District of Columbia No-Fault Car Insurance Law
If you are injured in a car accident by a driver insured by a Washington, D.C. policy, the law allows you to choose between seeking benefits under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law or to file a legal claim. If you choose PIP benefits, you lose your right to sue the driver who caused the car accident unless the injuries are extremely serious.
Electing to seek PIP benefits is an important decision, because you lose the right to file a lawsuit. At The Cochran Firm, D.C., we recommend speaking with an experienced car accident lawyer in Washington, D.C. before choosing to seek PIP benefits. The D.C. PIP law is found at D.C. Code § 31-2405.
The decision to choose PIP benefits or to file a lawsuit usually needs to be made within 60 days following an accident in Washington, D.C. This time deadline in the D.C. law puts pressure on an injury victim to make a choice quickly. For this reason, we strongly recommend speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
The PIP law protects careless individuals who cause car accidents in Washington, D.C. and can be very unfair to accident victims. You may receive much lower compensation with PIP benefits than you would if you sought compensation through the civil justice system.
If you elect to receive PIP benefits, you can still file a lawsuit stemming from the car accident only if:
- You have substantial permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Substantial and medically provable permanent impairment that significant impacts your ability to perform professional and daily activities
- A medically provable impairment that prevents you from performing almost all of your daily activities for more than 180 days straight
- Medical costs or work loss expenses is more than the PIP benefits available
If you are related to someone who died in a Washington, D.C. car accident, the PIP benefits law does not prevent you from seeking a wrongful death claim.
The Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers with The Cochran Firm, D.C. are experienced with PIP benefits and can explain the potential benefits and drawbacks of electing PIP benefits. Please contact us at 1-800-THE-FIRM to receive a free consultation. All initial case evaluations are free, confidential, and carry no obligation.