D.C. roads enjoy the honor of being the safest in the nation. This statistic can be greatly comforting until the moment a truck slams into you. 80,000 pounds of metal can crush a car like an accordion, and catastrophic injuries are extremely common. When the accident turns out to be the truck driver’s fault and not yours, you owe it to yourself to aggressively seek full compensation.
If you’re like most people, you may not realize the full value of your truck accident claim. You are entitled to far more than simple reimbursement of your medical expenses and lost work time. Pain and suffering damages, for example, could turn out to be worth several times the amount of your medical bills. If you expect to suffer long-term disability, however, it is critical that you accurately calculate your future damages.
At Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP, our truck accident and injury attorneys have been helping injured victims for over 35 years now. We’ve seen it all, and we know all the tricks that greedy insurance companies and evasive defendants use to avoid fully compensating people in your situation. We won’t let them get away with it — it’s just as simple as that. If you’ve suffered serious injuries from a DC truck accident, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Our Legal Services are Free Unless You Win
We win the overwhelming majority of our client’s cases, and that allows us to offer our services to clients who might not be able to afford a personal injury lawyer if they had to pay a retainer. Ultimately, it is the opposing party, not you, who pays our fees, because our fees are deducted as a fraction of whatever the opposing party actually pays you. And if that amount turns out to be zero, our fees will be zero.
What Information do you need from Another Driver after a DC Semi Truck Accident?
Following a collision, it is crucial to ensure that you have all the proper information to bring a claim against the truck driver or any other responsible party. However, as with any accident, seek medical attention immediately for any injuries you may have sustained.
Typically, to protect your legal rights you will need to record:
- 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
- If you are able, use your cellphone to take pictures of:
- The truck
- The truck’s license plate
- Damage to your vehicle
- The accident scene
- Your injuries
- Insurance documentation
- Any other piece of potential evidence you feel may prove beneficial later
Timing is crucial when preserving any evidence related to your case, which otherwise may be lost or damaged. It is in your best interest to retain legal representation from a truck accident injury attorney as soon as possible that can immediately begin gathering and protecting this vital data.
Contributory Negligence in D.C.
Contributory negligence is a harsh D.C. legal principle that bars you from compensation if you were even one percent at fault for the accident. If the accident occurred on a public highway while you were a pedestrian, bicyclist, or rider of another non-motorized vehicle, however, you can recover damages as long as you were no more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
Common Injuries in D.C. Truck Accidents
Collisions with commercial trucks can cause a person to suffer immense bodily harm. Truck accidents can result in:
- Broken bones
- Organ puncture
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Wrongful death
If you are recovering from injuries caused by a trucking accident, it is important that you consult with a truck accident lawyer immediately to begin exploring your rights and options for taking up the fight against those who caused your wounds. We know what to look for in the circumstances of your case to determine exactly who is at fault. Once the culprit (or culprits) is known, then the fight to get you justice and compensation can begin.
Although filing a truck accident lawsuit can seem intimidating, each accident attorney at our firm will make sure that all you need to do is take care of yourself and your family while we handle the rest. Your health and well-being after a truck accident is your priority; ours is getting what you need to move forward.
How long do I have a file a lawsuit after a DC Truck Accident?
You have until three years after the date of the accident. Certain exceptions exist, such as if you didn’t discover your injury until later. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you have two years to file a lawsuit, beginning on the date of the victim’s death.
D.C. Dram Shop Laws in Truck Accident Claims
Maybe. Under D.C.’s dram shop law, you can sue the bar if the driver:
- was already intoxicated at the time he was served;
- was known to be a heavy drinker; or
- was under 21 years old.
Are punitive damages available in D.C. courts?
Yes, but they are seldom awarded. Under D.C. law, you must prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant acted with an evil motive, not merely carelessness, and you must prove that the defendant’s conduct was outrageous. A “road rage” incident might qualify, for example.
What is the minimum auto insurance coverage allowed by law in D.C.?
The D.C. minimum insurance coverage requirement is:
- $10,000 for property damage;
- $25,000/$50,000 per person/per accident for personal injury;
- $25,000/$50,000 per person/per accident in uninsured motorist personal injury coverage; and
- $5,000 in uninsured motorist property damage coverage ($200 deductible).
Is D.C. a “fault” jurisdiction or a “no-fault” jurisdiction?
D.C. is a hybrid jurisdiction. Drivers must purchase liability insurance; however, they may also purchase optional Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which covers their own injuries on a no-fault basis. After an accident, a driver with PIP has 60 days to choose whether to rely on it or to seek compensation from the other driver’s liability insurance policy.
Who should I claim against if my injuries were worsened by a malfunctioning airbag?
D.C. product liability law allows you to sue either the manufacturer, the distributor, or both, of an unreasonably dangerous product if your injury was attributable to:
- a manufacturing defect,
- a design defect; or
- inadequate warnings;
if the defect rendered the product unreasonably dangerous.
$1 Billion and Counting
We like the awards that our peers have repeatedly bestowed on us. Among 13 attorneys, four of us have been named Top Lawyers, five have been named Super Lawyers and five have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America. None of that would matter, however, without the $1 billion in compensation that we have won for our clients over the years. That, to us, is the real measure of success.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Evidence is what wins a case – even in private settlement negotiations, it is necessary to prove that you can win in court in order to obtain the leverage necessary to persuade the opposing party to settle. Evidence, however, grows stale over time, which means that the best day to contact a D.C. injury lawyer is today. We will handle as much as possible for you so that you can concentrate on regaining your health.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in D.C., call us at (202) 794-6126, or simply contact us online, so that we can schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation with you.
Koonz McKenney Johnson & Depaolis serve residents of Washington DC including those living in Capitol Hill, Columbia Heights, Downtown District of Columbia, Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, and Mount Vernon.
One of Our Clients Speaks Out
“To Mr. DePaolis:
I want to express my sincere gratitude for your professional and compassionate service you provided with the handling of my accident case. I was confident of a positive outcome after our initial meeting and I am glad that I was correct.
Your approach to the situation was impressive and you were reassuring to any potential doubts. Not only did you start the process proactively but you were passionate and honest. My case wasn’t that easy, but with your diligent work, WE were able to get the results we wanted. Your special ways and generous heart make a beautiful difference.” – A.K.