D.C. Maryland and Virginia medical malpractice, accidents and work injuries questions answered by D.C. injury attorneys.
Here are some of the questions people have when they first contact us about D.C., Maryland and Virginia medical malpractice, serious car accidents or workers compensation.
We try to provide as much information as we can based on our experience as medical malpractice lawyers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and based on representing many hundreds of people who have been injured in accidents or at work in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Here are the basics:
Patients permanently injured by medical malpractice, or the families of patients killed because of medical negligence, when a hospital, HMO or healthcare corporation doesn't follow basic patient safety rules deserve justice - resources to help with the harms and losses due to the injuries or death of their loved one.
Drivers who don't follow the rules of the road, driving recklessly, driving drunk, speeding, and texting should be accountable for the harm they cause when their actions cause a car accident or wreck.
Workers hurt on the job deserve workers compensation benefits for lost wages, medical treatment and permanent injuries. If a worker is killed on the job, his family deserves workers compensation death benefits - to at least help with the financial loss of a loved one.
But since every person is unique, if you have questions or need information about an injury or death in your family, please contact us to talk it through. We'll talk to you, schedule a free initial meeting and give you all the information we can.
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If a patient was injured in the hospital, how do you prove a medical malpractice case against a hospital in D.C.?
Medical Malpractice Cases Against Hospital in D.C.
In medical malpractice cases in the District of Columbia, hospitals owe the same duty of care to their patients as doctors, HMOs and other health care providers. They cannot violate patient safety rules. And when a hospital employee - a doctor, nurse, resident, etc. commits medical malpractice, the hospital is responsible.
Other times, there may be communication errors or system failures that cause a patient to "fall through the cracks." For example, a radiologist does not communicate MRI findings to the doctor who ordered the patients test, or there is no system for checking the amount and type of medication a patient should get.
If you think you have a medical malpractice case against a hospital in D.C., an experienced D.C. medical malpractice attorney will also review the actions of attending physicians and specialists who may not be employed by the hospital and would need to be separate defendants in any medical malpractice case.
The key is to get the best DC medical malpractice lawyers for your case against the hospital. We're not for everyone - we only take cases for severely injured patients who can't care for themselves because of medical malpractice - those are the people we've dedicated our lives to helping.
So if someone in your family has suffered a severe injury because of medical malpractice - cerebral palsy, brain damage, paralysis - call us to see if we are right for you and your family.
Don't delay - these cases take time to investigate and analyze and we have a specific system and process for this analysis that we share with the families we work with - so call us at (202) 393 - 3320 to get started.
How long will a medical malpractice case in D.C. take?
As my D.C. medical malpractice lawyer you recently filed my son's medical malpractice case against a Washington, D.C. hospital. How long will a medical malpractice case in D.C. take?
A medical malpractice case in D.C., filed against a hospital in D.C. Superior Court, usually takes approximately 1 1/2 to 2 years to get to trial.
There are a lot of reasons why D.C. medical malpractice cases take that long to go to trial. Sometimes medical malpractice cases require taking 30 or 40 depositions of doctors, specialists, nurses, and expert witnesses and these healthcare workers may be practicing medicine all over the country. Many times, the trial will last several weeks so the hospital's lawyer or the judge may not have enough time, due to other trial commitments, to hold the trial any sooner.
And occasionally medical malpractice trials are continued (delayed), if a new judge takes over the case but is not available for the trial date, or a key witness is ill, etc.
Its a long process but remember any medical malpractice case we file has already been thoroughly investigated, expert witnesses in various medical specialties have agreed to testify at trial, and much of the case is ready to go, so we can minimize delay whenever possible.
Do you have questions about medical malpractice? Call us today for an informational interview at 202-393-3320. You won't have to sign anything or agree to anything in advance - we mostly do these interviews so we can get to know you, and you can get to know us and what we do.
Watch the videos on this page to discover the truth about case acceptance at Donahoe Kearney and to learn more about serious conditions like cerebral palsy.
How do I get information about resources available for children who have cerebral palsy or other disabilities in D.C., Maryland and Virginia?
Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves: A Parent's Guide to Resources.
As D.C. medical malpractice lawyers, we represent children with cerebral palsy and disabilities in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. And we've learned a lot from our clients - parents of children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities caused by medical malpractice.
One of the things we learned is that caring for a special needs child is a 24/7 occupation. Parents of children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities don't have the time to research available resources for their child and family - they need a starting point.
That's why we wrote Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves: A Parent's Guide to Resources. We tried to provide a starting point of resources and information on respite care, education, legal issues, camps and other issues facing parents of children with cerebral palsy or other disabilities. Some of the information came from our clients - programs they have tried and have worked.
Our Guide to Resources is available free to any parent or guardian of a child with cerebral palsy or other disability. As D.C. medical malpractice lawyers, we know that cerebral palsy can be caused by medical malpractice. And we know that many children suffer from cerebral palsy or other injuries or disabilities that have nothing to do with medical malpractice.
And to be crystal clear - our resource guide is for all parents of special needs children - whether you believe your child's condition was caused by medical malpractice or not.
You can order your free copy through our website or by calling us at (202) 393-3320.
Can I Handle My Long Term Insurance Disability Appeal Alone?
Why do I need an attorney to do my long term disability appeal?
You're an intelligent person, a professional. The process seems fairly straightforward: all you have to do is get your medical records together, show all of your doctor's recommendations, and the appealed claim will go through, right? Isn't it pretty simple to prove that you are disabled?
Wrong. Knowing more about what a disability claim attorney can do for you will help guide your decision-making process when facing an ERISA Long Term Disability claim appeal. Please consider the following items carefully if you are faced with filing an appeal of a claim the long term disability insurance company has denied.
There are many different types of attorneys.
You definitely don't want a general practitioner, who dabbles in all types of law, to handle your long term disability insurance claim appeal. If your long term disability claim has been denied, you will need an experienced attorney like Frank Kearney who understands the ins and outs of how insurance companies operate. Frank Kearney has been representing people against insurance companies for 25 years and even has some experience working in insurance defense when he was first out of law school. He understands insurance companies. That's exactly the type of attorney you need for a long term disabiilty appeal.
Our team can help make your ERISA Long-Term Disability claim smoother. All we do is represent people with serious injuries or medical conditions against insurance companies (including medical malpractice, workers compensation, major car accidents, in addition to long term disability). This specialized experience is one of the greatest benefits of having an attorney work on your ERISA long term disability insurance case if your claim has been denied.
Having an attorney with experience can make the difference between winning or losing your appeal.
The experience an attorney can bring when appealing your case is invaluable. We've successfully navigated the complexities and industry tricks involved with the insurance industry in all of our practice areas. Specialized knowledge like this will make all the difference if your disability claim is denied. We understand challenges that you will face with producing objective medical evidence, dealing with surveillance, social media review, etc. Having someone who can navigate and administrate the entire process is something everyone appealing a disability denial needs.
Hiring an attorney when making a disability claim is a right that is exercised by people with a legitimate injury or disease who can't work and are doing their best to heal.
People sometimes aren’t sure if hiring an attorney is right for them. If you are legitimately injured or ill and out of work, you have every right to consider what types of actions are in your best interest to get you well and provide for yourself and your family. The premiums are paid every month, and the insurance company exists, in theory, to support you when the policy is needed - when you can no longer work.
You owe it to yourself to get more information on the process of appealing a denial or termination of long term disability benefits, or to learn more about the process before going in to it. Call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 to get started.
And if you've received a denial letter from your disability insurance company, do it today - you only have 180 days to file your appeal and there is a lot of work to do (your claim file alone could be hundreds and hundreds of pages).
As medical malpractice attorneys, how do you help children with disabilities and special needs?
We give every family we work with a copy of Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves: A Parent's Guide to Resources, a resource guide we published so parents can find out what resources are available for their child. We developed this because we found many parents didn't have the time to investigate all of the resources that could help - special camps, respite care, therapies, etc.
As part of our investigation of every case we accept for a disabled child, we have a physician or qualified rehabilitation nurse prepare a comprehensive report outlining the services the child will need to maximize his abilities. Many times, we will have the child and family evaluated by specialists to help determine the child's specific physical, emotional, and educational needs as well.
We've also published Picking Up the Pieces After Medical Malpractice: A Parent's Guide to help families struggling with medical malpractice in D.C., Maryland and Virginia make the best decisions for their family.
So it's a lot more than most people realize - but that's how we work. So you can focus on what's best for your child.
Call us today at 202-393-3320 to see if we can help your family.
How do you evaluate a medical malpractice case against a hospital, HMO or doctor in the DMV?
Evaluating medical malpractice in DC, Maryland and Virginia
Any medical malpractice, hospital negligence or HMO malpractice case we accept to file for a patient or a patient's family undergoes a rigorous investigation process, one we have a complete system for. The medical records, diagnostic test results, films, pathology slides (in other words, everything) are evaluated by consulting and expert physicians in different medical specialties.
We analyze all aspects of the case.
This is so we can get you the very best information on what happened and prepare your medical malpractice case the right way for your benefit. In the DC area, we also analyze where best to file your case if there is a choice, and whether DC, Virginia or Maryland law would apply (and which of those would be best for your family).
After the medical investigation, if we feel we can both help make a difference in your life and your family's life, we work with you every step of the way to hold the hospital accountable and hopefully make hospitals, HMOs and doctors safer for all patients. That's our basic criteria for accepting a medical malpractice case in DC, Maryland or Virginia.
Because of the time commitment, costs and complexity of medical malpractice cases, we only represent those patients who need it most - children with Cerebral Palsy from a birth injury, or a family who has lost a loved one, or a patient who was paralyzed or suffered brain damage, for example.
If that sounds like you or someone in your family, please call us at (202) 393 - 3320 so we can send you all of the information you need to get started.
But don't wait - medical malpractice cases have time limits - and the sooner you contact us the sooner we can start getting help for you and your family.
I was hit by a car that ran a red light in D.C. delivering materials for my company. Can I Sue?
I was seriously injured at work when my work truck was hit by a car that ran a red light in D.C. I was delivering materials for my company. I'm getting workers comp benefits and the workers comp insurance company paid for my surgeries. Since the car accident was the other driver's fault, can I sue the other driver?
Yes. This is what we call a "third party case." You actually have two cases with different benefits and/or damages available. The workers compensation insurance company should be paying for your time off work (66 2/3 % of your salary) and for all of your medical treatment - surgeries, hospitalizations, office visits, MRIs, physical therapy, etc. as you need it, even though the accident was caused by another driver.
You also have a case against the other driver (sometimes this is called a third-party case because the other driver isn't your employer or a co-worker) for the harms and losses he caused when he ran the red light and hit you. These harms and losses can be the cost of your medical treatment (both now and in the future), lost income (again, now and in the future), pain, suffering, permanent injury, disfigurement and other things that have been taken from you.
And you can pursue both cases. The catch (there always is one) is that the workers comp insurance company gets paid back what it paid to you or on your behalf for medical treatment (it's a form of subrogation). So you have to do the analysis to find out if the third-party case is ultimately going to make you money.
As injury attorneys, we help you make that decision so we can do what's best for you and your family.
There are a couple of traps to watch out for. For example, check out this question about time limits for filing a 3rd party case in D.C.
Give us a call at 202-393-3320 and we'll set you up with a free informational, no obligation, confidential interview.
Throwback Thursday: How much does a medical malpractice attorney cost?
Frank Kearney was a guest on a local TV show speaking about our firm’s work with families of special needs children and our approach to medical malpractice cases. He explains how medical malpractice cases work, from how a case is investigated to the benefits of a successful case, and everything in between.
Above is a clip of Mr. Kearney explaining the cost of hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Many people don’t realize that it doesn’t cost any more to hire an experienced, Board certified attorney with a track record of successful medical malpractice cases than it does to hire a lawyer right out of law school.
Frank Kearney, Esq:
Most of the families that we work with can’t afford the services of a lawyer billing on an hourly rate and there are very different reasons for that. As a civil justice attorney, what I do, my law firm and I, we work on a contingent fee, which means it’s a percentage of any total verdict or award after the case is finished. And these cases can go on for several years and many times do.
We also front all the costs and expenses associated with the case. For example, when there’s been a violation of a patient safety rule by a HMO or a hospital, it takes a very thorough investigation. We need experts, physicians, primarily in all different specialties to review the case, to review the chart, to work with you. Obviously all those things cost money before you even file a case or when you’re still investigating it. So we don’t require our families to front those cost in the beginning because again, if you have a special needs child or if you’re dealing with a death in the family due to a medical error, you know, that’s a 24/7 occupation. You can’t be worried about your lawyer calling you up saying, ‘Oh you need to pay me this much this month, or this much next week, I need this or I need that.’
It’s just not the best way to help families—we don’t think.
If you missed it, here’s a YouTube link to watch Mr. Kearney’s full interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFfeRnK8zWk&feature=youtu.be
What is a Recorded Statement for a Long-Term Disability Company?
After an injury, debilitating illness or a serious car accident, the long term disability insurance company may have an insurance adjuster call or sometimes come to see you in person to get your recorded statement. A recorded statement is essentially a recorded interview and can be used as part of the adjuster’s investigation of your claim for disability insurance benefits.
Should you give the insurance adjuster or investigator a recorded statement?
No - at least not without an experienced lawyer representing you or without knowing your rights.
Remember, insurance adjusters work for the insurance companies and their job is to limit and even deny benefits - they want to reduce the amount of money the insurance company has to pay you. So they WILL use the recorded statement against you if it is inconsistent in any way. You can tell the adjuster the same situation ten times but if there’s something slightly different about how you explain the situation on the tenth time, the adjuster can and will use that against you.
Plus, you may not know the answers to several questions about your medical condition, and those should be addressed to your doctor, but most people want to be helpful in an interview situation, so they guess or do their best to answer questions they really don't know the answer to. Another problem is preparation - how many times have you had a conversation or been asked a question and later wish you had said something or answered differently? We all do that - it's natural that the best answer will come to you after you've had time to consider it, not in the heat of the moment.
This has nothing to do with whether your claim is legitimate and your injury or medical condition prevents you from working - it's about how you best present the evidence, according to the specific language of your long term disability insurance policy, to the disability insurance company. They are the ones making the initial decision on whether you qualify for long term disability benefits and deciding your appeal if your claim is denied or your long term disability benefits are terminated.
We have a process for analyzing and presenting the evidence for you on appeal and part of that evidence would be an interview of you and transcription of your story - and there are reasons why it has to be done right at that stage of your claim - most of all, you don't get a "second chance" to add evidence to your appeal later.
That is why it’s important to either get all of the information you need to help yourself or if your injury or medical condition is serious, have an experienced attorney to guide you through this process. Insurance companies will use any little trick or tactic they can think of to limit, delay and even deny your legitimate claim.
Download the report "Claim Denied - the Ugly Truth About Long-Term Disability" or call us today at (202) 393-3320 to learn about the other different resources we provide to make sure insurance companies don’t force you to make a mistake that hurts you and your family.
And if you received a denial letter from the insurance company - a letter denying or terminating your claim for long term disability benefits - call us today so we can analyze it for you and give you our recommendations on filing your appeal, (this analysis is both confidential and free). But don't wait - if your long term disability policy is governed by ERISA, you only have 180 days to appeal and there is a lot of work to do.
When should I hire a workers compensation lawyer for my workers comp injury?
As I say in my book, Protect Your Rights: The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers Compensation, Don't wait.
The insurance company already has a team of lawyers, adjusters, nurses, case managers and investigators working against you from the moment you got hurt at work - sometimes before you even get to the hospital.
You need to be prepared for what is coming.
If you have a serious injury and you will be out of work or need surgery, you need to act now to protect yourself and your family for the long term consequences of the injuries. Even though you may be getting benefits, there is no guarantee those will continue, and you may not even be getting paid at the correct rate. The insurance company will never tell you everything you are entitled to in the future, or whether you can get benefits if your injury is permanent.
I literally wrote the book on workers compensation because one young couple got totally screwed by the insurance company - and by the time they came to me, it was too late.
There was nothing I could do.
I tell people a little bit about their story when I send them a copy of the book.
You'll see why a hard working union man, Mike (that's not his real name - I'm protecting his privacy) with a serious, legit injury that would end his career, was legally getting paid $20,000 less per year by his workers comp insurance company, because he made a common mistake he had no idea he was making at the time.
So don't delay in getting the best workers compensation lawyer for your case. As I say in my book, the insurance company's duty is to its shareholders - not you! No matter how nice they are or how smoothly everything went at first, there comes a time when that all changes.
In fact, I just spoke to a nurse I couldn't help because her injury lifting a patient happened so long ago. If she had called shortly after the injury, she would be much better off today, getting the medical treatment and income benefits she should have been getting.
Get the information you need to help yourself and your family by calling 202-393-3320. Any discussion we have will be free, confidential, no obligation and above all else, no pressure. But you'll walk away knowing a lot more about the workers comp system and how to protect yourself and your family.
The insurance company or your employer won't do it for you.