If you suffered injuries in any car accident, you may have injuries and losses and need to negotiate with an insurance company in order to receive a settlement to compensate you for those losses. However, if you suffered injuries as a result of a car accident with an uninsured driver, you may feel overwhelmed regarding your next steps. As a victim, you still likely have medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage as a result of your accident, however, without the negligent driver carrying appropriate auto insurance coverage, you may wonder how you can receive compensation for your damages. If you suffered injuries as a result of an accident with an uninsured driver, learn how a Washington DC uninsured car accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights. Contact a team member at Ben Crump Law, PLLC by calling 800-959-1444 for a free review of your case.
Required Washington DC Car Insurance Coverage
In order to operate a motor vehicle legally in Washington DC, motorists must have certain amounts of car insurance coverage so that they have the ability to compensate victims for injuries or losses if the accident was a result of their own negligence. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Washington DC, the required auto insurance coverage amounts are as follows:
- Bodily injury liability (BIL): $25,000 per person of coverage and $50,000 per accident of coverage
- Property damage liability: $10,000 per accident of coverage
- Personal injury protection (PIP): Several different types of options
Additionally, Washington DC requires that motorists carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage totaling the following:
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000 per person of coverage and $50,000 per accident coverage
- Uninsured motorist property damage: $5,000 per accident of coverage that includes a $200 deductible
- Underinsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000 per person of coverage and $50,000 per accident of coverage
For a free legal consultation with a uninsured car accidents lawyer serving Washington DC, call 800-598-7557
Uninsured Motorist Fund For Passengers and Pedestrians
According to the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB), Washington DC has an uninsured motorist fund that will allow any passenger or pedestrian victim of a car accident involving an uninsured motorist the ability to receive compensation for their injuries and losses. This DC Uninsured Motorist Fund is for any pedestrian or passenger of a motor vehicle that suffers injuries due to the negligence of an uninsured motorist. There is no cost to Washington DC residents for this benefit, and a victim may have the ability to receive compensation if they follow these guidelines:
- Filing an accident claim to the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking within 45 days following the accident
- Submitting all requested information regarding the car accident within 180 days following the accident
- The victim suffered losses exceeding $100
- The negligent party is financially unable to pay compensation for the victim’s injuries or losses
It is important to note that a victim will not have the ability to use these funds if an investigation into the accident determined that they were at-fault for the accident, owned a registered motor vehicle, or operated a motor vehicle in the accident. In order to file a claim, a passenger or pedestrian victim must file an Uninsured Motorist Fund Application for Benefits.
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Filing an Uninsured/Underinsured Claim
Because Washington DC requires that all motorists carry uninsured and underinsured insurance, if you were a motorist involved in a car accident with another driver that did not carry any car insurance, or did not carry enough to cover your injuries and losses, you have the legal right to pursue compensation from your own insurance policy under your uninsured or underinsured portion of your policy.
You will need to file an official police report, if you have not done so already, and contact your insurance company regarding your accident. In many cases, an insurance company will begin an independent investigation regarding the accident in an attempt to determine liability. If the independent investigation from your insurance company determines that the other driver was the negligent party, they will likely begin the process to provide you compensation for your injuries and losses through the uninsured or underinsured coverage you purchased under your own policy.
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Insurance Company Negotiations
Even though you are negotiating with your own insurance company, never let your guard down. Insurance companies often use manipulative and unscrupulous tactics in order to attempt to offer lower settlement amounts to victims for their injuries and losses. Consider very carefully how you discuss your car accident case with your insurance company. Some important considerations to keep in mind as you communicate with your insurance adjuster include:
- Never provide additional information regarding the car accident that is not directly relevant. In some cases, an insurance company may use something you say in passing as a reason to offer a lower settlement amount.
- Never discuss your injuries or how badly you are actually hurt. An insurance company has the legal right to request your medical records regarding your accident. It is also important to note that you should never allow an insurance company access to your full medical file, as they may attempt to find some pre-existing conditions that would negate their obligation to pay.
- Never accept blame for the car accident. Your responsibility is not to determine liability for a car accident. Those decisions should always come from the police officer or through an independent investigation.
- Never lie to the insurance company.
- Never accept the first settlement offer, as it is typically the lowest amount they will offer.
- Never cash any check from your insurance company unless you fully understand it will be the only check you receive regarding your car accident, regardless of what the insurance adjuster tells you on the phone.
Consider how a Washington DC uninsured car accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC could help negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf in order to help you receive a fair settlement.
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Washington, DC Statute of Limitations on Car Accidents
If you or a loved one suffered injuries and damages due to the negligence of an uninsured driver, you may still be able to receive a financial award in a personal injury lawsuit. But according to the statute of limitations under Code §12-301 you only have three years from the date of the accident to file a suit in civil court. After that time runs out, the court may ban your chance to receive compensation.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at 800-959-1444 for a free consultation regarding your case. Even if the at-fault driver is uninsured, you still may be able to receive economic and noneconomic damages for an accident that was not your fault. Call a member of our team to discuss the unique details of your case.
Consider How a Washington DC Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you suffered injuries or losses resulting from an accident with an uninsured driver, you may still have the legal right to receive compensation from either the Uninsured Motorist Fund or your own insurance company. Consider speaking with our legal team today and learn how Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you with your case. Call 800-959-1444 for a free case evaluation.
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