Answers to Medical Malpractice, Workers Comp, Long Term Disability Insurance, and Car Accident Questions

Get The Help You Need Now
Contact us directly 202-393-3320

Here are some of the questions people have when they first contact us about D.C., Maryland and Virginia medical malpractice, serious car accidents, long term disability insurance claims, 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 serious car accident or car 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.

If you're on a long term disability insurance claim and your claim has been denied, you probably need an attorney to do the appeal. Insurance companies will use every trick in their aresenal to deny or limit your benefits. Don't try to handle an appeal on your own.

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.

Call us today at 202-393-3320.

  • Page 1
  • Can I work if I'm getting long term disability benefits?

    Work and Long Term Disability Benefits

    We fight insurance companies on behalf of people every day.  If you were denied long term disability benefits for your injury or medical condition, you know how difficult that process is.  Many long term disability insurance companies deny tons of people because they know that some people won't appeal at all.

    It's an unfair strategy, but it works.

    So once you are back getting benefits, is it OK to work?

    Probably not.  Here's why:

    Insurance companies will use any activity related to work, including volunteer work (for people who work with us, we have an entire interview and assessment process that analyzes and explains this for your specific situation) as a basis to deny or terminate your long term disability benefits - many times before you are fully recovered or ready to return to work full time.

    What if you're receiving long term disability benefits and want to return to work?

    First, you'll need to thoroughly review your long term disability insurance policy.

    Most long term disability policies have 2 terms and conditions you should be familiar with: "own occupation" and "any occupation."  During the "own occupation" time period, you qualify for benefits if you cannot perform the primary duties of your own job.  But after a period of time (your specific policy will indicate this) you qualify for benefits only if you can't work in "any occupation."

    There are a few other terms and conditions in your long term disability policy to identify and analyze:

    • How Total Disability and Partial Disability are defined
    • Offsets for "other income" which allow the insurance company to reduce your benefits
    • Vocational rehabilitation programs and incentives to work

    Working with your doctor is critical to your long term disability claim.

    You need to constantly educate your doctors on this process - they are busy and don't have the time or expertise to analyze the specific terms, definitions, conditions and law that apply to your long term disability benefits.

    If you think you can return to some type of work, discuss it with your doctor and have him examine you first.

    • Have your doctor thoroughly document any physical restrictions or limitations
    • If your doctor agrees you can try to return to work, have the doctor write a detailed report that documents the exam findings, restrictions and limitations you have and indicate that you are approved to attempt to try to return to work for a trial period.  If the trial period works, that is great, otherwise you can use it as evidence that you cannot work. 

    Be honest with the long term disability insurance company.

    It's important to provide the insurance company with the medical records that document you can return to work for a trial period and disclose any income you receive.

    And be upfront with your employer about your physical limitations and restrictions as well.

    We hope these tips help with a healthy, long term transition back to work - one that puts you in control.

    Questions about your long term disability plan?

    Before taking action, call to schedule a flat fee strategy session with us.  We'll review and analyze your policy and medical records and explain how the different terms, conditions and clauses impact your eligibility for benefits, and help you with a game plan so you can make the best decisions for you and your family.

    Call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 to get started.

  • Questions about medical malpractice involving a child?

     

    Any time a child is injured in a hospital or develops an irreversible condition after a hospital stay, parents, grandparents and relatives often wonder if the condition or injury should have been prevented.

    You do your best to get your children to the best hospitals and medical care, but still you worry that the hospital, HMO or doctors didn't do what they were supposed to.

    As a parent, how will you know if your child's condition or injury was caused by a hospital, HMO or doctor?

    Start by reading Picking up the Pieces After Medical Malpractice: A Parent's Guide.  This guide, written by practicing medical malpractice attorneys in D.C. will get you started.  It won't give you all the answers - no guide or book can, but it will give you practical advice on what to do next to get your questions answered and help your child and your family.

    The guide is a free gift.  Order it today or call us at (202) 393 - 3320 and we'll send it to you.

  • I was denied long term disability benefits from my job in DC. How do I write an appeal?

    Appealing your long term disability denial is a complicated process.

    There are several steps you need to take after you receive a denial letter from your long term disability benefits insurance company, and you need to act quickly.  Under ERISA (the federal law that governs most long term disability insurance policies) you only have 180 days to file your appeal.

    Here are some of the initial steps to get ready to write your appeal.

    Remember - appealing your long term disability denial (to the same insurance company that denied or terminated your benefits) is a lot more involved than filling out a form or writing a letter.  A lot of work and analysis will need to be accomplished before you draft the actual appeal.

    After analyzing the claim file you've requested from the insurance company (we typically request 18 - 20 categories of documents and information, and claims files can be many hundreds or thousands of pages depending on the nature of your medical condition, the length of time on benefits and other factors), under most long term disability insurance policies, you need to gather and generate evidence that proves the insurance company denial was unreasonable.

    That can mean working with medical and vocational specialists, getting additional diagnostic testing for support, undergoing a Functional Capacity Evaluation, getting statements from co-workers addressing your job duties, educating your physicians on the specific terms and definitions of your policy and integrating all of that new information into your appeal.

    And you need to draft the appeal as if a federal judge were reading it, because under ERISA, if your appeal is denied, you must file your case in federal court, and the only information the judge will use to decide your claim is the administrative record - most of which is your appeal.

    That's a lot of pressure on anyone, much less someone with a serious medical condition - and you only get one shot at the appeal. 

    A long term disability attorney in DC can help.

    In our DC disability practice, we have an entire process for helping people appeal their long term disability denials.  We want you to focus on getting better - your medical treatment and rehab.  

    We request your complete claims file to get started, analyze your claim, make recommendations, and communicate with you to keep you updated every step of the way. 

    You didn't ask to get sick.  Let us help protect you from losing everything you've worked hard for.

    Call our DC long term disability attorney today at (202) 393 - 3320 to get started. 

    Don't wait - if you received a letter denying or terminating your benefits, you want to get started right away - we'll evaluate the insurance company's denial without charge and give you our recommendations on what to do next.

  • As medical malpractice lawyers, do you help your clients find resources once their case is over.

    Absolutely - we tell our clients we are their lawyers for life.  After their medical malpractice case settles, we help them find the right specialists for their needs and what they want to do.  Sometimes that means a lawyer specializing in trusts or probate, or a structured settlement broker to get the best rates on annuities if that is part of the settlement.

    For children with special needs, such as cerebral palsy or developmental delays, we published a handbook and list of resources for parents of special needs children, Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves, a handbook full of ideas, programs and resources in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.  Health care, social security, respite care, camps and much more is included.  And we send it to parents of special needs children for free - it doesn't matter what the cause of the child's disability or whether they were our client.

    We provide these "extras" because we can.  We've been fortunate to work for many parents caring for special needs children, and they've taught us a lot.  Rather than pour money into advertising for medical malpractice cases or run t.v. commercials telling you to call a lawyer if your child has cerebral palsy (not our style) we'd rather develop and publish information that can help you.

    You can order a free copy of the resource guide on the website or by calling (202) 393-3320. 

  • There are a lot of issues regarding your child's education, benefits and medical care.

    There are certain protections, resources and benefits available in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia for children who are severely disabled and their parents.

    Social Security benefits are available for severely disabled children in the form of supplemental security income, usually called SSI.  This is administered through the social security administration and is designed to provide a monthly amount for food, clothing and shelter.

    Medicaid is a state run program providing medical assistance and paying for medical treatment.

    If your child's disability was caused by medical malpractice, and you settle a medical malpractice case, there are different options, such as a special needs trust, to protect that money and remain eligible for SSI and Medicaid. You can use this trust to use the settlement proceeds for supplemental needs, and programs and resources your child will need such as transportation, a handicap accessible home, camps, computers, and other goods and services that will enrich your child's life (and hopefully make yours easier).

    There are a lot of issues regarding your child's education, benefits and medical care. 

    Need more information on resources and programs for children with special needs?  Call for your free guide to resources in the Washington, D.C. area that we wrote and published - its based on our work helping parents and children with special needs.

    Order your free, no obligation guide to resources by calling us at (202) 393-3320 or send an email with your address to [email protected] and we'll send it right out to you.

  • Will it hurt my DC workers' compensation case to look for another job or take another job after my injury heals?

    Will it hurt my DC workers' compensation case to look for another job or take another job after my injury heals?

    Not at all.  The way it works is your weekly workers compensation benefits should continue until you are released by your doctor to return to your regular job or you return to another job making more money than you were when you got hurt.
     

    If you have a permanent injury to an arm, leg, hand, foot, etc. (sometimes called a scheduled loss or permanent partial disability based on the schedule) you can get those benefits after you reach maximum medical improvement whether you are working for the same employer or not.
    Future medical treatment and ultimately settlement will not be affected by a job change, either.

    202-393-3320

  • How do I request my claim file after I've been denied long term disability?

    Requesting your claim file after being denied long term disability.

    After you receive a denial letter from your long term disability insurance company, one of the first things you should do is request a complete copy of your claim file.

    Why you should request your claim file after your long term disability benefits were denied.

    The claim file should contain all of the information the insurance company used to deny your claim for long term disability benefits - many times the claim file will be several hundred or more pages long.  And it's a critical piece in the evaluation of your appeal - and remember, filing a well written, thorough appeal with additional medical records, reports from specialists and experts, research, medical literature, vocational information and persuasive evidence is absolutely critical.  It will be used by the insurance company to decide your appeal, and then by a federal judge if your case is filed in court.

    An appeal of the denial of long term disability benefits is not just filling out a form or writing a letter!

    Since you only have 180 days to file an appeal, you should request the claim file as soon as you can, and the insurance company can not charge you for this, it is free of charge.  Under ERISA, the insurance company has 30 days after your request to send the claim file to you.

    How should you request your long term disability claim file?

    First, carefully review and analyze the letter denying benefits that you received from the disability insurance company as to why they say you are not entitled to benefits for your injury or medical condition.  Many of these will have an address you can write to with your request, but call the person who signed the letter for the insurance company - you may be able to email or upload your request instead of mailing it.

    As long term disability lawyers in Washington, D.C., we draft a specific request for the claim information that requests 15 - 20 types of documents and materials, and we do this as soon as someone hires us to review their denial of long term benefits.  We know the clock is ticking and we want to get to work on your appeal!

    Get help with your long term disability claim in DC 

    As long term disability benefits lawyers in DC, we offer a range of services to help with your long term disability claim.  If you've been denied long term disability benefits, call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 for a free, no obligation, confidential review of your denial letter so we can analyze your specific situation.

    If you're thinking you should apply for long term disability but haven't yet, we offer consultations (now by video) to review your situation and provide a strategy to help you through the application process as well.

  • A mom with a developmentally-delayed child asks: What is respite care?

     What is respite care?

    Respite care is a break for parents and grandparents of children with special needs.  It is basically a qualified caregiver stepping in to take care of your child with special needs - whether he is in a wheelchair, has cerebral palsy, is developmentally delayed, etc. - so you can get a break to run errands, go to the movies, go out to dinner.

    Its great for both the parents and the child.  The parents get a break that helps them re-charge and better care for their child and the child gets to see someone new but experienced with helping disabled children.

    We always encourage the parents we work with to get and use respite care (if the medical system caused the child's condition, we make respite care part of the damages the family suffered).

    Interested?  Call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 for our free guide to resources in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.  No obligation - this is an absolutely free gift to parents and grandparents caring for a special child. 

    If this is you or someone you know, call today for your no obligation, free gift. 

  • With so many choices, how can I choose the best lawyer for a medical malpractice case in D.C.?

     

    We hear that a lot.  How do you know which lawyer is best for your medical malpractice case in D.C., Maryland and Virginia?

    For a serious case involving wrongful death, paralysis, cerebral palsy, cancer misdiagnosis, etc. the main qualification you want in a medical malpractice lawyer is experience.  Not how old he or she is, or how big their office is or how fancy the paintings on the wall are.  What kind of experience?

    Here are a few questions to ask a medical malpractice attorney (and there are many more):
     
    How many times has the lawyer prepared a medical malpractice case - investigated the case, hired the right experts to evaluate the case and testify at trial?  Then prepared the experts for their depositions (a critical step) and taken the depositions of the defendant's expert witnesses?

    How many times has the lawyer sued this hospital, HMO, insurance company before?  How did it go?   

    Has the lawyer tried medical malpractice cases to verdict?  Has he appealed or had cases appealed after trial?

    Has the lawyer settled medical malpractice cases with this hospital, HMO or insurance company?

    Is the lawyer board certified?  Did he or she go through a process including an all day test, recommendations from judges and other lawyers to do so?

    Do you trust that the lawyer can help you and your family, that he or she will listen and guide you through a difficult time?    


    The bottom line is that for any serious medical malpractice case, you need someone with very specific experience, qualifications and resources.  So ask as many questions as you can to get the right lawyer for you and your family.  

    202-393-3320

             

              

  • Questions about schools and services for your child with cerebral palsy or special needs in D.C., Maryland or Virginia?

    If you have a child with cerebral palsy, developmental delays or other significant special needs in the Washington, D.C. area, you are probably always looking for things to make your child's life better, and networking with other parents, counselors and social workers to see if there is anything out there you can be doing to help your special needs child.

    That's why we developed a resource guide for parents of children with special needs.  You see, for years we have seen the courage, patience and persistence of parents we represent in our medical malpractice cases.  Parents who are doing everything they can to make their child's life better.

    Working with parents of children with cerebral palsy, paralysis, shoulder dystocia and developmental delays was the basis for publishing Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves: A Parent's Guide to Resources It has information about respite care, education, summer camps, social security and other resources that may help your child.

    And it's FREE to every parent with a special needs kid. Bonus Mug comes with order if your child has cerebral palsy!

     

    So order your copy today by calling (202) 393 - 3320.

    All we ask is that if you have a favorite resource that can help families,

    call or email us at [email protected] and let us know so we can put it in the next edition.