Best Truck Accident Lawyers Washington, DC Of 2024 – Forbes

4 minutes, 30 seconds Read

If you’ve been in a truck accident in DC, it can be an overwhelming experience. While filing a lawsuit can be difficult, it doesn’t have to be. With a bit of research and help, the process can be straightforward and smooth. Here are some things to keep in mind.

DC Statute of Limitations

Every state has a statute of limitations for truck accident claims that determines how long an individual has to file a lawsuit. These laws are designed to prevent unfair legal action against the defendant; if too much time has passed since an accident it can be difficult to fairly evaluate evidence and witness statements.

In DC, an individual has three years from the date of the accident to file their case. For example, if you were injured in a truck accident on January 1st, 2020, you would have until January 1st, 2023 to file your lawsuit. The lawsuit doesn’t need to be settled or completed by that point, but the process does need to be started. If the statute of limitations has passed before you file, you will be unable to recover compensation for your damages.

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations. If an individual passes away from the incident, then the family has two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. For instance, if an individual is severely injured during an accident on January 5th, 2020, and passes away on January 10th, 2020, then the family would have until January 10th, 2022 to file a lawsuit.

While the statute of limitations can feel like a long time, it’s always best to gather evidence and documents as soon as you can. Over time, critical information can be lost, so collecting and filing your case quickly can make a positive outcome more likely.

DC Laws for Truck Drivers

If you’ve been in an accident involving a truck, here are some laws to consider:

  • CDL requirements. Drivers of commercial trucks must have a commercial driver’s license which is granted to them after passing a written and driving test. To receive a CDL license, drivers must be at least 21 years old, or if younger, they must have at least 2 years of driving experience.
  • Commercial truck definition. An individual needs a CDL if they are operating a vehicle of more than 26,001 pounds, are transporting more than 16 people, are driving a school bus, transporting hazardous material, or meeting the federal standards of interstate commercial operation.
  • Alcohol impairment. Truck accidents can be significantly more dangerous than other types of accidents, so drivers must adhere to strict impairment laws. While driving a commercial truck, an individual cannot have higher than a .04 blood-to-alcohol concentration.
  • Federal driving requirements. On top of following DC laws, truck drivers must remain compliant with federal laws under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These laws limit how long someone can drive, requirements for driving in adverse conditions and more.

Identifying Fault for a Truck Crash

DC generally operates as a no-fault state for vehicle accidents, meaning that each person involved is responsible for paying for their own injuries. In this case, you will file a claim with your own insurance under personal injury protection.

If you decide to file a lawsuit for a truck accident, the court uses comparative negligence to award damages, meaning that damages you are entitled to are reduced by the percent of your own fault. So if you are 25% at fault, you can only recover 75% of damages.

If you are hoping to pursue a lawsuit against the truck driver, fault will be determined using police records, evidence and witness statements. If it is determined that the other individual is completely at fault for the accident, then you will be able to pursue compensation.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

An attorney will work with you to understand your case, file your civil lawsuit and advocate for fair compensation. Due to their legal experience, attorneys often know how to respond to common arguments made by insurance companies and other strategies to increase your chance of a positive case outcome.

In truck accident cases, attorneys generally work on contingency, meaning that their pay is a percentage of your award, if you obtain one. If you do not settle or win at trial, they are not be paid. This can be beneficial, as using a lawyer has no monetary risk. On the other hand, it means lawyers are selective regarding the cases they accept; most will only accept a case if they believe you have a good chance of winning a settlement or verdict.

While working with a lawyer may increase your chance of a positive case outcome, it’s certainly not required. You can always file the case yourself, and this will ensure that if you win, you receive the entire amount of the compensation. The cost of a lawyer can vary, but they generally take around 33% of the award. In straightforward cases, or if you are willing to be heavily involved, then filing on your own may be a good option if you hope to avoid the fee.

If you choose to work with a lawyer, they will help you gather evidence, form your case and negotiate with the insurance company. The vast majority of cases settle, but if you are unable to reach a fair agreement, your lawyer will also advocate for you in front of a judge or jury.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts