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 the difference between medical malpractice and negligence?
Malpractice vs. Negligence
Someone called me yesterday about a wrongful death case in D.C. after a relative died from what sounded like inadequate medical care by an HMO here in the District.
I explained some of the elements of a medical malpractice case in D.C. - the standard of care, proving the malpractice caused the person's injury or conditions, the damages allowed in wrongful death cases, etc.
After we finished, she asked a great question - what's the difference between negligence and medical malpractice?
Usually there is no difference. Medical malpractice lawyers tend to use the terms interchangeably - I know I do.
Medical malpractice is negligence by a doctor, nurse, hospital, HMO (any healthcare provider providing medical care to a patient) where they fail to do what a reasonable and prudent doctor, nurse, etc. would do in the same situation. The harm is to a patient. Many times this is also called medical negligence.
Negligence is anyone failing to do what a reasonable person would do in the same situation - it can be a driver, store owner, landlord, anyone who does something (not intentionally) that hurts someone else, usually because they weren't being careful.
So if an anesthesiologist doesn't monitor a patient during surgery and she is injured due to lack of oxygen, that is medical malpractice. If the same anesthesiologist runs over someone in the hospital parking lot, that's negligence.
Order a free copy of one of our books, consumer guides and/or reports for more information on this and a number of other topics.
How do I find a lawyer for a patient who died because of hospital mistakes?
You'll need a lawyer with a lot of experience in medical malpractice cases, representing families who have lost a loved one because of hospital mistakes or errors. But there is a lot more than experience (and we have tons of it) to consider.
You may hear these tragic cases called wrongful death cases - and they are, but they are based on medical malpractice. And that is a much different, more specialized, and usually more difficult area of the law than a wrongful death case when someone dies in a car or truck accident.
In fact, the District of Columbia has two types of cases when someone is killed by medical mistakes or another person's negligence - wrongful death and survival actions. There are similar differences in death cases in Maryland and Virginia as well - and we know because we've represented families in D.C., Maryland and Virginia when HMOs, hospitals, doctors or nurses have caused a patient's death.
What else do you need to look for in a lawyer you are thinking about hiring for a serious case?
There are a number of factors but here are a few:
- Board Certification by the National Board of Trial Advocacy
- Resources - these cases are expensive to investigate and litigate. They require multiple expert witnesses in different specialties, so make sure your case can be reviewed by some of the best experts from around the country.
- Specific experience with the hospital or HMO that caused the death, for example
- Results - trials, verdicts, settlements
- Reviews - what former clients have to say about their experience
There is a lot of misinformation and slick advertising out there - so how can you make sure you don't wind up with the wrong lawyer for your case?
Download our free Medical Malpractice Lawyer Evaluation Guide and start calling some lawyers and see how they stack up, before you even meet with them. Want us to send more info that will help? Just call us at (202) 393 - 3320 and we'll send it to you, free of charge, with no obligation.
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.
As the parent of a disabled child, do you feel overwhelmed?
If you're caring for a child with special needs, developmental or physical disabilities, you know that there is a lot of information to go through about resources, benefits, activities, education, treatment - you name it. Many of the parents we have helped have told us how stressful and draining this can be.
So we developed a guide based on our experience and research, to at least get you started. A list of resources in the Washington, D.C. area designed to help you find the right activities, enrichment and opportunities for your child.
As you know, one size does not fit all when it comes to kids. But this is a starting point - to get people thinking and talking about what is available to help their child with disabilities and their family.
Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves: A Parent's Guide to Resources is a free gift to parents. You can order it through our website or by calling (202) 393 - 3320. But don't wait. If you know a family or child who can use resources, get it to them today.
What is substandard medical care?
Substandard Medical Care is another term for medical malpractice - and that can include hospital or office systems that fail, a doctor not following up on test results or ordering a consultation with a specialist, not working up a potential diagnosis, giving the wrong medication or wrong dosage - almost any medical problem that is preventable.
Some people call this medical negligence, or a violation of the standard of care or standards of practice - and these terms usually refer to the same thing - a situation where a doctor, nurse or hospital doesn't follow established safety rules for their patient.
Sometimes, there is no harm from this, like when another doctor or nurse catches a mistake and re-writes an order, so the patient never gets the wrong medication. But patients can be seriously injured or killed due to mistakes that can be avoided.
Want to learn more? Take a few minutes to order one of our free, no obligation guides - they are full of common examples of medical mistakes that we see over and over again. Or just call our office and we'll send it to you.
At the point where you're looking for a D.C. medical malpractice lawyer because you suspect a medical mistake?
Download our FREE Medical Malpractice Lawyer Evaluation Form. Make sure anyone you hire for such an important case can past the test. And remember, hospitals, doctors' insurance companies know the lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice and those who don't.
What do the best medical malpractice lawyers look for in a medical malpractice case?
Whether a patient is injured by a hospital, HMO or doctor in D.C., Maryland or Virginia, as experienced medical malpractice lawyers, we look for certain factors to help us evaluate a case and determine whether we are the best lawyers for you.
First, we can only take cases involving very serious injuries or medical conditions - paralysis, cerebral palsy, brain damage, blindness, death, etc. - injuries or conditions which forever change a patient's life or a family.
The reason for this is that medical malpractice cases in our court system (at least in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia) are complex, time consuming and expensive to prove. We want to make sure our case can make a difference in a patient's life. And we never want to put a patient who has been harmed by the medical system, through the legal system unless we can help make up for the harms and losses caused by the hospital, doctor or HMO.
And that's sometimes hard, because it means we can't help everyone with a legitimate malpractice case.
Second, are you someone we can work with - we view a medical malpractice case as a relationship, working together with a patient and his or her family to try to get everything they need to make their lives better. So we want trust to develop over time and be able to work toward a common goal.
Third, of course is the actual investigation of the case, learning what really happened, studying the medical literature, reviewing the medical records with experts and consultants.
There is more to it than that, of course, but our medical malpractice cases and trials have taught us this is where to start. And if you're thinking you have a medical malpractice case, don't wait (there are time limits). Call us today at (202) 393-3320 to see if we are the right medical malpractice lawyers for you and your family.
How do you find a lawyer who specializes in cerebral palsy cases against hospitals in D.C.?
When you have a child with cerebral palsy, it probably feels like nothing is ever easy. You probably have struggled with feeding, washing, dressing and carrying your child up and down stairs, in and out of the car. And you probably also have struggled with questions about the cause of your child's cerebral palsy.
And there are TV commercials and ads that make it seem easy to get a lawyer - just call us right now - if you have a phone you have a lawyer - call now, operators are standing by, that kind of thing. And that's fine if you're buying a juicer or an exercise machine, but this is a child we're talking about.
So get the information you need to help you make the best decisions for your child and your family.
Start by ordering a free copy of one of our guides. We wrote them to help families, even if they never become our clients.
- Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves: A Parent's Guide to Resources
- Picking Up the Pieces: A Parent's Guide to Medical Malpractice
- 7 Symptoms of Malpractice: How Every Patient Can Recognize, Stop and Avoid Medical Mistakes
You can order these right here on our website, by emailing [email protected] or by calling us at (202) 393 - 3320. T
And before you call or meet with any lawyer, download and use our Medical Malpractice Lawyer Evaluation form to make sure the lawyer has the experience, qualifications and resources that are right for your child.
My child has shoulder dystocia from birth. Could his condition have been caused by medical malpractice?
Shoulder Dystocia and Medical Malpractice at a DC Hospital
Shoulder dystocia can sometimes occur at birth when the obstetrician or other hospital providers do not follow the rules of good patient care, or the hospital doctor, interns or residents do not recognize this complication and treat it as an obstetrical emergency. There are also certain risk factors, such as maternal diabetes or a fetus suspected of weighing more than 4,000 grams that make a baby more susceptible to shoulder dystocia during delivery. The hospital staff should test and be looking for these well known risk factors.
Umbilical cord compression due to the baby getting "stuck" during delivery can also lead to a lack of oxygen for the baby, increased acidosis and ultimately brain damage for the baby if the lack of oxygen to the brain is prolonged. That's why the condition needs to be recognized and evaluated by experience hospital staff, so that actions can be taken to prevent or limit harm to the baby or mother.
Shoulder dystocia usually refers to when one of the baby's shoulders is caught behind the mother's pelvic bone after the baby's head is delivered. This can lead to brachial plexis palsy, a permanent nerve injury that leaves the child unable to use that arm, or with extensive damage that prevents him from doing things normal kids do.
If your child has a permanent injury after birth or during his time in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, call us today for a confidential, free consultation. We may be able to help your family get him the resources you need to provide for your child's future medical care, therapy, rehab, occupational therapy, vocational training and other things that can help him manage and cope with the effects of the injury.
The sooner you get started, the better - all parents want to help their child if they can, and so do we!
Just call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 or click here to order a copy of our free guide to medical malpractice so we can help get you answers today.
Are you worried about whether your family was affected by medical malpractice?
Over the years, we've learned that medical malpractice doesn't discriminate. It can effect young, old, rich, poor, black, white you name it.
It happens when a hospital, HMO or physician doesn't follow established patient safety rules - and makes a choice not to put the patient's safety first. And you will hear a lot of excuses for it - inexperienced interns, a faulty hospital system, a doctor in a rush, etc. but the truth is, all medical malpractice is preventable.
That's why we published Picking Up the Pieces - a parent's guide to help families talk about this difficult subject. No one wants to think it could happen to them, and everyone reacts differently - with disbelief, anger, sadness, etc. Especially when your child is involved - when a child is seriously hurt by medical malpractice, you need to make sure you do everything you can so that your child has the resources for the medical care and help he needs, and to protect him in the future.
And like most things in parenting, if you are suspicious of medical malpractice at a DC hospital, or your intuition is telling you something is not right, you need to take action to investigate whether medical malpractice affected your family.
Call us today at 203-393-3320 to get started on your journey. It's free, no obligation and confidential, of course.