Auto Accidents FAQ

By Peter DePaolis

moving cars

From moments before to dealing with the consequences afterwards, it can seem like the confusion, stress, and anxiety of being involved in an accident is nonstop. In our years of experience handling these types of claims, our Washington, D.C. car accident law firm knows there is never an optimal time for a wreck to happen. However, how you react after a car accident, truck accident or other collision can make a substantial difference in the quality of care and damages you receive to help you begin to recover. This Auto Accidents FAQ could help you  understand your situation.

The following information answers frequently asked questions about auto accidents, provided by the car accident attorneys at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. Our car accident law firm has more attorneys selected as “Top Lawyers” by Washingtonian Magazine than any other DC personal injury law firm. Get the legal advice you need after a car accident for free when you call or submit an online review form on our site today.

Common Car Accident Questions and Answers – Auto Accidents FAQ

Q: How can auto accidents be prevented?

A: You can prevent auto accidents by paying attention to your driving at all times and by obeying all traffic rules and posted speed limits. You should also never get behind the wheel of a car if you feel that you are too tired to drive and you should never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You should be cautious of other drives that appear to be aggressive, drunk, or otherwise dangerous. Always be courteous of others and maintain an adequate following distance. Keep your vehicle in good repair by taking it in for regular maintenance checks, including regular tests of the vehicle’s fluid levels. Immediately report any problems with your vehicle to a local car repair shop. Regularly check for any part or vehicle recalls that may affect your safety. Read more about preventing an accident caused by car defects here.

Q: Should I go to the doctor after a car accident?

A: Possibly. Immediately following the accident, you should check to see whether you have sustained any injuries. If your injuries appear serious or if you are not sure of the extent of your injuries, you should immediately call 911 and go to the hospital. If you do not appear to have sustained any severe injuries, you should still watch for any signs of car accident injury in the hours and days following the collision. Oftentimes, pain from an accident does not start occurring until twelve to fourteen hours following the accident. If you notice any pain, difficulty remembering, or other discomfort, contact a physician immediately.

Q: Should I call the police after a car accident?

A: Yes. You should contact the police immediately following an accident, even if the accident appears to be minor. If your vehicle sustains long-term damage or if you suffer injuries that are not apparent until hours after the accident, it is important that you have the accident on file to prove that the accident occurred and to demonstrate which party was at fault.

Q: What information do I need after a car accident?

A: You should record the following information immediately after an auto accident:

  • The location, date and time of the accident
  • All parties involved, including any witnesses to the accidents
  • Description of the vehicles involved, including the make and model of each vehicle
  • The injuries that you have sustained, including any minor injuries
  • Insurance information for the other driver(s) involved in the accident

Recording this information will enable you to more accurately recall any details of your accident during trial (if needed – many claims do not require a trial), as well as aid you in correctly relaying any information to your car accident attorney.

Q: Should I take pictures at the accident scene?

A: If you have a camera available at the accident scene, you should take photographs to document the accident, even if the police also take pictures. If you do not have a camera available at the scene, you should still take photographs of your vehicle after you leave the accident scene, to document the property damage.

Q: Should I get a lawyer after a car accident?

A: After an accident, you should contact a qualified accident and injury attorney who can answer any questions you may have. There is no obligation to file a claim when talking to one of our car accident injury lawyers after an accident. However, if you later decide to pursue a claim against the party responsible for your accident, or even if you are partially at fault, we will be ready to assist you in determining the best actions to take against the negligent party for the maximum compensation available.

Q: When is a driver at fault in a car accident?

A: Common negligent activities that may indicate driver fault in transportation accidents include:

  • Not paying attention to road conditions
  • Not signaling properly when switching lanes or making a turn
  • Exceeding the speed limit
  • Texting while driving or distracted by other means
  • Running a red light, through a stop sign, off the road or out of the proper lane
  • Not properly maintaining the vehicle
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Defective vehicle equipment
  • Other aggressive or reckless driver error accidents

Q: What types of accident compensation am I entitled to receive?

A: The type and amount of accident compensation you are entitled to receive depends on the nature of the wreck, as well as the extent of your damages. If the accident is due to another’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Medical bills, including emergency room fees, surgical procedures, and any other hospital costs
  • Lost wages resulting from your car accident injury
  • Costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Disability or disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death, including loss of companionship and loss of financial support
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the accident

Call for Our DC Car Crash Lawyers for Information Beyond the Auto Accidents FAQ

If you have been injured in any type of transportation accident in the Washington, D.C. area, it is important to contact our car accident injury attorneys who can assist you in pursuing your claim. If you are in need of assistance, we are available to answer any questions you may have regarding your accident, what to do next and how the law protects your right to justice.

By working on a contingency fee basis for most accident claims, we require no upfront legal costs from our clients to pursue their cases. We only receive payment if we successfully recover a monetary award on your behalf. If we do not, you owe us nothing. We believe everyone deserves the ability to afford quality legal representation. If you would like more information beyond this Auto Accidents FAQ about our legal fees and your case, contact our law firm.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.