Filing a Personal Injury Claim

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If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be wondering if you are entitled to file a personal injury claim. The answer depends on various factors, and filing a personal injury lawsuit can be a complex and time-consuming process. Having an experienced attorney by your side will help ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best chance of recovering compensation for your injuries.

At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our attorneys have experience fighting for injury victims and their families. We will help you through the claims process, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, represent you in court.

a law firm going over sensitive or confidential information, Filing a Personal Injury Claim, class action complaint form

Should I Pursue a Personal Injury Claim?

Whether you should pursue a claim depends on a few factors. First, you will need to determine whether someone else’s negligence caused the accident. You should also consider the severity of your injuries. If you have suffered serious injuries that have resulted in medical bills and lost wages, you may want to pursue a personal injury claim to receive compensation for your damages.

What Constitutes a Personal Injury Claim

When you file a personal injury claim, you are essentially asking the person or entity responsible for your injuries to compensate you for the damages they have caused. This can often be done through an insurance company, if the at-fault party has liability insurance. Three main elements must be present for a personal injury claim to be successful. You must:

  • Prove that the other party was negligent. This means that you will need to show that the other party did not take reasonable care to avoid causing an accident.
  • Prove that the negligence of the other party caused your injuries.
  • Prove that you have suffered damages as a result of your injuries. These damages can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, etc.
    If you can prove all three of these elements, you may be successful in recovering compensation for your injuries.

Types of Personal Injury Claims

Some of the most common types of personal injury claims include:

How Do I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The first step is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney will review your case and help you determine whether or not you have a valid claim. If you do have a valid claim, your attorney will help you gather the necessary evidence and file the lawsuit on your behalf.

Although you are not required to hire a lawyer to file a personal injury claim, you are highly recommended to do so. Personal injury law is complex, and an experienced lawyer will be able to navigate the legal system on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve.

The Personal Injury Claim Process

Determining Fault

The first step in the personal injury claim process is determining who was at fault for the accident. For example, if you were involved in a car accident, you must prove that the other driver was negligent.

Collecting Evidence

Your attorney will help you collect evidence to support your claim. This evidence may include:

  • Medical records
  • Police reports
  • Witness testimony
  • Photos of your injuries and damages

Assessing Your Injuries or Illness

injury victim meeting with a personal injury lawyer

After the accident, you will need to seek medical attention for your injuries. Your medical records will be used to assess the severity of your injuries and calculate the amount of damages you are entitled to receive.

Calculating Your Damages

Calculating the value of your damages can be a complex process. Your attorney will help you calculate the full value of your claim to recover the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Negotiating a Settlement

The next step is to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Your attorney will handle all negotiations on your behalf. If an agreement cannot be reached, your case may go to trial.

Settle or Go to Trial

Most personal injury cases settle out of court. However, in some cases, a fair settlement is not reached. It may be in your best interest to take your case to trial in these instances. If you decide to go to trial, your attorney will be by your side every step of the way.

Compensation for Your Personal Injuries

If you are successful in your personal injury claim, you may be awarded compensation for your injuries. This compensation can help you pay for medical bills, lost wages, etc.

No one ever expects to be injured in an accident. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Washington, D.C.

The statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a personal injury claim. In Washington, D.C., the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident. This means that you have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim.

However, there are different deadlines for different causes of action, such as for wrongful death claims (which have a 2-year statute of limitations in Washington, D.C.). In addition, many lawsuits have certain notice requirements which are much shorter. You should contact a qualified Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the deadlines that apply to your case. 

woman in a car accident

Damages You Can Recover in Your Personal Injury Case

The type and amount of damages you can recover in your personal injury case will depend on the facts of your case. Some of the damages that you may be able to recover include:

  • Medical expenses – You can recover the cost of your medical treatment, including hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages – You can recover the wages you lost while injured and unable to work.
  • Pain and suffering – You can recover damages for the physical pain and emotional suffering you endured due to your injuries.
  • Property damage – You can recover the cost of repairing or replacing any property damaged in the accident.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.can help you understand your rights and options under the law.

How Much Can I Receive in a Settlement?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much your personal injury settlement will be. Your payment amount will depend on your case’s specific facts and circumstances, including the severity of your injuries and the extent of your damages.

We Will Get You the Results You Deserve

For more than 50 years, the Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyers of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have successfully represented individuals and families who have been injured or lost loved ones due to someone else’s negligence. Here is a small sample of some of our successful verdicts and settlements: 

  • $15 million for a woman who was permanently paralyzed from the neck down due to being struck by a stray bullet.
  • $6 million on behalf of a man who suffered a brain injury due to a rear-end collision.
  • $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a 14-year-old client who suffered a severe brain injury due to a doctor’s inappropriate use of a chemical product.
  • $4.8 million on behalf of a severely injured man when his motorcycle struck a trailer being pulled by a minivan.
  • $4.5 million for a woman who was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident after being struck from behind by a transit bus in a crosswalk.

See additional examples of our case victories and settlements on our “Case Results” page.

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

If you reach a settlement in your personal injury case, the insurance company will send you a release, which is a document that releases the negligent party from any further liability. Once you sign the release, the insurance company will issue a check for the settlement amount.

It is important to note that you should never sign a release without first consulting with an attorney. The release may contain language that releases the negligent party from liability for more than just your personal injury claim.

Lump-Sum Settlement vs. Structured Settlements

In a successful personal injury claim, you may have the option of receiving the settlement amount in a lump sum or in structured payments. A lump-sum settlement is a single payment for the full amount of the settlement. A structured settlement is a series of payments over time.

people sitting a desk with a gavel and paperwork on the table

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.

We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600  or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.

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