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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  • 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:

    1.  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

  • 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.

    Why do you need to have your medical records reviewed?

    Why should you trust us with your records?

    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,


    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.


    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 don't normally charge an hourly rate for medical malpractice cases. In fact, we don't charge a fee in any serious injury case unless we win or settle your case. Which means that we don't get paid unless you get paid. There is no risk to you, no upfront payment, no retainer. That's simply how it works. It's called a contingency fee.

    How are we able to do this?  Not be paid until the end of your case, and only if we win?

    Read more here.

    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. 

  • ¿Quién es el mejor abogado para tu familia en DC, Maryland y Virginia


    Los casos de negligencia médica en contra de un hospital, seguro médico global o médicos en DC (así como en Maryland y Virginia) son difíciles. No hay dos maneras de hacerlo. Y hay buenos abogados que manejan casos de negligencia médica, pero usted solo tiene un caso, por lo que necesita el mejor abogado para usted y su familia.


    Hemos escrito una guía para evaluar a cualquier abogado de mala praxis médica en el que pueda estar pensando, para darle algunas de las preguntas importantes que debe hacer sobre la experiencia y las calificaciones. Y eso ayudará a la mayoría de los pacientes a reducir su búsqueda (la ley de mala praxis médica es una especialidad limitada, muchos abogados dicen que lo hacen, o anuncian casos, pero no muchos saben realmente cómo manejar estos casos a un alto nivel).


    Pero además de la experiencia, las calificaciones y los recursos que debe tener un abogado, usted necesita algo más si tiene una lesión catastrófica que ha cambiado su vida e impactado a su familia.


    Necesita un abogado que se comunique con usted, a menudo y claramente, en un lenguaje sencillo (si él o ella no pueden explicar su caso y qué se está haciendo para que usted lo entienda, ¿lo entiende realmente el abogado? Y cómo lo hará el abogado). alguna vez convencer a un jurado?). Su abogado necesita mantenerlo actualizado e informado durante todo el proceso para que sepa qué esperar. La investigación puede llevar mucho tiempo y requerir de una serie de expertos en diferentes especialidades médicas, debe saberlo a medida que avanza.


    También debe recibir llamadas solo para ver cómo se encuentra, cómo se siente, si está ansioso o preocupado por algo (al menos nuestros clientes reciben este tipo de llamadas aproximadamente cada mes).


    Como abogado de negligencia médica, realmente necesita estar preparado para tener una relación con las personas a las que ayuda, por lo que debe conocer a su abogado y confiar en él. Para las personas con las que trabajamos que están paralizadas, tienen daño cerebral y otros problemas médicos importantes, venimos a verlo a su casa, para que se sienta cómodo y podamos conocerlo mejor.


    Estos casos duran mucho tiempo y son complicados: hay mucho en juego si no puede trabajar, necesita que alguien lo cuide debido a sus lesiones, necesita atención médica de por vida, tratamiento y medicamentos, necesita modificaciones en el hogar. . Mucha gente a la que ayudamos necesita todo eso y más.


    Si está buscando el mejor abogado de negligencia médica para usted y su familia en DC, los libros, las guías y los recursos gratuitos que publicamos deberían ayudarlo. Simplemente llámenos al (202)- 393-3320 y se los enviaremos directamente a usted.



  • Will Your Lawyers Come to My House if My Child has Cerebral Palsy or other Serious Injuries?

    I'm home all day with my child who has cerebral palsy and I can't leave him with just anyone. Do your attorneys do house calls?

    The answer is, sometimes. Our attorneys have cases all over DC, Maryland and Virginia and it is possible to schedule a home visit with them.

    We find that sometimes our most productive

    work sessions are with people in their own environment. 

    If you have a child with serious injuries, and it's hard to make it out to an appointment, don't worry, we've got you covered. We can arrange for either a video phone call, or a home visit.

    Here at Donahoe Kearney we have some of the best resources and guides for children and families of children with special needs and we love to make them available to those who need them.

    Do you have a child with special needs and you want information, but it’s going to be really tough for you to come out to our offices? Shoot an email to Brooke Birkey to see if there is a chance that Frank Kearney or Keith Donahoe will be in your area to drop by for a visit, or else to set up a video conference where you can speak with us directly without leaving your home and your child. Call or email at 202-393-3320, or [email protected]

    *attorneys travel periodically for other cases and may be able to see you. Video conferencing is also available for those unable to travel.


    This up and coming publication “Capture the Moment” is designed to give you an at-a-glance guide to information and potential resources for your child but it’s so hot it’s not even on the presses yet. Pre-order yours at [email protected] SUBJECT LINE “Capture the Moment.”

  • How Often is Cerebral Palsy Preventable?


    Could My Child's Cerebral Palsy Have Been Prevented in DC, Maryland or Virginia?

    This is an excellent question considering how devastating cerebral palsy is to a child, and sometimes it is due to complications during labor and delivery, or as a complication of premature birth. Usually, cerebral palsy occurs around the time of birth. Sometimes cerebral palsy can be caused by complications from jaundice, infection and other medical issues the newborn baby has.

    According to the Cerebral Palsy Group, Cerebral Palsy affects approximately 500,000 children and adults, with around 8,000 babies and between 1,200 and 1,500 preschool-age children diagnosed each year.

    Cerebral Palsy is essentially brain damage to a certain part of the brain that can occur as the child develops in the womb, during childbirth due to asphyxia, and in a few other ways. The damage is to the motor cortex of the brain and results in difficulty with gross and fine motor skills development, balance, speech, muscle tone, and other types of development. Cases of Cerebral Palsy range from mild to severe; some children with Cerebral Palsy grow up to be completely self-sufficient while some need 24/7 care now, and will need it for their whole lives - long after their parents are gone.

    In our experience, Cerebral Palsy can be preventable, and because of that, can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital that caused the injuries, to make up for some of the financial harms and losses the baby will suffer.  Medical malpractice in D.C. happens because the hospital or doctors did not comply with the standard medical care the mom or baby needed, and  failed to follow established Patient Safety Rules.

    In this case that we won, we sued a doctor for failing to follow up on a routine test, which resulted in prematurity and Cerebral Palsy with mental retardation that could have been prevented if he had simply gotten the test results and treated the infection with antibiotics - without the test result, they never ordered antibiotics, and the infection spread, causing the mom to deliver prematurely.

    There was no system for making sure important medical test results were followed up on.

    We won a significant award for a family who would likely spend millions on their son's lifetime costs of round-the-clock care because of his cerebral palsy. That case made a significant impact on the family - the right house that was accessible for their son and comfortable for their family, the best care for their son, extra nursing care when he needs it, easy transportation, and a lot more.

    For more information about Cerebral Palsy visit our Cerebral Palsy library  AND  if you're ready to talk about how to start the process of investigating a medical malpractice case for your child, Give us a call at 202-393-3320. You'll speak with a real person who wants to hear your story today.

    https://www.donahoekearney.com/.../what-are-the-signs-and-symptoms-of- cerebral-palsy-in-a-child-or-infant.cfm
    DC Medical malpractice lawyer explains Cerebral Palsy is a movement disorder caused by an injury or abnormality of the brain, usually around the time of birth.


    https://www.donahoekearney.com/ Cerebral palsy cases are complex and require detailed evaluation and investigation. In this video, D.C. medical malpractice ...
    https://www.donahoekearney.com/.../suing-the-hospital-if-my-child-has- cerebral-palsy.cfm
    https://www.donahoekearney.com/.../cerebral-palsy-diagnoses-in-dc- maryland-and-virginia.cfm
    cases of cerebral palsy in DC, Maryland, and Virginia can be diagnosed anywhere from as early as 2 years old to as late as 10 years old.


    Cerebral Palsy. It seems like sometimes the only people who really know about a thing, are the people who have experienced it. Cerebral palsy is kind of like ...
    https://www.donahoekearney.com/.../cerebral-palsy-caused-by-hospital- negligence.cfm
    One of the hardest parts of investigating a medical malpractice case in DC, Maryland or Virginia against a hospital is having to deal with the internal conflict that ...
    My son has Cerebral Palsy. I live in DC and I think it was caused by malpractice. What do I do next to help my son with cerebral palsy?
    https://www.donahoekearney.com/.../could-your-childs-cerebral-palsy-have- been-avoided.cfm
    What is the cause of my child's cerebral palsy?” We hear this question quite often, since we represent many families with children suffering from cerebral pals.

  • When Does Cerebral Palsy Start to Show?

    Signs of Cerebral Palsy to Watch For

    Cerebral Palsy is a condition resulting from lack of oxygen to the brain during birth, called asphyxia. Although you may have awareness of having a traumatic birth, you may not even know that your child has Cerebral Palsy until he or she is one or two or three years, and even five years old. Sometimes even later.

    If there was a traumatic birth the doctors should (but most of the time don't) make you aware of the risk of Cerebral Palsy. The reason for this is because many times, traumatic birth is a result of malpractice - many times you and the baby showed signs of distress, both maternal (mom) and fetal (baby) and the doctors at the hospital didn't take action to deliver the baby until it was too late and the damage was done.  And a lot of times, we see interns and residents taking care of labor and delivery patients in DC hospitals - sometimes they don't know when to call the attending physician or a specialist to evaluate you and the baby.

    Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy usually comes after you and  your child's doctor (pediatrician) begin to notice that your child is not reaching his or her developmental benchmarks or milestones.  In some cases, it is diagnosed in the NICU when the baby is very young. 

    Some of the noticeable benchmarks include:

    Rolling over;


    Crawling; and


    Other impairments include loss of muscle tone, gross and fine motor functions, balance, control, coordination, reflexes, and posture.

    Today I read on a Facebook post that a family didn't know their child had Cerebral Palsy until he was 10 years old. We've had a case where the mom knew her son had cerebral palsy but the hospital never told her the cause, even though he got all of his medical care there.  

    The time limits vary in DC, Maryland and Virginia for bringing a case for a child who was injured or has cerebral palsy, but the time limits are longer for children than adults, so don't think that you have run out of time - call us and we can tell you how much time you have left on the statute of limitations. 

    At Donahoe Kearney we specialize in Cerebral Palsy cases, so we know exactly what to look for in medical records, exactly which developmental delays to watch for, and how to manage opposing doctors, lawyers, and others who are protecting the interests of the hospital and its insurance company. Give us a call today for a free investigation and to learn more about our process.