Did the D.C. Council Approve Contributory Negligence Measures?

By Peter DePaolis

Updating a blog post we brought you previously, legislation that would have made it easier for bicyclists and pedestrians to pursue damages following an accident in Washington D.C. has been delayed.woman on bicycle in DC

According to the Washington Post, the legislation would change contributory negligence standards to a comparative negligence standard, dictating responsibility for an accident and how it could be shared between the parties involved in accidents.

Remember, currently, Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland have contributory negligence laws that make it difficult for accident victims to recover damages. Essentially, the laws prevent victims from holding others liable if the injured person slightly contributed to an accident

Most states have comparative negligence laws, meaning a victim can be found negligent but still receive a percentage of an award.

As far at the D.C. legislation is concerned, it would have helped only pedestrians and bicyclists. While it was a step in the right direction, many injury lawyers opposed its language, because they feared it might have impeded the ability of a victim to seek compensation from multiple defendants.

It is the third time that the bill has been moved, according to the Post. The bill’s sponsor reportedly told the paper that he plans to “reintroduce the measure when the new Council convenes in January.”

Can I File a Lawsuit If a Reckless Driver Injures Me?

While contributory negligence laws can be incredibly confusing, they should not prevent you from seeking compensation if another person injures you. Pedestrian and bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries, including head injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones and amputations.

These injuries can lead to expensive rehabilitation and therapy.

For more information, you can visit our Facebook and Twitter pages. If a negligent driver has injured you, our attorneys are here to help you.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/11/25/d-c-council-proposal-to-protect-bicylists-pedestrians-dies-in-committee/

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.