Walter E. Laake, Jr., Esq.

Walter E. Laake, Jr. is a trial lawyer practicing in Washington D.C. and Maryland with more than 35 years of experience. Specializing in personal injury, professional negligence, malpractice, product liability, and other civil litigation.

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Firm Overview

Experienced Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers

After a personal injury, accident victims or surviving family members need prompt, fair relief. The Maryland personal injury attorneys at Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, P.A., have handled personal injury and wrongful death claims for more than 40 years. Our background includes advocating for clients who sustained catastrophic injuries including brain and spinal cord injuries. We have the skills and tenacity to determine negligent factors causing life-threatening car accidents, on-the-job accidents, and other serious accidents.

If you or your loved one was the victim of a catastrophic personal injury accident, act quickly to obtain experienced legal help. At Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, P.A., we are committed to holding at-fault parties accountable for the damages they have caused. We will go on the offensive to help you or your loved one obtain compensation for medical bills, lost income and any pain and suffering you endured. Contact our law firm today for a free and confidential evaluation.
Main Office

Joseph Greenwald & Laake PA
6404 Ivy Lane
Suite 400
Greenbelt  MD  20770

Phone
  • 866-378-6160
Fax
  • 240-553-1731

Other Offices

  • Rockville Office
    111 Rockville Pike - 9th Floor
    Rockville,  MD  20850
  • Columbia Office
    5457 Twin Knolls Road, Suite 101
    Columbia,  MD  21045
  • Prince Frederick Office
    135 Dares Beach Road, Suite 209A
    Prince Frederick,  MD  20678
Personal Injury
Significant cases and recoveries in more recent years include the following:

In 2011, a $1 million recovery was obtained from the U.S. Government in a Federal Tort Claim Act medical malpractice case causing the death of a disabled husband and father of four. The maximum cap on non-economic damages available to the family was $812,500.00. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.


In 2009 a case was brought in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia against a DC hospital for negligence by its resident in allowing a three month old infant blood sugar level to drop to 20 mg/dl for a prolonged period of time resulting in severe brain injury and a $4.5 million settlement.


In 2007 a judgment in the amount of $500,018.90 including costs was entered in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Maryland for legal malpractice against an attorney whose actions caused his client's personal injury claim for the loss of an eye to be dismissed by the court. $500,000 was all that had been sought in the original lawsuit.


In 2006 a case was brought in Superior Court for the District of Columbia that resulted in an $800,000 settlement for a patient who went into a DC hospital for a routine laparoscopic gynecological procedure and suffered a perforated bowel which could have been fatal.


In 2004, Mr. Laake obtained a $700,000 recovery for a 50-year-old Air Force major forced to retire on disability due to a frontal lobe brain injury caused by a defective product, i.e., an Anthony & Sylvan Pool defective water filter which exploded striking Plaintiff in the forehead and leaving him with a permanent head injury.


In 2003, a $750,000 recovery was obtained for the spouse and three adult children of a non-working retired husband who was fatally injured in a motor vehicle accident in Prince George's County, Maryland.


Also in 2003, a $1,043,583 award was obtained for the spouse and mother of a Prince George's County victim of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. This case was handled on a pro bono basis with no legal fees received by the firm.


In 2001, Mr. Laake obtained a $1.8 million recovery for a wife and two minor children against an apartment complex for failure to provide adequate security precipitating her husband death by an unknown felon who robbed and shot the plaintiff, ultimately causing his death.


In 2000, Mr. Laake obtained $750,000 for an off-duty DC police motorcyclist who lost the use of his upper extremity as a result of an intersection accident while on his motorcycle in a case of disputed liability. There was only $1 million in coverage available.


In 1998, Mr. Laake obtained a $1.8 million recovery for personal injuries to a mother and father and for the loss of their infant child against a motorist and a highway construction company whose equipment and road markers precipitated the defendant motorist crossing the center of the highway.


In 1997, Mr. Laake recovered $1.5 million against the successor crib manufacturer who had allowed dangerous and defective cribs to remain in the marketplace. This case was brought in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.


In 1996, Mr. Laake recovered $1.5 million from a Washington, DC hospital for continuing to use infant cribs that had been recalled by the FDA and had fatally injured three children previously. This infant suffered brain damage from an anoxic episode.

If you have a serious personal injury case, you need to consult with an attorney who has a proven track record of success in handling significant cases such as those listed above.

Of course each case is different and a lawyer's past record of achievement is no assurance that the lawyer will also be successful in obtaining a favorable result in any future case.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How should I go about choosing an attorney?

With hundreds of lawyers advertising on TV, in the Yellow Pages, and now on the Internet, it is hard to know who to hire to help you with your case. In my opinion, the three most important criteria are: Experience, Competence, and your Comfort Level with the lawyer. You should feel comfortable with the attorney you choose and this will come only after you have personally spoken with him or her. This is why I try to personally speak with every potential client from the very first contact.

2. How soon after an accident should I seek representation?

Since you are visiting this website, you are obviously trying to find an attorney for help. Do NOT delay! The sooner a lawyer is hired, the sooner he or she can begin to help, and that help includes: investigating and preserving evidence, ensuring that you are receiving appropriate medical care, and preventing you from making mistakes which are too numerous to discuss here. Under no circumstances should you give an insurance company a signed or recorded statement without first being prepared to do so by an attorney. If you have already given the insurance representative a statement, just hope that you have not hurt your case. (Call me and I will explain why.)

3. How much do you charge for your services?

There is NO CHARGE for me to discuss your case with you and it is only when we are retained by you in writing that we will be owed anything for our services. When we are hired, we are usually retained on a contingency fee basis, but that percentage may vary slightly higher or lower depending on the nature and circumstances of the case.

4. I was on the job when my accident happened. Can you help with my workers compensation claim?

Yes, and it is essential that you retain an attorney familiar with workers compensation claims and procedures in addition to your accident case. I have handled numerous cases with serious personal injuries where the workers compensation benefits have exceeded the benefits available from an automobile motorists limited insurance coverage. An attorney not familiar with workers compensation could easily lose your right to workers compensation benefits.

5. How is it determined what I will receive for the injuries that I received in accident?

Whether your claim is being evaluated by an insurance adjuster, a defense attorney, a judge or a jury, the criteria that is used is essentially the same:

a) What are your economic damages, i.e., what is the total amount of expenses you have incurred and that you can prove such as medical bills, lost wages or leave, loss of services of a parent for a child, etc?

b) What are your non-economic damages, i.e., what is the pain, suffering and loss of the enjoyment of life that you have sustained as a result of an accident? In this regard, the length of time it takes for you to return to your former state of health and whether you have been left with a serious permanent disability that will affect you for the rest of your life are the most important factors in evaluating a claim.

6. If I hire a lawyer, does that mean that I will be suing the party responsible for my injuries?

Hopefully not. My belief is that it is in the clients best interest to seek a fair and equitable settlement of your claim without the expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining experience that a lawsuit can produce. Most motor vehicle accidents, when properly prepared and presented, can be settled without the necessity of a lawsuit. Indeed, the case cited in œVerdicts and Settlements where I was able to recover a $750,000 recovery for the loss of a non-working retired spouse was achieved without the necessity of filing a lawsuit.

7. If I think my present attorney is not doing the job, can I hire another attorney to take over the case?

You certainly have the right to hire a second attorney, but the law and the retainer agreement that you entered into with your initial attorney could provide that he or she is entitled to a reasonable fee for their services (unless they are terminated for cause). I have no problem in providing you with a œsecond opinion about the services that your attorney is providing. Further, when circumstances warrant, I have taken over cases in the past. The case cited in Verdicts and Settlements that was resolved in 2004 with a $700,000 recovery against Anthony & Sylvan Pools is a case where the clients had originally retained another attorney and realized that they had made a mistake. Feel free to give me a call and I will discuss with you whether your your current attorney is well respected in the personal injury field and will try to determine whether he or she is doing a good job with your case.

Walter E. Laake, Jr.

Walter E. Laake, Jr. is a founding partner in the law firm of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, P.A. He was its managing partner from its inception for more than 25 years. Since graduating from the University of Maryland and its School of Law, Mr. Laake has been an active member of numerous prestigious bar associations and achieved numerous honors and awards, including the following:

Since 2008 Walter Laake was honored to be included in the prestigious publication Super Lawyers in both its Maryland and Washington, D.C. editions.

The Washingtonian Magazine has more than once selected Walter Laake as one of the best lawyers in the field of personal injury in the Washington Metropolitan area, one of only six (6) Maryland lawyers so honored.

Mr. Laake is past President (2004-2005) of the 1200-member Maryland Association for Justice, formerly the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association.

He has been listed in the Bar Registry of Pre-Eminent Practitioners since 1993.

Mr. Laake is past President (1996-1997) of the Prince George's County Bar Association.

He is a Life Member of the 40,000-member American Association for Justice, formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the only Maryland lawyer so honored.

Mr. Laake is a member of the nationwide Million Dollar Advocates Forum which is limited to select attorneys who have recovered $1 million or more for their clients.

Since 1993, he has been awarded the highest rating for legal ability, A, depend as very high to pre-eminent, by the nations largest and oldest legal rating service, Martindale Hubbell.

Mr. Laake has served for more than 15 years on the Judicial Nominating Commission which interviews and recommends candidates to the governor for appointment to the District and Circuit Courts for the Seventh Judicial Circuit.

He was selected for membership in Outstanding Lawyers of America which is limited to 100 lawyers from the 31,000 members of the Maryland bar.

For more than 15 years Mr. Laake has been appointed to serve on the Attorney Grievance Commission

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Geting To Know Walter Laake

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