Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Legal Help After Your Motor Vehicle AccidentWith hundreds of thousands of car accidents reported in the DC region every year, some causing injury, some resulting in death, and others ending in significant property damage. No matter what the consequences of your auto accident are, the bottom line is that if you were involved in a collision through no fault of your own, then you deserve to seek compensation for your injuries and any property damage that might have resulted.
Answers from Our DC Car Accident AttorneysAt Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C., we are committed to helping the victims of serious auto accidents recover compensation. For more than 45 years, our personal injury lawyers have actively pursued car accident cases of every size and degree, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. We are prepared to do the same for you. If you have questions that you would like answered before you begin the legal process, we encourage you to read through the list of questions and answers displayed below. Here, you can find information about the many of the different aspects of car accident claims and lawsuits. If you have more questions that you would like answered, then you can contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney at the office.
Am I obligated to release my medical records to the other driver’s insurance adjuster?No, you are in no way obligated to release any of your medical records to the insurance adjuster of the other driver involved in the accident. In fact, if you have been asked to do so by an insurance company other than your own then you should immediately speak to a professional car accident lawyer. Signing off on the release of your medical records should be done only under a very limited set of circumstances, all of which must be discussed with a legal professional beforehand. Beware that if you allow for the release of your medical records to another insurance company, there is a very good chance that the documents will be used against you in your case. In all circumstances, you should not wait to speak with an attorney about the matter before making any decisions.
What should I avoid saying when I talk to the other driver’s insurance company?If an insurance company other than your own has been contacting you after the accident in which you were involved, you do not need to oblige their request for information. In fact, the more you say, the more you could be jeopardizing your case. It is very unlike that any insurance adjuster other than your own would have your best interests in mind after an accident. Therefore, it is often wisest to avoid speaking to the other driver’s insurance company altogether. Any and all communications with these adjustors should be reserved for the car accident attorney who is representing your case.
Does filing a claim mean that I will have to go to court?The act of filing a claim after a car accident does not automatically mean that you will have to go to court. Generally, trial hearings are reserved for those cases in which the injured party is not offered a settlement that is substantial enough to cover his or her injuries, medical expenses, property damage, and / or earning loss. The majority of car accident claims can be settled outside of the courtroom; however, at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C., we prepare every case for court in the event that it becomes necessary to try your case before a judge and jury. We always invest our efforts into what we believe would be best for our client, and if that means going to court, then we will steadfastly stand by your side and represent you throughout the duration of your case.
Do I have to report the accident to my insurance company even if I didn’t cause the collision?Usually, you should report the accident to your car insurance company. Whether or not you were at fault for the accident is irrelevant when it comes to reporting the collision, because no matter what, your insurance provider usually needs to know about it. Furthermore, the contractual agreement between you and your insurance company calls for cooperation with your adjuster after an accident. Accordingly, you will be expected to provide all pertinent information about the accident, including the details of any injuries that were sustained. The terms of your insurance policy will explain type of information that needs to be provided at this time. If you are not sure if you should involve your insurance company you should contact a personal injury to consult on this before doing anything.
Do I have to report the accident to the other driver’s insurance company?You are under no obligation to notify another person’s insurance company about the accident in which you were involved. In fact, doing so could significantly jeopardize the success of your case. Unfortunately, any insurance adjuster other than your own could very likely use underhanded tactics to sabotage your ability to obtain compensation for the collision. Words can be twisted and statements can be manipulated for the purpose of denying you the true amount of compensation that you deserve. To best avoid this from happening, it would be wise to direct all of your communications with the other insurance company to your car accident attorney. Anything that needs to be discussed with the other driver’s insurance adjuster can be done by a lawyer who knows what traps to avoid when speaking to an insurance professional.
What are my options if they say the other driver was not at fault?When a car accident claim is submitted to the insurance company, denial of liability is often one of the first things to occur. The reason for this is because liability is often reasonably considered to be the easiest aspect of the accident to dispute, thus allowing the insurance company to avoid paying out on the claim altogether. If the other driver’s insurance company denies liability for the collision, it will become the responsibility of you and your car accident attorney to prove liability. Proving that the other driver was at fault for the accident can be done in a number of different ways; for example, citing the description of events as detailed in the official police report that was made.
What’s my case worth?As with all other types of personal injury cases, the worth of a car accident claim cannot be determined until a number of different factors have been reviewed. Circumstances such as wage loss, property damage, medical expenses, physical impairment, disfigurement, scarring, and future evidence can all play into the overall worth of your case. Additional factors that must be considered are the degree of fault, amount of insurance coverage, likelihood of punitive damages, and where the case is filed. The ultimate value of your case will be determined only after a number of circumstances have been fully assessed, so don’t wait to speak with an attorney from our firm today.
More questions? Get more answers!With more than 90 years of collective experience working in the legal field, Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C., we more than understand the difficulties that can be faced in the aftermath of a car accident that left you or someone you love injured or otherwise harmed. We are committed to achieving maximum compensation for clients. If you have additional questions that you need answered or you would like to begin the process today, please do not hesitate to contact a DC car accident attorney from our firm today.
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If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be owed financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our personal injury lawyers have helped thousands of clients across the DC metro area after life-changing, preventable accidents. We’re prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.