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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What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage (or UIM) and Do I Need It?
What if I get hit by a driver without insurance?
All too often we see serious crashes on the Beltway. The question you should ask yourself is: “Am I really protected if I get hit by a driver without insurance?”
We recently settled a case for a gentleman who was hit by somebody who only had the D.C. legal minimum insurance coverage of $25,000.00 (Maryland and Virginia are similar - bad drivers are not required to have much insurance coverage). When he got hit by this driver cutting across 3 lanes of traffic, and needed surgery two weeks later, his medical treatment costs came out to be way more than that.
What would the good driver have done if he didn't have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)?
It's bad enough when you get hit in an accident that is not your fault; causing injury to you and your family and damaging your car. But what happens if you have significant medical needs and costs and can't work because of your injuries as a result?
Even though liability car insurance is mandatory in most states, not everybody who drives has it. And then consider the number of people who are driving around with the minimum amount of coverage. You and your family can't afford to take the risk.
Underinsured motorist coverage is optional insurance you can purchase that will cover you in the event you find yourself hit by a driver with little to no insurance coverage. UIM coverage is usually inexpensive, and once activated it will step in to cover your medical and other related expenses if you have been hit by somebody who is not insurance or underinsured.
If your UIM insurance policy limit is higher than that of the liabilty insurance of the person who hit you, the other driver is underinsured.
Do you have adequate UIM coverage? If not, call your insurance company today and increase your limits. Protect yourself and your family from the irresponsible drivers we see every day - just look around you at all of the people weaving in and out of traffic on the Beltway and 95, driving aggressively and on their phones.
And if you are in an accident, act quickly to protect your rights. Get proof of the other driver’s insurance, get the police report and contact your own insurance company. And give us a call at 202-393-3320. We'll send you The Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in the DMV.
Or order your free copy right now and get started right away!
Should I Accept a Check from the Other Driver Who Was at Fault?
No, you should not. If you have a minor injury, you may be able to handle the case yourself; but take the time to do it right by getting information about accident cases and claims. If you were seriously injured, talk to an experienced attorney you trust.
Why not accept the check?
If you accept a check from the other driver or from the other driver's insurance company, that may be construed as you accepting settlement for your claim. And at that time, you may not have done a full assessment of your injuries.
And, what's more, if the check is seen as settlement of your claim, that will prevent you from any future recovery. The insurance company is skilled at getting you the lowest amount possible for your injuries - even if you are not at fault and have made every effort to cooperate with them. If you're dealing with the insurance company yourself, they are trained to get you the lowest amount possible settle your case and will do just that.
So, if you accept a settlement before you have an experienced attorney that can properly gauge how much you should be receiving, chances are that you will settle for a far less amount than you're entitled to under the law. Our main objective is to get you an amount that will make up for the harms the other driver caused - this is different for everyone and will depend on the severity of your injuries and the impact they have had on your life.
Click here to see what the insurance adjuster does, and how they often work against the interests of those who have been injured - it's their job!
In fact, this kind of communication with the other driver and their insurance company before speaking to an attorney can cause for a lot of trouble down the road, just like the 7 Deadly Sins that Will Wreck Your Accident Case.
You should educate yourself or consult with an experienced attorney before accepting any payment, signing any release, or otherwise settling your claim with the other driver or their insurance company after an automobile accident. We review your case with you and will help make a determination of your damages and how much you would are entitled to recover. See what our clients have to say about us! If you've been in auto accident, give us a call at 202-393-3320 today for help getting the recovery you deserve.
After an accident that wasn't my fault, the other driver's insurance company wants me to sign a medical authorization for my medical information. Should I release my medical records to the other insurance company?
Knowing what to do after you've been hurt in an accident can be tough, especially if you have never been in an accident before - like most of the people we help here in the DC Metro Area.
After you've been in an accident, it can also be hard to figure out which information you have to share with the other driver. That exchange can be tricky, but it doesn't have to be if you know EXACTLY what to give after an auto accident. Avoiding this confusion can make a big difference in the long run. Click here to avoid the Top 4 Mistakes Made After An Accident.
If you're seriously injured, of course it's important to obtain your medical records - confused on how to get started? Click here to see tips on getting your medical records.
But, the other driver's insurance wants you to sign a medical authorization or release immediately. Should you do that?
First of all, read it - it probably gives this insurance company to obtain every medical record created in your life time. That's right - signing that form probably gives the insurance company the right to get your birth records, and every thing else you've every seen a doctor for...
Do you think they really need that to fairly evaluate the injuries caused by their driver?
Absolutely not. So don't share your medical records with the insurance company adjuster or with the other driver. There's a time for giving them the medical information about the injuries they caused - but it's not right after the accident!
Don't fall into the trap - get our free and informative ebook that breaks down accident cases in our area, top mistakes, how to avoid them, and useful information to make sure you're on track to getting help with the injuries you have. You can order it on this page right here --> - or give us call at 202-393-3320 and we'll send you a copy right away - and it's FREE.
So don't delay - get the info you need to make sure things go smoothly with the insurance company from the beginning.
I Was Injured in a Bike Accident in DC. Is that a Possible Auto Accident Case?
According to the US Census Bureau, DC has one of the highest percentages of commuters who travel by bicycle. People are also using bikes more these days as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Cutting on gas and getting healthy is a win-win!
DC's popular Bikeshare program and the maintenance happening on the Metro lines in DC (SafeTrack is still a factor in DC) has also contributed to the uptick in bicyclists on our road. With all these changes in transportation happening in our city, bicyclists are on our road even more. Unfortunately, that means that the chances of getting into an accident go up with it.
But, it's important to remember that bicyclists can also be liable for traffic accidents because they must obey the same traffic rules and laws as automobiles on the road. And when the driver behind the wheel of a car, bus, or truck isn't paying attention to the rules of the road and injures someone using a bicycle to get around, everyone on our roads suffer.
So what happens after someone is seriously hurt in the accident? Like, who pays for the damage? And, will the other driver's insurance company pay for the medical bills? You can get the answer to these questions in our Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in the DC Metro Area. Order it online here or give us a call at 202-393-3320 to order your copy today.
What information do I need after a car accident in the DC area?
After a car accident, it can be hard to know exactly the right steps to take.
You're flustered, or hurt and probably shaken up because someone cut you off or hit you after running a red light.
First, make sure you're not doing any one of the 7 "sins" that will wreck your accident case. What are those seven sins? You can find out by ordering our FREE and informative guide here from our website or giving us a call at 202-393-3320 and we'll send your copy out right away.
But, even if you avoid these traps, what are you supposed to right after an accident - whether it was in DC, Maryland or Virginia?
Here are 3 THINGS you should not forget after an accident:
1) Location, date, and time of the accident - make sure you have all this information written down and handy somewhere. We don't want to second guess this later on.
2) Get information on all parties involved - did you get the make and model of the other vehicle? Did you get their name, and their insurance information? Were there witnesses? Make sure to get their name and telephone numbers as they could serve as witnesses later on in your case when the insurance company is trying to change it's story. Plus, witnesses aren't always listed on the police report. Did the police come to the scene of the accident? Get the oficer's name and information
3) Take pictures - we show you here the best ways to take pictures and what to remember when you're documenting the scene with photographic evidence. Click here to find out the best methods. If you can't take pictures because of your injuries, have someone take photos of the scene and the damage to the vehicles as soon as you can.
Don't let any of this hold you up from getting to the ER or getting the medical attention your injuries require
Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company after an accident that wasn't my fault?
No, not before you speak with an attorney.
After you're injured by another driver in a car accident, the other driver's insurance company will be trying to work against you to minimize the amount they have to pay for your injuries and treatment.
So, it's important to know these tips to make sure you're not saying something you shouldn't in a recorded statement. After an accident, you may be suffering from neck pain, swelling, whiplash, or a head injury. It is probably not the best time to be giving a recorded statement when you're in pain - and the insurance company knows that. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions designed to minimize your injuries and cast doubt on how the crash occurred - even if it is clearly the other driver's fault. It's important to understand what you have to do after an accident, and giving a recorded statement is a part of that process.
The insurance adjuster and company will do whatever they can to pay you the least amount of benefits possible, it's their job. Even if you are severely injured in an accident that was caused by another driver. And, that work from the insurance company begins with the recorded statement.
You don't have to give a recorded statement - and you shouldn't. You also should not sign any forms or documents the insurance company sends you without talking to a lawyer or learning what your rights are.
With us, you can get feedback from an experienced attorney to determine if you have a valid case. And if we think it's a case you're better off handling on your own, because the injuries are relatively minor, we'll tell you that and get you the information you can use to settle your case. Our consultations are free, so give us a call at 202-393-3320 or contact us by filling out the contact form to get you started getting the justice you deserve!
What Is A Deposition? How Will You Prepare Me For That?
A deposition is an opportunity for the insurance company lawyers to ask you questions under oath. It doesn't happen in a courthouse, and it usually happens in an attorney's office, or some other mutually agreeable location. The insurance company will send their lawyer and they will ask you questions about almost anything related to your case. You will certainly be asked about prior injuries, past or present medical conditions, how your injury happened, the medical treatment and diagnosis you've received since being injured, whether you can work or how much you have lost in wages if you can no longer work, etc. They will also ask you a number of other questions depending on your unique case and your specific circumstances.
For our clients, a deposition is nothing to be afraid of.
We look at the deposition as an opportunity to educate the insurance company about the seriousness of your injury and what you and your family have been through. We have a very specific protocol for preparing our clients to testiy so they are confident and composed in the deposition. And, we are right there with them the whole way during the deposition, and of course more generally during the entirety of their case.
We expect your deposition to be taken in every serious injury case we file, so we start planning and preparing you for it even before your case is filed.
And the way we prepare you for this? Let's just say it's like everything else we do in our practice - it's completely different than the way everyone else does it.
Hurt in an accident in our area? Order our FREE e-book today to get all the information you need.
If you have been hurt in an accident on the Capitol Beltway, 495, I-95, 66, 270 or any of our local roads in DC, Maryland and Virginia, we can help show you the best way to take care of yourself and your family. You can start by ordering our FREE e-book The Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in the DC Metro Area by clicking here - or you can call us at 202-393-3320 to order a copy today.
Will I have to go to trial after an accident that wasn't my fault?
The short answer is probably not – most car accident cases do not go to trial and will actually end up settling.
Even though most cases don’t go to trial, the attorneys at Donahoe Kearney are comfortable in the courtroom. Because of more than 20 years of experience, we’ve won significant verdicts and are board-certified trial lawyers, so if your case does go to trial, we have the specific experience and knowledge to fight for you and get you what you deserve. Still, the reality is most traffic cases do not go to trial for a variety of reasons that we’ll talk about here.
Honestly, many of our cases settle because we are well-prepared and because we are ready for trial very early in the process, usually at the time we file the lawsuit against the other driver. Being ready for trial acutally helps the settlement process along since it shows the other side that we will do well at trial, and makes the other side worry about their chances at winning in trial - making them want to settle.
From the earliest stages, the insurance company knows we represent people with significant injuries and that we can prove that they were caused by the insurance company’s driver. Even with all this information, sometimes insurance companies are unreasonable and after a year or more of litigation they still do not want to settle. And, that doesn’t bother our clients because we have prepared them all along and they are ready for trial if their case continues in the courtroom.
Another reason car accident cases most likely won't go to trial is because it's just simply too expensive to litigate. Especially if it's a minor accident, many people will want to settle so that they don't spend too much money going to trial only to end up with a smaller award in damages from the Court.
At the negotiation table or in court, we're here for you.
Whether you have to litigate or whether your case settles, you can know that we have the experience and the skill to fight for you in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Call us today at 202-393-3320 if you've been hurt by another driver in the area for a free and confidential consultation.
Have you been hospitalized after a serious accident?
Then you know what it's like - how you feel when someone caused a serious crash on the Beltway and you paid the price. A reckless driver that caused the accident may not have been hurt but you could be devastated.
That's why it's important to know what you can do about it.
If another driver caused your injuries, he should pay for it.
That's a long time principle in the law, and it's just like your mother told you growing up - if you hurt someone, make it up to them. We like to think a lot of people were brought up this way. You probably were.
But after a serious accident, you're not dealing with people. You're dealing with a large insurance company. And insurance companies are in business to make money. And they make more money by paying you less as compensation for your injuries - less of your time out of work, less for your medical treatment, less for your pain and permanent injuries.
Most people know that the other driver's insurance company is not your friend after an accident. But then you get in an accident caused by someone else, that wasn't your fault, and you act like the insurance company is going to take care of you.
But you may not even know the extent of your injuries. If you're still in the hospital, how do you know if surgery was successful, how much rehab you will need, how long you'll be out of work and whether you will ever be back to 100%?
You don't. No one does yet.
So what do you do if you've been in the hospital after an accident?
First, don't talk to the other driver's insurance company. For serious injuries, they will try to call you and get a statement from you (even though you're on all kinds of pain medications) and maybe even send someone to the hospital or your home to meet with you and get you to give them a statement. You're in no condition to do that.
Instead, call us to order a free e-book that will explain your rights and what do do after you've been hurt in an accident that wasn't your fault in D.C., Maryland or Virginia. You can read it while you recuperate from your injuries at the hospital or at home. It will help take some of the worry off your mind by explaining the process in clear English. And if you like a printed version, we have that too.
Oh, and if some lawyers or investigators call you to get you to a lawyer for your case - run. You don't want anything to do with someone who solicits you in the hospital. The insurance companies know who they are too and won't take them or you seriously.
After an accident on 495 (the Maryland beltway), the other driver's insurance adjuster keeps calling. What should I say to her?
The good news is - you don't have to say anything.
In fact, after a serious crash where you were hospitalized, need surgery or other immediate medical care, I recommend you don't even call her back. There are a lot of reasons for this.
First, you are in no shape to talk about the crash. You're probably on pain medications, sore, drowsy, in pain and worried about your health - that's natural. So you should focus on getting better instead of answering questions from the at fault driver's insurance company.
Second, her questioning is designed to try to blame you, minimize your injuries, or delay payment for the harms and losses their driver caused you. Remember, the insurance adjuster's job is to pay you less. And she's had thousands of cases where she has done just that.
How many serious accident cases have you handled?
If your injuries are minor, you may be able to handle the case and settle it without a lawyer. But if you've had surgery, need future medical care, couldn't work for an extended period of time after the crash, or can't work now due to your injuries, you shouldn't go it alone.
Find a lawyer you can trust, one who will help you solve the challenges and issues you are dealing with because of the wreck.
Start with ordering a copy of our free book, The Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in the D.C. Metro Area. It will help you decide whether you need a lawyer, explain the steps you need to take after the crash, and give you other helpful tips.
And call us if you need anything. We tell all of the people we help to focus on getting better and we can handle the legal aspects of the case.