A personal injury lawyer is an attorney who handles cases that concern injuries to the person such as car accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, and employment law.
The aftermath of an injury accident is always a difficult time for the injured party and their family members. You may be struggling to cope with the costs of ongoing medical treatment, facing mounting financial debt because you can’t work, and wondering how you’re going to handle it all. Even worse, you may be struggling to cope while you are in tremendous pain.
After a wreck, your life can change drastically. An attorney can help you get your life back and recover the financial compensation you’ll need to make a physical and financial recovery. One of our Washington DC personal injury lawyers can walk you through your legal options and identify any potential defendants.
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How to File a Lawsuit in Washington DC
According to dccourts.gov, when filing a civil action, you or your attorney will take the following steps:
- File a complaint form with the clerk
- Complete a summons for each defendant named on the complaint
- Submit an application to waive court costs, when applicable
If you are seeking to recover damages in excess of $10,000, your request will need to be processed by the Civil Actions Branch of the District of Columbia Courts.
How Long You Have to File a Lawsuit
The time period during which you are able to file a claim is civil court is known as the statute of limitations. Once this cut-off point has passed, the court will not hear your case, so it’s important not to miss it. In Washington, DC, the statute of limitations is three years. This three-year window begins on the date of the accident or incident that led to your injury or medical condition.
If your loved one passed away in a fatal accident, in Washington DC you will have two years from the date of the incident to file a wrongful death lawsuit. According to D.C. Code § 16-2702, a wrongful death claim may be brought about by a surviving spouse, children, personal representative of the deceased, or other parties in certain cases.
Compensation Available for Personal Injury Victims
The potentially recoverable compensation is different in every car accident case, so there is no “average” settlement. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you could be able to collect reimbursement for expensive medical bills, supplies, procedures, and ongoing treatment.
If you are no longer able to work after an accident, you could also receive compensation for lost wages. Pain and suffering damages may also apply to victims whose quality of life suffered following an injury.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer Will Negotiate a Settlement
You may be surprised by how quickly you get a response from the at-fault driver’s insurance representative. Despite what they may tell you, their speedy response is not due to the fact that they are concerned about your health and well-being. Instead, they are counting on you to sign away your rights to compensation in exchange for a quick, painless payoff.
Insurance companies want to hold on to their profits, and there is virtually nothing they won’t try to get out of paying you what you deserve. When they see that you have an attorney, they understand that they aren’t going to be able to trick you into giving up your rights. Instead, they will have to offer you a fair settlement or go to court, which may cost them even more money.
Get Help From a Personal Injury Lawyer in Washington, DC Today
After a wreck, your injuries can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed. When you’re dealing with physical and emotional recovery, a possible change in your employment, and expensive medical bills, the last thing you want to think about is the stressful, confusing legal process.
Ben Crump is a Washington, DC personal injury attorney who understands how much his clients go through in the aftermath of a car accident. If you’re ready to focus on your own health and leave the negotiations up to an expert, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at 800-730-1331 for help understanding your options.
District of Columbia Car Accident Facts
If you need an injury attorney’s help after an accident in the District of Columbia, you are far from alone. Why is our traffic accident rate so high? According to TripSavvy, DC drivers have consistently been named the worst in the nation due to a high number of distracted drivers, tourists, and a confusing city layout.
These traffic accident stats demonstrate just how common these incidents are:
- According to a safety statistics report by the Howard University Transportation Research and Data Center, between 2013-2015 there were an average of 21,753 accidents per year.
- According to the same report, an average of 7,959 of these were non-fatal injuries.
- According to a state by state fatality facts report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, we have a fatal car accident rate of 4.4 per 100,000 people.
Luckily for drivers here, the law provides a remedy for the damages caused by these conditions in the form of financial compensation.
Understanding Car Accident Liability in DC
Washington DC is what is known as a contributory fault state. This means when an accident happens here, if a driver is found to be even 1% at-fault in a wreck, they will be prevented from recovering damages.
This means it is especially critical to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer if you’ve been in an accident here. A lawyer understands how to build a strong case that proves why the other party is at fault, and you are not.