Meliha Perez Halpern is now Senior Counsel at ChasenBoscolo

Car Accidents

Let Us Calm Your Fears, Dispel the Uncertainty, and Get You the Results You Deserve

If you’ve spent any length of time driving on the Beltway, you understand how quickly an accident can happen in such a chaotic environment. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you cannot afford to wait around to see how your situation will play out. You must immediately consult an attorney to see if you need dedicated legal counsel at your side and to make a plan of action to move forward in an effective manner. Pérez Halpern, LLC strives to meet your individual needs, no matter how big or small your accident claim may be. We are also willing to let you know if we do not believe you need an attorney to help you handle the case. If we feel you do not need an attorney, we will provide you with our free resources to help you navigate your case on your own.

We genuinely want to see you appropriately and swiftly compensated for your losses. Not only will we aggressively and effectively argue for your right to recover all possible damages under the law, we will take things a step further by working closely with you every step of the way to ensure you have the support and guidance you need, in all aspects of your life, so that you may heal and get back to normal life as quickly as possible. That means, in addition to a strong legal advocate, you’ll get a partner who will listen to you, educate you, and guide you during this intensely challenging time of your life.

We represent auto accident plaintiffs in three different locales. Each jurisdiction has slightly different laws regarding the right to file a claim for injuries or damage caused by a car accident.


When an accident occurs in Maryland, the state adheres to what is know as “contributory negligence” rules as well as a “no fault” 1st party insurance system called Personal Injury Protection (P.I.P.). According to the concept of contributory negligence, unless you are 100 percent free of fault in the car accident, you cannot recover damages for your losses. That means if you hope to recover any damages, you have to convince a claim adjuster—or a judge or jury—that you did not contribute to the accident in any way. There is a 3 year statute of limitations for Maryland personal injury lawsuits, so it is almost always best to take action and reach out to our law firm as soon as possible following your accident.   

Additionally, every automobile insurance policy in Maryland comes with at least $2,500 in P.I.P. benefits UNLESS you sign a waiver for it. P.I.P. benefits are considered no-fault, which means that you can use this coverage whether or not you contributed to your accident in some way. It covers your accident related medical bills and 85% of your lost wages that a doctor confirms is accident related. You may also obtain P.I.P. coverage for higher amounts than the standard $2,500. As part of our initial consultation, we will review your automobile insurance benefits to make sure you understand the coverages you have, as well as point out any areas that you may wish to further discuss with your insurance agent.  


Virginia is another one of the few states that uses the strict contributory negligence rule. If you want to recover damages, you must prove that you share zero percent of the fault in your accident, even if multiple other parties were involved. For a claim like this, you need an assertive approach and extensive knowledge of the legal system. It’s also important to act quickly, because VA has a shorter statute of limitations for accident injury claims, limiting your time to make a claim to 2 years. Call us to have our attorney go over your case, raise your chances of a successful lawsuit, and get the compensation you deserve.

Additionally, in Virginia you can purchase No-Fault coverage—known as Medical Expense Benefits (MedPay)—under your automobile insurance policy. It covers your accident related medical bills in the amount that you have purchased, which could be $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000.  Under Virginia law, your MedPay benefits may stack, which means if you have more than one car on the policy, you could get the MedPay coverage you purchased times the number of cars you have on the policy. For example, if you purchased $1,000 in MedPay coverage and you have two cars on the policy, you may be eligible for up to $2,000 in MedPay coverage.

District of Columbia

The District of Columbia’s “no-fault” car insurance system has some major differences from the similar coverage in Maryland and Virginia. You only have 60 days to elect or file a personal injury protection (P.I.P) claim through your own insurance carrier—known as a “1st party claim.” If you elect to file a DC P.I.P claim and your case does not fall within the exceptions of your claim amount is larger than your insurance coverage—or, when the accident causes permanent or serious injury—you may be barred from pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver, known as a “3rd party claim.” If you choose to pursue a 3rd party claim—and potential litigation if the other driver’s insurance is unwilling to settle for a fair amount—you should be aware of DC’s strict “contributory negligence” rule. Based on the rule, you cannot recover damages if you shared any fault in the car accident. This can be a tricky subject to tackle, but our attorney can clear things up. Speak with her directly to get more information about this complex and oftentimes confusing system.

If you have a DC policy and are involved in an accident outside DC you may qualify for both a PIP and Third Party Bodily Injury claim . Call us for a consultation to understand your options.

We can handle claims with your auto insurance company as well as the opposing party’s insurance company. If you feel overwhelmed by any of this information, don’t worry. That’s why we’re here! Our attorney and firm manager will always take the time to understand your situation, including your needs, your concerns, and your goals with respect to your auto accident claim. However, if you have been involved in an accident in which you or a loved one was injured, you simply cannot wait to take action. Your case hinges on moving swiftly to schedule a free consultation with our dedicated personal injury advocate. Let us help you understand all of your potential options and guide you on the best possible path for you and your loved ones.