What Happens if I’m Partially Responsible for a Washington, D.C. Car Accident?

Thank goodness, you survived your traffic accident. However, you sustained significant, long-term injuries that will require compensation to treat. Unfortunately, you may share part of the responsibility for the accident. If so, please read on, then contact one of our experienced Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers to learn what happens if you are partially responsible for a car accident in our nation’s capital.

Am I entitled to compensation if I share fault in a Washington, D.C. car accident?

Our nation’s capital has some of the least popular car insurance and accident compensation laws in the United States. First off, if you get into an accident in the District, you will have to file a claim with your own insurance, under “personal injury protection (PIP)” coverage, for your injuries resulting from an accident. If your injuries are severe and permanent, you can file a claim against the other driver and, if necessary, a lawsuit. This is known as a “no-fault” car accident system.

Unfortunately for those seeking compensation for wrongfully-sustained injuries, Washington, D.C. is one of only five jurisdictions that applies another unpopular legal standard: contributory negligence. This hardline rule states that, if you contribute in any way to an accident, even as little as one percent, you are barred from collecting damages from the other driver.

Considering the harshness of this rule, you should strongly consider retaining the services of one of our skilled Washington, D.C. auto accident lawyers today to discuss the particulars of your case and tailor a strategy.

How is fault assessed in Washington, D.C. car accidents?

First off, we must inform you that Washington, D.C. has no magic formula for calculating the share of fault in car accident cases. Nonetheless, the court and investigating bodies will examine all of the circumstances surrounding the accident. Generally, they will rely on the following:

  • Traffic control devices: Did you run a red light or disregard a stop sign?
  • Speed limits: Were you driving too fast?
  • Weather conditions: Was it icy and/or slick, but you drove like it was not?
  • Cell phone usage: Were you talking on your phone or texting while your vehicle was in motion?
  • Witness accounts: Did you disobey the common rules of the road, i.e. failing to signal a turn or lane change? What do the police say happened?

Determining fault is a subjective process, so please give us a call to help the blame be assigned properly.


The experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Trombly & Singer, PLLC are prepared to represent clients facing legal matters after being injured due to another person’s negligence. If you require strong legal representation in Washington D.C. or Maryland, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

Read Our Latest News and Blogs

Who Do I Sue if I’m Injured as a Passenger in an Auto Accident?

This blog speaks about the various intricacies associated with injured passenger cases in terms of who is responsible and how a lawyer can help.

Read More
department store accidents washington d.c.

What should I do if I’m injured on the job in D.C.?

This blog talks about what anyone who's been injured on the job should do and how a personal injury lawyer can help them recover their rightful compensation.

Read More