Respected Washington, D.C. Construction Accident Attorneys
Without fair compensation, a construction accident can drive a hard-working family to the brink of destitution. Unfortunately, far too many of the victims of the thousands of construction accidents that occur every year fail to secure full compensation for their injuries. Don’t allow yourself to be shortchanged – skilled legal representation is critical in a situation like this.
If you were injured on the job, workers’ compensation is usually your only remedy against your employer. Fortunately, you won’t have to prove that your employer was at fault to become eligible for benefits, and in most cases it won’t matter if the accident was partly your fault. If the defendant is not your employer, you can pursue an ordinary personal injury claim.
Experienced Legal Representation is a Must
It takes considerable skill to navigate the byzantine corridors of the D.C. workers’ compensation system to secure maximum compensation. Pursuing a personal injury claim requires even more skill, especially if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit. At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, we’ve been doing it for decades.
Your Fees are Zero Unless You Win
At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, we are used to success – well over 90 percent of our clients walk away with compensation from the defendant or the insurance company. Because of this, we don’t charge our clients anything at all for our services unless we win their case. Since we charge no upfront fees, that means you will never owe us a penny until your money is already in the bank.
“Special thanks to Mr. Schloss and his assistant Suzy Kelly. You guys are the Best of the Best.”
“You have taught me so much about patience and the law. My wife and I both believe you have done an excellent job watching out for our best interests. It’s because of your hard work that we have had about the best year since the start of this whole mess.”
Types of Claims We Handle
Car Accidents: Car accident claimants in the District of Columbia are often bedeviled by D.C.’s harsh contributory negligence rule, which makes it more difficult for a victim to win compensation than in most other states. Our car accident attorneys know how to fight back against bad-faith allegations of contributory fault, and we know how to handle stingy insurance companies and their bag of tricks.
Medical Malpractice: Not every undesirable medical outcome amounts to medical malpractice. Given the complexity of modern medicine, it can be difficult to determine whether or not you have a plausible medical malpractice claim. We can investigate your case and help you determine whether or not you have a claim. Once you establish your claim, proving it is likely to require expert legal and medical assistance.
Workers’ Compensation: The workers’ compensation system is the result of a grand compromise – injured workers give up the right to claim damages for “pain and suffering” in exchange for a “no-fault” system that does not require them to prove their employer was at fault to win. Although you cannot collect “pain and suffering” damages, you can be compensated for your medical bills and lost work time.
Asbestos Disease/Mesothelioma: Asbestos-related claims commonly raise two unique challenges – (i) because it often takes decades for these conditions to manifest symptoms, the party who would normally be named as a defendant is often a company that is no longer in business, and (ii) since asbestos-related diseases are often terminal, there is often a need to fast-track legal proceedings before a personal injury claim becomes a wrongful death claim.
Product Liability: Product liability law allows you to file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of a defective product that injured you. You can win such a lawsuit even if you were not the owner of the product – if, for example, you were injured by an automobile airbag while riding as a passenger in your friend’s car.
Premises Liability: There are many ways to get injured on someone else’s property. You might suffer a slip and fall accident on a wet floor, fall down a flight of stairs when an aging stairway railing collapses, or suffer a criminal assault in an establishment that lacks adequate security. Premises liability law ensures that you can file a personal injury claim against the owner or occupier of the premises.
Federal Tort Claims Act: The ancient legal principle of “the King can do no wrong” – which made it impossible to file a lawsuit against the government – has been imported to the United States with a major loophole embedded. You can sue the government with the government’s permission. The federal Tort Claims Act is the government’s way of granting permission to be sued for certain types of personal injury claims.
Nursing Home Abuse: D.C. nursing homes are governed by a large volume of regulations that establish certain inalienable rights for nursing home residents. One way to win a nursing home lawsuit is to trace the harm done to the resident, to the violation of one or more of these regulations. Our nursing home abuse lawyers are familiar with nursing home regulations, and they will vigorously pursue a nursing home abuse claim.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is contributory negligence?
Contributory negligence is a harsh doctrine that denies an accident victim any compensation at all if he was even one percent responsible for the accident. Contributory negligence doesn’t apply to:
- pedestrian accidents;
- bicycle accidents; or
- workers’ compensation claims (because fault is usually irrelevant in workers’ compensation claims).
What kind of claim can I file if my spouse died in a construction accident?
If the defendant is your spouse’s employer, you can file for workers’ compensation death benefits. If the defendant is some other party, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. You may be entitled to the following damages:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Lost support, care and companionship
You may have to share some of the award if your spouse left surviving children or parents.
Can I sue the owner of the construction site?
You may or may not be able to sue the owner, depending on:
- How much authority the owner possessed (landlords have limited authority, for example)
- How much control the owner had over the property
- This is a judgment call based on the facts of each particular case.
Will I lose my claim if the accident was partly my fault?
Personal fault will defeat your claim under the following circumstances:
- You exercised gross negligence – you caused the accident by on-duty intoxication, for example.
- You caused the accident intentionally.
- The defendant is someone other than your employer (special rules apply to bicycle and pedestrian accidents, however).
If none of the foregoing three circumstances apply, you are still eligible for compensation.
Will I win automatically if I prove that my employer violated an OSHA regulation?
No, not automatically, but it is likely to greatly strengthen your case. Violation of an OHSA regulation is not automatic negligence, but it is convincing evidence. You will also have to prove that the regulatory violation actually caused the accident.
Is there a deadline to file a D.C. construction accident claim?
- You have one year from the date of injury to file a workers’ compensation claim.
- You have one year from the date of death to file a workers’ compensation survivor’s benefit claim.
- You have three years from the date of an injury to file a personal injury claim.
- You have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.
What kinds of damages are available in construction accident personal injury claims?
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to claim:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering (not available for workers’ compensation claims)
- Punitive damages (not available for workers’ compensation claims and most personal injury claims)
What Separates Us from the Rest
At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, we practice personal injury law, and only personal injury law – and we always represent victims, never defendants. We’ve been doing this for over 35 years now, and in that time, we have brought home more than a billion dollars for our clients. Among the thirteen of us, the awards keep accumulating.
- Four of our lawyers were named Top Lawyers by the Washingtonian Magazine.
- Five of our lawyers have been named Super Lawyers, a distinction enjoyed by only about 2.5 percent of D.C. lawyers.
- Five of our lawyers have been named Best Lawyers in America by our peers in the legal profession.
Time Matters – the Sooner You Act, the Better; Contact Skilled D.C. Construction Accident Lawyers
Your choice of which personal injury law firm will represent you may well turn out to be the most important decision you make in your entire case. If you have been injured in a D.C. construction accident, or if your loved one has been killed in such an accident, call us at (202) 796-3291, or simply contact us online, so that we can schedule a free initial consultation.