Roger K. Gelb

Legal Representation for Accident Victims in Washington, D.C.

Gelb & Gelb, P.C. distinguishes itself by having every case that is accepted handled by attorney Roger Gelb. Unlike most other firms, you will not be directed through a maze of paralegals and legal assistants. You can speak directly to Mr. Gelb at any point during the course of your matter. Paralegals and legal assistants work behind the scenes. We handle many types of personal injury matters, including those related to car accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, dangerous products, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse and negligence. We also assist injured victims with workers' compensation claims.

Personal Injury

Negligence is the legal theory underlying many personal injury lawsuits. When asserting negligence, you will need to establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care, and the defendant breached the duty of care, thereby causing injuries. Historically, the District of Columbia has followed the doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that if you are even 1% at fault for an accident, you will be precluded from recovering compensation. Thus, it is especially important to seek legal representation so that an insurer does not unfairly shift the blame to you. However, an exception to the contributory negligence doctrine has been carved out for car accidents involving a motor vehicle and bicyclists, pedestrians, or other non-motorized operators. A rule of modified comparative negligence applies in those cases, which can allow a victim to recover some damages if they were partly at fault.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are often caused by the behavior of a negligent driver, including speeding, drunk driving, texting while driving, driving too fast for weather conditions, fatigued driving, and running red lights or stop signs. In Washington, D.C., a no-fault system is used, so you can bring a claim against another driver only when your claim is greater than the limits of your personal injury protection (PIP) policy, or your injuries include significant disfigurement, impairment, total impairment, or significant permanent scarring lasting 180 days or more. Usually, if you are eligible to go outside the no-fault system, your Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney will use a theory of negligence. If you are able to establish another driver's liability for the crash, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. These may include lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Bike Accidents

Bicyclists have the same rights and obligations as drivers of passenger vehicles. However, there is no buffer between a bicyclist and the force of a blow from another vehicle. Often, the injuries are catastrophic. Unlike in car accident cases involving two cars, a doctrine of comparative fault applies to a bicycle accident case arising out of a passenger vehicle driver's negligence. Under the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act, a plaintiff bicyclist can recover damages if they are less than 50 percent at fault in an accident with a vehicle. 

Pedestrian Accidents

A pedestrian has no protection against the force of a collision, which may cause permanent or even fatal injuries. In Washington, D.C., there is one pedestrian fatality each week. These are often caused by the driver of a passenger vehicle. If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, a personal injury attorney at our Washington, D.C. firm can help you pursue a wrongful death claim. These are similar to personal injury claims in that they are usually based on negligence, but different types of damages are available. Some common reasons for pedestrian accidents include texting while driving, speeding, reckless driving, and alcohol use.

Premises Liability

In Washington, D.C., landowners and occupiers have a duty to make sure that their property is safe for any invited guest. However, it is not enough to show that you were hurt on somebody else's property to recover damages. To successfully establish a premises liability lawsuit, you will need to show that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous property condition that caused your injuries. For example, if you fell on a broken step in a retail store, you would need to show that the retail store owner had actual or constructive notice of the milk on the floor. In most cases, constructive notice is proven by showing that a dangerous condition existed for so long that a prudent landowner or occupier would have noticed it and either made repairs or warned visitors about it.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice lawsuits in Washington, D.C. are quite complex. Not every mistake counts as malpractice, so we will need to show that a defendant health care provider's conduct fell below the professional standard of care, thereby causing you injuries. A Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer will need to notify a prospective defendant health care provider a minimum of 90 days before suing in the District of Columbia. This notice needs to include enough details to put the provider on notice of the legal reasons for your claim, including the type and extent of harm that you suffered because of the malpractice. There is no cap on compensation that may be awarded for medical malpractice in Washington, D.C.

Product Liability

If you were injured by a defective or dangerous product, you may be able to sue in a product liability lawsuit. The law related to these claims has evolved tremendously over the years. Nowadays, there are three types of actionable defects: design defects, marketing defects, and manufacturing defects. Most lawsuits involving injuries from products are based on strict liability, but it may be possible to recover compensation under theories of negligence or breach of warranty. Sometimes manufacturers try to avoid accountability by showing that an injury was caused by misuse or that a user knew of the risks yet used the product.

Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

When you put your loved one in a nursing home, you deserve to feel confident that the nursing home staff will care for your loved one. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect are disturbingly common. Sometimes elderly people are not only vulnerable but also unable to report problems with their care. If you notice possible signs of nursing home neglect, such as soiling, personality changes, withdrawal, weight loss, unexplained injuries, bedsores, and dirty or torn clothes, you should consult a personal injury lawyer in Washington, D.C. and investigate further. You may be able to recover damages for nursing home neglect or abuse that causes injuries, such as failures to provide appropriate medical attention or failures to provide a safe, clean environment.

Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else, you should contact the seasoned personal injury lawyers at Gelb & Gelb. Roger Gelb and his staff will take the time to thoroughly understand your case and help you explore your options. Call Gelb & Gelb, P.C. at (202) 331-7227 or contact us through our online frm for a free consultation.