Frequently Asked Questions
Our Washington DC Personal Injury Attorneys Provide Answers
At Zukerberg & Halperin, PLLC, we believe that all of our clients should be armed with helpful knowledge. Going into a legal case can be confusing, so having a careful understanding of the process that you’re facing can make all the difference.
Our Washington DC Personal Injury lawyers have answered some of the most commonly asked questions at our firm below.
With a record of success at trial and in settlement negotiations, we focus on serious personal injury cases in Washington DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland. Our Washington DC personal injury attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience handling catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, as well as staff who have worked for defense firms and insurance companies in the past. Further, because we are selective about the cases we accept, our clients have direct access to the attorney representing them.
In addition to our offices in Glen Allen, Virginia and Washington, D.C., we would be happy to meet with you at satellite offices throughout Maryland and Virginia. We happily make home visits, will visit hospitals and nursing homes, and even prisons and jails throughout the region.
We understand that you are not merely bringing us “a case.” You are trusting us with an important part of your life at a time when you need help the most. We take that responsibility seriously, and we care about you as a person. Our commitment to you is reflected through our compassionate, tenacious representation.
Additionally, we are trial lawyers. Many lawyers, though intelligent and knowledgeable, do not litigate or try cases, or if they do, they have limited experience in the courtroom. Not so with our attorneys, who have decades of courtroom experience. If your case must proceed to litigation and trial, you can rest assured you have a strong team on your side. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. We will also come to you if your injuries prevent your ability to travel.
Contact us to hear more about our locations!
This answer depends on a variety of factors, but in summary, the injury-causing accident must be the result of the negligence of another person or company. According to the Virginia Contributory Negligence law, in most circumstances if you are at all responsible for the accident or injury, you cannot recover damages. However, you should not necessarily trust the opinion or advice of an insurance company or claims adjuster as to whether or not you are at fault or contributed to the accident.
Call a Washington DC Personal Injury attorney at (202) 232-6400 whose focuses is in personal injury or wrongful death law to make this determination.
Though very common, this is a difficult question to answer at the beginning of a case. Each case is different, involving multiple factors. In short, these types of cases are designed to compensate you for damages you have suffered.
The amount of compensation depends on factors such as: severity of the injuries and whether they were permanent or disfiguring; the amount of time (and/or pay) lost from work; the amount of your past and future medical bills; whether or not surgery was required; and/or available insurance coverage. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine the specifics of your situation and estimate the potential of your case.
Again, because each case is different, it is generally not possible to decide at the beginning of the case whether or not a lawsuit will be necessary in your particular situation. It will depend on many factors, such as whether the defendant admits liability, and whether or not they question your injuries. Also, though you may have to file lawsuit, you may settle before trial, for example by attending non-binding mediation with defendant(s). Though complicated, you will be led through the process by an experienced, communicatory attorney and staff.
The length of each case varies depending on the nature of the injuries, type and facts of case, type of defendant, the particular court where the lawsuit is filed, and who the insurance carrier is. In short, it could be months or over a year, depending on the circumstances. Medical malpractice and product liability cases often take longer due to the amount of investigation involved and the need for expert witnesses.
If an insurance company is not treating you fairly, you should consult an attorney specializing in personal injury law. Statistics have shown that those who retain an attorney make a substantially larger recovery from insurance companies than those who do not. If you have questions about the specifics of your case, we encourage you to contact us for a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation by one of our attorneys. If we are unable to assist you with your case, we can likely refer you to an attorney who can.
Each case and client are different, so we address each one in a unique process tailored to achieve maximum results, but there is an overall process you can expect.
First, you will consult with an experienced attorney. If you choose to work with us and your case fits our expertise, the attorney will send you a letter confirming we represent you. We will then request your medical records and bills, lost wage information, police reports, investigative or incident reports, photographs, etc. We will speak to witnesses and continue to collect medical records and bills until you have completed treatment and have been discharged from care by your doctors and other medical providers.
We will then speak with you to obtain information not contained in the records, such as details on how your injuries impacted your daily and family life. Once we have all information necessary, we will evaluate your case for settlement, and recommend to you a settlement value for your case. We will then compile all of the available information and documents and submit a thorough and detailed demand letter (with your records, bills, lost wage information and any other relevant documents or photographs) to the defendant’s insurance company for evaluation (and mail a copy to you). We generally tell clients to expect to wait at least 30-45 days before we receive an offer on their case from the insurance company. It does not take that long for them to evaluate each case, but they place them in line for review based on the order in which they are received. It is possible that we may receive an offer in less than 30 days, but if a specific adjuster has a backlog, it could be 60 days or more.
Once the defendant’s insurance company makes their initial offer, your attorney will call you to discuss it and how to move forward. He will negotiate back and forth to reach a settlement that is fair (compensating you fully). If a fair settlement cannot be reached, the attorney will prepare, file and serve a lawsuit on the defendant(s).
The litigation process begins with the filing of a “Complaint,” which is the filing of a lawsuit in court. After the filing of the suit, both sides exchanging discovery requests, which are questions for you to answer regarding the accident, your health and your history, as well as requests for copies of documents. With your help, we will put together the answers and send them to defense counsel. Depositions of all parties, your doctors and any witnesses may also be scheduled before trial. A deposition is like an interview, where the attorneys ask the witness questions under oath and a court reporter is present to make a record of everything that is said. Depositions are used by both sides to gather information about what happened, who was hurt, how badly they were hurt, etc.
Regardless of the course of your particular case, the attorneys and staff of Zukerberg & Halpering, PLLC PLLC will be with you through this difficult time. Let us focus on resolving your case while you focus on healing.
The amount of time you have to make a claim from the date of the accident/injury depends on where the accident happened and the type of claim you are making. In Virginia, the Statute of Limitations runs 2 years from the date of the injury. In the District in Columbia, it’s usually 3 years from the date of injury. For a death case in D.C., it is 2 years. In Maryland, it’s 3 years for nearly all injury claims.
However, there are exceptions, and you should consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury or wrongful death cases in order to determine how long you have to file a claim.
Throughout decades of legal practice, each of our attorneys have recovered large verdicts and settlements for clients at trial and outside of the courtroom. We have also litigated on behalf of individuals dealing with product liability claims against defective product manufacturers.
We have litigated cases resulting in precedent-setting appellate decisions in:
- Wrongful death
- Police misconduct
- High speed pursuit
- Premises liability
- Products liability
- Civil rights
Unlike larger firms that handle a large volume and a variety of cases, we focus on serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. Rather than take on hundreds or thousands of cases as some firms do, we carefully select our cases, offering our clients personal time, attention, and dedication. You will never be just a “number” or “case” to us, and you will have direct communication with your attorney.
In some larger firms, clients often communicate only with the attorney’s staff (paralegals, secretaries, etc.), sometimes receiving no information directly from their attorney. In contrast, Mr. Halperin provides open communication and compassionate representation, treating you as a person, not just a case.
Each of our attorneys are licensed to practice in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. Our law office is located in Washington DC at: 1790 Lanier Place NW, Washington, DC 20009. If your injuries prevent you from traveling, we can come to you.
Our personal injury lawyers serve all areas throughout Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland including the following areas:
- Alexandria, Virginia
- Fairfax, Virginia
- Ballston, Virginia
- Arlington, Virginia
- Leeseburg, Virginia
- Reston, Virginia
- College Park, Maryland
- District Heights, Maryland
- Greenbelt, Maryland
- Hillcrest, Maryland
- Silver Spring, Maryland
- Rockville, Maryland
- Cheverly, Maryland
- Hyattsville, Maryland
- Lanham, Maryland
- Wheaton, Maryland
- Bethesda, Maryland
- Bowie, Maryland
- Gaithersburg, Maryland
- Clinton, Maryland
- Washington D.C.
Unlike some larger firms, if you are a client of Zukerberg & Halperin PLLC, your attorney will be directly available to you. Though experienced, compassionate staff will also be available to assist you, your attorney will keep you informed and engage personally in necessary communications with you.
No. Your initial consultation with a licensed attorney-not a paralegal or intake specialist-will not cost you anything and carries with it no obligation.
Unlike many of the other distinctions for lawyers, you cannot pay a fee to receive an “AV Rating.” So what exactly does it mean and how does one earn this honor?
Mr. Halperin has earned an “AV Rating” of “Preeminent” (5 out of 5) in The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™.
This is a significant accomplishment and a “testament to the fact that [his] peers rank [him] at the highest level of professional excellence”. Focusing not only on legal expertise but also level of ethical standards, these ratings are an “objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States. Reviewers are asked to assess their colleagues’ general ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice.”
Mr. Halperin’s rating of “Preeminent” conveys his “adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities.” Mr. Halperin’s high Legal Ability rating (5 out of 5) reflects his “performance in five key areas: legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability and legal experience.
LexisNexis, the Knowledge Burst logo, Martindale-Hubbell® and martindale.com are registered trademarks, Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ is a trademark and Lawyers.comSM is a service mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under license. AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc. Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
We concentrate on serious personal injury and wrongful death cases in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Though our cases vary widely in detail, we represent clients seriously injured due to the negligence of another person or company. We also represent the families of people who have died as a result of the negligence of another.
Our practice areas within the fields of personal injury, wrongful death, and civil rights law are extensive, including, but not limited to:
- Automobile accidents
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
- Construction accidents
- Slip & fall injuries
- Birth injuries
- Sexual assault on college campuses
- Jail catastrophic injuries
- False arrest
- Police brutality
- Truck and tractor trailer accidents
- Bus accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Injuries or deaths caused by drunk drivers
- Injuries or deaths caused by distracted/texting drivers
- Unsafe property/premises liability
- Bicycle accidents
- Unsafe or defective products/products liability
- Dog bites
- Bullying or assaults at school
- Police misconduct
- Nursing home injuries
- Airplane accidents
- Boating accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workers’ Compensation
- Legal malpractice
- Firearms injuries
- Swimming pool accidents
We accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we are paid a percentage of the amount we recover for you, plus reimbursement of necessary expenses and costs. Of course, the initial consultation with your attorney is complimentary.
While our Washington DC lawyers are investigating, processing and possibly litigating your case, Zukerberg & Halpering, PLLC PLLC will advance all of the necessary case expenses. When your case settles or we reach a trial verdict in your favor, those necessary expenses will be deducted from your recovery. You will not have to pay case expenses up front.
Tell us about your particular situation during a free case evaluation!