If you are injured in Washington, D.C., the specific laws in this unique district could mean the difference between a large settlement or nothing at all. Understanding the legal statues can give you a decided advantage in your case. These are some important points to remember.
Time Limits- The District of Columbia has a statute of limitations of three years in regards to any personal injury lawsuit. This time limit begins from the date of the incident which resulted in your injuries. This means that the lawsuit must be filed within this three year window in order to be heard in court.
Shared Fault- Contributory fault is a rule which applies whenever a claimant or plaintiff is found to share a portion of the blame for the accident resulting in injury. This rule can possibly prevent an award all together, even if they only share a small percentage of the fault. In the District of Columbia, a finding of fault in a court of law can immediately drop the amount of damages you can collect to zero. This is perhaps, the harshest version of this rule used in the United States. For this reason it is important to have competent representation in order to protect your rights.
No Fault Auto Insurance- Drivers in Washington, D.C. are required to file insurance claims through their own coverage regardless of fault in an accident. A driver can only seek damages from another driver in particular instances.
Permanent disfigurement or substantial scarring
Substantial and medically demonstrable impairment in day to day activities
Medically demonstrable impairment that prevents the injured party from performing daily activities for at least 180 days
Medical bills exceeding the limits of applicable no fault insurance policies
Since the thresholds in these types of claims are flexible, you need an attorney who is well versed in the the applicable laws in order to obtain the largest possible settlement.
Strict Liability in Dog Bite/Attack Cases- Liability in dog attack cases is different in The District of Columbia than in most states. Rather than taking the past behavior of the animal into account, dog owners are strictly liable for any incidents. If you are bitten or mauled by a dog within the district, the owner is fully responsible for the injury.
Injury Claims Against the Government- If a government employee of The District of Columbia, the statute of limitations is reduced to six months. A formal claim must be filed within this time limit in order to notify the government of your injuries.
Contact us for representation in Washington, DC