Answers to Medical Malpractice, Workers Comp, Long Term Disability Insurance, and Car Accident Questions
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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.
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I Hurt My Shoulder at Work and My Doctor Thinks It's a Torn Rotator Cuff. What Do I Do?
A torn rotator cuff (tears of the the tendons in one or more of the major muscles of the shoulder) is a painful, often disabling injury. Many times it requires surgery, especially if an MRI confirms a tear and physical therapy or injections haven't helped.
How do you protect yourself if this serious injury happens at work?
First, tell your employer it happened on the job. We call this giving notice, and it should be done as soon as possible after the injury.
Next, get to a specialist. This is not an injury that can be managed or treated by a family physician and maybe not even by a general orthopedic surgeon.
Third, be wary of doctors referred by the insurance company. The insurance company will be watching their bottom line, not advocating for your care. If the insurance company referred you a doctor ask yourself: is he going to order expensive tests, like an MRI, that the insurance company will have to pay for? Is he going to believe you when you say how much it hurts? Is he thorough and does he seem objective? You should not let the insurance companies' doctor manage your treatment.
Finally, file your workers' compensation claim in the right jurisdiction.
These are the things you should do, but remember, there is a lot more to it. Making a mistake can cost you a lot of money in lost wages and a lot of time and treatment when it comes to your injury. In most cases, you should not go it alone. You may need an advocate to fight for your rights.
Before you make any serious and difficult decisions, read the free book offered by our offices and written just for workers hurt on the job in the D.C. area: Protect Your Rights: The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers Compensation.
It's free to injured workers and their families in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. So order your free copy today - call us at 202-393-3320.
How Do I Know If a Work Hardening Program is the Next Right Step for My Case?
Work hardening is a little like physical therapy. The idea is to simulate work activity to see if you can do it and transition back to work.
That sounds great but in practice, some work hardening facilities don't know your real job duties (they just get a job classification from a generic list), and some think they are assessing psychological factors like "pain or illness behavior" or "symptom magnification".
These are insurance buzz words for "you are faking or malingering" - and the people making these "findings" are only physical therapists - they can help you stretch, use proper body mechanics and give tips on overcoming soreness but they're not doctors.
The key is to always be on guard - these facilities get almost all of their patients from workers comp insurance companies and sometimes "evidence" that someone is somehow not giving full effort (according to a physical therapist) is more valuable to them than getting you back to work.
We do have a fantastic physical and occupational therapy group that we work with that gets referrals from attorneys, insurance companies, family members - everywhere! So you don't have worry that they are biased, or that they won't do a great job with you. Give us a call today and we would be happy to share that information with you. 202-393-3320.
My child had a serious injury in the hospital. How much will a lawyer cost?
First, children's medical malpractice is a specialized area of law and you've come to the right place.
Medical malpractice cases against hospitals require the lawyers to investigate the cause of the injury, your child's medical condition, the medical records, review medical literature and studies and review the information with experts in different fields - doctors who specialize in pediatrics, pediatric neurology, hospitalists, neuro-radiologists, and other specialists depending on the child's condition.
Once we agree to investigate a medical malpractice case, we'll do that for free and share the results of the investigation with you. If our investigation tells us that we can prove a case and help your child, our fees are contingent - meaning you pay only if we win, there is no fee if the case is lost.
If you're thinking about talking to a lawyer about any serious medical mistake, order a copy of our Medical Malpractice Lawyer Evaluation - there are a lot of lawyers who advertise for these cases but don't be fooled by slick ads. This form is designed to help you find the right lawyer for your medical malpractice case, someone with the right experience, training and resources and its also FREE.
Just call us at (202) 393 - 3320 or order it through the website and you'll get it today.
What if someone is paralyzed by medical malpractice?
Medical mistakes like misdiagnosis, not ordering the right treatment, delaying treatment, not ordering a consult with a specialist, system errors and other negligence can cause serious injuries, like paralysis.
We've seen it and helped people who became paralyzed.
If someone is paralyzed due to a medical mistake by a hospital, doctor or HMO, they will need care, treatment and support they never thought they would. Future medical care and treatment, transportation, home modifications or a handicap accessible home, job re-training, access to technology that can help someone adapt - these are just some of the things needed to help.
But the biggest need we see - and what we strive to do for people we help - is get your independence back. And take the stress off of your family members.
Sometimes that is learning to drive a modified car or van to go where you want when you want. Sometimes it is an extra nurse or companion to help you with mobility - getting out and around. Sometimes it is a modifying your home or buying another that is accessible and right for you. Sometimes it is the latest technology to help you do more.
Like every malpractice case, every person we help is different. You are different.
Honestly, we're different too. If we can help you or someone you know get their independence back, call us at 202-393-3320.
What If I Am on Workman's Comp, but I Get Another Work Offer?
Someone getting full workman's comp benefits (usually called temporary total disability or TTD) can't work and get paid for both. Anyone working and concealing it from the insurance company is committing fraud - remember, the system exists to pay legitimate injured workers, not people who claim they can't work when they are working.
If you can work light duty work or in some reduced capacity, you should. You will still get workman's comp benefits but these will be based on partial disability, and the calculation goes like this: If your normal weekly paycheck (weekly wage) was $1,000.00 and your light duty wages are $700, you would get $200 in temporary partial disability benefits ($1000 - $700 = $300 x 2/3 = $200).
Many times, the light duty wages will vary so these benefits have to be adjusted every week. Our staff collects the data, calculates the benefits and follows up with the insurance company to make sure you get all of the benefits you should.
If you were seriously injured at work, especially if you need surgery, you probably need an attorney to help you take care of your family and protect yourself from the insurance company. Give us a call today at 203-393-3320 and we will get your started on your road to success in workman's comp.
The workers comp insurance company isn't paying me. Can I use sick leave or vacation time when I can't work?
I was injured at work but I'm not getting paid. Can I use sick leave or vacation?
Most of the time, yes. If you are out of work due to a work-related injury and workers comp has denied your claim and isn't paying you, you may be forced to use sick leave, FMLA, and/or PTO while you recover.
Sick leave and vacation time are earned benefits and you should be able to use them when workers comp isn't paying you, or the insurance company cut off your benefits or you are waiting for a hearing.
Some employers let you buy back your sick leave and vacation time when you later get a workers comp check.
If your claim was accepted, we recommend saving your sick and vacation time for when you need it and using workers compensation benefits for the time off after an injury on the job.
Want an experienced D.C. workers compensation lawyer to answer all of your questions?
Get the only book that will answer your questions, Protect Your Rights: The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers Compensation written by a Board Certified attorney, for free by ordering directly from our website or by calling (202) 393 - 3320.
How long does the workers comp insurance have to accept or deny my D.C. Workers Comp claim? It's been 4 weeks and I haven't heard anything.
After you're hurt on the job in DC and you report your injury to your employer (sometimes that's called "notice") the insurance company is supposed to accept or deny your claim within 14 days. There are a number of reasons why they deny paying workers comp benefits in DC - they may say it didn't happen on the job, or that you had a pre-existing condition, etc.
If they deny your DC workers comp claim, they should send you a Notice of Controversion, listing the reason for the denial. And that should be filed within 14 days.
But in practice, sometimes the insurance company lists "under investigation" as the reason to try to give themselves more time.
If you get a Notice of Controversion, you need to talk to an experienced DC workers comp lawyer immediately. In our practice, we usually file for a Formal Hearing the very same day, because a Notice of Controversion means our client is not getting paid. Many times, we can get that decision reversed as we develop evidence for your case and prepare for the hearing with a judge by convincing the insurance company that you will win in court.
If they haven't filed within the 14 day period and you win the case, you can request a 10% penalty be assessed in addition to your workers comp benefits - and that goes to you, not some government agency.
And remember, the insurance company can deny your case at any time, sometimes after paying your benefits for years. So if you have a serious work injury don't wait - the time is coming when a new adjuster or supervisor will find something they think they can use to stop paying you.
Let us get to work for you before you get that Notice and before your checks that you and your family depend on stop coming.
Still not sure? See what some of our real clients have said about working with us - many of whom came to us early in the process so we could take steps to make sure their benefits continued and they didn't have to worry about it.
I know you represent people who were injured in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. What types of clients and cases do you take?
Getting the best lawyer in D.C., Virginia or Maryland is critical after a serious injury and can make a huge difference in the life of someone with a serious disability (and their family).
Since we accept a limited number of clients, and focus on representing a select group of people, here is what we look for in an ideal client (and an ideal client for us is someone we can do the most good for). We're less concerned with how the injuries happened (whether in an accident, at a hospital or at work), and more concerned with who it happened to - the person and family who were affected.
We look for clients who are motivated to make the most of life after a serious, catastrophic injury that wasn't their fault - getting the most mobility, independence and functioning they possibly can. Or doing everything they can for their family member who can no longer care for himself.
Here are a couple of real life examples:
A young man, paralyzed from the waist down in middle school because of a series of medical mistakes by a D.C. hospital who went on to college and learned how to drive a handicap modified car - increasing his independence and mobility.
A mother and father who wake up every 2 hours every night to turn their daughter, to prevent skin breakdown because she cannot move her body on her own. An expert physician in the case described the girl's skin as "beautiful - like a baby's"
There are many other examples of good, hard working people we represent after an accident - ordinary people who didn't cause the injury, never asked for anything, and now have developed an extraordinary ability to perservere through difficulties - those are our kind of people.
Is My Case Big Enough to Hire a Lawyer?
Lots of people can handle their injury case on their own, without hiring a lawyer if their injuries aren't serious.
But this is a decision that is best made after getting information on what to do if you're hurt because of someone else's carelessness or negligent driving, or after at least consulting with an attorney. Regardless of whether your case involves personal injury, negligence, medical malpractice or workers' compensation in D.C., Maryland or Virginia, we provide free information that can help you make the best decision for you and your family.
Take advantage of our free resources - books, guides and reports. And if you have a question you need answered right away and can't find it on our website, just call. We'll do our best to answer it. And once we discuss the merits of your case with you and we can help you decide whether you need a lawyer. While we would like to help everyone, sometimes that is not a reality. If we cannot help you, we will refer you to someone we know and trust to handle you case.
Are there any videos I could reference on your website about your firm?
Yes. We have a video library that houses many different videos that are helpful for our clients adn others who have been affected by a medical mistake, hurt in a serious car accident or injured on the job.
Our videos tell yousomething about our philosophy, approach to helping you, and who we are, plus we cover many different topics and specific questions on the areas we focus on: medical malpractice, automobile accidents, and workers' compensation.
Follow the link to our Video Library to access these vidoes.
Need more information or want to know if we can help you? just give us a call or send us an email. Both are confidential, no risk, no obligation ways of getting information that can help you right now.