Personal Injury Lawyer
Attorney Plotnick Takes Your Case Personally
Accidents causing injury can affect people in very personal ways. Suddenly, you or a loved one might not be able to do many of the things you love or that we often take for granted, like working, walking or performing other routine tasks.
A personal injury claim or case may arise from any accident that occurs because of someone else's negligence or wrongdoing. Personal injury law is a large practice area that encompasses many different types of accidents, all rooted in someone else's negligence.
The Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC have dedicated our practice to helping Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia accident victims receive the full compensation they deserve and desperately need, so they can make a full recovery from all of their losses and repair their lives.
In Maryland and the District, you have 3 years to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Virginia, the time limit is 2 years. In accidents where a government employee is involved in the performance of his/her duties, certain notice requirements, which are much shorter, may apply, and if not met, may extinguish your right to sue if necessary.
If you or one of your loved ones has suffered a serious damage because of another person's negligence or recklessness, call (301) 251-1286 today for a free case evaluation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We handle cases in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Cases We Handle
There are so many different types of personal injury cases. Some of the most common ones we regularly handle at our law firm include:
- Auto Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Pedestrians and Cyclists
- Dog Bites
- Slip and Fall
- Premises Liability
- Medical Malpractice
- Construction Accidents
- Defective Products
- Wrongful Death
Whatever type of personal injury accident you're dealing with, contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation as soon as possible. The sooner we can meet with you, the sooner we can help you get your life back on track.
Types of Injuries
- Brain injuries, concussions and other including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Neck injuries, including whiplash and broken neck bones
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis (full and partial)
- Lower back injuries
- Sports injuries and concussions
- Arm and hand injuries
- Leg and foot injuries
- Broken bones
- Blindness and other visual injuries
- Hearing Loss
Whatever type of injury you're dealing with, don't wait for insurance companies to dictate what happens to you. Contact our law firm right away.
Why Choose Us
There's no substitute for experience. That's why we routinely obtain sizable settlements and verdicts for injury victims and their families. Attorney Plotnick has the added bonus of being a former lead trial attorney for two of the major insurance companies. He knows how they think and how to outsmart them at their own game. He is the ultimate insider. He knows how to make them pay.
Victims of personal injury have a right to pursue a wide range of benefits and damages, a legal term used to describe financial compensation. The type and amount of damages you can pursue will depend on the specifics of your case, severity of your injuries and the impact the injuries have had on your life. You can seek compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost income
- Lost ability to work and engage in certain routine living or other activities (e.g., sports or recreation)
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lowered quality or enjoyment of life
- Increased costs of living due to living with a disability (e.g., home care, medicine, wheel chairs or other items of assistance with living)
- Loss of the Irreplaceable
In a wrongful death case, the family of the victim can recover compensation for funeral and end-of-life expenses, as well as loss of companionship, and any future financial contributions the victim would have made to the family.
You have too much at stake to try and figure out what to do on your own after your personal injury accident. That's why it's critical that you contact us as soon as possible. Attorney Plotnick can help you put your life back on track and our team will handle the red tape and stress coming your way.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most devastating types of personal injuries one can suffer. These injuries are almost always life-changing, affecting the victim's ability to engage in simple daily activities, process information, and function the way they once did. Unlike other parts of your body, your brain cannot regenerate once it has been damaged. Brain injury victims must therefore undergo therapy to work around their disability ("compensate"), learning new ways of performing simple tasks. The most misunderstood notion around such injuries, is the belief that they always show up on scans or imaging of the brain, e.g. MRI, but in fact, that is not true. Many such brain injuries are diagnosed because friends and colleagues of the victim, or others who regularly interact with the injured person, notice he or she is not the same, or a little off from what they were. The victim may not be as sharp, have memory issues, have mood swings, and other symptoms that a scan simply will not recognize. Slight personality changes are often a sign that there may be an injury, as well as headaches, sensitivity to light, and ringing in the ears.
Brain injury victims and their families need an injury attorney who understands the medical, physical, economic, and psychological impact of TBI. Brain injury lawyer Stuart L. Plotnick has extensive experience in neuroanatomy and brain science, and can help your family as you work through vocational rehabilitation and life care planning issues that are commonly associated with these types of injuries.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic head injury is usually caused by a sudden blow to the head, or by whiplash effect- a rapid acceleration/deceleration of the head area that causes the brain to crash against the skull. Depending on the specific area of your brain that was injured, and the extent of the damage, the consequences of TBI can range from a mild concussion and short term disability, to seizures, coma, lifelong functioning issues, and possibly death.
The leading causes of traumatic brain injury are:
- Slip-and-fall accidents, especially among children and adults over 65 years old
- Auto accidents – the largest amount of TBI-related deaths
- "Struck by/against" events, including colliding with a stationary or moving object – the second leading cause of TBI injuries among children between the ages of 0 and 14 years old.
- Criminal assaults involving blows to the head
- Whiplash, the rapid deceleration and acceleration of the head, which can make the brain collide with the skull (common in rear-end auto accidents as well as physical violence, e.g. Shaken Baby Syndrome). Stress from the rapid motion can tear apart nerve fibers and damage delicate brain tissue.
- Sports injuries, including collisions in football, boxing, hockey, soccer, and other full-contact sports have also become one of the most prominent sources of brain trauma, as we know from recent stories and studies of and about football players Over the past several years, traumatic brain injuries arising from sports collisions have made TBI headline news in the NFL and in other sports.
Other causes include near drownings, exposure to dangerous chemicals, obstructed airways, heart attack, stroke, or electrical shock. Over the past several years, traumatic brain injuries arising from sports collisions have made TBI headline news in the NFL and in other sports.
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injury
The severity of a brain damage is classified from mild to severe, covering a slight change in a person's metal state to extended periods of unconsciousness and memory loss.
TBI signs and symptoms to look out for include:
- Chronic headaches that worsen or don't go away shortly after the impact or event
- Short or long term memory loss (amnesia)
- Behavioral or personality changes, mood swings
- Dizziness and/or constant nausea
- Impaired vision or loss of hearing
- Difficulty concentrating or processing tasks that were easy before the accident
- Slurred or nonsensical speech
- Problems balancing or with coordination
- Ringing in the ears (Tinnitus)
- Loss of smell and taste
- Seizures or unexplained vomiting
It's important to seek medical attention and treatment as soon as possible after suffering a blow to the head, even if symptoms are not immediately apparent. Some symptoms of brain damage may take days, weeks, or even months to surface. Family, friends or colleagues are usually the first to notice the effects.
Testing and Diagnosis
Early detection of brain injury is key to getting the best treatment. Brain injuries are usually medical emergencies that can worsen significantly without proper medical treatment. If the doctors misdiagnosed the brain injury, you may have a claim for medical malpractice. In most cases, the doctors will be able to assess the injury using diagnostic tools such as CT scans and MRIs.
Mild brain injuries can often be treated with pain relievers and adequate rest. Severe brain injuries will require more time and extensive medical treatment and potential retraining of basic skills, not to mention learning ways to compensate for deficits. Many people who suffer traumatic brain injury never fully recover. Some will require lifelong therapy and may need to relocate to a rehabilitation or long-term care facility.
Severe Cases of Brain Injury
Initial emergency treatment for brain injury can include:
- Full range of tests and scans; MRI, CT or Pet Scan
- Relieving pressure from swelling tissues inside the skull
- Repairing fractures of the skull
- Removing hematomas (clotted blood)
Each case is unique and should be treated to minimize secondary damage that can be caused by inflamed tissue, bleeding, or a reduced supply of oxygen to the brain.
Rehabilitation for a brain injury can include:
- Physical therapy
- Speech and language therapy
- Occupational therapy
If you or one of your loved ones has suffered a brain injury because of someone else's negligence or recklessness, please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious personal injury that has the potential to change a victim's life forever. Spinal cord injuries can lead to bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunctions and in severe cases, loss of sensation, loss of motor function, and partial or complete paralysis. These conditions can affect every aspect of the victim's life, including relationships with family and friends, ability to return to work, and daily activities that we commonly take for granted.
Victims of spinal cord injuries may experience a lifetime of pain, physical debilitation (paralysis), need for medical or assisted care, and income loss. According to the National Institutes of Health, spinal cord injuries also have far-reaching emotional consequences including mood fluctuations, behavioral changes, and limited reasoning capacity that extend beyond those associated with the loss of physical function that may occur.
Many spinal cord injuries are the result of a traumatic accident caused by the negligent act of another party. If you or your loved one has suffered a serious spinal cord damage in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia, or if your loved one sustained SCI because of another person's negligence, our accident lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you desperately need to pay for medical care, assistance with living or home-care, income loss, and other damages.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
The majority of spinal cord injuries occur in traumatic accidents caused by the negligence of another party. Any sudden blow to the spine that fractures, breaks, or dislocates vertebrae can lead to SCI by causing significant damage to the nerves which send signals from the brain.
Some of the most common causes of spinal cord damage include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Sporting activities
- Gunshots and related violence
- Construction accidents and work-related accidents
- Swimming and diving accidents
Renal failure is the leading cause of death associated with spinal cord injury.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are many different types of spinal cord injuries and impacts, including:
- Broken back
- Herniated disc
- Spinal fracture
- Spinal cord compression
- Sexual dysfunction
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
The National Institutes of Health report that spinal cord injuries often have far-reaching emotional consequences as well, including behavioral changes, mood swings, and limited reasoning capacity. When these problems are combined with the physical impairment that comes with spinal cord accident, the overall impact SCI has on a victim's life is overwhelming.
Attorney Plotnick Can Help You
If you are suffering from a spinal cord accident caused by another party's negligence, Mr. Plotnick can help you fight for the fair compensation you deserve. There is no reason why you should bear the financial and often lifetime burden of your SCI on top of the physical and emotional suffering that someone else's reckless actions have caused you.
Please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation from our injury attorney. Mr. Plotnick represents spinal cord accident victims throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
Playing sports can be one of the best experiences in a young athlete's life. They learn discipline and team work and an appreciation for putting their best effort toward achieving their goals. But sports injuries can sideline those dreams of accomplishment. Severe sports injuries can be crippling and have long lasting effects. Sadly, many are preventable. When your child is taken out of the game by a severe injury that was caused by the negligence of coaches or other authority figures personal injury lawyer Stuart L. Plotnick can fight for the compensation your child needs for care and recovery.
It is common for athletes to suffer minor injuries from playing sports, but more serious injuries are often linked to the failure of the coach, the league, officials and/or the school to take the proper steps to ensure an athletes' safety. Negligent care can include:
- Lack of protective gear – If children are playing a contact sport or any recreational activity that poses crashing or collision risks, the athletes should be provided the appropriate gear, such as helmets, padding, wrist guards, shin guards, gloves, and elbow or knee pads.
- Ignoring the stress of high temperatures – Athletes should be allowed to gradually adjust to hot, humid practice or play conditions. Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and other heat-related illness could be avoided by paying close attention to hydration.
- Ignoring signs of concussion or blows to the head.
- Not taking precautions during practice – Many injuries occur during practice. Athletes should wear their protective gear and use the same equipment they would use in a game.
- Playing injured – Many coaches encourage children to finish the game if they are injured. But often, "just shaking it off" and getting back in the game can cause more harm. It's better to miss a game or two than cause permanent damage.
- Teaching poor or unsafe techniques that increase the risk of injury. For example, in football, tackling using the head as tool for the hit or takedown.
Meeting with an experienced personal accident lawyer will help you determine if your child should seek compensation because of injuries sustained due to negligent conduct.
All concussions are serious injuries because they affect the function of brain cells. They can cause headaches, concentration and memory problems, and throw off balance and coordination. Symptoms are usually temporary from a blow to the head, but concussions can be especially dangerous because you can't see them and often think it is okay to resume athletic activities before it is safe. Most leagues and schools systems have adopted the rule that if a player suffers any form of concussion like impact, he/she must go through a protocol and kept out of participation for some period of time. Only after he/she is cleared by qualified medical professional may they return to play.
Repeat concussions, especially those that occur before the brain has fully healed from the first concussion, can slow recovery and increase the chance of long-term problems. Repeat concussions can result in swelling of the brain, brain damage, or death in extreme cases. Recent studies of numerous retired NFL players have shown the existence of Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease found in people who have suffered repeated blows to the head. CTE is most commonly found in (professional) athletes participating in American football, rugby, ice hockey, boxing, professional wrestling, stunt performing, bull riding, rodeo riding, Association football and other contact sports who have experienced repeated brain trauma, such as concussions and blows to the head that do not produce concussions. It can affect high-school athletes following just a few years of participation in sports. Even youth leagues like Pop Warner have now instituted protocols and rules which are designed to make our children safer from concussion as recent studies have shown an increased risk of head injury
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
If your child's accident was caused by the negligence of a league or coach that did not exercise proper safety precautions, you may be able to recover monetary damages for any injuries sustained Coaches, school districts, and sports leagues have responsibilities to protect your children during sports. When they fail to take the proper precautions, your child is the one who suffers.
If you or your child has been injured playing sports, please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC to schedule your free consultation with our law firm to find out what legal remedies exist for your family.
With so many qualified attorneys in the area, choosing the right Maryland, Virginia, or Washington D.C. area personal injury lawyer can seem overwhelming. However, not all Washington D.C. accident lawyers are capable of providing you with the same quality of results. If you want to secure the full amount of compensation you deserve, you need to choose a lawyer who knows the in-and-outs of dealing with the insurance companies and their lawyers, and is prepared to take your case as far as it needs to go - even to trial, if necessary.
At the same time, you need a personal injury lawyer who is upfront with you, explains what to expect all through the process in terms you can understand, and keeps you informed along the way.
Personal Injury Laws in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
Unlike most states, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. all operate under the rule of contributory negligence. This means that if the victim of an accident was in any way to blame you for the accident – even as little as only 1 percent of the blame – he/she cannot collect any compensation at for your losses from the other side even if they were 99% responsible. It is literally all or nothing. This strict law makes it that much more critical that you hire an experienced, aggressive, and dedicated accident lawyer who knows how to convincingly argue for the other party's full liability.
Questions to Ask During a Personal Injury Consultation
Scheduling an initial consultation is one of the best ways to determine whether or not a lawyer is right for you. A trustworthy personal injury attorney in the Rockville, Bethesda, Washington D.C., Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria areas will always offer this initial consultation for free, since he/she is used to deciding whether or not your case is worth pursuing. There are no silly questions when seeking a lawyer as the success of your case may rest on the answers you get!
During your consultation, do not hesitate to ask questions about the attorney's background and experience, such as:
- How often do you handle cases similar to mine?
- What can I expect in terms of the insurance claims and legal process?
- What services do you provide in putting my claim or case together?
- Are there any costs to me?
- How often do you contact or update me?
- What factors in my case do you think will help me, and which factors may work against me?
- What bar organizations and professional societies are you a part of?
- Do you work on a contingency fee basis?
- How much trial experience do you have?
- What is my case worth? Many people want to know understandably, how much compensation they are entitled to. But if any lawyer tells you the amount of compensation you can expect to receive at your initial meeting then we suggest you run in the other direction. Value is uncertain and never guaranteed, and certainly no lawyer could assess the value of your case before a full investigation is done and the full extent of your injuries and losses are known. The value of your case is a function your injuries, losses, treatment costs, and pain and suffering, which take weeks, if not months, to play out, so don’t be misled by the lawyer who tells you, “I can get you this or that amount…” in your first conversations.
A good Maryland area personal injury attorney will provide you with honest, clear answers to your questions. If a lawyer gives you vague responses or attempts to dodge a straight question, look elsewhere. Trusting your lawyer and feeling confident in their abilities is essential.
If the injury lawyer asks you some tough questions as well, you should be encouraged, not discouraged. This means they are trying to get to the bottom of potential legal pitfalls you may be facing so they can do a full and thorough evaluation of your options.
Why Choose the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick in Rockville, Maryland?
One key thing that sets us apart from our Maryland, Virginia, and DC area competitors is the fact that Attorney Stuart Plotnick has been on "the other side" of personal damage cases. For over a decade, he worked as lead trial and chief counsel to some of the largest insurance companies. He knows what they are thinking and their plan of attack because he was an insider.
This experience has given him valuable insight into the strategies and techniques that insurance companies will use to downplay or dismiss the claims of personal damage victims. Mr. Plotnick now uses his knowledge and experience to help victims of motor vehicle accidents, such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents, tractor trailer accidents, animal attacks, medical malpractice, and other forms of negligence, fighting for their right to the compensation they deserve. Mr. Plotnick has a track record of gaining solid verdicts and settlements for his clients.
Many accident attorneys take on hundreds of clients, forcing them to "dump" clients on junior partners or inexperienced assistants who are not able to give your case the adequate attention it needs. Unlike them, our firm only accepts the cases we can fully dedicate ourselves to. The attorney you hire is the attorney who handles all aspects of your case. This is not to say that your attorney will not seek counsel from others, but rather that your attorney will be your attorney – dealing directly with you, and personally seeing to the details of your case. We will also give you straight-talk, good or bad.
If you are looking for a personal injury attorney you can trust in the Maryland, Virginia, or Washington D.C. area, please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation. We are dedicated to protecting your rights and getting you the maximum amount of compensation and benefits.
With more than 30 years' experience litigating accident and personal injury claims, Mr. Plotnick has a proven track record of obtaining very favorable results for injury victims in the Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Washington D.C., Georgetown, Alexandria, Arlington, Herndon, Leesburg, McLean and Reston, Virginia areas.
Straight-talk: We also pride ourselves on the fact that we tell the client what reality is, good or bad. Our job is not only to advocate for our clients, but to educate them, and in some cases, that means telling them the difficulties with their case. We want your expectations to be set correctly. We don’t use a cookie-cutter approach. One solution or strategy does not fit all cases or clients, so we try to craft a strategy that is right for you.
Time Limitations and Filing Your Personal Injury Claim
When you are injured in an accident, the furthest thing from your mind may be filing a personal injury lawsuit. You want to concentrate on healing, getting back on your feet, and keeping your personal affairs in order. However, the law places restrictions on how long you have to file a personal injury claim to recovery compensation for your injuries, so there are some actions you have to take. Let us handle the heavy lifting and red tape of the insurance process, while you heal.
Consulting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury occurs is the best way to protect your legal rights. Call 301-251-1286 today to speak with Stuart Plotnick about your personal injury case.
Time Limits on Certain Injuries
The time limits that the state places on your ability to file a claim are called statutes of limitations. For most personal injury claims, the following time limits from the date of your injury apply:
- Maryland, 3 years
- District of Columbia, 3 years
- Virginia, 2 years
This includes claims for:
Medical malpractice is one exception to this rule. A medical malpractice action must be filed within five years of the date of the action or failure to act that caused the injury or within three years of the discovery of the injury.
- PIP claims must be filed within a year of the loss with your insurance company.
Intentional Torts: Things like assault and battery, road rage, are what are known as intentional torts, where the other person intends or wishes to injure the victim. These types of claims generally have a shorter time line to file a lawsuit, in some cases only 1 year.
Two or three years may seem like a long time to bring a lawsuit, but the longer you wait to consult an attorney, gather evidence, and interview witnesses, the weaker your case can become. Witnesses' memories fade over time. Evidence may disappear or be altered if you wait too long to start your case. The sooner the investigation begins the less chance of losing key pieces of evidence and information, critical to your case. Hiring an experienced injury attorney soon after your injury ensures that the investigation of your case begins when the most evidence is available. It also gives your attorney time to begin negotiations with the other side before filing a formal legal action in court.
If you have been injured because of the carelessness of someone else, please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick for your consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.