Washington, DC asked in Personal Injury and Civil Litigation for District of Columbia

Q: I was hit in the District, but live in Virginia -- which laws apply?

3 Lawyer Answers

John Mesirow

  • Washington, DC
  • Licensed in District of Columbia

A: DC law applies to the accident. If you were injured, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. There are some things that, if not done soon after the accident, may hurt your case. For example, you want to get pictures of any property damage (e.g. car, bicycle) before it is repaired, and any visible injuries (before they heal). It is also important to get witness statements now, while their whereabouts are known, and the memories are fresh. This is not an exhaustive list. Good luck.

Timothy Fizer

  • Baltimore, MD
  • Licensed in District of Columbia

A: In addition to Mr. Meisrow's answer, I would note that if this involves uninsured motorist coverage, Virginia law may apply to that contract action.

Mark Oakley

  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in District of Columbia

A: You want to sue in DC because the law of the place where the accident occurred governs your legal rights and the claim, plus DC courts have subpoena jurisdiction up to 25 miles outside its borders to compel witnesses and obtain necessary documents if needed. The defendant cannot object to being sued in DC, either, since it is the place where his/her negligent act occurred.

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