Is A Personal Injury Lawsuit In DC Right For You?

Posted on: 16 February 2016

A personal injury lawsuit might be your ticket to getting the compensation that you deserve. Whether you were involved in an auto accident, a case of medical negligence, or some other form of injury, you have a shot at filing and winning a lawsuit. However, such lawsuits can actually be much more complicated than you might initially expect. To help you make sure that a lawsuit is right for you, here are some specific laws that you will need to deal with when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit in Washington DC:

The Statute of Limitations

Your first concern is likely going to be the statute of limitations, and for good reasons. If you fail to abide by the statute of your limitations, then your case may be dropped before you even get to the courtroom.

In simple terms, the statute of limitations is a period of time in which you can file your lawsuit. The statute of limitations in Washington D.C. is 3 years for a personal injury lawsuit, which means that you have 3 years from the date of the injury to file.

There are some exceptional circumstances that can allow you to extend that period, but you should definitely talk to a lawyer if you are past the statute of limitations already. You don't want to file if your lawsuit is going to get shot down immediately, but you also don't want to give up hope if you have a valid legal reason for filing a late lawsuit. The expertise and experience of a lawyer can help you save money (and potentially even win a lot of money) when it comes to lawsuits.

Contributory Negligence

Unfortunately for you, Washington D.C. is one of the strictest places in the nation when it comes to factoring fault into the equation, enforcing contributory negligence instead of comparative fault.

Contributory negligence does not allow for any responsibility on the part of the plaintiff, effectively removing any chance at compensation if the defense can prove that the plaintiff was partially to blame for their injuries. Most states practice comparative fault, which allows the court to calculate the responsibility of the plaintiff when it comes to determining how much money will be awarded.

In other words, a lawsuit in D.C. could be sunk if the defense has any proof at all that you were partially to blame for your accident. Even if the blame only amounts to 1% of the total responsibility, you will get absolutely no compensation and will likely still need to pay your legal fees.

This is another reason why you want to talk to a lawyer before filing, since an extensive review of your case could help you identify possible ways that the defense could attack you. If you can prepare evidence to counter their accusations and prove that you were not responsible at all, then you can get the money that you asked for.

For more information about filing a personal injury case in another state, such as Colorado, visit websites like