Personal Injury in Washington DC
Personal injury is an injury that a person suffers due to no fault of their own. The injury might have been caused by the negligence of another―be it the government, a corporation, or a private party.
Personal injuries can occur as a result of many incidents such as medical malpractice, workplace injuries, and defective products, to name just a few. But by far the most common factor in personal injury claims is auto accidents.
Car accidents commonly result in personal injury. If you should be in a car accident, there are a few important things to remember:
- The first thing thing to do is to attend to anyone who is injured. Do not move a person who has been injured, but be sure to check their condition and call for help. Never leave the scene of an injury accident.
- In fact, whether or not you yourself are injured in an accident (as far as you can immediately tell), you should always stay at the scene until you are dismissed by the police who have responded to the scene.
- If you are physically able, and you have access to a camera, take photographs of the scene, the damage to your car, and damage to the other vehicle(s) involved in the incident.
- You'll need to collect basic information from the driver of the other vehicle(s) suchs as their name, address, phone number, license plate, driver's license number, and insurance information. Be sure to get the names and a business card from the police officers who respond to the scene.
- It also makes sense to take down the name and contact information from any witnesses. While it's natural to want to discuss what happened, it's best not to make any statements about who was at fault. Simply tell the police what occurred, from your point of view.
- Finally, even if you feel fine, be sure to get medical attention. You may have sustained injuries that you are yet unaware of; sometimes it takes a while for musculoskeletal injuries to manifest.
Keep in mind that in the District of Columbia, leaving the scene of an accident can cost you from eight to 12 points on your driving record, if there was an injury sustained.
If you should be involved in a car accident, you may want to hire an attorney to safeguard your rights to a fair settlement. Most people are completely unaware of their rights and are unfamilliar with personal injury law. Hiring an attorney who will intercede for you with the insurance companies, whose business it is to safeguard their own profits, is a smart move.
The DC Courts, which represent the judicial branch of the DC government, are made up of the Court of Appeals, which is the highest court of the District, and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, which is a trial court that has jurisdiction over virtually every local legal matter.
Personal injury, whether from a car accident, a slip and fall, or medical malpractice, can have far-reaching consequences in your life. Knowing your rights, doing your homework, and hiring an attorney to safeguard your rights are all things that you can do to help get you back on your feet and back into your life.