Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident

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There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to hire a lawyer. For example, many people believe they do not need a personal injury lawyer after an accident, but this is not always the case. Therefore, if you have been in a car accident, you should consult with a lawyer before filing a claim or speaking with an insurance company.

At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we have years of experience helping car accident victims get the money they need to move on with their lives. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of service and will work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact our car accident lawyers today for a free consultation. We will answer your legal questions and walk you through the claims process.

What Should I Do If I’m in a Car Accident?

If you are in a car accident, it is important to stay calm and remember the following steps:

Seek Medical Treatment

In the aftermath of a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed and overlook some of your injuries. It’s important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible to get ahead of any injuries that may be more serious.

Call 911 and Report the Accident

Calling the police ensures that an accident report is filed. This police report is important when filing your personal injury claim and proving negligence.

Gather Evidence

Take pictures and videos, gather witness statements, get any evidence you can to help move your claim along.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Case

In addition, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible after the accident. A personal injury attorney can help you file a claim and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, the personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Contact Your Insurance Company

It is important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after a car accident. This is because they will need to investigate the accident. If you do not contact them right away, they may deny your insurance claim.

Common Car Accidents

Common car accidents include:

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle hits another from behind. These accidents can be very dangerous, especially if the hit driver is not prepared for them. Many factors can contribute to a rear-end collision, including speeding, tailgating, and drunk driving.

t bone car collision

Side-Swipe Collisions

Side-swipe collisions occur when two cars collide while one car passes the other. This type of accident often happens on the highway when a driver attempts to change lanes and does not see another vehicle coming.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are the most dangerous type of car accident. They occur when two vehicles collide head-on. These accidents are often fatal and can cause serious injuries to the drivers and passengers involved. They are typically caused by driver error, drunk driving, or distracted driving.

T-Bone Accidents

T-bone collisions occur when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle. They are often very violent accidents and can cause serious injuries to drivers and passengers. However, these accidents are typically caused by driver error and can be avoided if drivers use caution and obey the road rules.

Rollover Accidents

A rollover accident occurs when a car flips over onto its side or roof after striking something on the road. These accidents are often very dangerous and can lead to serious injuries.

Single-Car Accidents

A single-car accident occurs when only one car is involved. These accidents often occur due to bad weather or poor driving conditions but can also be caused by driver error.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Many factors can lead to a car accident. Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:

Distracted Driving

This is the most common cause of car accidents. Distracted driving includes texting while driving, eating, changing the radio, and not paying attention to the road.

Road Conditions

Poor road conditions can lead to accidents, especially if they are not visible. For example, potholes or icy roads can cause a car accident if drivers do not see them in time.

Vehicle Failure

Cars can break down at any time, leading to an accident if the driver does not have enough warning before it happens. The most common types of vehicle failure that lead to accidents are tire blowouts and brake failures.

road conditions contributing to car accident

Driver Fatigue

Driving for long periods can often lead to driver fatigue, which can cause drivers to make mistakes on the road. This is a common problem for long-distance truck drivers.

Drunk Driving

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a very common cause of car accidents. This can lead to poor decision-making and slower reflexes.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Car accident victims suffer from many injuries, but some are more common than others. Some of the most common car accident injuries include:


Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when the head moves backward and then forward very quickly. The symptoms include pain in the neck, headache, dizziness, and blurred vision.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A brain injury is one of the most serious car accident injuries. In addition, this injury can lead to long-term issues, such as memory loss or cognitive difficulties.

Broken Bones

Broken bones are very common in car accidents and happen to any part of the body, depending on where it hits during the crash. Some broken bones can lead to long-term issues if they don’t heal correctly.

Internal Organ Damage

Internal organ damage is another type of injury that can occur in car accidents. It is caused when the organs are hit or crushed. This can cause the organs to bleed, swell, or rupture.

Lacerations and Burns

Lacerations and burns are considered surface injuries. Lacerations are cuts or scrapes on the skin. Burns are injuries to the skin caused by heat, radiation, or chemicals.

Compared to other injuries suffered in a car accident, you will immediately see these injuries.

neck pain from whiplash in a rear end accident

When Should I Hire a Lawyer for My Car Accident Case?

In most cases, it is a good idea to consult with an auto accident attorney before making any decisions about your case. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options and advise you on how to proceed. If you decide to hire a lawyer, they will represent you in court and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Should I Hire a Lawyer For an Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

Yes, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer if the accident was not your fault. You can sue the at-fault driver. This is called a personal injury lawsuit, and a lawyer can help you file it. You may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Is It Worth Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer If Your Accident Was Minor?

Yes, it is worth hiring a car accident lawyer, even if your accident was minor. This can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for any medical bills and lost wages from missing work due to injuries sustained during an auto collision.

Proving Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

One of the most important things an experienced personal injury attorney will do in your car accident case is help you prove that the other driver was negligent. This means showing that they were responsible for the accident and should be held liable for any damages or injuries that resulted.

To prove fault, you will need to show:

  • Duty– The defendant had a duty to use reasonable care.
  • Breach– The defendant failed to meet the standard of care.
  • Causation– The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
  • Damages– The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the accident.

An experienced car accident attorney will help you gather evidence to prove these elements.

Contributory Negligence in a Car Accident Lawsuit

Contributory negligence is a legal theory that holds injured plaintiffs partially responsible for their own injuries. This means that if the plaintiff was even slightly negligent in causing the accident, they can be barred from recovering damages from any other at-fault parties. For this reason, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident so that your lawyer can collect the evidence needed to prove the negligence of another party. Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. all apply the doctrine of contributory negligence.

Comparative Negligence in a Car Accident Lawsuit

Comparative negligence states allow you to still recover, even if you are partially responsible for the collision.  Unfortunately, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington. DC do not apply comparative negligence in accidents involving two cars.  However, Washington DC does have a  comparative negligence statute that only applies to bicycles, pedestrians, and other vulnerable users.  This law is one of the best comparative negligence laws in the country.  If you were a bicyclist, pedestrian, or other vulnerable user, and you were 50% negligent or less, you can recover 100% of your damages. 

  This can be complicated to navigate on  your own, without legal assistance, so having a lawyer represent you in your car accident case is important.

Recovering Compensation in Car Accident Cases 

The best way to recover from an accident is with the help of a professional. A car accident lawyer can help you file your claim, negotiate with insurance companies and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve for any damages or injuries sustained in an auto collision.

Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims

If someone dies due to a car accident, their family may receive compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering. This type of case is called a wrongful death lawsuit.

Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering includes any physical or emotional pain and anguish you have suffered from the accident. A lawyer can help you calculate the value of your claim and make sure you receive the full amount you deserve.

Compensation for Vehicle Repair or Replacement

If your car was damaged in an accident, you may be able to receive compensation for property damage. A lawyer will help you calculate the cost of these damages and make sure that insurance companies pay what they owe without any hassle on your part.

Compensation for Emotional Distress

You may also be able to receive compensation for emotional distress in a car accident case. This includes any psychological injuries you have suffered due to the crash. A lawyer can help you prove that these injuries are real and that you deserve compensation for them.

Compensation for Lost Wages

You may also be able to receive compensation for lost income if you have missed work due to your car accident injuries. A lawyer can help you prove how much money you have lost and ensure that insurance companies pay what they owe.

car accident lawyer helping victim recieive compensation

What is The Value of My Car Accident Settlement?

The value of your car accident case will depend on several factors, including:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The damages that you have sustained
  • The amount of medical bills that you have incurred
  • Lost wages and income

Contact the personal injury lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for more information on how we can help you get the financial compensation you deserve.

What a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for Your Car Accident Claim

Offer Legal Advice

An attorney can provide legal advice about your case. This includes information on how to file a claim, what damages you may be able to receive, and much more.

Help You Understand Your Rights

A lawyer will explain what you are entitled to and make sure you receive the maximum compensation available to you.

Gather Evidence

A lawyer will also help you gather evidence to support your claim. This includes photographs of the accident scene, medical records and bills, witness statements, police reports, expert testimony, and more.

Investigate the Case Completely

Lawyers will also investigate your case thoroughly. They will look into the facts of the accident, speak to witnesses, and gather all evidence possible. This allows them to build a strong case on your behalf and increase your chances of receiving maximum compensation.

Assess the Full Extent of Your Damages

A lawyer will also assess the full extent of your damages and make sure that you receive compensation for all of them. They will consider both physical injuries and emotional distress so that insurance companies pay what you deserve.

Negotiate With Insurance Companies

A lawyer will negotiate with your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf. They will ensure that you get the full amount of compensation you deserve and not just what the insurance company is willing to offer.

Represent You in Court

If your case goes to court, your lawyer will represent you. They will ensure that you have a strong case and receive the maximum compensation possible.

Get You the Compensation You Deserve

An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. They will work hard to ensure that you receive the full amount of money you are owed.

What If My Insurance Claim is Denied?

If the insurance company denies your car accident claim, you may need to file a lawsuit to get compensation for your injuries. Contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for more information on how we can help you get started on your case.

What if The Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance or Not Enough Insurance?

If you are involved in a car accident, and the other driver does not have insurance or not enough insurance, you may be able to file a claim against your own insurance company. This is known as an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM or UIM) accident.

To file a UM or UIM claim, you will need to have purchased UM or UIM coverage. UM, and UIM coverage is optional in some states, but it is recommended that you purchase this coverage, especially if you do not have health insurance.

How Long Does it Take to File Car Accident Claims?

We can file your claim right away. However, how long it will take to get resolved will vary depending on the specifics of your case. Contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for more information on how we can help you get started on your claim.

What Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Do For You

The Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish liability and negligence.

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.

Determining the Value of Your Case

The amount of compensation awarded in personal injury cases depends on various factors, including the severity of your injuries, how long it takes you to recover, and what damages you suffered as a result of the accident.

To find out how much your case is worth, contact the personal injury attorneys of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. for a free consultation. Our experienced lawyers are dedicated to helping victims of car accidents obtain justice and fair compensation.

Here are a few of our car accident case results:

  • $6 million for a client who suffered a brain injury after being involved in a rear-end collision.
  • $4.8 million for a severely injured client after another vehicle struck his motorcycle.
  • $1.9 million for a client who suffered a permanent back injury due to a car accident.
  • $1.5 million for a client who had to undergo multiple surgeries after a negligent motorist cut off his motorcycle.
  • $1 million settlement obtained on behalf of our 19-year-old client who was a passenger in a car in which the driver lost control, causing a collision. As a result, our client suffered extensive brain damage with cognitive impairment. He was in a coma for an extended period of time. Although he has regained consciousness, he is unable to care for himself. The law firm asked the Court to appoint him a guardian to care for him. The law firm is helping to establish a special needs trust so that the proceeds from the settlement will be protected against any medical liens.
  • $1 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a brain injury when the driver of the car in which he was a passenger lost control of his vehicle.

Hire a Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you are looking for the highest level representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.

We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600  or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.

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Car Accident Lawyer Questions

Back Injuries

Beltway Accidents
Brain Injuries From Car Accidents

Car Accident Without Insurance

Common Injuries

Construction Zone Accidents
Distracted Driving
Does My Insurance Cover Other Drivers?
Drowsy Driving Accidents
Drunk Driving Accidents

Head Injuries

Head-On Collisions

Hit-and-Run Accidents

How Much Can I Sue For?

Injured as a Passenger
Insurance Claims
Intersection Accidents

Most Dangerous Intersections

Neck Injuries

Parking Lot Accidents
Pedestrian Accidents

Rear End Accidents

Rollover Accidents

Senior Citizen Accidents

Should I Get a Lawyer

Single Vehicle Accidents

Spine Injuries

Stomach Pain

T-Bone Accidents


Types of Distracted Driving

Uber / Lyft
Uninsured & Underinsured Motorists
Vehicle Defects

What Does Insurance Cover?

What Happens If Someone Hits You Without Insurance?

What Makes Left Turns Dangerous

What To Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident

Where Do Most Accidents Happen?

Whiplash Injuries

Will Insurance Go Up If Someone Hits Me?

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