounds. Disregarding such a limit may create a hazardous situation for everyone travelling on the road.
Common scenarios after being involved in a trucking accident may include:
- Back and neck Injuries
- Head injuries
- Internal injuries
- Passenger injuries
- Rib and torso injuries
- Seat belt injuries
- Skull fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
If you are injured in a traffic accident, you may wonder how much money you will get from your insurance company? You may want to know if punitive damages can be awarded because of possible aggravating factors, such as a drunk driver . What should you do to maximize your insurance compensation? Is the insurance company acting in bad faith? Should you file a personal injury lawsuit? When should you file a lawsuit in a traffic accident case? Should you give a recorded statement to the insurance company? Should you hire a personal injury lawyer or traffic accident lawyer?
Often after an accident, a representative of the at-fault party’s insurance company will call you directly and make an offer to settle the claim. Usually, they will offer to pay a small sum and your initial medical bills. We encourage every injured person to speak to a personal injury lawyer. You should refuse to speak with anybody from the at-fault party’s insurance company about your injuries, until you have received advice of a competent attorney.
Why do we feel this is so important?
You will always be better off working with an experienced personal injury lawyer., Your insurance company will rarely offer you the compensation you could get with a help of a great lawyer. A good personal injury lawyer will prove liability, identify all sources of insurance coverage, and maximize your compensation by collecting proceeds from all sources.
For example, did you know that in Virginia, in certain circumstances, you can have your health insurer pay for your medical bills, then you can collect the full amount of the same paid medical bills from your auto insurance MedPay coverage, and then collect the same amount from the third party liability insurer? And you would not have to reimburse the health insurer. In effect, you can collect three times the amount of your medical bills from insurance companies. This is only one aspect of personal injury law that an experienced traffic accident lawyer in Virginia can help you with.
Most insurance companies have different adjusters handling pro se cases (unrepresented by attorneys) as opposed to cases where the claimant is represented by an attorney. Why is that?
The bottom line in every personal injury case is: “What will happen if a lawsuit is filed?” “What will the jury award?” While the insurance company knows you can retain an attorney and file a lawsuit, they are not under any pressure to compensate you fairly until you hire an attorney to represent you.
In other words, unless you have a reputable and aggressive lawyer on your side, the insurance company probably won’t believe that you will file a lawsuit and, therefore, that you will be more likely to accept what they offer. They know they can still increase their offer if you file a lawsuit.
In cases where the at-fault party denies liability for your injuries, it is usually necessary to file a lawsuit in a State or Federal court to receive the compensation you deserve. A great traffic accident lawyer will keep up the pressure on the other side’s adjusters and attorneys throughout the litigation process and present your case to a judge and jury if necessary to receive fair compensation.
Insurance companies know that people without legal representation have a very small chance of success in court, so there is very little incentive for them to make a fair and reasonable settlement offer before an attorney is hired.
As a general rule, if the liability is undisputed, you are entitled to the amount of your current medical bills, your lost wages, your reasonable future medical expenses, your reasonable future lost wages, and compensation for your past and future pain and suffering.
Certain injuries – such as concussion, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, scarring, and injuries that cause permanent mobility and lifestyle limitations – deserve compensation that goes well beyond your medical bills, both because of the severe pain experienced by the injured person and the long-term effects the injured person must endure.
When your injuries are severe, the amount of available insurance coverage becomes important. It also becomes important to determine all possible liable parties, so that you can have more insurance coverage for your losses.
The laws on the sources of coverage are very complicated. For example, in certain circumstances, you may be able to stack up your Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage. You may also be able to recover from the liability insurer your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage in addition to your damages. You may also be eligible for additional coverage under the insurance policies of your household members. The liable party may also have an additional “umbrella” coverage, which would not be disclosed to you unless your damages meet a certain threshold.
An experienced and diligent personal injury lawyer will untangle all these issues and identify all possible sources of insurance coverage available to you.
I.S. Law Firm will not charge you legal fees unless we recover compensation for you. This is called a “contingency fee”. There are many twists and turns along the way, and the insurance company will try to use every new fact and circumstance to undercut the compensation you deserve. A contingency fee means that you can rest assured that your attorney will fight for you to the very end, and obtain every dollar of compensation possible.
Our team of personal injury lawyers will be sure to take the following crucial steps to protect their client’s interests and maximize the outcome:
- Protect the client from insurance questioning seeking to obtain damaging statements.
The minute a claim is filed or the insurance carrier becomes aware of an accident, the insurance company begins its quest to poke holes in your case, exploring every possible way to minimize or deny the claim. They will trick the injured claimant into believing that providing a recorded statement to the insurance company will somehow speed up the process or increase the chances of higher compensation. This is a trap! The adjuster will play your friend and try to seem compassionate about your injuries. However, the true intent is to use every trick in the book to mercilessly deny your claims. The insurance adjuster will record telephone conversations, lure you into making damaging statements, and misinterpret and misconstrue your every word so as to favor his employer – the insurance company.
Therefore, to balance the scales, it is important to secure a team of personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. Our law firm has a team of exceptional lawyers and paralegals. They begin working on your case the minute you decide to hire us. As a first step, our personal injury and traffic accident lawyers ensure that no derogatory information has been given or leaked to the opposing side. Even if you provided a statement or information, our skilled lawyers will explore ways to formally retract or nullify any information obtained by the opposing side prior to hiring our law firm.
- Investigate and secure the evidence promptly and identify potential witnesses.
In cases involving injuries and damages to the vehicles involved, it is imperative to secure the evidence and identify witnesses as soon as possible. Every minute counts! Insurance companies are hoping the claimants fail to secure the evidence in a timely way or identify witnesses in support of their claim. It is important to secure the evidence, take photographs, and obtain statements from all potential witnesses as soon as possible, before their recollections fade.
Our team of professionals, including traffic accident lawyers, takes immediate action to identify witnesses and secure evidence, which may be crucial to prove liability and the extent of injuries suffered by our client.
Our attorneys and investigative team often visit the sites of the accident to take photographs, search for evidence and question potential witnesses. We send spoliation notices to all parties who may hold anything that can be used as evidence in the case. For example, it may be imperative to send notices to the EMS and Police Department to preserve 911 call recordings as well as any notes or photographs that officers may have taken at the scene of the accident. It may also be necessary to notify the insurance company and the salvage yard of intent to examine the negligent driver’s vehicle. Although the actual records are obtained through court subpoenas in the course of litigation, it is important to notify the custodians to preserve such records. The subpoenas may take a long time and, unless a spoliation notice is duly provided, there may be no duty on the holder’s part to preserve the evidence that may end up being crucial for the outcome of the case.
- Determine all available insurance policies and coverage available.
Your insurance policy may include Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UIM/UMI), which can have additional insurance coverage available to you from the third party. If UIM/UMI coverage exceeds the negligent driver’s liability insurance policy, then you have additional insurance coverage available. In that case, the UIM/UMI carrier steps into the shoes of the uninsured or underinsured party (the negligent driver) and provides you with additional coverage. However, it is important to notify the UIM/UMI carrier as soon as possible to avoid denial of excess coverage. A special notification procedure must be followed in a case involving a lawsuit. Determining the amount of UIM/UMI insurance available may get tricky if you have multiple cars or multiple insured members in your household, of if you were a passenger in another car which also had UIM/UMI insurance.
Your insurance policy may also contain Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage. This excellent coverage provides additional coverage to you for your medical bills and lost wages. Additionally, if you have a medical insurance, in Virginia, you may legally recover triple the amount of your medical bills and retain two thirds of the amount for yourself, in addition to the compensation for your other damages. Determining the amount of PIP/MedPay available may vary depending on the number of vehicles in the household and other factors.
The driver of the vehicle, which caused the accident, may also have an additional excess liability coverage, called an “Umbrella Policy”. There are certain ways – often complicated – to determine the availability of an Umbrella Policy. This may involve submitting a statutory demand for disclosure to the insurance company, submitting interrogatories to the defense in litigated cases, or exploring other ways to determine all policies available to the negligent driver. Furthermore, if the driver of the vehicle which caused the accident was driving someone else’s car that driver may have a policy of his own, with possible umbrella coverage, all of which would stack up on top of the third party liability coverage of the vehicle which caused the accident.
There may be additional sources of recovery, such as an employer’s liability insurance policy, liability based on principal/agent theory, additional coverage for lost wages through Worker’s Compensation Insurance, or policies through third party providers such as credit companies, enrolled programs, sponsoring organizations and so on.
Determining all available insurance policies and additional coverage is undisputedly one of the most complicated areas of personal injury law. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers thoroughly investigates the availability of all of the above policies and utilizes every possible avenue to maximize the net pay-out to our clients.
- Ensure adequate notices to all insurance companies and parties involved.
This step ensures that all insurance companies and coverage providers are duly notified so that they will not be able to deny any available coverage claiming a lack of notice. This includes timely filing of claims, notifying insurance carriers that may have additional insurance coverage available on behalf of the third party, and providing letters of representation and spoliation letters to secure the evidence. If this is not done promptly , there is a risk of coverage denial.
- Communicate and work closely with the client’s doctors, physicians, and other medical providers to ensure adequate treatment, medical reports and detailed diagnosis of the client’s injuries.
A substantial part of the attorney’s work on a personal injury case involves collaborating and dealing with medical providers, doctors, and their support staff. A competent personal injury lawyer and their paralegals must have excellent communication skills and be able to deal and collaborate with doctors and physicians who treated the injured client. Personal injury lawyers and paralegals must also have the necessary skills to understand medical records and radiology reports, identify injuries detected by medical providers, and communicate with medical staff to obtain further information.
Our team of professionals maintains constant contact with the client’s physicians and their staff members, providing letters of protection and lien agreements to ensure that our clients receive treatment even if they do not have medical or health insurance coverage.
- Collaborate with team of expert witnesses, investigators, and litigation support specialists.
A good personal injury lawyer should have a network of excellent medical experts, which can independently evaluate injuries, consult the lawyer on all medical aspects, and testify as needed to explain and illustrate the client’s injuries to the opposing side, jury, and judge. A testimony of independent medical experts serves an important role in increasing the amount of the jury award or settlement. In handling personal injury cases for our clients, I.S. Law Firm works closely with a team of professional experts, investigators, court reporters, interpreters, skip tracers, and litigation support specialists. This ensures the speediest and maximum monetary compensation for our clients.
There are many health benefits associated with riding a bike. However, while cyclists are wary of motor vehicles, accidents inevitably happen, often due to driver or cyclist negligence. If a driver is negligent, a cyclist has every right to seek monetary compensation for damages and injuries from the driver’s insurance company.
Unfortunately, it can be very hard to determine whose fault an accident is. Therefore, it is always best to wait for the police to come and investigate the accident. We also recommend that you cycle with your cell phone. Not only can a cell phone be used to call for help in case of emergency, but it can also be used to take pictures at the scene, which could significantly help your case in the future.
Most commonly, car-on-bike accidents occur either when a vehicle turns left and doesn’t notice a cyclist going in the opposite direction, or a vehicle abruptly turns right while a cyclist is riding in the same direction in a bike lane or near the right shoulder. Other incidents may include a driver suddenly opening an automobile door without noticing a cyclist, which may result in the cyclist crashing into the driver or open door.
So, what do you do if you find yourself in a car-on-bike accident?
You should NOT negotiate with the driver. A lot of times, drivers would apologize for causing the crash only to deny their fault later. Sometimes they might even refuse to admit they were present at the scene of an accident.
What you should do is to take as much information as possible before the driver attempts to leave the scene. Remember the color, the brand and the license plate of the car, if possible. Do not negotiate with the driver under any circumstances. Wait for the police to come so you can file an official report. When it comes to dealing with insurance companies, let a professional attorney handle your case to guarantee that you get the most compensation for your injuries and damages.
Remember: insurance companies are not your friends. They will do their best to avoid giving you what you deserve. This is why you should always consult with a traffic accident or personal injury lawyer to maximize any compensation.
It goes without saying that getting hit by a car is a traumatic experience. Nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed and another 75,000 are injured in traffic crashes in the United States annually. In the chaotic aftermath of an accident, securing evidence or identifying potential witnesses may be the last thing on your mind. However, often times, taking the necessary steps immediately after an accident is crucial for the victim or the victim’s family in any claims for personal injury or wrongful death. If the pedestrian was hit by a negligent driver, the victim or victim’s family must be compensated for loss.
Few people immediately realize how serious their injuries are when they are hit by a car. Symptoms of a severe injury do not always present immediately after the accident. Concussions, brain injuries, neck sprains, back injuries, disk herniation and nerve damage may take weeks or months to be detected.
It is a good idea to visit an emergency room immediately after the accident to be checked for any serious injuries. However the full extent of the injuries is not likely to be revealed solely by the emergency room visit. The emergency room doctors are only tasked to avert immediate threats to life and to stop deterioration of vital signs. Often times, the emergency radiology examinations are limited to X-rays and CT-scans, which can only detect obvious fractures, but not “stress fractures”, “hairline fractures”, or spinal disk injuries such as herniated disk, bulged disk, or extruded disk. Therefore, it is important to follow up with a primary care physician or a specialist to ensure that all injuries have been properly diagnosed and documented.
The amount of insurance compensation you will receive largely depends on the objective diagnosis of your injuries. Subjective symptoms, such as pain and complaints, will play a small role in convincing the insurance adjusters or insurance claim representatives that you deserve a higher rate of compensation. It is the objective diagnosis and objective examination reports that play the most crucial role. Therefore, it is important to ensure you get a proper medical examination and that your injuries are properly documented.
There are multiple types of insurance coverage that can come into play in a pedestrian accident case. The losses can be covered by one or more of the following types of coverage: the liability insurance of the wrongdoer, the liability insurance policy of the wrongdoer’s employer, the insurance on the vehicle involved, the personal excess liability insurance policy of the wrongdoer, umbrella coverage, the Uninsured (UIM) and Underinsured (UM) policy of the victim or victim’s household member, the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of the wrongdoer and/or the victim or victim’s household member, the Medical Payment (MedPay) coverage of the wrongdoer, the victim or the victim’s household member, and other possibly applicable insurance policies. A competent personal injury lawyer can help you navigate this legal minefield.
In contrast to accidents involving two vehicles, a pedestrian may also recover the cost of her medical bills from the driver’s PIP or MedPay coverage, in addition to the third party liability coverage. Additionally, in Virginia, medical bills may also be paid by the health insurance company, which is prohibited from subrogating (asking for a refund) by statute.
Thus, in some circumstances a pedestrian victim can legally recover and keep for his own use double the amount of full medical expenses, even after those expenses have been paid by the health insurer. Finally, in some circumstances, the amounts of insurance coverage available through various policies described above can be stacked, i.e. added together, maximizing the amount of available insurance coverage for the claimant.
I.S. Law Firm has successfully helped many clients/injured pedestrians from Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia receive substantial insurance compensation for their losses.
Using extensive experience and knowledge in the area of pedestrian injury and compensation, I.S. Law Firm will seek out every source of insurance coverage available to make you eligible for the maximum amount of compensation from your pedestrian-car accident. Our personal injury lawyers will plan a tailored course of legal action to help you recover the monetary compensation that you deserve for medical expenses, physical injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Pedestrians often get injured due to the inattentiveness of drivers, whether due to running a red light, failure to yield at a crosswalk or right turn, speeding, or texting and cell phone use. This irresponsibility of drivers can lead to very dangerous situations for pedestrians, resulting in serious injuries and death. This type of reckless behavior on the road should not be endured by anyone, and it is essential to seek restitution immediately through legal means. However, determining who is negligent in pedestrian accident cases is not always easy. The laws applicable to pedestrian accidents differ depending on the jurisdiction.
The determinative liability factors in pedestrian cases are negligence laws and statutes of limitations. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise the proper degree of care expected by a reasonable person in a given situation. Negligence, as a legal matter, tries to determine whether a person had a duty of care to another, and whether he or she failed in fulfilling that duty. If so, the wrongdoer may be liable for any resulting injuries. The wrongdoer’s insurance company must compensate the victim. This would be most applicable to pedestrian accidents when proving that the driver was in fact negligent and caused injury to the affected pedestrian.
Statutes of limitations are every state’s set timeline (constraint) for filing lawsuits. Essentially, a civil statute of limitations sets a time limit on filing a lawsuit. This can be extremely important in a time-sensitive matter such as a pedestrian accident case.
For example, if John gets hit by a car, and does not obtain compensation or file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations of his state expires, he can end up with no compensation at all. The situation can be worse if the victim does not have insurance. If John did not have any insurance when he got hit, and sought legal counsel or sued within the statute of limitations, he would not get compensation, and would also have substantial medical bills to pay, and the negligent driver who caused John all his suffering would unjustly get away.
Under negligence laws in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, if you are found to have contributed to the accident or injury in any way, you may not have a case. This is called “contributory negligence”. So, for example, if John was jaywalking when struck by a car, he may not be able to collect any compensation for his pain and suffering. John may still be eligible for compensation for his medical expenses under his own PIP or MedPay coverage and/or the insurance of the driver.
Proving negligence involves defining what a reasonable person would or would not do in a given situation, which can be rather difficult without the help of a personal injury lawyer to argue your case.
Virginia’s statute of limitations laws are fairly standard, but shorter than the other two jurisdictions, with a two-year limit for injuries to a person (including those involved in pedestrian auto accidents). Maryland and DC generally have a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims.
It is difficult to equate money with such overwhelming emotional and physical damages, but it is good news that in personal injury cases such as pedestrian accidents, damages are meant to compensate for all the harm suffered by the victim, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages due to absence from work due to injury, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In order to get the maximum amount of recompense, however, you need to hire the right lawyer. Otherwise you may face difficulties or fail to get the compensation you deserve as a victim of unrighteous irresponsibility.
If the case involves multiple drivers, you may have the right to sue both of them. For example, if John is crossing the road and Car 1 makes an abrupt stop in the road, causing Car B to swerve and hit John, John now has the entitlement to sue both drivers for putting him in harm’s way and injuring him.
“Do I really need a lawyer?” That question comes up quite often in pedestrian injury cases. The answer to that is “absolutely”, as this type of complicated personal injury case can be extremely difficult to tackle on your own because of the maximal focus on the minutiae of the case: “Did the driver run a red light?” “Was the driver speeding?” “Was the driver intoxicated?” Did the driver drive through traffic while texting? “Could the driver have avoided the accident?” All of these questions can be difficult to answer or prove in a court of law, so the right legal representation is essential for a successful pedestrian injury claim.
I.S. Law Firm always offers free in-person or telephone consultations for injured people, where you can speak directly to an experienced traffic accident lawyer. If you have been injured in an accident, you owe it to yourself to at least talk to a great attorney, and find out what options you have. Frankly, there are many great lawyers in our area who will offer you similar services. And even if you choose not to hire our team, we believe that all injured people – moreover, our legal system and society as a whole – directly benefit when a personal injury lawyer fights for their client’s rights with diligence and professionalism.