When you or a loved one is injured because of the actions of someone else, you are entitled to financial compensation to help cover medical bills, property damage, and other losses. While many people know instinctively when they have been involved in some kind of personal injury accident, you may pause before taking legal action to recover what you are owed.
The severity of the accident and injuries, other people involved, and your experience with the legal process are some factors that may inform your decision. But perhaps some of the weightiest factors for many injured victims include how much an attorney will cost and how to find one who will work with your best interest in mind.
Finding the best law firm and lawyer in your area can take time and research, but it is well worth your efforts to have someone trustworthy and qualified to represent you in your personal injury claim. Regan Zambri Long’s personal injury attorneys practice in the Washington metropolitan area, including Maryland and Virginia. Our DC personal injury lawyers can handle cases in the surrounding jurisdictions. You can schedule a free case evaluation online or by calling 202-960-4596.
Personal injury law is a broad practice area that covers nearly any accident imaginable that is caused by someone else’s negligence or intentionally harmful behavior. It allows the injured party to hold the negligent party accountable and financially responsible for the damages and injuries the accident caused. Also called tort law, personal injury cases can be brought by the injured party for anything from drunk driving accidents to dog bites or more serious injuries such as nursing home neglect or abuse, birth injuries, and even wrongful death.
Personal injury law firms and lawyers may focus on a variety of case types, including car accidents, truck accidents, bus and metro accidents, pedestrian accidents, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.
The National Safety Council (NSC) found that, in 2020, U.S. citizens experienced 55.4 million injuries that resulted in 200,955 preventable deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that more than 24 million people visit their physicians due to unintentional injuries each year, and 97 million people visit the emergency room for unintentional injuries. While not every injured victim suffers serious injury or has grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, many do.
Car accidents are a leading cause of injuries and wrongful deaths, with 4.8 million people injured in 2020 and more than 42,000 deaths, according to the NSC. Car accidents can come with hefty medical expenses, as victims often suffer serious or catastrophic injuries.
Estimates suggest that as many as 400,000 personal injury claims are filed each year in the United States, but only a small percentage–4-5 percent–must be resolved with a jury verdict. The vast majority of cases are resolved through settlement negotiations.
Finding the right personal injury lawyer for you and your case can be an overwhelming task. With an abundance of law firms and lawyers, you may wonder if you really need to be picky about who you hire to represent you.
But your attorney is going to be your teammate, representing you and sometimes making decisions without being able to consult you first. So it’s crucial you choose someone you can trust. A first step in finding potential attorneys to meet with is asking your friends, family, and coworkers for referrals. It’s likely someone you know has experience with a personal injury lawyer—or has someone close to them who has. Don’t be afraid to meet with several attorneys to see who will be the best fit for you.
Your attorney will be professional, easy to reach and communicate with, will have a track record of success, and will have experience with cases like yours.
The financial compensation you recover from your case can make all the difference to your recovery and comfort after the accident, so you should never settle for an attorney who isn’t a good fit for you. When you meet with potential attorneys, be sure to discuss your expectations and their expectations to ensure you can work together and be on the same page. A lawyer who knows you and your needs is one you can trust to fight for your rights.
The best personal injury lawyer will be one who has a track record of winning cases like yours and who is demonstrably trustworthy and reliable.
After an accident that causes you injury, you may not have the physical and/or emotional capacity to take on a heavy legal burden to recover due compensation. A good personal injury attorney will know this and will support the idea of you focusing on recovery while he or she focuses on handling your case. Your attorney should take on responsibility for conducting an independent investigation into your accident, communicate with the liable party and their insurance company on your behalf, and handle any settlement or trial paperwork.
Ideally, a good personal injury law firm will have a professional website you can review to see what kinds of cases they handle, what kinds of settlements or verdicts they have recovered, and testimonials from real clients who had satisfactory experiences with the attorneys. If you can’t find a professional website, don’t see cases or results like your claim, or don’t see any positive testimonials, it may be a sign you should look for legal services elsewhere.
Additionally, you should consider how easy it is to get in touch with your legal counsel, as well as how many cases they take on at one time. For the best results in your personal injury claim, you need a lawyer who will give your case his or her full attention. While finding a lawyer who only takes one case at a time may be unrealistic (at least for an experienced and qualified lawyer), you should be wary of one who takes on every case that comes along.
If you have a difficult time getting in touch with your lawyer or you don’t feel like you receive enough of their time or attention, it could be a sign that you should consult with another lawyer.
Often personal injury cases seem very straightforward. You were making a legal left-hand turn on a green arrow when another driver took a free right-hand turn without yielding, causing a car accident. Unfortunately, sometimes the liable party’s insurance company or lawyer will fight against accepting responsibility or paying fair compensation.
Several facets of the legal process warrant hiring an experienced personal injury attorney, including:
Every state has a statute of limitations for personal injuries. This is the window of time victims have to file a claim or lawsuit against the negligent party. Washington, DC, and Maryland give personal injury victims three years to file a claim, while Virginia gives victims two years. Your attorney must be someone who is familiar with the statute of limitations and is capable of working within the time allotted to get you the most favorable results possible.
You cannot expect the liable party to offer a fair and full settlement if you don’t understand how much your claim is worth. Your claim’s value is more than just the bills and expenses you’ve accrued since the accident, and calculating the full value of your claim and the full extent of your damages and losses is confusing if you don’t have experience first-hand. A qualified personal injury law firm will know how to calculate your case value and will have experts they can consult with to understand future costs associated with your injuries.
The majority of personal injury claims are settled without involving a judge and jury. The legal representatives of both parties negotiate a fair settlement that covers the costs of your injuries, damages, and future expenses.
In some instances, though, you may need a lawyer to play hardball, taking the liable party to court to get the full compensation you are owed. If your case must proceed to a trial, you will want a personal injury lawyer who has tried and won cases on your side.
Negligence is a legal standard that everyone is held to. When someone does not behave in keeping with the duty of care that is reasonably expected of them, and that negligence causes an accident and injury, that person is legally responsible.
Many states follow some form of comparative negligence standards. These states, including Washington, DC, allow personal injury victims to seek compensation from the liable party, minus the percentage of liability or fault the victim carries (if any). Other states, including Maryland and Virginia, completely bar the injured party from claiming compensation if he or she contributed to the accident or injury in any way.
In many cases, an attorney will be able to recover a larger settlement or verdict for you than you could recover on your own. Often this is a combination of knowing how to apply legal pressure, confidence in the case, and a pool of experts who will help prove and value your case.
After a personal injury accident, you are allowed to claim two kinds of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include things like current and future medical bills, property damage, present and future lost wages or lost earning capacity, bills for any medical equipment or accommodations your injuries require, and other direct financial losses.
Non-economic damages don’t generally come with a receipt or bill, making them harder to value. They can include loss of enjoyment, pain, and suffering, and mental anguish such as fear and anxiety. For example, if you see a therapist after your accident, you can receive compensation both for the therapy bills and for the emotional trauma that led you to therapy.
Calculating the value of your personal injury claim can be challenging if you don’t have the experience and the experts to help. A good attorney will know how to calculate your losses and maximize your settlement value.
Paying an attorney or law firm can be a weight on your mind, especially since there is no good estimate of how much an attorney might expect to make on your case. Various factors are at play, including how long your case takes and how the attorney or firm chooses to collect legal fees.
Some require payments upfront, charging flat fees or hourly fees to handle your case.
Others, including Regan Zambri Long, work on a contingency fee basis. This means we don’t collect any legal fees until we’ve made a recovery in your favor. If we do not win you the compensation you deserve, we waive our legal fees. This gives our clients the confidence to pursue justice without worrying about another financial burden.
Only you can determine which payment structure is best for you and your family, but keep in mind that if an attorney is less than willing to talk upfront about payments you may want to take your personal injury case elsewhere.
The personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long have practiced law for several decades, with more than 100 years of combined experience. Whatever your situation and case circumstances, we have the knowledge and experience to recover the compensation you deserve. We practice in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland and our legal team is recognized by the press and peers alike as top-tier lawyers who win the best recoveries possible for our clients.
Our settlements and verdicts include some of the largest results in their fields, including:
Our lawyers are easy to reach and, once you’ve entrusted your case to us, we will be available to you whenever you need us. We will work tirelessly on your case to recover the compensation you are owed so that you can focus on healing from your personal injury accident.
Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t have to worry about legal fees getting in the way of your justice. We won’t collect any payments until we’ve made a recovery in your favor.
At Regan Zambri Long, we provide the financial backing of a large law firm with the personal service of a small firm. You’ll get the attention and dedication of your team without having to pay upfront for it. Whether your personal injury occurred in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, our personal injury lawyers can help. Call today to schedule your free consultation at 202-960-4596.Tagged personal injury lawyer