Over $100 Million Recovered For Our Clients “Roger K. Gelb is one of the area’s most respected and sought-after legal minds” – Washingtonian Magazine
Washington, DC Personal Injury Lawyer
Our Washington, D.C. office is our original office, dating back to 1954 when we were founded. Founding Partner Joseph Gelb led our firm for nearly 40 years, achieving national recognition for the personal injury cases he handled decades ago. Now, Roger Gelb has been with the firm since 1991, and has continued to grow our practice in D.C., Maryland, and the surrounding area. Licensed to practice in multiple jurisdictions, Mr. Gelb has handled thousands of cases, primarily in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Our office handles nearly any case, caused by negligence or intentional conduct, that results in personal injury to an innocent party. While we most frequently handle car accident cases, our Washington, DC personal injury lawyers also handle bicycle accident cases, dog bite cases, motorcycle accident cases, nightclub injury cases, pedestrian accident cases, truck accident cases, and wrongful deaths.
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Who is the Best Washington, DC Personal Injury Lawyer?
When you are looking for the best Washington, DC personal injury lawyer, you need to look beyond a firm’s understanding of the law. The truth is, while not all, most attorneys in the District understand the law. That is how they are able to pass their bar exam and graduate law school. The important thing to look for is how they treat their clients. If they do not respond promptly to questions, perhaps timeliness is not important enough to them, nor would be client needs. If you cannot expect an attorney to respond promptly to questions from clients, who is to say they will respond to motions from the court and deal with statutes of limitation in a timely manner. So, why choose us?
Why Choose Gelb & Gelb, P.C.?
Voters of numerous law journals have voted us a top personal injury law firm in Washington, D.C. Voters include former clients and other attorneys alike. Specifically, The Wall Street Journal and Washingtonian Magazine both call Managing Partner Roger Gelb a top lawyer in D.C. Further, The National Law Journal recognizes our firm as a top three personal injury law firm in the district. The Legal Times also recognizes us for our many achievements in personal injury law. In fact, Washingtonian Magazine calls Roger Gelb “one of Washington’s best – most honest and effective – lawyers who sue.”
We make the time for our clients. With many personal injury law firms, if you have a question or concern, you may find it difficult to get in touch with your attorney. We take a more serious approach. First, our phone lines are open 24/7. Second, while our attorneys are not on call 24/7, if you call with a question, even on the weekend, we will answer you. We understand that dealing with a personal injury is difficult. You may now lack transportation because of your accident. Or, your injuries may not allow you to work due to a physically demanding job. These are all issues we have seen thousands of times before. We are ready to assist you.
Decades of Experience
In our nearly 70 years of experience practicing personal injury law in Washington, D.C., we have handled nearly every type of personal injury case imaginable. This is important for several reasons. First, it means we will not be caught off guard. If something happens that surprises you, chances are, we know what to do from experience. Second, it means we will not waste time getting you the compensation you need. Having a crippling amount of medical expenses piling up can be overwhelming. On top of needing to recover physically, the financial stress can be overbearing. This makes it exponentially more important to get the compensation you deserve as quickly as possible.
A third benefit to having a Washington, DC personal injury lawyer with experience is familiarity with the insurance companies. When you make a claim for negligence against a defendant, for example, there is a very good chance you will be dealing with the defendant’s insurance provider. The defendant’s insurance company will provide legal counsel for the defendant and communication will go through them. Further, the defendant generally does not have sufficient assets to cover your loss anyway. So, it is beneficial that the defendant has insurance. However, insurance companies can be tricky. They too have decades of experience handling these claims. And their goal is to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. This makes having an attorney with equal experience necessary.
How Can a Washington DC Car Accident Lawyer Help Me Get Compensation for My Injuries?
Having a dedicated legal team is of critical importance when making a personal injury claim. A legal team dedicating its time to you will allocate the resources necessary to uncover vital evidence and win your case. The more time and resources your DC personal injury lawyer spends on your case, the better the outcome will likely be. Some firms will put you through a maze of assistants and paralegals. When you have an important question regarding your case, we do not hesitate. At Gelb & Gelb, if you have a concern, you can get in touch with your attorney at anytime. This can impact the chances of winning your case as well. And, it is worth searching for if you want a personal injury lawyer in Washington, DC.
There are times when the information you have for your attorney dictates whether you win your case. How quickly you can deliver that information to your attorney and how quickly he is willing to listen is vital. Thus, we understand the importance of extracting all the information we can get and building the strongest case we can. Our team also works hard to ensure no stone is left unturned when investigating your case. This is another benefit of having a legal team dedicating itself to your case. When beneficial to your case, we hire investigators, expert witnesses, or anyone else who may benefit your ultimate recovery.
Once we finish collecting all useful information, we build your case. Then, we present it to the opposing insurance company for settlement. In most cases, we are able to come to an agreement for settlement at a number that represents your injuries. We always communicate with our client to ensure you are happy with the final offer before proceeding. In the event you are unhappy with the settlement offer or we do not recommend you accept it because it does not fully represent the extent of your injuries, we will move forward to trial.
Can I Sue Someone from Another State?
This is a point of confusion we come across frequently. The rules of civil procedure allow a plaintiff to sue a defendant in a given state a few different ways. This is an issue of personal jurisdiction. First, a plaintiff may bring suit against a defendant where the defendant resides. For example, if the accident occurs in the District, but we decide it is better to bring suit in Maryland, we can do this. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in D.C. and Maryland. We do generally find Maryland to be a better venue to bring suit due to a quicker court system. However, this issue is fact-dependent and is worth consulting between attorney and client before proceeding.
On the other hand, let’s say a resident of New York gets into an accident with you, a D.C. resident. You can sue the New York resident in a D.C. state court. Serving process may be an issue, but we employ process servers who can take care of this.
Process of Filing a Claim
Of course, we do have to go to trial from time to time. Personal injury lawyers have different views on whether to use their client as a witness. One school of thought is that if a jury sees the plaintiff and thinks that he or she looks healthy and fully recovered, it may hurt your claim. Thus, this group may choose to keep the plaintiff away from the courtroom. On the other hand, if your injuries are particularly severe, it may be advantageous to your ultimate recovery to appear in court. Especially if you have lost the ability to perform some of your favorite activities, testimony about your pain and suffering in the damages portion of the case can significantly bolster your recovery. This is a decision that should be made between the attorney and the client and is case specific.
Do I Need to Go to Court?
The short answer is not necessarily. It depends on whether your Washington, DC personal injury lawyer is able to negotiate a fair settlement. It is possible we can and even likely that we can handle your case without you ever having to come to our office or see the inside of a courtroom. This is how the vast majority of our cases go. Of course, we do always invite each client to come to our office for an in-person introduction. But, it is never required. However, there is a chance that we will need to file suit on your case. If this does happen, there is still no guarantee that you will have to go to trial.
Sometimes, cases settle after we file suit but before trial commences. This is because there is a long waiting period between filing suit and the commencement of trial. Accordingly, if something chances in those several months to year of waiting, it may convince the defendant to make a more reasonable settlement offer.
When to Settle a DC Injury Case
Settling a case is a form of alternate dispute resolution. This is simply an alternative way of resolving your case that does not involve going to court. Negotiating settlement is the most common form of alternate dispute resolution (“ADR”) you will see in a personal injury case. However, we do lead many others as well as they can be faster than going to court.
One that many laypeople have heard of is mediation. A mediator is often a retired judge or other lawyer who practices full time as a mediator. A mediator will generally go to the defense team and tell them they are not offering enough money to reasonably cover the damages in the case. Then, the mediator will go to the plaintiff’s side and tell us the opposite. The thought is that, sometimes, hearing that you need to move on your ideal number can benefit the flow of settlement. However, this does have costs associated with it. And unfortunately, it does not always work. But it is worthwhile in certain instances.
A second alternative is arbitration. This involves either a neutral arbitrator or, less commonly, a panel of arbitrators. This is a less formal, faster version of trial. But otherwise, it behaves in much of the same way. We still go through opening and closing statements and present evidence. It can be either binding or non-binding.
In general, taking a settlement offer is advantageous for several reasons. For one, it almost always allows you to get access to your compensation far quicker than through the court system. More than anything else, this is because waiting from the point of filing suit until trial commences can take several months to about a year. Of course, if we come to a reasonable settlement to fully compensate you for your injuries, we cut out this massive waiting period. Additionally, settlement can cut out excessive fees and costs associated with going to trial.
When we file suit on a case, we have to pay fees with the court. Now, our Washington, DC personal injury lawyers will advance these fees on your behalf. However, they come out of the ultimate recovery contingent on the success of your case. Meaning, if we do not succeed, then you do not worry about these fees. But if we do prevail on your case, you will ultimately be responsible for these costs.
In addition to the court and filing fees, there are costs associated with witnesses. This is something our legal team is acutely familiar with. This is the way our legal system works and is very common. For some cases, an expert witness is necessary to prove an element of your claim. While it may not be necessary for a more rudimentary car accident case to prove liability, it can still be crucial to prove the extent of your injuries. For example, it may require an expert witness to prove the damages you suffered if you are no longer able to work. This is because lost wages are an element of damages. You may be able to recover for future lost wages as well, but we must prove that before it happens. Expert witnesses are one way to do this.
A third advantage to settling is you are certain of the outcome. In court, especially with a jury but even with the judge acting as the fact-finder, you never know what will result. Juries can be unpredictable. This is true no matter how well your attorney performs during trial. There may be one juror who escapes through voir dire and is prejudiced against plaintiffs. A good attorney looks to control as many variables as possible. When in trial, it is impossible to be totally in control. When you settle a case however, you can agree with opposing counsel to exact terms. You can specify that the defendant is liable for your injuries and come to a fair agreement to compensate you for your injuries.
How Much does a Washington, DC Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Our firm and most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingent fee. In general, the fee will be one-third of the recovery. If the case goes to trial, the fee bumps up to 40%. However, the legal fee is contingent on the success of the case. So, if we do not win your case, there is no fee.
Additionally, we advance all costs on behalf of the client. However, these costs, like filing fees, expert witness costs, will eventually be paid for by the client contingent on our success.
How Much is a Consultation With a Washington, DC Personal Injury Lawy
While we cannot speak for every personal injury lawyer, our firm and many others offer free consultations. This is because we work on a contingent fee basis. This means we only charge a fee if we win.
Types of Injuries our Washington, DC Personal Injury Lawyers Handle
In theory, we will accept any case where you are injured due to the negligence or intentional conduct of a third party. Of course, there are some prerequisites that hopefully you understand a bit better after reading through this page. Below is a list of the most common injuries we see. However, this list is not exhaustive. If you receive an injury that is due to someone else’s conduct and you are not at fault for the injury, you may have a claim.
Slip and fall injuries
Construction accident injuries
Car accident injuries
Truck accident injuries
Spinal cord injuries
Contact a Washington, DC Personal Injury Lawyer
It is unfortunate you are in this position. But we can assure you that from here on out you are in experienced and reliable hands. For the best personal injury lawyer in Washington, DC, contact us today for a free consultation.
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