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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I was involved in an automobile accident. Who is to blame?
Since every state has a fairly extensive code of driving regulations, the simple answer to this question is that the person who is at blame is the one who disregarded one or more of these laws. The responsibility of the accident is usually determined at the scene by the responding law enforcement officer. If you were not found to be at blame, and you sustained injuries in the accident, you may have the right to file for a personal injury claim.
Are automobile accident claims quick or easy to deal with?
Unfortunately, they usually aren’t. Insurance companies will fight claims all the way through court to make sure they don’t have to pay out money. They will use political clout, money, and very adept lawyers to force the claimant to settle for a low reward. While accident claims can be lengthy, you can greatly ease your burdens by consulting with an attorney that is both knowledgeable and committed to your situation.
What is med pay coverage?
Med pay - short for medical payments - is insurance you purchase that will pay for medical expenses and lost income (depending on your policy and state) if you are hurt in a car accident. Med pay is designed to pay as you go - as the medical bills come due and as medical treatment occurs - rather than at the end of a case. You can check the "Declarations" page of your automobile insurance policy (the page that summarizes the insurance coverage you have, the vehicles insured, and the policy limits and the premiums) to see if you have this coverage and check with your automobile insurance company or insurance agent if you want to add coverage. The attorneys at Donahoe Kearney, LLP will review your insurance policy with you and explain coverages and insurance law free of charge.
What is the standard of care in a medical malpractice case?
The standard of care is simply the medical care a reasonable, prudent physician, in the same or similar circumstances, would give. It is sometimes called the standard of practice and is the practice of most physicians in a given specialty at a certain time. Proving the standard of care is an essential element of a medical malpractice case. An expert witness, usually a physician in the same medical specialty as the doctor being sued, is usually required to establish the standard of care in a medical malpractice case. In D.C. medical malpractice cases and in Maryland medical malpractice cases, the standard of care is a national standard. This means an accepted medical practice throughout the country - the medical care is no different in the District of Columbia, or Chicago or Kentucky, for example. In Virginia medical malpractice cases, a statewide standard of care applies (although it can be the same as the national standard of care as well). A standard of care based on local practice is also permissable in Virginia medical malpractice cases.
What are permanent partial disability benefits in workers compensation cases?
In D.C., Virginia or Maryland workers compensation cases, an employee hurt at work is entitled to workers compensation benefits based on his permanent injury - sometimes called percentage disability or permanent impairment, even though he can return to work, either in his pre injury job or some other job. These are called permanent partial disability benefits.
The workers compensation law is different for each jurisdiction, but D.C., Virginia, and Maryland workers compensation law each have a schedule - a fixed amount of weeks of compensation for the loss of a body part.
The amount of the permanent partial disability benefits available to an injured worker vary in each state, and depend on the severity of the injury, whether it required surgery, rehab, etc., so call us if you have a permanent injury and we can discuss your specific situation.
My automobile insurance includes Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. What is this and how does it help if I'm hurt in a car accident?
In D.C. and Maryland, many automobile insurance policies contain PIP coverage. If you are hurt in a car or truck accident, your automobile insurance company will cover reasonable and necessary medical treatment and lost wages up to the PIP policy limit. In Maryland this is usually $2,500 but additional insurance coverage can be purchased. In the District of Columbia, this may also be called No-Fault insurance. In some situations, accepting D.C. no-fault may preclude an injured person from pursuing a negligence case against the responsible driver. Before accepting benefits, discuss your injury and accident with an experienced attorney who can also analyze your automobile insurance policy.