Highway Accidents In Washington DC
Highway driving involves greater speed than driving on surface streets, and as a result, vehicle accidents on these roads often lead to severe injuries. When drivers fail to exercise caution behind the wheel and cause a collision, they may be held legally responsible for any resulting harm. At Gelb & Gelb, DC auto accident attorney Roger Gelb represents vehicle collision victims in their claims for compensation. Mr. Gelb’s experience and tenacity have earned him accolades as a top personal injury lawyer in the region. Most importantly, Attorney Gelb takes pride in personally handling every case, directly interacting with clients throughout the process. Having represented thousands of clients and secured verdicts and settlements in the multi-millions, Mr. Gelb and the team at Gelb & Gelb are prepared to set forth a claim on your behalf. Our office helps accident victims throughout the Washington, D.C area.
Damages and injuries can be particularly severe in highway collisions due to the rate of impact. Additionally, small passenger vehicles share the highway with large trucks and SUVs, and collisions involving these massive vehicles tend to lead to serious harm, including fatalities. Multiple vehicle pile-ups, rear-end collisions, and accidents while merging are common types of highway vehicle accidents.
Driver negligence unfortunately causes many highway accidents. This legal term refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care. All drivers are required to avoid injuring others, and to use caution behind the wheel. If a driver exhibits careless conduct, or otherwise fails to meet their duty of care, they may be liable for any resulting harm. Examples of negligent driving can include excessive speeding, texting while operating a vehicle, following too closely, or tailgating.
Securing Damages After a Highway Accident Caused by a Negligent Driver
As the victim plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit following a highway accident, the injured individual usually asserts that the defendant driver’s negligence caused the collision that led to their harm. To prove negligence, the victim shows that the driver owed them a duty of care, breached this duty, and directly caused the accident and injuries. Regarding a duty of care, all drivers must conduct themselves reasonably while behind the wheel. The law requires that drivers be reasonably careful.
A breached duty of care may be shown through witness statements or police reports that attest to the at-fault driver’s conduct. For example, if a police report indicates that the at-fault driver was speeding at the time of the crash and lost control of their vehicle, these details may help support the victim’s allegation that the driver’s negligence caused the crash. This violation of a duty of care would show that a reasonable person would not have behaved the same way behind the wheel.
Showing that the driver’s negligence caused the victim’s injuries means that without the driver’s negligent conduct, the crash and resulting harm would not have occurred. Legally, there cannot be other intervening causes for the collision. In some cases, the defendant may assert that the victim contributed to the crash. Contributory negligence is a legal defense that prevents the victim plaintiff from recovering damages when that plaintiff partly caused the accident. This doctrine is followed within the District of Columbia, and even a plaintiff minimally responsible for the crash will not recover damages. A skilled attorney can help to set forth a counter argument to potentially overcome the effects of this doctrine.
Types of Damages that May be Recovered Following a Highway Accident
As the final step in a personal injury claim after a highway vehicle crash, the victim will set forth their monetary and non-monetary losses. The injured individual places a dollar amount on their harm, which includes financial, emotional, and physical suffering. Monetary damages include medical costs for past hospital care, as well as future medical needs and rehabilitation. Lost wages from work missed due to injuries will be calculated, as well as property damage suffered in the crash. Non-monetary losses tend to be more challenging to assess. For some individuals, the pain and suffering that accompany an accident center upon emotional distress.
If a highway accident was fatal for a loved one, a wrongful death claim by family members may be appropriate. The damages available in this sort of case will be set by the judge or jury, and can include burial costs as well as medical bills. If the deceased was the primary wage-earner for the family, lost wages and benefits may also be appropriate. For all wrongful death claims, it is important to abide by the statute of limitations.
Consult a Car Accident Lawyer in Washington, D.C.
Attorney Roger Gelb understands that accident victims may feel helpless in the face of mounting bills for medical care, property damage, and changed life circumstances. At Gelb & Gelb, we work with you to pursue the compensation you deserve. For years, Mr. Gelb has passionately advocated for accident victims, and he understands how to approach and counter insurance company arguments that seek to diminish claims. Contact our office today to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation can be scheduled by calling (202) 331-7227 or by filling out our online form.