Meetings can be scheduled by appointment at various locations for the convenience of our clients. If you can't come to us, we'll come to you.
Baltimore, MD
410.576.4287410.576.4287
Tysons Corner, VA
888.540.2599888.540.2599
By Appointment Only
Bethesda, MD
301.470.7201301.470.7201
Washington, DC
202.659.0555202.659.0555

When To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer

There are many general reasons to hire an injury lawyer after being injured in an accident. We have discussed these previously in our FAQ:

Why Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer

Notwithstanding the above, there may be additional reasons to hire a lawyer if you are injured in a contributory negligence state.

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE IN THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON AREA

Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. are among the minority of states that still employ the doctrine of contributory negligence. (The only states which still employ “pure” contributory negligence are Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. Indiana applies pure contributory negligence to malpractice cases only.) Contributory negligence is an archaic construct of common law which applies to plaintiffs or claimants in tort/personal injury claims in the above States. The doctrine basically holds that where a Plaintiff/claimant has through their own negligence contributed to causing their own harm, they should be barred from recovering money for their injuries (damages) from a co-negligent tortfeasor.

The following example will illustrate the point:  Generally, where a driver crosses an intersection negligently (i.e. blows a red light) and is struck and injured by another driver, who was also driving negligently (i.e. under the influence of alcohol), the law of contributory negligence when applied, does not permit the injured party to sue and recover money in a lawsuit from the drunk driver because the injured party in this example contributed to causing the accident by virtue of his own negligence.

This doctrine is largely regarded as unfair by the claimants and injured persons it affects, simply because a victim who is minimally at fault, (1% at fault for example) cannot recover against a person who was 99% at fault. As a result of the inherent unfairness that results when this doctrine is applied, most states in the United States have done away with contributory negligence in favor of more reasonable comparative negligence laws. Additionally, when applied in certain jurisdictions, this law may operate to decrease the potential value of a claim, simply because an insurance company can almost always argue that the plaintiff did something, to contribute to causing his own injuries.

Insurers who do business in Maryland arguably have an advantage here that does not exist for them in the comparative jurisdictions. It is far more difficult for a Plaintiff to prove he essentially was 0% at fault, then say 1% or even 2% at fault and as a result, many cases and claims are routinely denied by insurance companies unfairly on the basis that the Plaintiff was (or might be proven to be) contributorily negligent. Further, this doctrine gives insurers in Maryland additional leverage to deny legitimate claims or otherwise “soften” their offers of settlement based on the possibility that the insurer can raise the contributorily negligence defense at trial.

A good personal injury lawyer, whether practicing in Maryland, Virginia or Washington D.C., will have experience dealing and negotiating with insurance companies in these states, who rely on these contributory negligence doctrines to routinely deny claims or make low-ball offers.

If you are considering making a claim for injury in Maryland, make sure your lawyer has a detailed understanding of these doctrines, in order to be able to properly represent you in a court of law, and among other things, be able to provide you realistic advice as to whether your claim is likely to succeed or fail based on these doctrines.

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

UniversalSniping
UniversalSniping
02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
TheOfficalCeeandDee
TheOfficalCeeandDee
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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Location: Tysons

Chris Shin
Chris Shin
18:23 20 Jun 18
They were very polite, professional. and informed current status of the case time to time. Great Job !!!
Jonathan Roane
Jonathan Roane
22:51 17 Nov 17
If you ever need any assistance with an accident or injury-related claim this is the firm you need hands down. These are the most professional and caring people I have ever met in my life. Two people you should contact are Rebecca Slattery who was actually my paralegal and also Allan Serrano. You will be in good hands.
Israel Thompson
Israel Thompson
00:52 06 Dec 17
Attorney MR Bob Katz outstanding Human being, went beyond and above to help me during my accident, he showed me tremendous kindness and support.Thank you so much will highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with their auto accident
Marta Kritselis
Marta Kritselis
16:19 01 Sep 17
Rebecca Slattery the paralegal She took care my case and she was very helpful throughout the whole process. I highly recommend to my family and friend the services of Attorney Bob Kats and there team .
Myong Kim
Myong Kim
22:04 31 Mar 17
I am grateful to Bob and Justin Katz and their team for working hard to get me the most money. They were very professional and easy to work with in Korean. I will recommend them to friends and family any chance I have.
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