Personal Injury Law in Washington, D.C.

Were you hurt due to another’s negligence in Washington, D.C.? If so, it may have far-reaching consequences such as a loss of wages or extensive medical treatment. Personal injury law allows an injured person to get damages if the responsible person acted recklessly. A personal injury attorney in Washington, D.C. can help navigate the lawsuit to make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law in Washington, D.C. relates to the legal process of getting compensation for an injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior. These cases involve one party, the plaintiff, trying to seek financial compensation. For both expenses incurred and money lost as a result of the defendant’s reckless behavior. These cases involve both parties’ insurance companies and may even settle before proceeding to litigation.

Examples of Personal Injury Claims in Washington, D.C.

Some personal injury claims are more common than others. However, almost any incident that ends with a physical or mental injury could qualify, depending on the circumstances.

A few of the most common personal injury claims are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Slip and Fall
  • Dog Bites
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Burn Injuries

Most Common Injuries in Washington, D.C.

According to records from four accredited District of Columbia trauma facilities, over 2,000 blunt trauma injuries to Washington, D.C. residents required hospitalization in 2017. A majority of these injuries relate to incidents of falling, while the rest largely concern traffic incidents. About 450 additional hospitalizations that year regard penetrating trauma caused by cuts/piercings or animal bites.

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Washington, D.C.

Once you determine that you wish to proceed forward with a personal injury action in Washington, D.C.

A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed with the court and served on the defendant. The complaint alleges your assertion as the plaintiff that the defendant’s negligent behavior resulted in damage to your body or mental state. As the process proceeds forward, you may have to go through depositions, independent medical evaluations and document production. This discovery process is lengthy and ends in either settlement or a court appearance.

If you are seeking damages of $10,000 or less, you may file a lawsuit in District of Columbia Small Claims Court. Once there, the court will provide you a mediator at no cost to you. They will help you try to resolve your dispute with the other party. For severe damages, your case will be handled by the D.C. Superior Court within the District’s Civil Actions Branch.

Washington, D.C. Personal Injury Settlement

With most personal injury cases, insurance companies and injured parties prefer settlement negotiations rather than going to court for a trial. You may wonder how much you should seek in your settlement and factors that impact the final amount.

In Washington, D.C., court verdicts for the plaintiff from 2007-2018 in slip-and-fall injury cases yielded a median award of $45,000 based on jury verdict statistics. Medical Malpractice verdicts tended to produce greater awards by an average factor of ten or more. These figures should serve as a rough indicator, but not as a guarantee of compensation, as your specific settlement amount will be determined by the unique details surrounding your injury.

If the other party has insurance, the insurance company likely wants to settle out of court. In order to avoid leaving the final settlement decision to a jury. Settlements benefit injured parties as much as they do insurance companies. This is because accepting a settlement means you receive compensation sooner rather than later. Also, by going to court in , that means you risk not receiving any compensation at all.

Damage Awards in Washington, D.C.

If your Washington, D.C. personal injury lawsuit goes before a judge or jury, your legal team will be ready with a request for damages. In personal injury cases, there are three types of damage awards a court may order the defendant to pay to compensate you for the damage he or she inflicted.

Special compensatory damages reimburse you for things such as lost income, medical bills and insurance deductibles. You submit receipts proving these losses.

General compensatory damages are subjective. If you receive special compensatory damages, you may also collect general damages. If your injury was particularly painful, you might request that the judge order the defendant compensate you for the pain and anguish.

Punitive damages are the most rarely awarded and are up to the court. The judge or jury may determine that the defendant’s negligence was particularly heinous and the resulting injury to you was equally horrific. 

In Washington, D.C., there is no cap on damages for pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life (non-economic damages). Remember, due to harsh negligence law, if you’re found just 1 percent responsible for causing your injury, you will not be able to benefit from this.

Statute of Limitations in Washington, D.C. Personal Injury Law?

The injured party may have a set amount of time to file suit for a personal injury case. State law establishes statutes of limitation. Commonly, the plaintiff’s injury or discovery of the injury begins the statute of limitations. However, the latter factor is trickier, as the plaintiff will have to prove when the injury was first realized.

In Washington, D.C., you have 3 years after suffering an injury to file a lawsuit in court. If your injury involved a D.C. government entity, you must file a claim alerting them that you’ve been injured within 6 months to protect your right to further action.

We recommend you speak with a personal injury lawyer for this matter. Don’t wait too long and miss out on receiving the compensation you deserve for your injury. 

Work With an Experienced Washington, D.C. Lawyer

Pursue a personal injury claim in Washington, D.C. against the responsible person if you are dealing with an injury caused by someone else. One of our experienced lawyers can help you navigate your personal injury claim.  We can even help you connect with an attorney across Washington, D.C. state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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