When you’re injured in a vehicular collision, you should consult a car accident lawyer Washington DC residents trust 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
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.
3 Disproved Myths About Car Accidents and Related Injuries
The potential for getting into a car accident is something that anyone should consider from time to time. Because almost everyone spends a substantial amount of time traveling around in their vehicle, being prepared for a possible collision can be wise. That being said, there can be a lot of misinformation out there that should not be followed in the event of an accident. Here are three commonly discussed myths about accidents and why they’re mistaken.
1. You Only Need Professional Help for Obvious or Serious Injury
This myth may exist because it feels intuitive for many people to skip the hospital and not bother to find a car accident lawyer in Washington DC if they have only minor injuries. While there may not be obvious, surface-level damage following an accident, it is still advisable to visit the hospital and get in contact with a lawyer to ensure that you are covered on all fronts. Some internal injuries do not seem serious from the outside condition of your body. Double-checking with a doctor is the best way to ensure everything is truly OK.
Even if your injuries aren’t obviously serious, a car accident lawyer in Washington DC can still be a good resource to have on hand. Even minor injuries or less visible ones can be important to a case, so it’s a good idea to make sure that all the information is recorded and nothing gets overlooked.
2. You Won’t Get Much From a Claim If You Weren’t Seriously Injured
There are many reasons why you may be entitled to recover costs from a car accident. Your injuries may be related to mental health and trauma resulting from the accident, or there may be damage done that takes time to come to the surface.
Even if there aren’t any obvious broken bones, bleeding, or other graphic injuries at the time of the crash, it is a good idea to get a checkup and wait to see how you feel in the following days. With modern medical knowledge being more accessible than ever before, most jurors understand that injuries and their associated costs can go far beyond what is visible on a surface level. A car accident lawyer in Washington DC can help you make sense of what you’ve been through and how it translates to what you are legally entitled to.
3. Insurance Companies Are Always On Your Side
While it would be nice if this was true, insurance companies do not always have your best interests in mind. Often legal assistance from a car accident lawyer in Washington DC is needed to ensure that you are treated fairly and given the compensation you deserve. At the Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C, we understand that you may need someone to help you work with insurance companies to get what you need.
Washington DC Car Accident Law Statistics
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018, more than 40 people were killed in vehicle accidents in the District of Columbia. This loss of life amounted to $65.7 million total in financial costs – approximately $0.5 million in medical expenses and $65.3 million in work loss costs.
When in Doubt, Seek Legal Advice From a Lawyer
With all the misinformation that exists, it can sometimes be hard to know what move to take after a car accident. If you find yourself feeling confused and overwhelmed, a car accident lawyer in Washington DC in the Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C may be able to help.
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.
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.
3 Things To Consider When Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
Even for safe drivers, it’s wise to plan on being involved in an automobile accident at some point in the future. The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. is located in the DC area and has the correct type of attorneys for automobile accidents. Unfortunately for some people, hiring a car accident lawyer in Washington DC, might be a necessary step. Here are some points to consider for people who want to be better prepared for that next unforeseen accident.
1. Are You Being Sued for a Car Accident?
If a person has received mail or other official documents from an attorney representing a client or from a legal team at a company, it may be time for that person to hire an attorney in their defense. A car accident lawyer in Washington DC, will know what to do with the letters they’ve received and what strategy is best to take next. It’s smart to keep paperwork and email organized. Making a timeline on paper or on a computer that shows when and where the accident took place, the people involved and all supporting documents is a great idea. The timeline should show each date the person acquired new information, new documents, new emails, or when the person sent information to an agency in reply.
2. Are You Planning To Sue Someone Over a Car Accident?
Maybe a person has been in a car wreck recently and it was not their fault. The person who caused the wreck and put an innocent person and their family at risk for loss of income might be underinsured, or the injured party simply isn’t satisfied. If that innocent person feels the offender has not covered all of the damages involved – both physically and mentally – they should consult with a car accident lawyer in Washington DC.
3. Were You Injured Physically or Mentally?
It is a myth to think someone needs to visit a hospital in order for a car accident injury to be serious enough. While it’s certainly advisable to see a doctor after a car accident, even if immediate medical assistance was waived at the scene, it isn’t a prerequisite for seeking relief for damages related to an injury sustained by the car wreck. There are a number of very good reasons to seek partial or full compensation for visible or invisible injuries after the wreck took place. A car accident lawyer in Washington DC, and the surrounding area like an attorney from The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. can possibly offer assistance for those in need of legal representation after a car accident.
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.
Car Accident Lawyer Washington DC
Being faced with a car accident means many things but one of them shouldn’t be wondering if your car accident lawyer in Washington DC is good or not. It is essential to hire a lawyer that is going to take care of you through your case. These types of cases are often exhausting both emotionally and physically, and a lawyer is going to be there to help you through it. The Law Firm of Frederick J Brynn, P.C. knows just how devastating a car accident can be and wants you to know that you are in good hands.
If you have found yourself faced with the need to find a lawyer here are some helpful tips to finding the right lawyer for you.
Top Qualities of a Car Accident Lawyer
No matter what you are doing, having a lawyer that understands your case will make things run smoother. Read on to see what makes a good car accident lawyer.
It is a critical part of your search to know if your lawyer is going to be readily available to help you with your case. All cases are important and they require care. This means that having a lawyer with strong communication skills and the support staff to help them is key. The more people that are available to help you in your case, the better. It means that you shouldn’t be waiting for a response for days to a question you have.
Auto accidents can be a devastating time in anyone’s life. A lawyer, specifically a good lawyer, is going to understand this and be able to answer your questions as they come. They should never talk down to you or leave you confused about what is expected of you. If you have someone who treats you with little respect then you need to move on to find a new lawyer. If they can’t treat you with respect what is to say they treat their staff any differently.
Record of Success
Reputation is everything when it comes to finding the right lawyer for you. A record of success is key as you want someone who has won cases legitimately. You don’t want someone who has won and has disciplinary actions on their record. You want an ethical lawyer that hasn’t done anything to get a black mark on their record. Judges don’t take kindly to those who have disciplinary actions.
You also want someone who can give you references to other people. If they can’t give you those then you are better off finding a new lawyer altogether.
When it comes to finding the right lawyer for you have to do some research. Don’t settle for the first lawyer you meet as they may not have the skills to handle your case. The Law Firm of Frederick J Brynn, P.C understands that these cases can be difficult and you can rest assured that we know how to handle your case. When it comes to a car accident lawyer in Washington DC you can know the team here has your interests in mind.
How Do I Get Compensated If I Was The Victim Of A Car Accident?
If you were the victim of a car accident, but have been lucky enough never to have been in one, you may be wondering how you will be compensated for the damages you incurred. Damages can include physical injuries, property damage, mental trauma, and other forms of harm you suffered as a result of the accident. Every car accident is unique and the answer depends on factors like severity, whether the at-fault party had insurance, and much more. If insurance companies are involved, they may play down the damages you suffered and offer you much less than is merited. Legal advice from a car accident lawyer in Washington D.C. can provide clarity on how you should proceed and anticipate challenges along the way. Our lawyers at The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. can help you. Call us today to set up a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.
Who Will Pay Me For My Damages?
That depends on whether the at-fault party had car insurance. If they did, then their insurance company will put an insurance adjuster on the case who is responsible for determining the amount that they should pay you. However, if they were not covered by insurance, you have to decide whether you will file a claim with your insurance company or file a lawsuit against the responsible party for negligence. While it is illegal to drive without insurance, it is unfortunately common. The person may not have been able to afford insurance. In this case, filing a lawsuit against them might not result in much compensation. Speaking with a professional car accident lawyer in Washington D.C. from a law office like The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. can help you understand your options and what course of action to take.
How Do Insurance Companies Determine Compensation?
If an insurance company is involved, they will put one or more insurance claims adjusters on your case. The issuance adjuster collects evidence and uses that to determine how much the insurance company should pay you. In an ideal world, this amount would reflect the amount of damages you incurred, but in fact it often is a lot less than this. Insurance adjusters are often encouraged to recommend smaller amounts to protect the insurance company’s bottom line. Paying claims reduces the amount of profit that an insurance company generates. As a result, insurance companies don’t have an incentive to pay what is warranted.
An insurance adjuster will consider factors like the extent of the property damage in a car accident, whether you suffered personal or mental injury, and the limits of either that at-fault party’s or your insurance policy. There is no hard and fast rule for how a claim is calculated, and having a lawyer on your side can help you advocate for costs the adjuster may not have considered or for higher payment. Make sure that you hire a car accident lawyer in Washington D.C. that you can trust. Set up a consultation now with The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C.
Car Accident Law Firm Statistics
According to Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, there were 2,635 traffic injuries in Washington D.C. in 2021. This is up 30% from injuries in 2020. 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.
Questions You Should Ask Prospective Car Accident Attorneys
Who Will Work on My Case?
As you search for a car accident lawyer in Washington DC, you will interview several prospects. During your interviews, you should ask who will be working on and handling your case. For example, these attorneys may have a paralegal, investigators, litigation specialists and others who help with their cases. In addition, although you are interviewing a senior partner, your case may be handled by a junior associate. You need to know who you are working with and what their specific fees are.
What Is Your Analysis of My Case?
The attorneys in a reputable firm, e.g., The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., will look over your case during the consultation. These professionals can tell you if you have a case and how strong it is. They may also share ways you can make your case stronger. These professionals may also suggest that you work with a different doctor or see a specialist. If they feel additional investigation is necessary, they should disclose this during your consultation.
In most cases, you can recover damages if you can prove negligence or a breach of care or duty by the other party. For example, if the other driver was drunk, reckless, not paying attention or otherwise distracted, you may have a case. Your attorney can tell you your chances of success, but this professional cannot guarantee results.
What Is Your Communication Policy?
Car accident and personal injury cases take time. You could be waiting months for a resolution. Therefore, you need to understand your attorney’s communication policy. For example, as your car accident lawyer in Washington DC about his or her preferred method of communication. Does this professional prefer phone calls or emails? Then, ask how often you should expect an update on your case. You should also update these professionals on what you are doing or any new information you receive about your accident or medical needs.
How Long Until My Case Is Resolved?
You may be overwhelmed with all the bills you are receiving as a result of your accident. You not only have to get your car fixed, or get a new one, but you also need to pay any medical bills you received as you receive treatment for your injuries. In addition, if you are seriously injured, you may not have been able to return to work yet, so your income may be affected. Experienced attorneys, such as those at The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., should be able to give you a general timeline of when your case will be resolved completely. This will be a general estimate, not a guarantee, especially if your case is somewhat complicated.
What Is Your Experience With My Type Of Case?
Every car accident case is unique, but there are certain situations that tend to occur more frequently than others. For example, if your accident was caused by an intoxicated driver, or if the other driver was texting behind the wheel, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against those parties (or their employers).
Many attorneys have experience representing victims of a single type of accident (i.e., rear-end collisions), but not all have experience handling cases involving drunk drivers or distracted drivers. If your case involves any of these elements, make sure that your attorney has experience handling similar cases.
How Much Do You Charge?
It’s important to find an attorney who offers reasonable fees. Depending on the details of your case, you may have to pay by the hour or on a contingency fee basis. Contingency fees are only charged if the attorney successfully wins your case.
How Long Have You Been Practicing Law?
It’s best to hire an attorney who has been practicing law for several years. Experience is an important factor when choosing an attorney for your case. A newly licensed attorney may be eager to prove himself, but there’s no substitute for experience when it comes to handling your case. When you meet with an attorney, ask about his experience with cases like yours and how long he has been practicing in the field of personal injury law.
Do you specialize in car accidents?
Your car accident lawyer in Washington DC should be experienced in dealing with car accident cases and know the ins and outs of the legal system. They should also be someone you trust and feel comfortable working with. While most car accident lawyers in Washington DC have experience with car accidents, some may be more experienced than others. That’s why it’s important to find out if that potential lawyer specializes in handling car accident cases.
Do I Have A Valid Claim?
After you speak with an experienced car accident attorney about your case, they will be able to let you know whether or not they think you have a valid claim and if they believe they could help you get the compensation that is due to you.
If you have a valid personal injury claim, it can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve to cover all of these losses and more. While it might be tempting to try to fight your case on your own, there are many good reasons why you should seek the help of an experienced car accident lawyer in Washington DC as soon as possible after an accident.
Washington DC Car Accident Laws
Understanding The Legal Framework For Car Accidents In Washington DC
A Washington DC car accident lawyer from our office can help you navigate the legal landscape after your crash or collision. It’s crucial to understand the specific laws that govern these incidents to ensure your rights are protected. Fortunately, our team of car accident specialists can guide you through your next steps.
Contributory Negligence Rule
One of the most significant laws in Washington DC regarding car accidents is the strict contributory negligence rule. This rule states that if you are even 1% at fault for the accident, you cannot recover any damages from the other party. This law makes it especially important to seek advice from a Washington DC car accident lawyer, as proving fault is critical to the success of your claim.
Statute Of Limitations
In Washington DC, you have a specific time frame within which to file a lawsuit for damages resulting from a car accident. The statute of limitations is generally three years from the date of the accident. Filing beyond this period typically results in the dismissal of the case, highlighting the importance of timely action and consultation with a car accident lawyer you can trust.
Auto Insurance Requirements
Washington DC requires all drivers to have auto insurance. The minimum coverage includes bodily injury liability of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, and property damage liability of $10,000. Additionally, drivers must have uninsured motorist coverage. Failure to carry the required insurance can result in fines and license suspension. Understanding these requirements is essential, and a lawyer can help clarify how they affect your case.
Reporting The Accident
If the accident results in injury, death, or significant property damage, it must be reported to the Metropolitan Police Department. This is crucial as the police report can serve as vital evidence in your claim. Prompt reporting also ensures that all relevant details are accurately documented.
Dealing With Insurance Companies
In the aftermath of an accident, dealing with insurance companies can be daunting. Insurance adjusters often aim to minimize payouts, and without legal representation, you might settle for less than you deserve. A knowledgeable car accident specialist can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, aiming to secure fair compensation that covers all your damages.
The laws surrounding car accidents in Washington DC can significantly impact your ability to recover damages. Understanding these laws and their implications is key to effectively navigating your claim.
At The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., we understand the complexities of Washington DC’s car accident laws and are committed to helping our clients navigate their legal journey. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let our experienced Washington DC car accident lawyers provide the guidance and representation you need to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
“Mr Brynn did a good job but i was told my case would stay open because a bill was paid out of my settlement that shouldnt have been paid. But he did such a good job that once again I’m using his services”