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

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At Donahoe Kearney, we believe it's important to empower through education. 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.

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.

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  • What Happens if Another Company Causes My Injury at Work?

    If you were injured on the job by a third-party contractor (that's just a fancy name for another company - one you don't work for, which is a reality in the District with third-party contractors being hired for all sorts of jobs) you may be wondering if you are entitled to both workers' comp benefits and be able to recover damages against the person or company that caused the accident or injuries.   The answer, in short, is yes.

    Contractors are not employees for your employer. They work for their own employer, and maybe they do a different job. A good example of a situation where contractors are employed is on a construction site.

    Let's say you are plumber working for a plumbing company on an installation at a commercial construction site in D.C. Let's say a carpenter leaves a hole uncovered and unmarked and you fall into it; seriously injuring your knee and back.  You should get workers' comp benefits because you were hurt on the job.  But the carpenter's employer (the one who created the unsafe condition) was responsible.  You have the right to hold that company accountable for the harm they caused you; and you don't need to choose between workers' comp and a case against this third party. You can do both.

    That is how it works, and you see it all over the place in Washington, D.C. In the areas of construction and other job sites there is more opportunity for injury when contractors don't keep job sites safe. The risk of injury is higher with manual labor; more so than desk jobs. But even if you work a desk job, if you are hurt by someone who is not a co-worker, like a delivery person, or a car accident while you are driving to a work appointment, you have the same rights.  If a person other than your employer was negligent and caused injury to you, they can be held personally liable, as well as liability extending to their employer.

    Conversely, if you were injured due to the negligence of a fellow employee, you would only be able to recover workers' comp benefits. Workers' comp essentially covers that type of liability for your employer, so they cannot be sued.

    At Donahoe Kearney, we've seen your situation many times and we have recently won a joint settlement for both workers' comp cases and a third-party liabilty case. If you have been injured on the job and you are wondering what might be your next steps, give us a call at 202-393-3320. You will speak to a real person today, for no cost and no obligation.

    Or, email us at [email protected] and we will send you THE book on D.C. workers' compensation: the book the workers' comp insurance company does not want you to read! Protect Your Rights: The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers' Compensation, now in it's 3rd Edition is THE premier book on the workers' compensation ins and outs in the District of Columbia. You won't want to navigate a workers' comp case without it! The best part is it's free to anybody who calls or emails our offices to request one.

  • My Child is Profoundly Disabled Due to Medical Malpractice. How Do I Find A Good Home Health Aide for Her?

    Choosing a home health aide is an extremely important decision.  You and your disabled child rely on the aide for feeding, bathing, and turning her; all of the things she needs when you can't do them.   

    First, do the legwork and the research; find a reputable company who employs the home health aides. Most public companies will have "review" applications on their website. If they don't, ask for a reference. Also, make sure that the agency in question does not have an adverse history when it comes to litigation. While settlements are often confidential, lawsuits are not.  A simple google search comprised of "your agency + "lawsuits" should help you to confirm the reputation of the agency.

    Next, meet the proposed aide. Take the time to write down the questions that you want to ask. Don't be afraid to ask about the aides' experience or qualifications and the specific care needs or care plan for your daughter. Find out why he or she does what they do. Take measures to determine their commitment to the job. Most of the time you can tell the difference between somebody who likes their job, and somebody who does not. 

    Finally, set forth your expectations for communication. Get into the habit early on of asking for a digest of the day. If your home health aide knows you will be wanting information, he or she might be more likely to take note and remember what goes on during the day. It's better to establish communication early on rather than try to enforce it later.

    At Donahoe Kearney we strive to get the best possible settlement for your loved one who may have been hurt as a result of malpractice. We know that parents of disabled children have an overwhelming responsibility. That's why we wrote Picking Up the Pieces After Medical Malpractice: A Parents Guide; an informational book to help parents dealing with medical malpractice. To order your copy today click here or call us at 202-393-3320. No obligation, no cost.

  • My Child Has Cerebral Palsy. How Much Will It Cost to Raise Her?

    My Child Was Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. What Will Be the Lifetime Cost of Care?

    Parents of a child with Cerebral Palsy worry about the future of their special needs child: their health, well-being, and unfortunately, their finances. They worry because most likely, the child with Cerebral Palsy (even severe) will long outlive his parents and will never be able to care for or support him/herself.

    And as a parent, you want (and your child deserves) the best medical care and treatment for his condition, not just the minimum, especially if the child's disability was caused by medical malpractice.  That is why the law allows damages for all of the future care and treatment your child needs: nursing care, medications, doctors visits, modifications to your home to make it handicap accessible, a wheel chair accessible van, and a lot more.  Let's face it, these services and products cost a lot of money.

    According to a study released by the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) entitled: "Economic Costs Associated with Mental Retardation, Cerebral Palsy, Hearing Loss and Vision Impairment - United States, 2003" the costs in the U.S, of caring for people with cerebral palsy can reach into the billions over a lifetime. The study shows that “lifetime costs in 2003 dollars are expected to total $51.2 billion for persons born in 2000 with mental retardation, $11.5 billion for persons with Cerebral Palsy, $1.9 billion for persons with hearing loss, and $2.6 billion for persons with vision impairment.”

    Needless to say; that is a profound amount of money needed to care for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.  And providing for a child with cerebral palsy can be an incredible individual burden on you as parents and on your family - running well into the millions of dollars.  It's even worse when we consider that many times cerebral palsy could have been prevented at the hospital and some parents and families may not even know their child's cerebral palsy was caused by medical malpractice due to hospital errors or doctors' mistakes. 

    Contact Our Experienced Cerebral Palsy Lawyers Today

    If you or somebody that you love has been affected by a hospital error that caused cerebral palsy, please give us a call today to speak to a live person. At no cost or obligation we can send you a book about getting resources for special needs children and discuss whether or not your case was preventable. As experienced medical malpractice lawyers, we can get you started on the right road to getting the resources your child needs. Call us at 202-393-3320; a real person will answer the phone today.

  • A Doctor in a D.C. Hospital said My Baby had Hypoxia at Birth. What is Hypoxia?

    Hypoxia Can Cause Serious Damage and Can Cause Cerebral Palsy

    Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen to the tissues in the body.  Sometimes it is used to describe a lack of oxygen to the brain as well, meaning the baby is not getting sufficient oxygen to his brain before or during birth.  It is a devastating, sometimes fatal condition that can cause severe brain damage.

    Lack of oxygen to the brain at birth is sometimes called asphyxia as well. The term to describe the severe, permanent injury to the baby's brain is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; usually called HIE. This is certainly a cause of cerebral palsy, and can often be medical malpractice if the residents, interns and medical students in the hospital did not recognize and act on the signs and symptoms in time to prevent the injury to the baby. These signs and symptpms can include fetal tachycardia (elevated heart rate), non-reassuring fetal monitoring strips, maternal bleeding, and decreased heart rate in the baby.

    If a doctor told you your baby was hypoxic at birth (that he or she was deprived of oxygen during or around the time of birth and it caused an injury to his brain), you should have the medical records evaluated by an experienced D.C. medical malpractice lawyer to determine whether the injury was caused by medical malpractice and should have been prevented.

    How Do I Know if My Child Has Been Affected by a Medical Mistake?

    The only way to really know if your child's condition, like cerebral palsy, was caused by medical malpractice is to take that first step and have the medical records reviewed.  You may be one step closer to getting your child the resources he or she needs to live a full and healthy life and to provide everything required by the medical condition. We've helped many families with a child affected by medical malpractice in every D.C. hospital. And medical malpractice happens in every D.C. hospital; "good" hospitals can still cause serious injuries.

    If You Suspect Your Child's Condition Was Caused By a Medical Mistake, Contact Our Experienced Workers Comp Lawyers Today

    Medical malpractice cases take time to review and analyze; so call us today so we can get started working to get you and your family the resources you need. You can contact us today at 202-393-3320 for a free consultation with one of our experience staff members.