During the course of COVID-19, outdoor dining has become even more popular than ever before because of social distancing and public health measures. For many restaurants and businesses, incorporating an outdoor dining option has become a means of survival. Now, more than two years into the pandemic, dining outdoors is as popular as ever. For a lot of restaurants in busy metropolitan areas, however, these outdoor dining areas are often located only inches away from busy streets and often share their space with cars passing by. What happens when a passing vehicle crashes into the dining area and causes a major accident?
According to a recent local news report, two individuals died after a driver crashed his vehicle outside a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Around lunchtime on a busy Friday last week, an older driver lost control of his car and crashed into an outdoor seating area. 11 people were injured in total and eight individuals were transferred to local hospitals. Two individuals died, and at least three are facing life-threatening injuries. According to nearby witnesses, the car accelerated outside the restaurant and drove straight into the outdoor seating area. The driver responsible for the accident was seen driving through a parking lot adjacent to the restaurant at a high speed just moments before the collision. The accident remains under investigation and the driver responsible for the collision is cooperating with the authorities.
Unfortunately, this tragic collision in Washington, D.C. was not the first of its kind. With the weather warming up and more people choosing to dine outside than ever, several similar accidents have taken place around the country. To keep yourself safe, it is crucial that you understand what steps to take following an incident like this.
Can I Sue if I Was Injured in a Washington, D.C. Pedestrian Accident?
Yes, if you were recently injured in a Washington, D.C. pedestrian accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for your injuries. In Washington, D.C., there are specific rules governing when and whether you can sue, as well as what you may be eligible to recover as a potential plaintiff.
Two crucial Washington, D.C. rules that may greatly affect the success of your claim are below. First, you must file your personal injury lawsuit within the D.C. statute of limitations, which is three years. The clock begins ticking from the date of the accident that led to your injuries. Once this window closes, you will be unlikely to get your case in court, so time is of the essence. Second, Washington, D.C. follows a shared fault legal framework, which means that if the potential plaintiff shares some fault for the accident that resulted in their injury, they will be barred from receiving damages. Under this rule, your compensation drops to zero automatically once the court determines that you shared any measure of fault in the accident, no matter how small.
Do You Need a Washington, D.C. Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or someone you know was recently injured or killed in a Washington, D.C. pedestrian accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Our lawyers have years of experience handling all kinds of personal injury cases and will work to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.