What is Personal Injury Law?
A personal injury claim is a claim for economic damages sustained when someone is injured as a result of another person’s negligent conduct. Unlike some other jurisdictions, in order to have a successful case in the District of Columbia, Maryland or Virginia, the law requires that an injured party be 100% free from any “contributory negligence” in order to make a claim for personal injuries. Contributory negligence means that you somehow acted in a way that contributed to the cause of an accident.
For example, in our area if you are speeding and an accident happens, you could be found to have contributed to the accident and this can affect your right to make a successful claim for your own injuries and damages. Contributory negligence is the one theory that insurers often use to explain why an injured party should not be entitled to receive compensation for injuries sustained in an accident. It is for this very reason that you should be careful and not provide statements to any insurance companies (even your own) before you speak with a Stein Sperling injury attorney to know your rights. Remember that insurers represent their own businesses or the person who hit you, Stein Sperling’s attorneys work for you.
Do I Need an Attorney If I Am Injured?
Absolutely! At the very least you should always consult with an attorney when you are injured in an accident to learn about your legal rights. Relevant laws in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia vary by jurisdiction. If you fail to obtain timely legal advice, you could lose your rights forever, and be prevented from receiving compensation for your injuries. You should always consult with an attorney as soon as possible if you are injured in an accident.
Should I Retain an Attorney Immediately?
Because the insurance companies may not have the same interests as you do, Stein Sperling recommends consulting with and/or retaining an attorney immediately after any accident that causes injury.
Our team of experienced attorneys and paralegals is aware of the substantial resources insurance companies have at their disposal. These resources are used to control the claims process, and could affect your ability to make a claim, as well as the amount you can recover for your injuries. Insurance companies often attempt to settle injury claims quickly. They could show up at your doorstep or call incessantly trying to meet with you in the first 24 hours after an accident. They do this because they know that if they can reach an injured individual quickly, and before that person speaks with an attorney, they have a better chance of settling cases quickly and for the least amount of money possible. Do not let this happen to you! Do not agree to settle anything until you know your rights!
In addition, insurance companies often attempt to obtain written and/or oral statements from injured people following an accident. Then, they may attempt to use those statements to their own advantage to diminish the value of the injured person’s claim. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself, and to ensure that your interests are properly protected, is to call Stein Sperling and speak with one of our injury lawyers immediately following an accident – before you speak with any insurance companies.
Did you know that your own insurance company could be the company on “the other side,” adverse to you? It’s true! If the person who causes your injuries does not have any insurance or enough insurance to cover your injuries and damages, you could wind up fighting against your own insurance company. This is another compelling reason for you to speak with a Stein Sperling injury attorney even before you speak with your own insurer so you can fully understand your rights following your accident. Our Injury Law attorneys look out for your rights when you have been injured and work to obtain the compensation you deserve.