Car Accident Lawyer Washington DC
When you’re injured in a vehicular collision, you should consult a car accident lawyer Washington DC trusts as soon as possible. Negligence or wrongdoing may have been a factor in the collision, which means you might be able to collect monetary compensation.
The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., understands the tremendous repercussions of car accidents. Apart from the physical pain, medical bills and lost income may also have a tireless impact on your life. As a Washington DC car accident lawyer, we are passionately driven to fight for our clients’ rights. Equipped with years of legal experience, we remain attentive and focused on each case while seeking maximum damages.
4 Basic Components of Negligence in A Car Accident Cas
Suffering an injury is never something you expect. When a plaintiff brings a personal injury claim, they must show that the defendant’s negligence caused the injury. To do so, a plaintiff, or their car accident lawyer in Washington, DC on behalf of them, must prove these four elements exist in a lawsuit.
The Defendant Had a Duty of Care To Perform
As a car accident lawyer in Washington DC might explain, a duty to perform can be best summed up in the following way: The plaintiff had a reasonable expectation that the defendant would act responsibly in performing the action that ultimately led to the injury. This relationship between reasonable expectation and duty of care is something that can be legally mandated or implied by the activity the two were engaged in – in this case driving. For example, a driver is expected to obey safety control devices, thus, a duty to perform while operating a vehicle.
The Defendant Breached Acted in Violation of the Duty
When an accident happens due to negligence, the duty of care has been breached in some way. A drunk driver operating a motor vehicle blatantly violates the implied duty of care when on the road. In this case, a car accident lawyer in Washington, DC may not only pursue legal damages, but the police could file charges against the drunk driver.
The Defendant Caused the Injuries
The third element in proving negligence is that the defendant must have caused the injuries to the plaintiff – either directly or indirectly. In the case of a car accident, if the plaintiff suffered any injuries because of the driver’s negligence, and this can be proven through medical records, a car accident lawyer in Washington, DC may be able to obtain monetary compensation.
The Defendant Owes Financial Compensation
When a person is injured, it can cause wide-sweeping effects. The most obvious is the financial repercussions of an injury. Medical care, acute or ongoing, often adds up to an enormous amount of bills. If the plaintiff cannot work while recovering from an injury, there is a loss of income. Damages are calculated by the sum of all the elements lost by the plaintiff due to the negligent party. In a personal injury lawsuit, the goal is to recover not only what was lost in the past, but also what might be needed in the future.
A Washington DC car accident lawyer, such as The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., may be able to help you recover any damages lost due to the negligence of another.
Three Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases
If you were injured as a result of someone else’s actions, it may be a good idea to file a personal injury claim lawsuit against that individual. You are, in general, guaranteed the right to compensation if he or she was responsible for causing your injury. Before you file, however, you should have a basic understanding of what a personal injury claim entails. Part of a claim will regard damages. This guide will go over the three types of damages, which are essentially the types of compensation someone may receive in a personal injury case. If you have further questions about the damages that may be available in your own case, please call a car accident lawyer in Washington DC today.
- Special Compensatory Damages
Despite their name, special compensatory damages are actually the most basic type of damages. This type of damage refers to any losses that have an objective monetary value. For example, if you can say that a loss is worth exactly $1,000, or any other exact value, then it likely falls into this category. The most common type of special compensatory damages in personal injury lawsuits are hospital bills, but it can also include damage to property, medicine costs, lost paychecks, or future loss of earning ability. A good car accident lawyer in Washington DC can help you to determine the full extent of damages during your consultation.
- General Compensatory Damages
This type of damages is a little more complicated. General compensatory damages account for all losses that do not have a specific monetary value. For example, pain and suffering fall into this category. If you suffered physical pain due to the injury, then you may be compensated for that suffering. Because general compensatory damages do not have an objective value, the judge or your Washington DC car accident lawyer will be the one to decide what the monetary value of your suffering is. For example, if your case goes to court, the judge may decide that the physical pain you had to experience is worth exactly $500. The defendant would then have to pay you $500 in addition to any special compensatory damages. In addition to physical pain, emotional pain, loss of the ability to move or function, or even divorce can be listed among the general compensatory damages assuming they are the direct result of the injury.
- Punitive Damages
This type of compensation is inherently different from the other two. Instead of compensating you for your losses, punitive damages are assigned strictly to punish the defendant. Punitive damages are rare in personal injury lawsuits. Typically, a car accident lawyer in Washington DC will only seek these damages when the defendant acted maliciously or especially irresponsibly. For example, if the defendant knowingly drove while drunk and caused your injury, the judge may order the defendant to pay punitive damages to the plaintiff.
If you would like to gain a better understanding of the extent of your damages or get an idea of what your case might be worth, call a car accident lawyer in Washington DC.
What Steps Should I Take After a Car Accident?
Although we hope we will never be involved in a crash, a car accident lawyer in Washington DC knows that studies show that the average driver will be involved in at least one vehicle accident every 20 years or so. This means that if you start driving when you are 16 years old, you could be involved in at least three accidents.
If a driver engages in bad driving behavior, such as distracted driving, fatigued driving, or driving under the influence, their risk of being involved in a crash spikes dramatically. If you find yourself involved in a crash with a driver like this, or any other type of car accident, there are several steps you should take in order to preserve your right to pursue damages against those parties that are responsible.
Tips at the Scene
When you are in a crash, it is important to stay alert to your environment, if you are physically able to. Some victims are too injured to take the appropriate steps, but if you can, call 911 to report the accident to the police and request emergency medical help. If you have been seriously injured, it is important to stay in your vehicle until emergency responders arrive. If you must leave your vehicle due to certain circumstances, such as smoke coming from the engine, make sure to do so carefully and move to a safe location.
Even if the other driver behaved in a reckless manner and that is what caused the accident, it is important for all parties involved to check on each other to assess how injured they are. Everyone should move to a safe location, out of the way of traffic, if physically able.
Neither party should attempt to leave the scene. If you are able, turn on the hazard lights of your vehicle to alert other drivers that you are stopped and to help avoid any other accidents. As a Washington DC car accident lawyer can explain, it is important, no matter how upset you are, that you remain calm at the scene and not lose your temper at the at-fault driver.
When the police arrive, they will take down all the details from both parties about the crash. You will want to make sure you have the officer’s name in order to obtain a copy of the police report later on. You also want to get the name, contact information, and insurance information from the other driver, as well as the contact information of any witnesses to the crash. If you are able, take photos with your phone of the accident scene, including any vehicle or property damage. Your car accident lawyer in Washington DC will be able to use this information in your case.
A Car Accident Lawyer in Washington DC Answers Your Commonly Asked Questions
Each claim is inherently unique. The preeminent factors that caused a crash may depend on various circumstances, which can be assessed by a car accident lawyer Washington DC offers. During a free consultation, The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., may talk to you about your individual case and advise you on your legal options. To gain a basic understanding of car accident claims and their relevant laws, please consider the following common questions and answers:
When is the right time to contact a car accident lawyer Washington DC drivers count on?
Seeking medical care should be a priority. Once you have done so, you may want to consider consulting with a lawyer, especially if negligence or wrongdoing was a factor in your crash. Due to a statute of limitations, which may limit how much time you have to file a claim, time is of the essence. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the more time you may have to prepare a strong case.
Will my case settle out of court or go to trial?
Without speaking to you in further detail, it is impossible to know whether or not your case will be settled out of court. Generally, a car accident lawyer Washington DC can provide may aim to communicate with the insurance carriers involved, or with their lawyers, to negotiate and settle. If your case does go to trial, a lawyer from The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., may diligently fight for your rights.
What compensation is available for a car accident?
Before determining how much compensation you might receive, your lawyer may analyze the extent of your injuries, the overall damages you suffered, and the underlying cause of the collision. Using this information, a lawyer could determine a fair figure to amount to your total losses. Some examples of potential compensation include:
- Past, current, and future medical expenditures
- Loss of income due to the inability to work
- Emotional anguish and mental trauma
- Physical pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death
I’ve been contacted by the insurance carrier. Should I speak to them?
It’s often recommended to politely decline some communication requests from an insurance carrier or other party’s lawyer. You may be asked an assortment of questions about the incident and be offered an unfair settlement based upon this conversation. Before signing or agreeing to anything, you should contact a car accident lawyer Washington DC trusts.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C.,
The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., knows how devastating a car accident can be. If you or a loved one has suffered from an unexpected collision, you have legal rights and options. To schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer Washington DC offers, please call our office today.