The Law Offices of Chaikin and Sherman, P.C.
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Phone - 202.659.8600
Fax - 202.659.8680
Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?
Washington, DC, Maryland, & Virginia
A personal injury claim occurs when you have been injured or a loved one has been killed by someone else's negligence or intentional act. There are numerous ways in which such a claim could arise including everything from an auto accident, truck accident, or slip and fall on someone else's premises, to a defective product that causes injury or death, nursing home negligence or medical malpractice, among other things.
In order to receive compensation for damages resulting from a personal injury, three elements must be present in your case.
You must be able to:
- Identify a third party responsible for your injury
- Demonstrate a serious injury or death and/or financial or emotional damages. The amount of compensation you are entitled to receive is entirely dependent upon the damages your attorney can prove. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know exactly what kind of documentation and other proof is required to prove your damages and maximize your award or settlement. The calculation of your damages will take into account a number of things, including:
- Your medical bills
- The value of any property damaged, lost or destroyed
- Pain and suffering
- Lost work time and limitation on future employment
- Rehabilitation time and expenses
- Loss of consortium
- The extent of your injuries
- Prove the defendant caused your injuries and other damages. In most cases, proving someone else is responsible for your injury means proving that the other party:
- Had a responsibility to do something or to refrain from doing something
- Didn't do what was required (was negligent) or failed to act in a manner reasonable for the circumstances
- Exhibited wrongful actions that, and
- The defendant's actions or failure to act caused your injuries
Also consider how committed you are:
- Even if you can prove damages, are these damages sufficient enough to justify moving forward in the litigation? If your injuries and/or damages are small, it may or may not be worthwhile to invest time and effort pursuing your claim.
- Personal injury cases can take months or years to settle or go to trial - in many cases, the insurance company may try to drag out your case to wear you down.
- You will be required (with the help of your attorney) to give depositions and answer interrogatories and, if the case goes to trial, you will have to appear in.
- The plaintiff (you, the party asking for compensation) has 'the burden of proof'. It is you and your attorney's responsibility to prove the facts of the case, not the other party's responsibility to prove they didn't act with negligence.
Because of the importance of documentation in a personal injury claim, it is imperative for you to consult a medical doctor as soon as possible after the incident that caused your injuries. Your personal injury lawyer can work with your doctor to ensure that the medical records fully document the extent of your injuries. Ideally, the medical records will clearly document the connection between your injury and the event that caused it. Evidence must be collected relating to your injury, and to maximize compensation, you need to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to begin that process.
If you have experienced an injury as the result of someone else's negligence in Maryland, Northern Virginia, or Washington, DC, you may have a personal injury claim. Please call or email one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Chaikin and Sherman, P.C. We have a track record of success at trial and know how to negotiate with the insurance companies and their attorneys and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Maryland, Virginia or Washington DC, please e-mail or speak to one of our skilled personal injury lawyers before you settle with an insurance company. Our car accident lawyers are committed to obtaining justice for you - the victim.