A Washington, DC personal injury lawyer is someone who handles cases where you have sustained injuries and deserve compensation. You might, for example, get in a car accident, have a slip and fall accident while at a restaurant, or have a wrongful death case because of negligent behavior from a doctor.
In any situation where someone doesn't follow laws expected from them, they are liable for their negligence, primarily if that negligence causes harm to another person. For instance, if you slip on the floor someone neglected to mop up and knew it could cause harm, or you get in a car accident where someone ignored the traffic laws, you deserve compensation for the medical bills. Personal injury lawyers make sure that you get that compensation.
A personal injury attorney helps you start a personal injury case by reaching out to the insurance companies for any other parties involved. If, for example, somebody T-Bones your vehicle on the road, a personal injury attorney will negotiate on your behalf and lead communication with the insurance company for the other driver.
During these negotiations, your lawyer will explain why the other party was at fault, list any of the injuries you have sustained or income you have lost due to injuries, and provide proof for that. After that, they will demand compensation accordingly.
If the insurance companies refuse to pay, a personal injury attorney will help you prepare your case for trial. This includes gathering all right documents and building a case to prove that someone was negligent, and as a direct result of that negligence, you were injured and deserve compensation.
You don't necessarily need to hire a personal injury lawyer just because you were in a car accident. The key factor in determining whether you need a lawyer and compensation is negligence. You have to know and be able to prove that the other party was negligent, that they knowingly and willingly broke the law or failed to do something they should have, and as a direct result of that, you were injured.
After an accident, you might be in a great deal of pain, and you might be struggling with financial bills, car repairs, and more. Choosing a personal injury attorney shouldn't add to your stress. For starters, always take advantage of consultation. If you doubt that you need an attorney, reach out to a few personal injury attorneys in Washington, DC. You can talk to them about whether they think you have a case during the consultation. Go with someone you believe will have the time necessary to dedicate to your case, someone who has experience working with similar personal injury cases, and someone who seems trustworthy.
Personal injury legal representation is typically billed at a percentage of your settlement. This means, instead of getting upfront payment for your injury claim, your attorney will simply take maybe 10% of your fair compensation settlement once you have received your payouts. You can talk this through when you are interviewing potential personal injury attorneys in Washington, DC.
No, personal injury attorneys do not usually charge for a consultation. Because of the nature of personal injury law, most attorneys will offer a free 30-minute consultation. During that, they go over the aspects of your case and explain what they would do moving forward if you hired them for personal injury litigation and what to expect.
During your free consultation, the lawyer determines if they will take your case, but you don’t need money to begin your case. Personal injury lawyers typically take a contingency fee and don’t get paid unless you do.
Lawyers do not collect anything if you lose your case or settlement. However, sometimes even if the case isn't settled and is lost at trial, the client can be responsible for certain fees.
It is difficult to answer that question because each case is different. Consequently, every case has its own lifespan and some cases settle faster than others. Ultimately, it all boils down to the specific facts and parties involved.