Getting hurt in any type of accident can have a serious impact on your life, and the lives of those around you. As your medical bills continue to mount for treatment and care, it is likely that your income will take a significant toll as you have to miss days of work and otherwise experience a decrease in your earning capacity. The unfortunate reality is that many Americans cannot afford to be injured, even if they have adequate insurance coverage. However, if your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or malice, then you are entitled to seek compensation from them for all of the financial impacts that you will ensure.
Types Of Cases This Office Handles
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Through 1-800-Injured To Get the Money You Deserve
From the moment that you are involved in an accident that someone else is responsible for, you can be certain that the responsible party, their insurance company, and/or their legal team will spring into action in order to identify every possible way to limit their responsibility, and therefore the money that they ultimately owe you. Even in an accident where one party is clearly entirely at fault, their insurance company will attempt to find every reason to reduce their settlement amount.
When you are working with a personal injury attorney, you can be confident that you have an experienced professional fighting on your behalf to get you what you deserve. This peace of mind can save you a lot of stress so that you can focus on recovery while they are focusing on your legal rights.
In order to find an attorney who is ready to take your case today, contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. You will have the opportunity to speak with a proven legal professional about your accident in order to get a specific idea of your rights and options, all while learning about how you will be able to work best with your lawyer throughout the entire process. This is an important step so that you can move forward with confidence, which is why we believe it is so important to offer it for free.
Read more below to get a better general idea of personal injuries and how they are handled, and contact us now to schedule your own consultation today.
In order to determine whether or not an accident falls under the legal definition of a personal injury in Washington DC, you will need to establish a few basic factors. If you are able to prove that these factors were present in the accident, then you will likely have a strong enough case to move forward with seeking compensation.
A Failed Duty of Care
Whether or not we are consciously aware of it, we all have a variety of “duties of care” that we are responsible for each day. For example, each time someone drives a car, they are accepting a duty of care to drive in accordance with the traffic laws to ensure that we are keeping all of those around us safe from harm. Speeding, drunk driving, or using a mobile device while driving are all willful failures to uphold our duties of care as drivers.
Depending on the nature of your own situation, you and your attorney will need to examine the other party’s duty of care and decide whether or not they failed at this duty.
An Accident Caused By This Failure
If someone fails to uphold their duty of care but there is nothing that comes of it, such as a drunk driver who makes it all the way home from the bar, then there is no basis for a personal injury case. Of course, drunk driving is a criminal offense whether or not an accident occurs.
Injuries Caused By the Accident
If the other person failed their duty of care and caused an accident as a result, the next step is to determine whether or not any MEASURABLE injuries occurred. This means that a minor fender bender with a drunk driver that caused no injury will not qualify for a personal injury claim because there were no injuries. However, if you suffered from whiplash after a minor fender bender with a drunk driver, then this injury deserves compensation.
As you can imagine, there are many different situations that can meet these guidelines and therefore qualify for a personal injury claim that go well beyond any of the common examples that we will provide below.
The following examples are just a few of the most common types of accidents that lead to personal injury claims. However, given the broad range of situations that could apply under the requirements listed above, the ideal way to understand whether or not you have a case is to contact our attorneys today for a free initial consultation.
According to the District Department of Transportation, there were a total of 26,459 car accidents in Washington DC in 2017, with 31 of those accidents being fatal and over 6,600 causing injury. This is an average of roughly 71 car accidents each day, and an average of more than 18 injuries each day caused by car crashes. As you can imagine with these statistics, car accidents are extremely common causes of personal injury claims.
Slip and Fall
A slip and fall is an overarching term for a type of situation known as premise liability. A premise liability case stems from any situation where a property owner (or someone responsible for the upkeep of the property) fails to address a hazard, and as a result a visitor to the property slips, trips, or falls and is injured as a result. These are commonly caused by things like wet floors, icy walkways, or faulty stairs, but there are many more situations that fall under the umbrella of a slip and fall.
Medical malpractice is a serious issue with severe legal repercussions. When a doctor or medical professional fails to provide a patient with appropriate care—for example, by misdiagnosing an illness, making a surgical error, or misprescribing medications—then this opens the door to a medical malpractice lawsuit where the victim can seek a range of damages. Some states have damage caps on medical malpractice cases, but Washington DC does not.
Using a dangerous product has an inherent risk associated with it, and most often the producer, manufacturer, distributor, and others along the supply chain will take adequate steps to warn the user of these risks. If someone is injured while using a kitchen knife that had no defects or untold risks, it is likely user error and there is no legal recourse for compensation. However, if the kitchen knife was defective in a way that caused an injury, there may be an opportunity for compensation. These types of cases are complicated, as they can involve one or many of the companies along the supply chain, and will require a close look in order to determine who is responsible.
As you can imagine, the range of injuries resulting from the many possible types of personal injury accidents is staggering. However, the following are just a few examples of the most common injuries in personal injury cases:
Many people mistakenly believe that a fracture is different from a break, but medically-speaking they are the same injury. A bone fractures when it is stressed beyond its ability to remain intact, such as during a high-impact collision. These types of injuries can be relatively minor, such as a hairline fracture, or could be extremely catastrophic as in a compound fracture or any situation where a broken piece of bone punctures an organ.
These injuries require medical intervention as soon as possible in order to facilitate proper healing. If left too long before being set, the bone may heal wrong and could even need to be re-broken in order to get it into the proper position.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are extremely common in any sort of impact accident, especially one with direct trauma to the head or skull. These injuries can range from minor concussions to permanent brain death, with many stages of severity in between. Concussions are often referred to as “silent killers” because they are easily ignored, as they do not have obvious physical indications, but any type of TBI requires immediate medical attention in order to address the injury and facilitate treatment.
Symptoms of a TBI can range from things like headaches, trouble sleeping, and irritability to things like permanent changes in personality, memory loss, sensory loss, and death.
Whiplash and Soft Tissue Injuries
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in a car accident and happens when the head is rapidly jerked back and forth in an “S” shape. This rapid jerking motion causes serious damage to the soft tissues in the neck, shoulders, and upper spine as the muscles, ligaments, and other tissues are torn and ruptured.
Depending on the severity of the whiplash or other soft tissue injuries, a victim may simply need to keep the injury stable and braced to make a full recovery or may require medical intervention for more serious injuries.
The process of calculating the damages that a victim is entitled to following a personal injury case takes a lot of attention and legal knowledge. Otherwise, the insurance company or legal team representing the defendant will take every possible step to reduce the final award.
Washington DC is one of the last states in the U.S. that adheres to a concept called “pure contributory negligence,” which states that even if someone is 5% responsible for an accident that they may not be entitled to any compensation at all. It is likely that if there is any question about the cause of your accident, the defendant will attempt to leverage this antiquated approach to personal injury to their advantage.
The first step in your case will be to build a strong argument in your defense that clearly implicates the defendant as the sole cause of the accident. Once we have established this fact, we will be able to move forward with your additional damages.
Economic damages are the basis of a personal injury case, and they seek compensation for things like your medical bills and the impacts to your income. These damages are sought in a 1:1 compensatory manner, meaning that you are requesting that the defendant simply repay these costs.
For example, if your injuries have kept you from being able to work at your full output and your earnings have suffered as a result, we will need to determine an appropriate amount of money that you should be awarded in order to compensate for these losses. You do not deserve to be shouldered with the financial burden of someone else’s actions.
Non-economic damages are more complicated and difficult to calculate and prove, simply because they apply to damages that do not have any measurable financial value to them. They include things like the actual pain and suffering that you have needed to endure after your accident, as well as any possible anxiety or depression that you have been experiencing since your injury.
Since these damages are harder to calculate or prove at all, insurance companies are likely to push back more aggressively against these claims than against economic damage claims. However, these types of damages are just as important for your case, and we will fight to make sure that you get what you deserve.
The complexity of a personal injury case can become quickly overwhelming for someone who is not experienced with tort law, insurance negotiations, or any of the other steps necessary in this case. When you are attempting to recover from injuries caused by this accident at the same time as trying to learn about personal injury law, manage an insurance claim, and handle negotiations about a settlement amount, it is more likely that you will experience worse outcomes for every effort.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Washington DC is an important step to take in order to manage your stress, allow you to focus on your personal needs, and have the legal support that you need in order to negotiate aggressively for a settlement amount that you deserve. The responsible party will certainly have legal representation throughout this process, and you deserve the same.
The following are just a few examples of common questions that our personal injury lawyers are happy to answer for you during your initial consultation. Keep in mind that the following answers are intended to give you a general idea of what you can expect – the complexity of a personal injury case means that you and your lawyer will need to work together in order to reach conclusive answers to your own specific questions.
Should I settle with the insurance company?
A significant majority of personal injury claims are settled without ever needing to have an official complaint filed in court, let alone reach trial, but this does not mean that the first offer that an insurance company makes is the best you can get. In fact, the first offer that you will get from the insurance company will be shockingly low compared to the calculations that your attorney has done on their own.
After the insurance company makes an offer, this is the start of an aggressive series of negotiations where your attorney will hopefully be able to reach a fair agreement while avoiding a costly and time-consuming court case. However, there is no certainty that you will be able to get the money that you truly deserve without the support of the courts, so you will need to work closely with your lawyer to determine the preferred course of action.
How long will it take to get money for my accident?
Depending on many specifics of your case, you and your attorney may be able to reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company in a matter of days, or the process may be much more drawn out and intensive. This depends on many different factors about your case and should be determined while working closely with your attorney.