How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
The time you have to file a lawsuit (known as the statute of limitations) depends on a few factors. You can file a lawsuit 1) where the tort occurred, or 2) where the defendant is located. In Virginia, slips and falls, auto accidents, and other types of personal injury claims generally must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. In Maryland and the District of Columbia, in most cases, the time you have to file is three years. Always use an abundance of caution when calculating the statute of limitations.
Do I need a lawyer right away?
Absolutely! The longer you wait, the more chances you have that evidence may be lost, something may be missed, or fall through the cracks. You may also inadvertently do things that prevent you from filing a lawsuit, such as signing waivers or releases. Filing suits is not an easy process, and careful preparation is the key to a successful outcome - it is essential to have an experienced attorney help guide you.
Do I have to give the other driver my information?
Absolutely. It is the law in almost every jurisdiction that you give the other driver your information, and they give you theirs. This includes name, address, telephone number, insurance policy carrier, and policy number. Remember - it is not enough to get the insurance card and registration of the vehicle that hit you! Your case is against the DRIVER, not the OWNER of the car that caused your accident, and injuries.
Will I have to go to court?
Most personal injury cases are resolved before the parties have to go to court. Of those that do not settle, a large portion are resolved after preliminary motions and discovery proceedings begin. We cannot guarantee that you will never have to go to court. It is always a possibility. We prepare every client's case as though it is going to court. But we will work very hard to resolve your case before you have to step foot into a courtroom, and if that day comes you will be well prepared for it.
If a lawsuit has to be filed, where will that occur?
A variety of considerations relating to the questions of where to file a lawsuit, but as a general proposition, these cases are generally filed where the accident or injury occurred, or where the defendant resides or does business. Attorney Joseph A. Blaszkow is licensed to practice and regularly appears in the state and federal courts throughout Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.