Washington, DC is the home of the federal government: the Supreme Court, congress and the president. It's also home to ridiculous traffic and insane gridlock. This can lead to many traffic accidents, incidents with pedestrians and more. Maybe it's you who was hurt and needs advice, or perhaps it was a friend or family member. Whatever the case, if you need guidance for your personal injury case, Enjuris has the answers.
District of Columbia Personal Injury Cases & Accident Info
DC statutes online
This is where you’ll find DC's laws. The website has information regarding how long you have to bring a case, damage caps on personal injury claims, and other helpful information.
In DC, you have three years to bring both a personal injury claim and a property damage claim. That doesn't mean the whole lawsuit must be completed in three years; all that means is the paperwork has to be filed with the court before that time is up.
DC has more attorneys than you can shake a stick at. Unfortunately, they most likely all specialize in governmental matters and constitutional law.
The initial meeting with a personal injury attorney is normally free. (Keep in mind that other legal specialties, such as patent law or estate planning law, are different.) After that, lawyers work on a contingency fee, which means that they will receive a third of the eventual reward, plus office expenses.
If your case ends up going to trial, the percentage could rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment. These numbers aren't set by law, so don't be surprised if your lawyer suggests something different.
These are some of the most important Supreme Court cases that came out of the District of Columbia:
District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008): This polarizing case held that the Second Amendment protects a person's right to bear arms, such as for self-defense, and that Washington, DC's handgun ban and their requirement that lawfully-owned rifles and shotguns be kept "unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock" violated that constitutional right. As DC is a federal district, this case did not resolve whether the Second Amendment's protections were incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment against the states (this was resolved in the affirmative two years later by McDonald v. City of Chicago). This was the first Supreme Court case that positively stated that individuals have the right to bear firearms, possibly since the Second Amendment was drafted.
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010): This gave us the phrase "Corporations are people!" and also unlimited spending in political campaigns. A conservative non-profit organization, Citizens United, wanted to air a video about Hilary Clinton in the weeks prior to the 2008 election. The problem was that this qualified as an "electioneering broadcast," as it was within 60 days of the general elections and 30 days of a primary. They took it to the courts, and out came a ruling that a Washington Post international survey showed 80% of the country opposed (and 65% "strongly opposed"): Political spending is technically protected speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and the government cannot keep corporations from spending money to support (or denounce) candidates in elections.
United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974): This case from the court of appeals for the DC Circuit was from the Watergate scandal of former President Richard Nixon. (To learn more about the Watergate scandal, click here.) The sitting Justices ruled, 8-0, against President Nixon, ordering him to turn over the tapes of recorded Oval Office conversations that would prove to be his undoing. This court case took place during the late stages of the scandal.
Data and statistics
Here is some intriguing data about the District of Columbia.
There are certain issues you can solve without the help of an attorney. If you don't know where to begin, a law librarian can help you. They are usually legally trained, and they can help you both with texts or online research engines like Westlaw or LexisNexis.