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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  • How do you know if your child was a victim of medical malpractice?

    A Few Signs to Help Find Out if Malpractice Occurred in DC, Maryland, and Virginia 

    The truth is you probably won’t know right away. It’s not like an injury at work or a car accident when you know exactly when the injury happened. With medical mistakes, it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint the exact moment the mistake was made, making it critical to obtain a thorough review and investigation to identify the cause of the harm. For a baby or child this could mean investigating whether something could have happened during your pregnancy, at the Could Your Child's Birth Injury Have Been Prevented?time of birth or after.   If a serious and permanent condition was caused because the hospital, doctors, nurses or other healthcare providers made bad choices that didn’t keep you or your child safe, that’s the definition of medical malpractice.

    Here are some signs that can help you determine if your child’s condition or injury could have been prevented.  Here are three events that should trigger alarm:

    • Your pregnancy was high risk but the doctor didn’t do anything different or refer you to a specialist.  If your doctor should have made this determination or should have referred you to a maternal fetal medicine specialist, it may have affected the treatment and management of the pregnancy.
    • You were in labor and your OB didn’t come to the hospital, leaving you in the care of residents or interns. Complications with the delivery came up, requiring an emergency c-section to save your baby’s life and you were evaluated by the nurses or interns, not your doctor.  Should the complications been detected earlier, before there was an emergency?
    • The doctor didn’t follow up on a test or prescribe the right medication that may have extended your pregnancy. Sometimes an infection that should have been diagnosed and treated, leads to premature delivery with the baby having complications of prematurity that could have been avoided with proper care and follow up.

    If You Have Experienced Any of These Signs, Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

    If any of these events happened to you, and caused harm to you or your child, you owe it to your family to get a thorough investigation of why this happened to you and to see if it could have been prevented. It may be that there is an explanation for your child’s injury and that it could not have been prevented, but why wonder about it, think about it or worry about it for years when you can take action to get answers.

    The only way to get answers is by investigating your specific situation. Call us today at (202) 393-3320. We can help you get those answers.

  • What should I bring to the first meeting with a medical malpractice lawyer in DC?

    How Can I Prepare for a Meeting with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

    And you can tell a lot from the first meeting - or even a telephone call with an experienced medical malpractice attorney, especially us.  We will be up front with you from the first phone call and interested in what you and your child have been through, always looking to help.

    Because you have a lot of questions and worries, but not much time, we've developed a whole series of resources we publish for victims of medical malpractice in DC, Maryland and Virginia - information you can read in the privacy of your own home, and information that will help you make the best Your First Meeting with a Medical Malpractice Lawyerdecisions about a malpractice case for your child and your family.

    One of the critical things we will give you in the beginning is a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Evaluation Form.  We know it's impossible to tell who the best lawyer for your family is from all those TV commercials (ask yourself - if they were that good, would they have to advertise on TV?).  And that you want more - you want trust, and service and experience that will help your family and your child well into the future. At least that's what our clients are looking for in a malpractice lawyer. 

    When developed a specific system that we customize for you and your family, that we put into place when we investigate a medical malpractice case for a child, whether the child had a birth injury or birth trauma, has cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, complications from septic shock, etc.  We only accept cases with life changing, serious injuries where we can help make the child's life and the family's life better - this let's us focus on only a few cases at a time.

    Usually, the first thing we request is all of the medical information.

    But we don't make you go to Children's Hospital and the pediatrician and all the specialists your child has seen since birth.  We can review or obtain the medical records once you authorize us to do so.  So when we first meet, certainly bring any records you have to the first meeting, like Discharge Summaries from the hospital, instructions, doctor's notes, MRIs or CT scans, etc.  Depending on the child's age, if you have school records, we'll need those too. And bring pictures of your child - we always want to see those. We'll make copies of everything and explain the process of a medical malpractice case. 

    But mostly we'll want to get to know you and learn about you and your child at the first meeting - so anything you have is helpful but not required. 

    If You're Looking for This Type of Service, Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers 

    If you want this type of service, trust and experience for a medical malpractice case, just call us at (202) 393 - 3320 or fill out the form on the left.  It's all confidential, and the books, guides and other resources are yours free, absolutely no cost or other obligation.  Don't wait - take a positive step for your child and your family today! 

  • Can I Work at Another Job When I'm on Workers Comp?

    What Are Workers' Compensation Benefits?

    Getting workers' compensation benefits in D.C., Maryland or Virginia means you've had an injury at work and are getting medical treatment or disability https://www.donahoekearney.com/reports/workers-comp-lawyer-shares-5-ways-to-succeed-in-workers-comp.cfmpayments while you can't work due to the injury. 

    If I'm on Workers' Comp for One Job, Can I Be Working at Another Job?

    The short answer is no, and the long answer is also no. If you're getting workers' comp benefits, you can't be working somewhere else.  That's fraud and you will be required to pay back the workers' comp benefits and could also go to jail.  Here's what happened to one of these cheaters.

    What Should I Do When I'm on Workers Compensation?

    There's a lot, but here are a few tips:

    • Go to all of your doctor's appointments and get all the treatment you need;
    • Provide your out of work (disability) slips to your insurance company;
    • Let your employer know if your doctor says you can return to work with restrictions and see if they have any light or modified duty for you.

    The workers compensation system can be overwhelming - unfair, burdensome, slow and difficult.  But don't make it harder on yourself by doing something you shouldn't. 

    If You Have a Serious Injury, You Probably Need an Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyer to Help You

    One of the ways you can make things really hard on yourself is by not hiring an attorney to advocate for your rights. Don't hesitate or wait to call us at 202-393-3320; you will speak to an experienced staff member today who will take down your information for review at no cost or obligation to you. And order our free report 5 Mistakes That Will Absolutely Kill Your Workers Comp Case today to get started. What have you got to lose? The answer is benefits, medical treatments, and appropriate settlement if you have a complicated case and no attorney. Give us a call today: 202-393-3320. 

  • I think I was a victim of medical malpractice. What do I do now?

    How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

    There are many different types of signs that patients can use to identify a potential medical malpractice case. If you recognize one of those signs and suspect that your doctors or the hospital you were in committed medical malpractice and caused serious injuries, you should get all of the information you can. For example, there are different statutes of limitations for medical malpractice cases depending on where the incident took place. In other words, you only have a certain amount of time after the medical malpractice incident to file a medical malpractice lawsuit depending on where it happened. And the time limits are extended for children - this can include negligent prenatal care to a mom that harmed her child.

    Another thing you should do is start looking for a medical malpractice lawyer that can best represent you. In most cases, this will be the first time a person is looking for an attorney to represent them, let alone a medical malpractice attorney. Where do you start? Should you choose one of the lawyers you see on TV commercials or who advertises on the side of a bus?

    What kind of credentials do they have?

    Will that lawyer have the experience and resources to properly investigate your case?

    What will the jury think if you go to court with a TV lawyer? Will they be skeptical of you and your case? You may not know this, but the judges know who the big TV lawyers are, and their reputation is generally less serious than specialists.

    Being exposed to medical malpractice is stressful.  You are worried about your health, paying for future medical care you need, and not being able to earn a living. We know that.  That’s why we provide a number of different resources for patients who were victims of medical malpractice – so you can take the time get the best information and make the best decisions. And when it’s time for you to choose a lawyer, we compiled a list of questions you should ask any attorney you want to represent you in your case: Click Here.

    We also provide reports to help patients identify and hopefully prevent medical malpractice: Click Here.

    Call us today at (202)393-3320 so we can get you started on getting the right information for you and your family.

  • Can My Adjuster Force me to Have Surgery?

    Don't Settle for Allowing Your Adjuster to Control Your Medical Treatment

    You may be wondering if your adjuster can force you to have surgery. The answer is no. They cannot force you to have an invasive surgical procedure.  You obviously have a big decision when surgery is recommended but that recommendation should come from your treating doctor - a doctor who has examined and treated you over weeks, months or even years and has tried different therapies, injections, etc. before recommending surgery or has explained that the treatment for your injury is surgery - that therapy, injections, etc. won't help.

    In D.C. you have the right to control your own medical care and treatment when you get hurt on the job.  Everyone with an on-the-job injury and a workers compensation case in the District of Columbia has the right to choose his or her own treating doctor. Don't get bullied or lied to or tricked by the workers comp adjuster.  She may send you an official letter with a list of doctors to choose from, or tell you they only pay for treatment by doctors in their network or on their panel, or that they have pre certified doctors willing to take workers comp insurance so you have to go to one of those.

    None of it is true.  Don't make the mistake of going to some insurance doctor who is looking out for the insurance company sending him business (you) instead of the patient's best interest.

    And just this past Friday I heard another horror story about a "workers clinic" - that's a clinic that construction companies, insurance companies and employers send their people to when they get hurt on the job. The physician assistant did not refer the injured worker to a specialist in time and the delay may make the injury much worse. You should never settle for a "clinic" run by these people.   Their job is to minimize the amount of medical treatment and time out of work the workers comp insurance company has to pay for.

    If Your Nurse Case Manager or Adjuster is a Bully, Contact Our Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyers Today. 

    Don't settle for only what the insurance company has to offer. Call us today to discover the truth about DC Workers' Compensation. 202-393-3320. We will send your our free report Bullied | Is Your Nurse Case Manager a Bully and help you get started on the right track toward success on your case.

  • What Should I Do After a Serious Car Accident on the Beltway

    If You've Been in a Serious Car Accident, You May Be Shaken Up and Unsure of What To Do

    After a serious accident on the beltway, I-66, I-270 or any of the crowded highways around D.C., there are a number of steps to take (and a number to avoid as well). Naturally, the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians comes first. Make sure everyone is safe and gets the immediate medical attention needed for any injuries caused by the accident. Even if you don't feel injured at the time, call an ambulance or go to the hospital to get checked out. Injuries may appear later on, even weeks later, due to the adrenaline your body produces at the time of injury.

    After an accident caused by another driver, you'll probably be contacted by that driver's insurance company.  The insurance adjuster will want want all kinds of personal information and try to get you to give a recorded statement.  Especially if you have serious injuries, don't give a statement or sign any forms without getting information about your rights and responsibilities. Wait until you have a clear head and have spoken to an attorney about your rights before you allow the insurance company to set you up for a lower settlement. They may even try to deny your claim if you don't get medical treatment right away and get the treatment connected to the accident in the medical records.

    Where Do I Start After a Serious Accident on the Beltway?

    Here's a good starting point for people hurt in an accident in D.C., Maryland and Virginia - order our free copy of 7 Deadly Sins that will Wreck your Accident Case. For serious injuries that require surgery, hospitalization or prevent you from working and feeding your family - don't delay.  Get specific information about your situation by calling us at (202) 393 - 3320.  We will get you started on the path to success.

  • Could My Child's Developmental Delays Have been Caused by Medical Malpractice?

    Developmental Delays and Missed Milestones May Be a Sign of Malpractice

    Developmental milestones are times when a newborn or child should do certain things - roll over, sit up, walk, form sentences of 2-3 words, etc.  Its not just pediatricians, child neurologists, neuro-psychologists and other experts who use developmental milestones as a tool to help diagnose cerebral palsy and other conditions - most of the time its parents and grandparents who sense something is wrong or that a child has some disability because he is not meeting these milestones on time.

    Medical malpractice, usually some form of injury to a child's brain around the time of birth, sometimes from lack of oxygen, or infection or extreme prematurity, can certainly cause a child to be developmentally delayed.  Sometimes this can be diagnosed shortly after birth, other times, parents may not know the true cause of their child's injury.

    Many times, an injury to the brain means a person cannot control certain muscles, so its important to look at your child's gross motor skills - sitting up, holding her head up, crawling and walking are examples.  If your child has trouble with these or can't do them at the time she should be able to, talk to her doctor about it.  And keep a journal of what your child can do and what she struggles with, plus take pictures or video.  It will help you remember everything and give the best information to your doctor.

    Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today If You Think There May Be Malpractice

    If you think your child is not meeting developmental milestones, it may just be that she is developing at her own pace.  But if you suspect a birth injury or trauma or difficult labor played a part in causing developmental delay, take action to get all the information today. Don't wait or delay - it will take time to assess your child's case, so you need to take action as soon as you can. Call us today at 202-393-3320.

  • The Office of Workers Compensation Claims Examiner Recommended I Have an Informal Conference. What is That?

    An Informal Conference is a Non-Binding Mediation For Contested Workers Compensation Claims

    In D.C. workers' compensation cases, one of the ways to get an issue decided is through an informal conference.  Just like the name suggests, it's informal, with very few rules.  You don't testify under oath and there is no record or transcript of the testimony. Witnesses are not generally allowed but you can submit medical reports and other documents to the claims examiner. It's more of a mediation than anything else and the decision is not binding.

    Here's what that means - the recommendation that comes out of this conference is not binding on the parties. Either side can reject it and request a formal hearing (which requires testimony under oath, creates a record and can result in a Compensation Order).

    Here at Donabhoe Kearney we usually advise not going to an informal conference if you are out of work due to your injury but the insurance company is Do You Need an Informal Conference for Your Workers' Comp Case?contesting it. They are just going to reject the recommendation and proceed to a formal hearing.  All you've done is delay your benefits by a couple of months to engage in this process and given the insurance company free discovery and more time to build their defenses. With our clients, we always proceed directly to a formal hearing.

    Sometimes an informal conference is necessary: for example if you want to change physicians and the insurance company won't approve the change.  But if you're not getting paid by the insurance company, it's just a waste of time and you'll need to go to a formal hearing so you can get a binding decision from a judge. But don't go it alone. You'll need an experienced workers compensation lawyer like Frank Kearney to win your benefits and keep your medical treatment authorized.

    Get More Free Information Today About Your DC Workers Compensation Claim

    You can learn more about formal heatings and many other critical topics in the signature book on workers' compensation, Protect Your Rights:  The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers Compensation. You can order it online or call us at 202-393-3320 and we are happy to send you a free copy.

    If you have questions about whether you should go to informal conference, give us a call at 202-393-3320 to speak with a real person today. We will take down your information for no cost and no obligation. 

  • I was hurt at work in DC. Does my company have to provide light duty?

    Light Duty in DC Workers Comp Cases

    In workers compensation cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, it’s up to your company to provide light duty if you can't do your regular job because of your injury but your doctor says you can do some work, or work with restrictions - in other words, it’s the employer's choice to offer light duty work - and some do but others don't.

    Some employers have true light duty jobs available that they can move an injured worker to - and if so, that injured worker would receive his regular salary instead of workers comp benefits for the time he is on light duty.

    Other companies may create a light duty job or have a light duty program. A construction company could have a construction worker with a shoulder injury sit in the trailer, or make sure everyone wears a hard hat. A transit employer could have injured workers watch a parking lot. Again the injured employee would be paid his regular salary instead of workers compensation benefits.

    One thing to keep in mind is that even if you are receiving your standard hourly rate in a light duty job, you may be owed additional workers compensation benefits (called temporary partial disability). This is because your average weekly wage (which includes overtime, bonuses and may include income from a second job) could be more than your standard hourly rate.

    What if your company doesn't have light duty work and can't make up a light duty job for you?

    They have to pay your full workers compensation benefits, also called temporary total disability, or TTD, just as if your doctor said you could not do any work because of the injury.

    One thing to watch out for if you have a Virginia workers compensation case - if you are not under an Award, you must look for light duty work within your restrictions (called marketing your residual capacity) even if you will be released to your regular duty job with your company in a short time.

    Light Duty Restrictions and Vocational Rehabilitation

    And in DC cases, the workers comp insurance company may start vocational rehabilitation - hiring a vocational specialist to look for jobs for you within your restrictions.  If you are in vocational rehabilitation, please call us - we have a lot to tell you about the process (it is sometimes a sham and the insurance company will use it to cut off your benefits, so be careful). 

    The bottom line with light duty is it depends on the employer. But the key to any light duty job is to make sure it is within your doctor's restrictions - you don't want to do anything to risk further injury or delay the recovery from your injury.

    Every employer does something different and every case depends on specific factors. So if you have questions, call us at (202) 393-3320.

  • If You Have Been Affected By Medical Malpractice, You Need Resources.

    If You Have Been Affected By Medical Malpractice, You Need Resources.

    Medical malpractice - mistakes by hospitals, HMOs and doctors when they don't follow the rules to keep patients safe - obviously harms and hurts the patient they injure.

    But medical malpractice has a broad affect on the injured patient's family as well.

    We've represented people who have had a severe brain injury in a hospital and need 24/7 care.  In one case, the father had to quit his job and start a new business so he could be home to help care for his adult daughter.  The family had to convert a first floor room into a hospital room to fit the wheelchair, hospital bed, medical equipment and supplies their daughter needs. Their credit is shot - because Medicaid never pays for everything they need.

    Plus, Medicaid never provides the amount of nursing care to take care of someone who needs around the clock care.  And nurses can quit or not show up, leaving the family in a bind where they can't go to work, can't attend the other kids' activities, or even go out for dinner or a movie.

    We can help get families affected by medical malpractice the resources they need to make their lives better.  You can start today by calling us at (202) 393-3320 to confidentially, discreetly discuss your family's situation.

    And you can order two of our publications for free:  Picking Up the Pieces: A Parent's Guide to Medical Malpractice and Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves.

    Both are written based on our experience working with families affected by medical malpractice in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

    Don't wait.  There are time limits for everything.  So get started getting help for your family today.