Imagine traveling down New York Ave. NE in Washington, D.C. when you roll up to the Florida Ave. intersection near the Noma-Gallaudet Metro station. As the left-turn light signal turns yellow, you make the turn. Out of nowhere, a truck comes barreling down and rams into the rear portion of your car. The truck driver is angry and accuses you of running a red light.
If a jury agrees with the truck driver and finds that you were even partly at fault in causing the accident, you may be completely barred from any recovery following the accident. This harsh result is caused by the contributory negligence doctrine, which completely bars recover to a plaintiff when an accident was even slightly caused by the plaintiff.
Fortunately, the draconic contributory negligence law does not always apply. At The Cochran Firm, D.C., our experienced D.C. personal injury attorneys can take you through the legal process, examine your case, and determine whether you have a valid claim. Our seasoned lawyers understand the prior case decisions, regulations, and other sources that impact whether the contributory negligence law will impair your injury case.
Pure contributory negligence in Washington, D.C.
The District of Columbia is one of the last supporters of the antiquated contributory negligence law. Under this harsh law, if you are only 5% at fault in an accident, you may be completely barred from any recovery. In the vast majority of states, the law holds that plaintiffs may recover compensation according to the amount they were not at fault. For instance, in a case where the jury rules the damages are worth $2 million but the plaintiff was determined to be 10% at fault, the plaintiff would still be able to recover $1.8 million.
Why an experienced injury attorney can help fight DC contributory negligence claims
Sometimes, in an attempt to take advantage of the contributory negligence rule, an insurance company or person responsible for an injury will attempt to claim that you were at fault for an accident even if you were not. The seasoned attorneys of The Cochran Firm, D.C. can defend against such claims and are well versed in the typical legal defense tactics surrounding catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases.
Our team of legal professionals can take you through the injury claim process, by procuring accident reports, medical examination records, depositions, police reports, and other documentation. Additionally, our attorneys are well versed in the precedent case law and regulations governing contributory negligence defenses and are prepared to vigorously counter invalid claims.
Contact our seasoned DC injury lawyers today for a free consultation. Our experienced lawyers can analyze your situation and determine whether a contributory negligence defense will apply to your DC injury claim. Our initial case evaluations are always free and confidential.