Fighting for the Justice of Personal Injury Victims in Maryland, Virginia & D.C.
If you’ve suffered an unexpected injury, your mind is probably racing with how you’re going to handle your physical and financial wellbeing and prevent everything from spiraling into chaos. At Ashcraft & Gerel Injury Lawyers, we’ve recovered over $1 billion for clients in our Maryland, Virginia & D.C. communities. We’re ready to fight for your rights, and your peace of mind, in your personal injury case.
You need all the help you can get after an accident. The last thing you should be concerned about is figuring out how to file your claim and how you’re going to navigate through mountains of paperwork. We want you to be able to focus on your recovery. That’s why our firm, with over 70 years of experience, will handle the tedious logistics of paperwork, insurance, medical bills and more. Ashcraft & Gerel has built a reputation as a smart, effective legal team that consistently goes the extra mile to ensure our clients are compassionately represented and justly compensated.
Why Hire an Attorney for Your Injury Case?
Hiring an attorney as soon as possible to handle your personal injury claim alleviates some of the pressure of having to tackle the complexities of your personal injury case on your own. Tantamount to that, your attorney helps you avoid making mistakes that could lower your compensation or cause you to lose your case.
Hiring an Ashcraft & Gerel attorney ensures you get:
- An attorney with years of expertise.
- A seasoned negotiator, adept at advocating on your behalf.
- A professional that is prepared to represent you in court if needed.
- An attorney capable of pinpointing vital witnesses to bolster your case or ascertain damages.
- An individual committed to securing the just compensation you deserve.
When Should You Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Acting promptly, and hiring a personal injury lawyer quickly, after suffering an injury due to another’s negligence increases your chances of a successful outcome with your case. It’s common for evidence to disappear and become less reliable over time. Hiring a lawyer early will give you a better chance of gathering the important evidence you need.
Sometimes insurance companies want to settle fast and give you as little compensation as possible. By hiring a lawyer as soon as possible, they can prevent that from happening and help you negotiate with the insurance companies, while protecting your best interests, to ensure you get fair compensation.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
When an individual suffers injuries as a result of another party’s negligence, it often leads to the pressing question: do I have a valid personal injury case? Simply enduring an injury doesn’t inherently equate to a justified personal injury claim. To determine the grounds for a personal injury claim in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington D.C., it’s essential to demonstrate that the responsible party had a duty of care towards you, breached this duty, directly caused your injuries, and that these injuries led to financial losses. At Ashcraft & Gerel, our top-rated personal injury lawyers will meticulously assess your situation through the intricate nuances of personal injury law to ascertain if you can rightfully pursue a claim.
It’s also crucial to consider regional legal nuances when assessing your case. Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. adopt the doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that if an injured party is found even 1% at fault for an incident, they are barred from claiming compensation, even if the other party holds 99% of the blame.
Another critical aspect to keep in mind is the Statute of Limitations (SoL), which can influence the viability of your case. Due to the complexities surrounding SoL, we strongly recommend reaching out to an experienced Ashcraft & Gerel personal injury attorney to discuss how these statutes may impact your unique situation.
Can You Afford a Personal Injury Lawyer
One common misconception is the belief that there are hefty upfront costs associated with hiring a personal injury lawyer. At Ashcraft & Gerel, we operate on a contingency fee basis which means we eliminate that perceived financial barrier. Our experienced personal injury attorneys only receive payment if, and when, they successfully secure compensation for you. Payment is typically a previously agreed-upon percentage of the awarded damages.
With over 70 years championing clients’ rights, you can confidently rely on us to advocate for your rightful compensation without the stress of initial financial outlays. Rest assured, with our expertise, you’re prioritized every step of the way.
Who Is Liable in Your Injury Case?
Determining liability in your personal injury case can be contingent upon regional laws. Washington D.C. operates as a no-fault state, meaning each party typically seeks compensation from their own insurance regardless of who caused the accident. You can also file a claim against the at-fault driver’s bodily injury policy.
However, it’s imperative to understand that Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. adhere to the doctrine of contributory negligence. Under this rule, even if you’re found 1% responsible for the incident, you are ineligible to claim compensation from the other involved party—even if they shoulder 99% of the blame. The intricacies of such laws highlight the importance of engaging a knowledgeable personal injury attorney from Ashcraft & Gerel to navigate these complexities on your behalf.
What Damages Can You Collect in a Personal Injury Case?
In the aftermath of a personal injury, victims often face a range of tangible and intangible losses. These can generally be classified into two main categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages encompass direct financial losses including medical bills, property damage costs, lost wages, and even pension losses in states like Maryland. Such damages are typically more straightforward to calculate, with concrete evidence like medical invoices and employer documentation to validate them.
Conversely, non-economic damages are a bit more intangible. They capture the emotional and psychological toll of an accident. These include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment in life, and in cases of severe outcomes, the loss of companionship or parental care.
In Maryland, there’s a cap on non-economic damages, meaning there’s a ceiling for compensation. Washington D.C. introduces the concept of punitive damages, reserved for cases where the defendant’s conduct was especially egregious. These complexities underline the necessity of seeking experienced personal injury attorneys, like those at Ashcraft & Gerel, to ensure you receive every cent of the compensation you’re rightfully due.
How Is the Value of Damages Determined for Your Claim?
The value of damages in a personal injury claim is influenced by a variety of factors, making it a complex determination without a one-size-fits-all formula. The court examines components such as medical expenses, lost wages, and the extent of pain and suffering endured by the victim. The significance of each factor hinges on the specifics of the injury and its aftermath. As each case is unique, it’s essential to consult an experienced law firm that can offer insight into potential compensation based on their familiarity with similar situations and a comprehensive assessment of all pertinent details.
What Evidence Is Needed for a Personal Injury Claim?
To get substantial compensation from a personal injury claim, ample evidence is needed to establish the negligence of the other party and quantify the damages. Key pieces of evidence often include:
- Medical records detailing treatments and bills
- Police or incident reports
- Testimonies from witnesses
- Photographs or videos from the accident scene
- Documentation of financial losses like lost wages and other income sources
Depending on the complexity of the case, accident reconstruction experts might also be engaged to recreate the accident circumstances. At Ashcraft & Gerel, we can help you find an accident reconstruction expert.
It’s imperative for claimants to preserve any documentation or items that might have relevance to their case, even if it seems inconsequential. Keeping track of any and all evidence can further fortify your claim and help you succeed in your case.
What Is the Process for Starting Your Personal Injury Case?
Embarking on a personal injury case can be daunting, but understanding the foundational steps simplifies the process. To ensure the best outcome, consider partnering with one of our attorneys who can expertly guide you through these stages:
1. Initial Consultation: Meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss the specifics of your case, including injuries sustained and associated costs.
2. Hiring an Attorney: Select an attorney based on their expertise, past successes, and their fee model. Often, they operate on a contingency fee, charging only if you win.
3. Discovery and Investigation: Your attorney will gather crucial evidence, acquire medical records, and identify all potential at-fault parties.
4. Demand Package: Your attorney constructs a comprehensive account of the accident, the associated liability, and submits a settlement request.
5. Negotiations Post review of the Demand Package, the insurance company usually counters with a settlement offer.
6. Settlement or Litigation If an agreeable settlement is reached, the terms are outlined and finalized. If not, a lawsuit might be the next step, taking the case to court.
For a more in-depth understanding and personalized guidance, it’s recommended to consult our attorneys.
Why Ashcraft & Gerel Might Not Take Your Case
While Ashcraft & Gerel strives to assist every potential client, there are specific circumstances where we might decline representation. Here are the primary reasons why this might occur:
- Difficulty in Proving Fault: If establishing fault becomes too challenging or the client’s fault percentage doesn’t align with state requirements, pursuing the case might not be feasible.
- Statute of Limitations Has Expired: There’s a time limit for filing most legal claims. If this time frame has lapsed, the case cannot be taken on.
- Jurisdictional Boundaries: Ashcraft & Gerel attorneys practice within certain geographic jurisdictions. If your case falls outside these bounds, we may not be able to represent you.
- Absence of Physical Injuries: A key aspect of personal injury claims is actual harm. If no significant injuries were sustained, the case might not be accepted.
- Mismatch in Expertise: The case type must align with the firm’s area of practice and expertise.
- Financial Constraints of the Defendant: If the party at fault lacks the financial means or lack of insurance, recovering damages might be unlikely.
At Ashcraft & Gerel, we are always upfront and transparent. Get a free case review to consult with our attorneys, and find out if you have a viable personal injury case.
What Can You Do To Protect the Value of Your Injury Case?
Ensuring that you receive the fair compensation you deserve after an injury involves taking proactive measures from the onset. Here’s a streamlined guide on safeguarding the value of your personal injury claim:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Prioritize your health by promptly seeking medical care. This also ensures a clear record of your injuries and treatment which will be extremely important evidence.
- Preserve Evidence: Document the scene of the incident with photos or videos, and keep a record of your injury’s progression.
- Adhere to Your Treatment Plan: Diligently follow all medical recommendations to emphasize the severity and legitimacy of your injuries.
- Maintain Expense Records: Compile detailed evidence of all costs related to the accident, from medical bills to lost wages.
- Avoid Initial Insurance Offers: Exercise caution and avoid immediately accepting the first offer from insurance adjusters without proper review.
- Consult a Personal Injury Attorney: Gain insights and guidance through the process by seeking professional advice to avoid pitfalls.
By actively following these steps, you fortify your case’s foundation. The attorneys at Ashcraft & Gerel are here to provide you expert guidance and representation.
What Are Your Legal Options With an Uninsured, Negligent Party?
Facing a negligent party without insurance or significant assets can pose a challenge for those seeking compensation for injuries. In many instances, if the defendant lacks the financial means or insurance coverage, pursuing a lawsuit might be futile. In non-auto related incidents, plaintiffs must weigh the costs and benefits and understand that even a successful lawsuit might not guarantee a substantial damages award if the defendant has limited resources.
When personal injuries result from auto accidents, the landscape shifts slightly. Given that most states mandate auto insurance, including underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage (UIM), injured parties often have a safety net. This UIM coverage ensures that a victim’s insurance company compensates them directly. Furthermore, “no-fault” laws in certain states can simplify the process by eliminating the need for a lawsuit, as the injured party’s insurer handles the reimbursement.
What Should You Expect From Ashcraft & Gerel During Your Case?
When you entrust your personal injury case to Ashcraft & Gerel, you’re aligning with a team dedicated to providing exceptional representation. Our commitment to your case extends beyond legal expertise; it encompasses a holistic approach to ensure your experience is as seamless as possible. Below are key expectations you can hold us to:
- Thorough Investigation: We gather vital data including witness contacts, police reports, and pertinent documentation.
- Documentation: Collection of medical bills, receipts related to your injury, and correspondence with insurance entities.
- Clear Communication: You’ll receive realistic insights about your case’s potential outcomes and have open channels for all your questions.
- Courtroom Prowess: Our team boasts extensive courtroom experience and a track record that speaks to our dedication.
- Honest Timeframes: We provide accurate estimations of how long settlements might take.
- Transparency in Fees: Expect clarity regarding all costs, from upfront fees to potential litigation expenses.
- Prompt Responses: Any concerns or questions you have will be addressed swiftly and professionally.
- Professional Conduct: Ethical behavior and a commitment to your best interests are our mainstays.
- Timeliness: Your time is valuable, and we respect it with punctuality and efficiency.
With Ashcraft & Gerel by your side, you’ll not only have seasoned professionals handling your case but also a team genuinely invested in your well-being and success.
Get Started With Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Virginia, Maryland & Washington D.C. Today
Since our inception in 1953, Ashcraft & Gerel has evolved from a modest firm focusing on workers’ compensation in the District of Columbia to a powerhouse of nearly 40 lawyers spanning Maryland, Virginia, and the D.C. area. We are adept in a diverse range of personal injury cases, mass torts, and more, consistently advocating for the rights of individuals against negligence and fraudulent practices. Our vast experience, coupled with a relentless commitment to justice, makes us your premier choice for securing just and substantial compensation. Entrust us with your case, and let our unparalleled expertise work in your favor.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
As Ashcraft & Gerel has grown into the powerhouse law firm that it is today, we’ve been privileged form a team of attorneys with a wide range of specialties. Our attorneys specialize in all types of personal injury case, including:
- Bicycle Accidents
- Boat Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Dangerous Drugs
- Defective Products
- Dog Bites
- Mass Torts
- Moped Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Premises Liability Cases
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Social Security Disability
- Truck Accidents
- Workers’ Compensation
- Wrongful Death