When you or a loved one is injured in the District of Columbia, it can be incredibly stressful. You may have insurance companies breathing down your neck, hefty medical bills clogging your mailbox, and non-stop trips to the doctor's office or hospital consuming all your time. With this storm of activity and stress, you may not have a moment to consider something: why are you in this position? Many times injuries and accidents are the direct result of another person's negligent actions. When this happens, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You may not know when the appropriate time to contact a lawyer is, or if you should even do so at all?
When should I contact an attorney if I was injured in D.C.?
The general rule of thumb when you want to pursue a case is that the sooner that you are able to get in touch with an attorney, the better your chances of a successful outcome will be. In Washington D.C., the Statute of Limitations runs for 3 years on most personal injury claims. You may want to take some time to recover from your injuries and also consider the specifics of your situation. There are a few things you may want to keep in mind when thinking about what to bring to your attorney:
- What Events Led Up To The Incident? It is important to try to establish a mental record of how the incident happened. Consider what events occurred before you were injured. This will help you relay all relevant details of your case when you speak to a lawyer, and it will help your attorney establish a time-frame for the incident. This will be handy if your case goes to trial as well.
- Who Is Responsible? When you are injured, sometimes finding the cause of your injuries can be more complex than you might initially believe. Many personal injury cases can actually consist of multiple defendants. This is especially common in cases with product failure, or accidents that involve transportation or freight services. Sometimes your injuries are the result of premises liability, meaning that a property owner or landlord could be the responsible party. You will want to give your lawyer a general idea of who might be responsible for the injuries you have suffered; however, an experienced personal injury attorney will work with you to identify any and all responsible parties.
- What Harm Was Done To Me? You have most certainly been injured. But what might not be obvious is to what extent. How will your injuries affect you in the long run? Serious injuries often require after-care doctor's visits beyond the hospital, not to mention any therapeutic recovery and rehabilitation necessary to return to a normal life. Furthermore, serious injuries most often have one thing in common above all else: a high degree of pain. You may deserve compensation for that. Finally, if you are busy recovering and going to the doctor, how are you going to get to work? You may need compensation for the time spent out of work trying to recover from injuries that could have been prevented if the other party had taken just a little more care.
- Am I Ready For Legal Action? The best time to contact a lawyer is when you feel recovered enough and ready to begin a case. If you are acting on behalf of your loved one, they may need time to recover, but you can contact an attorney in their stead to get started. It is certainly understandable that not every person will be ready to take legal action right away. But it is important to know that the sooner you can get an attorney involved in your case, the better your chances of a positive outcome will be. Even if you only have the slightest inkling that you might have a case, it will be helpful to consult an attorney on what the next steps should be. We can help you prepare your case starting from any step in the process.