There are a lot of factors that determine the settlement value of a medical malpractice case in the District, Maryland or Virginia.
There is no formula or grid, or law or book that tells you how much your medical malpractice case is worth in DC, Maryland or Virginia and there is a lot that goes into the analysis. Our approach (and we've been successfully suing hospitals, HMOs and doctors for medical malpractice in the DC area for more than 20 years) can vary a little depending on whether the injured patient is an adult or child, or if there was a death involved, but basically, here's how we do it.
First, look at the harms the medical mistake caused.
We do this from the very beginning and it helps us determine whether we accept the case. We just don't take cases where someone doesn't need our help because the injury is not permanent, or where the costs of the litigation would outweigh the potential recovery to someone.
So we look at your needs - what has changed in your life because of the medical negligence? Do you need around the clock nursing care because you physically cannot care for yourself anymore? Do you need a handicap accessible home, or do you need to modify your house to make it accessible? Do you need transportation if you can no longer drive? What if you never work again - you need to replace that lost income.
How about future medical treatment - therapy, diagnostic tests like MRIs, medications, surgeries - how much will you need and how much will it cost?
Aside from the cost of everything you now need to replace, pay for, or hire people to do, what about the effect this has had on you?
Are you isolated, unable to get out, in pain all the time?
Next, how strong is your medical malpractice case?
There is no such thing as a "slam dunk" in the law. Some cases may be easier to explain than others, but many involve complex medical issues that require expert physicians to explain what should have been done differently and why.
Can this be explained to people - and does it make sense. Common sense, even with complicated issues, is always the key. Many cases involve relatively simple mistakes with no system for preventing them - like a doctor forgets to call in a test result, or a hospitalist doesn't follow up on a recommendation, or a nurse doesn't check a medication order. All of these are simple mistakes that need a system to catch them - to double check, to provide a reminder, to make sure they don't hurt the patient.
Where is your medical malpractice case filed?
DC, Maryland and Virginia all have different medical malpractice laws - most designed to make it hard for legitimately, seriously injured patients to get fair and reasonable compensation for the harms caused by the healthcare system.
So Maryland and Virginia limit damages, or the amount you can recover in a medical malpractice case. That can obviously affect the settlement value of any case - even a catastrophic, life changing injury or death.
Is your medical malpractice case ready for trial from day one?
You have to show the hospital, HMO, or doctors insurance company that you are ready, willing and able to go to trial. Here are a few tips to get you started, but much of that depends on the lawyers you choose to handle your malpractice case. If they have never handled a case like yours, or don't have the experience, resources, access to experts, familiarity with the court and hospital lawyers, etc....that can be an uphill battle.
So when we accept a case, we put it together before we file it. This means we have had it evaluated by numerous medical experts in different specialties, have prepared you, have assessed the harms and determined what would help make up for them, and have given everything to the hospital or insurance company so they know you're ready to go.
We only handle cases for patients and children who have been seriously injured. If you'd like more information on working with us, or investigating your medical malpractice case, or medical mistakes affecting children, please call us at (202) 393 - 3320.