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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Can I Sue for My Son's Erb's Palsy?
What is a brachial plexus injury and how can a D.C. or Maryland medical malpractice attorney tell if a child with a brachial plexus injury has a D.C. or Maryland medical malpractice case for damages because of the brachial plexus injury?
A brachial plexus injury, sometimes also called Erb's palsy, is an injury to a collection of nerves that run from the spine, through the arm down to the hand. Some of the symptoms of a brachial plexus injury can be paralysis of the arm, numbness in the arm or hand, loss of muscle functioning or control of the arm or hand (like not being able to grasp or pick things up), pain, and other problems with the shoulder arm and hand, like not being able to move it over a certain height.
Sometimes a brachial plexus injury happens at birth and is caused by the delivering doctor putting too much pressure on the baby's neck during delivery causing the shoulder to be stretched.
And there are different classifications of brachial plexus injuries, from avulsion (the most serious), caused when the nerve root is severed from the spinal cord, to neuropraxia, when the protective covering of the nerve is stretched (this is usually the least serious form of injury).
How can we, as D.C. and Maryland medical malpractice attorneys, determine whether a child's brachial plexus injury was the result of medical malpractice? We'd review the labor and delivery, NICU, and pediatric records of the child and have the records reviewed by medical experts practicing in these specialties to determine whether the child's brachial plexus injury could have been avoided.
Are you wondering if your child's brachial plexus (Erb's Palsy) could have been prevented? Give us a call today and you'll speak with a real person who wants to hear your story today. All consultations are free, no obligation and completely confidential.
If your child had a brachial plexus injury, he may need medical treatment, rehab and therapies well into the future to make sure he can physically function at the highest level possible - make sure he has the money to provide everything he needs to deal with an injury like this.
Give us a call today at 202-393-3320 to get started.
My Child has Cerebral Palsy. A D.C. medical malpractice lawyer said it was not a case. Should I contact another lawyer?
For a serious injury like cerebral palsy you should ALWAYS have another lawyer review the case.
Absolutely. In any matter involving cerebral palsy or other significant damages, it makes sense to get a second opinion from an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. Most lawyers just don't have experience handling specific types of medical malpractice cases against hospitals, HMOs or doctors, such as birth injury or birth trauma cases involving hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or perinatal asphyxia, prematurity and other causes of cerebral palsy and developmental delays.
So they don't have the right experts, nursing consultants and medical researchers needed to determine whether your child's cerebral palsy was related to medical malpractice in DC.
And most experienced malpractice lawyers in DC, Maryland and Virginia will always recommend a second opinion if they cannot take a case because they know other lawyers may see things differently, and any child with cerebral palsy or developmental delays deserves that.
We always refer clients to other medical malpractice attorneys if we can't take their case. And we recently obtained a verdict of $6.5 million dollars for a young man with cerebral palsy whose mother came to us after other lawyers had told her they did not have a case. That case and the money we got for that young man changed his life, and his family's, forever. They now live in a fully accessible home they own, where he has the best care and is close to family and friends.
For us, that's what it's all about.
So if your child has cerebral palsy or other severe injuries from medical care, call us at (202) 393 - 3320 so we can share our philosophy and system of evaluating medical malpractice cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia. And you can order one of our free books, guides or reports to help get started today.
How, Why and When Should You Sue for Malpractice in DC, Maryland, and Virginia?
How, Why and When you should sue a doctor or hospital for medical malpractice in Washington, D.C.
We think that before you sue a doctor or hospital for malpractice, you, or someone in your family must be catastrophically injured - that means:
A) you need lifetime medical care and treatment for your injuries or medical condition, B) you can't work and C) you (or someone in your family) can't do many things the rest of us take for granted.
So, why do we start with your medical condition before we ask other questions?
The reasons we start here, with your injuries and medical condition (and most of the best medical malpractice lawyers do) are important:
- We need to understand your medical condition so we can determine how best to help you, what you need and what you want.
2. A medical malpractice case is difficult, expensive and time consuming (most people don't know that hospitals and doctors win most of the time), so we need to make sure you will have a good chance of getting what you want out of the case.
3. Minor injuries are not worth it (for you and for us) - you will spend more than you will recover.
If you've had a devastating injury or death in the family because of medical mistakes, what is the next step?
Click here for more information OR simply call us at 202-393-3320
My Doctor Prescribed Me the Wrong Drug. What Should I Do?
Prescription Drug errors can come in many forms.
And, they are more common than you think. Here's what can happen..
1). Your doctor simply prescribed you the wrong drug for your condition.
2). Your doctor prescribed a dose that was too low or too high for your specific problem.
3). Your doctor prescribed you a drug you're allergic to (and they have your allergy information on file).
4). The pharmacist mislabeled the drug you've been given so you don't know of side effects.
5). Your doctor prescribed a drug that doesn't interact well with the other drugs you've been prescribed.
All of these mistakes can cause injuries - sometimes minor, sometimes major, and sometimes even fatal. And all of these injuries are preventable. You'd be surprised at how easy some of these medical errors are to make - when it comes to dosage, for example, a wrongly placed decimal point can mean 100 times too low or too high a dosage for a patient. Of course, this could be a serious issue.
And that's why hospitals, pharmacies and doctor's offices need systems in place to prevent medical mistakes. Many times, medical malpractice cases turn on whether the system failed - or there was no system at all to prevent harm to the patient.
So, if you feel you've been prescribed the wrong drug, there is plenty you should do. First, contact your doctor or health care provider and inquire about the prescription. Take note of the side effects you are having (and not having), and let your health-care provider know if you are not getting better.
Keep a copy of the prescription and the medication you were given. You'll want to show this to your doctor so he or she knows exactly what you have taken and how much.
Follow the instructions and if something doesn't seem right, especially if you are on a long term medication for a serious disease or illness, get medical attention right away.
Hopefully, most medication mistakes, or the wrong prescription, will be caught before the patient is harmed. But if a medication error causes you serious harm, how do you hold the pharmacy, doctor or hospital accountable?
If you've been seriously injured by a medical error like these in a DC, MD or VA hospital, make sure to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney so that you can start getting all of the information you need to hold the physician or pharmacy accountable.
Call us today at 202-393-3320 to have a confidential conversation with one of our attorneys about your issue today.
Parents of Children with Cerebral Palsy and Other Special Needs, Need Resources and Specialized Care.
We know from the many parents of children we have represented in medical malpractice cases in D.C., Maryand and Virginia that parenting a disabled or severely injured child is a challenge. That's why we work with doctors, social workers, early intervention agencies and anyone else we can to help parents of special needs or disabled children discover the resources that are available for these children.
And that's why we published Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves: A Parent's Guide to Resources. We wanted to give something to parents of disabled children to help. And yes, our resource guide is completely free with no obligation. As D.C. medical malpractice lawyers, we investigate medical malpractice cases against hospitals, HMOs and doctors in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. And if our investigation shows a healthcare provider violated a Patient Safety Rule and harmed a patient, we represent children and families in those cases.
But this valuable resource guide, prepared and developed with the help of some of the families we work with, is available free to parents of all special needs kids in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. It doesn't matter how, when or why your child's condition occurred.
To order your copy of this valuable guide to resources, just call us at (202) 393 - 3320 and we will send it to you to today, for free, with absolutely no obligation.
What Does "Liability" Mean in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
How Do I Know if my Doctor is "Liable" in DC, Maryland, or Virginia?
As a patient, you trust your doctor to take the care of you with the utmost diligence, regardless of the severity of any health issues you may have. However, we know that sometimes doctors make mistakes. While we all hope that these mistakes are innocent and harmless, terrible things can happen if a doctor is negligent. Regardless of whether they intended to harm you, doctors and hospitals may be held responsible for any injury they have caused you.
It’s scary to think that even in routine procedures – such as this ACL surgery done on a high school senior that led to his death – things can go wrong. But if you’ve experienced wrongful injury as a result of a doctor or hospital, you know that it is possible, and you understandably want to hold someone responsible for the pain you’ve been forced to deal with.
If you’re looking to file a lawsuit against a doctor or hospital, you’ll need to be able to prove that the medical treatment you received fell below an appropriate standard of care and is the cause of your injury. Though it isn’t your job to create the legal argument in your case – that’s your lawyer’s job – it is helpful to understand the general framework of how your lawyer will help you to prove that the hospital or doctor whom you are suing is liable.
First of all, it must be clear that a “doctor-patient relationship” existed – this just means there must be a record of the fact that the doctor at hand provided some sort of treatment to you. The more difficult point to prove, however, is that the doctor did not treat you with a reasonable standard of care.
This can be shown by calling experts in the field – like other doctors or nurses – to testify about what they and other doctors might have chosen to do while treating you if they were in your doctor’s shoes. Then it must be made clear that your doctor not only acted inappropriately, but that the wrongful decisions they made are the central reason that you were injured, and it must be evident that those injuries you incurred are negatively impacting your life.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence, you probably expect that your case meets each of these standards pretty obviously, since you witnessed the entire situation first-hand. The tricky parts of medical malpractice cases are getting expert witnesses and ensuring that there is enough evidence – legally this is called a “preponderance of evidence" – to back up the claim that a doctor’s negligence caused your injury can be difficult in some cases.
The intricacies of malpractice cases may seem overwhelming, but that’s not what you should worry about – that’s where your attorney comes in.
The most important thing you can do is reach out to a lawyer who can help you figure out how to best move forward with a lawsuit. Medical malpractice cases can be heartbreaking, and it is important to find an attorney who can assess your case properly, and will fight for you to get compensation and resources that you need to continue on with your life.
We work tirelessly to help people of all ages and walks of life who have experienced all sorts of injuries as a result of medical malpractice. If you’re wondering if you have a case, call us at 202-393-3320. There’s no risk or obligation for calling, and we don’t get paid unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
My husband's leg was amputated in a Washington DC hospital. Did the hospital screw up?
You hear these things far too often and they make you afraid to ever visit a hospital again. The prep team marked the wrong limb for surgery. The doctor didn't follow up on a critical test. Your child was born with cerebral palsy due to a delayed delivery.
And the thing people always want to know of course, is,
is it the doctor's fault?
The only way you can know for sure
is to have your medical records reviewed.
Medical malpractice cases are very difficult to prove, which is why we only review the cases we think we can add value to, to make a meaningful difference in people's lives.
Recently our principal and founding attorney Frank Kearney answered the question,
IF YOU TRULY WANT TO HELP PEOPLE, WHY DON’T YOU TAKE EVERY CASE?
Here's what he had to say:
That is a great question and it’s one I’ve thought about often over my 25 years as a lawyer.
Since I was a kid, I absolutely wanted to be a lawyer because I could help people (still do – it’s what drives me). I hate telling people I can’t take their case, or try to help them, but I have to. Here’s why.
It comes down to being able to help someone who really needs it – to be able to commit to them, to go deep into their case, to work at developing a lasting relationship, not just a case. And to do that right, I have to focus on those people we can do the most for and make the biggest difference in their life.
But I still want to help everyone in some way. That’s why I’ve developed a core of referral partners, lawyers I’ve worked with or known for years, who handle different kinds of cases but share my basic philosophy. And why we give away so much educational material.
Believe me, I’ve been criticized for this. I realize that’s not how most lawyers do it. It’s not popular. Sometimes it costs me money. And it’s hard to say no. But it’s the right thing to do because it allows me to help people at a higher level.
And when you visit my office you’ll see lots of pictures of people – they all look different, they come from all walks of life, different languages, different religions, you name it – and hopefully we’ve made a meaningful difference in their lives. Every day when I walk in, those pictures remind me why I’m here.
If you're asking the question: is my husband's catastrophic injury the hospital's fault? Could my baby's cerebral palsy have been prevented? How am I going to take care of my wife now that she needs round-the-clock care? You may need to have your medical records reviewed by an attorney. There is no cost, and no obligation for having your records reviewed. All you have to do is call us and we'll do the rest.
Give us a call today at 202-393-3320 to take the fear and uncertainty out of the process. You'll speak to a real person who wants to hear your story.
How Hard is it to Have My Child's Medical Malpractice Case Evaluated in DC, Maryland, and Virginia?
First, we make it easy for you. We review all of the medical information, meet you and your child, and sit down with you to talk it all over. We've developed a process for helping families with kids hurt by malpractice that doesn't take up a lot of your time and injury - so you can focus on your family and your child (but we keep you up to date on everything).
So from a parent's view, we handle it all. But we've helped a lot of families just like yours over the last 25 years, and there are some things you may be feeling that are pretty common when you're dealing with malpractice and the effects it has on your child and your family.
I've heard parents say about their injured children "I just want my child to be okay. It's not about money or time or any of those things. I just want to make sure my baby is okay."
There is sometimes an emotional barrier to investigating whether malpractice was the cause of your child's devastating injuries, or thinking about starting a lawsuit, mostly because you are so overwhelmed by your child's injuries that you are unable to focus on what might happen down the road. There is also a fear of the unknown, which creates an emotional barrier.
Sometimes it's a friend or family member that is instrumental in bringing a mother or father around to the idea of investigating whether you should pursue a malpractice case to benefit your child and your family - taking some of the financial burden away, getting him or her resources for special needs, making sure there is money available for his or her future. Sometimes its hard to get past the immediate crisis and look to the future and what the child might need as he or she grows to be an adult, or when you can no longer take care of him or her.
I'M AFRAID I CAN'T AFFORD IT
Malpractice lawsuits are actually handled on a contingency basis, and it's true that lawsuits can be expensive, especially with multiple expert witnesses and consultants most cases. We don't put that risk on you - if Donahoe Kearney doesn't win or settle the case, you don't have to pay. Plus we don't want you worrying about the case - we want you focused on your child and your family, as only a parent can.
We have a very focused, personalized system we've developed over 25 years of holding hospitals and doctors accountable for injuring patients - especially children - so we will tell you upfront if we don't think you have a case that should be filed in the courts. And we only work with people and families we can really help - when the injuries are so severe that the child will need lifetime care and treatment, modifications to your home (or a new house), nurses and healthcare workers to come in and help at night or when you are gone. So we naturally limit the number of people we work with.
If this sounds like your situation, please reach out to us. It's easy to get started. You can call (202) 393 - 3320 to talk to a real person who will listen, or fill out the form to the left and we can call you. There's no obligation or cost and it's completely confidential.
But don't wait - we want to get started helping you and your child!
After a serious injury to my wife in the hospital that could be malpractice, the doctors and risk management people want to meet with us. What should we say?
Meeting With Hospital Staff After Malpractice
After someone is seriously injured in the hospital and the injury could have been prevented, there is a lot you have to worry about. Your life has just changed dramatically, and you now are responsible for your loved one's care, since they can no longer do this themselves.
One of the reasons the hospital staff may want to meet with you is to explain (from their perspective, of course) what happened to your loved one. Sometimes these "family meetings" as they are sometimes called, are a chance for the hospital staff, especially the risk management department, to try to talk you out of pursuing a malpractice case against the hospital. They may do this by not fully explaining what happened, or telling you it wouldn't have mattered no matter what the doctors and nurses did, or that your loved one had something unusual or unexplained go wrong.
Even if this is all true, it is something you should verify independently, and not rely on hospital administrators. Remember, the hospital will not have responsibility for your wife's care and treatment, and the costs of providing for her, after she is discharged - you will.
Will the hospital administrators apologize?
Sometimes they will apologize for what happened (again, always in the way most favorable to them). There is some thought that these type of apologies reduce the number of malpractice lawsuits because the people affected are satisfied, or accept the apology - and this is probably true if the injuries or condition is minor, but we are talking about life changing medical issues. An apology can be important, but it does not hold the hospital accountable and it does not help provide for the medical care and treatment your wife now needs.
The problem with these meetings is it's very hard to judge the motives of the hospital staff. Is one doctor upset at a system failure that caused your wife's injury or complications? If so, he may be brutally honest about what happened to try to change that system. Is the hospital staff defensive because they know they did something wrong? Are they genuinely concerned about your wife's well being and do they have helpful recommendations for the medical care and treatment she needs?
It is always important to bring someone else, other family members, to listen and ask questions to get all of the information you can.
But verify everything - first by getting a copy of the full medical chart and the actual images of any diagnostic tests done (like MRIs). It will be important to have this information reviewed by an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, with his or her own consultants and experts, to investigate this on your behalf - with the best interests of your wife and your family as the focus.
That's what we do. Call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 and we'll help you get started getting the information and analysis you need to make the best decisions for you and your family.
What do I need for a Medical Malpractice Case?
That's a great question - one that a lot of people ask (or should ask), so you're not alone.
Here's what you need to get started for a medical malpractice case in DC, Maryland of Virginia:
First, if you have a life changing injury, like cerebral palsy, paralysis or brain damage after a hospital stay in DC, you are smart to start the process of investigating whether you have a medical malpractice case that could help you or your family get the resources you will need to take care of yourself or your loved one.
This starts with the medical records. Make a list of the doctors and hospitals you or your loved one has seen, and contact the hospitals and doctors to get copies of all of the medical records. Many now have electronic medical records and can give these to you on a disc. If you are requesting records for a loved one, you will need a power of attorney, guardianship order or some documentation that you are the one who can order the medical records.
If your child was the one who was injured due to malpractice, you (as the parent) are entitled to those records, you can fill out a form at the hospital or request those. There is nothing special you have to do, because that is your child.
You'll need a good medical malpractice lawyer to review everything for you - remember, the evaluation of a medical malpractice case is different than just determining what happened, it is analyzing the medicine and the law in the jurisdiction to make sure you and your family can get a meaningful recovery and hold the healthcare provider accountable. That takes a lot of time and effort in working with expert physicians, so don't wait on this. The sooner this gets moving, the closer you are to providing the resources needed for lifetime care, home modifications, nurses to care for you or your loved one at night, and all the things someone with a serious injury needs, not just to survive, but to thrive.
You have the right to handle any case on your own, without a lawyer (and for small injury fender bender cases we tell people that all the time) but this is different. These cases are complicated, expensive to investigate and pursue and filled with traps - most lawyers can't handle these cases.
How can we help you get started do you can focus on getting better or taking care of your loved one?
We've published a lot on medical malpractice in DC, Maryland and VA based on over 25 years of helping people (especially kids) through this, and we even have a form that will help you find the best malpractice lawyer for you and your family. Hint: Don't believe everything you see on TV (do you want a TV lawyer at the trial of a life changing case for your family? How will the jury react? Will they think you have a good case, or that you had to get a lawyer from TV commercials?)
So really all you need is the medical records and the best malpractice lawyer for you and your family. We can help you with both.
Just call us at (202) 393 - 3320 today for a list of our free, no obligation books, guides and reports on medical malpractice in the DMV. We'll get the free info out to you today and you can get started.