D.C. Maryland and Virginia medical malpractice, accidents and work injuries questions answered by D.C. injury attorneys.
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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 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 Are The Signs Of Medical Malpractice in DC, Maryland, and Virginia Hospitals
I Was Seriously Injured in a DC Area Hospital. Do I Have A Medical Malpractice Case?
Medical malpractice in D.C. hospitals is preventable. There are several signs and symptoms we see in our cases against hospitals when patients because of negligent medical care.
If You See Any Of These Signs and Symptoms of Medical Malpractice, You Should Find a Different Hospital
No System for Following Up On Test Results
Every hospital should have what we call Patient Safety Rules; these are established and followed protocols to making sure the systems of the hospital don't fail and leave a patient severely injured. For example, there should be a protocol in place to follow up on all test results, and communicate the test results to the patient or their family. We've seen situations where tests were ordered but never reviewed, and never communicated to the patient. These tragic failures of patient safety rules have resulted in terrible injuries to our clients.
Doctors Not Evaluating the Patient
When you are in the hospital for an issue, the doctor should be performing a differential diagnosis, which will help prevent misdiagnosis. If your condition is properly diagnosed, the doctor should be checking on your and your progress, speaking with other doctors and specialists, and talking with your primary care physician. It's the job of the doctor to evaluate you; this should not be left to inexperienced interns and first-year residents.
Hospitals, Doctors, HMOs Not Telling the Patient About Alternative Diagnoses, Treatment, and Therapies
The doctor and staff should always be discussing different diagnosis, treatment, and therapy options with you so you can make the best decisions for you you and your family. Although the doctors have the expertise, they shouldn't get the only say in how you move forward with your care. They should be providing the options for you, especially when it comes to complex and high-risk medical care, like deciding whether or not to amputate a limb.
Doctors Don't Have All Of The Available Information Because They Aren't Asking Questions, Reviewing Your Medical Records, or Listening To You
Too many doctors are rushed and moving from patient to patient too quickly. Especially emergency room doctors. Your doctor should be taking the time to ask you questions, should be reviewing your medical records, and have a working knowledge of your medical history. It takes time to do all of this but the stakes are so high if it doesn't get done. We've seen catastrophic injuries in a hospital happen far too often because process is rushed.
Nobody wants an inexperienced doctor. Yet, teaching hospitals have inexperienced doctors doing the work of seasoned doctors all the time. If you find yourself being treated by an intern, medical student, you can request a change or to speak with the senior physician to make sure you are being treated properly. You can be your own advocate when you are in the hospital.
Doctors Not Consulting The Right Specialists
If your condition doesn't fall into any simple category that an internist deals with, you should be seen by a specialist. Some conditions, like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) do not fall into the "wait and see" category. If you wait too long to get treated, the condition can very easily be fatal.
None Of These Situations Seem To Apply But You Know In Your Gut Something Is Wrong
We tell people: if it looks funny, smells funny, it might be funny. When it doubt, check it out.
What Can You Do About DC Medical Malpractice?
Many of the problems we see with medical care seem to happen over and over at a number of hospitals in the District and throughout the D.C. area. Sometimes its an individual doctor, nurse, intern, resident, technician, etc. that doesn't do the right thing - because he is in a rush, hasn't been trained properly, doesn't understand the severity of the patient's condition or the need to see a specialist, but many times medical mistakes happen because of systems failures in hospitals, HMOs and doctor's offices.
Because we have seen this sort of thing happen far too often, we wrote a report that you can download that will give you more information about how to spot and avoid medical malpractice. This report, 7 Symptoms of Medical Malpractice, can be downloaded here for free.
Want To Speak to An Experienced DC Medical Malpractice Lawyer? Contact Our Negligence Attorneys Today at 202-393-3320
The first thing to do if you suspect you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice is request your medical records. If you wait too long, medical records can get lost, take too long to receive, etc and any lawyer who reviews your case will need to see the medical records. And a conversation with our experienced medical malpractice lawyer can take place for no cost or obligation. If you are dealing with a catastrophic injury we will make sure you speak to a lawyer the very same day - and if we take your case we don't make anything unless we win.
Does Measuring Patient Safety Reduce Hospital Malpractice?
What Is Patient Safety, And How Does It Prevent Serious Injuries?
Hospitals are supposed to follow what's called "Patient Safey Rules," which simply means that they need to follow the rules needed to keep patients safe - this could mean the use of checklists, communicating with other doctors, nurses, and staff, making sure lab results were delivered and interpreted correctly, and considering all of the available information. Too often, lack of systems and failing to follow Patient Safety Rules results in devastating medical outcomes. Too often we have heard of new mothers dying of preeclampsia because they weren't monitored properly. It makes sense there would be a level of accountability to record when hospitals fail the "patient safety" test.
It's always a good idea to be your own advocate when you go to the hospital. If you are going in for a procedure, research it ahead of time. What are the risks? What are the risk indicators? If you are going to the ER, it can be hard to get the doctors to take the time they need, or order consultations to help form a diagnosis. If at all possible, have someone there with you who can ask about what tests are being run, and make sure the results are received and interpreted.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you think there may have been medical malpractice, call us at 202-393-3320. We like to say "trust your gut:" if it looks like and feels like medical malpractice, it may be!
Get started by downloading our free ebook: "A Patient's Guide to Medical Malpractice." Then, give us a call at 202-393-3320 for a confidential, free assessment of your situation. You'll speak to a real person who wants to hear your story.
What is substandard medical care?
Medical Malpractice Happens When Substandard Care Is Not Caught, and Causes An Injury
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.
Do we need an autopsy to determine the cause of death for someone who died in the hospital?
Requesting An Autopsy From A DC Area Hospital After Malpractice Is Suspected
Sometimes an autopsy will be performed if a person died unexpectedly, was in otherwise good health, or died after a routine surgery, procedure, medication, etc., especially if they were a young person. And sometimes the cause of death is known without an autopsy - the person had cancer or some terminal disease for example.
But there are times when a family member may die unexpectedly and the only way to get answers as to what happened and why is to request an autopsy be performed. A pathologist will examine the body and review slides microscopically to determine the cause of death.
How can this help you? If your loved one died due to a genetic condition or some preventable cause, this can help you and your family get medical attention and specific knowledge of your family health history. If a patient dies because of bad medical care, one of the elements to prove in any medical malpractice case is the cause of death - and autopsy findings can be critical evidence.
If a hospital or medical examiner won't provide an autopsy, families can obtain a private autopsy - this just means they pay a private pathologist to perform the autopsy. Most hospitals have lists of local pathologists who perform autopsies. Do you have questions about a potential medical malpractice claim? Give us a call today at 202-393-3320 and also discover the truth about medical malpractice by reading our free, signature book "7 Symptoms of Medical Malpractice."
When someone dies and has a D.C. medical malpractice case, who does the money go to when the malpractice case settles?
Wrongful Death and Survival Action Claims
When a patient dies because of medical malpractice in the District of Columbia, the relatives and estate have both a wrongful death case and a survival action. In D.C., both are different in terms of who is involved and the damages to make up for the harms and losses caused by the malpractice.
Here's how it works. Say a wife and working mother of two young children dies because of an undiagnosed pulmonary embolism in the hospital or after leaving the E.R. and we can prove her death was caused by the hospital's malpractice, there are two components to the family's case. First, the children can recover for the harms and losses for losing their mother due to medical malpractice. The D.C. Wrongful Death Act allows the children to recover for the loss of care, guidance, attention, services, etc. the mom would have given them if she had been alive.
The mom's estate can also recover for her lost future income and her pain and suffering. The husband and possibly the children could also recover damages under her estate - that depends on a number of factors. These are just the basics - there are other elements of legal damages available. And there are different time limits for filing a wrongful death case (1 year after death) and a survival action (3 years).
To Learn More Contact our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
If you are facing this situation having lost a loved one, or if you know someone trying to get answers in the face of such a tragedy, don't delay. The sooner you call us to investigate a potential medical malpractice case, the sooner you will have answers, and we hope, peace of mind. Want more information? Give us a call today at 202-393-3320. We can't wait to hear your story.
What should I bring to the first meeting with a medical malpractice lawyer in DC?
How Can I Prepare for a Meeting with a DC Medical Malpractice Lawyer
And you can tell a lot from the first meeting - or even a telephone call with an experienced medical malpractice attorney, especially us. We will be up front with you from the first phone call and interested in what you and your child have been through, always looking to help.
Because you have a lot of questions and worries, but not much time, we've developed a whole series of resources we publish for victims of medical malpractice in DC, Maryland and Virginia - information you can read in the privacy of your own home, and information that will help you make the best decisions about a malpractice case for your child and your family.
One of the critical things we will give you in the beginning is a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Evaluation Form. We know it's impossible to tell who the best lawyer for your family is from all those TV commercials (ask yourself - if they were that good, would they have to advertise on TV?). And that you want more - you want trust, and service and experience that will help your family and your child well into the future. At least that's what our clients are looking for in a malpractice lawyer.
When developed a specific system that we customize for you and your family, that we put into place when we investigate a medical malpractice case for a child, whether the child had a birth injury or birth trauma, has cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, complications from septic shock, etc. We only accept cases with life changing, serious injuries where we can help make the child's life and the family's life better - this let's us focus on only a few cases at a time.
To Get Started, We Will Request Your Medical Records From The Hospital and Physician
But we don't make you go to Children's Hospital and the pediatrician and all the specialists your child has seen since birth. We can review or obtain the medical records once you authorize us to do so. So when we first meet, certainly bring any records you have to the first meeting, like Discharge Summaries from the hospital, instructions, doctor's notes, MRIs or CT scans, etc. Depending on the child's age, if you have school records, we'll need those too. And bring pictures of your child - we always want to see those. We'll make copies of everything and explain the process of a medical malpractice case.
But mostly we'll want to get to know you and learn about you and your child at the first meeting - so anything you have is helpful but not required.
If You're Looking For Superior Legal and Client Service, Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
If you want this type of service, trust and experience for a medical malpractice case, just call us at (202) 393 - 3320 or fill out the form on the left. It's all confidential, and the books, guides and other resources are yours free, absolutely no cost or other obligation. Don't wait - take a positive step for your child and your family today!
I think I was a victim of medical malpractice. What do I do now?
How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
There are many different types of signs that patients can use to identify a potential medical malpractice case. If you recognize one of those signs and suspect that your doctors or the hospital you were in committed medical malpractice and caused serious injuries, you should get all of the information you can. For example, there are different statutes of limitations for medical malpractice cases depending on where the incident took place. In other words, you only have a certain amount of time after the medical malpractice incident to file a medical malpractice lawsuit depending on where it happened. And the time limits are extended for children - this can include negligent prenatal care to a mom that harmed her child.
Another thing you should do is start looking for a medical malpractice lawyer that can best represent you. In most cases, this will be the first time a person is looking for an attorney to represent them, let alone a medical malpractice attorney. Where do you start? Should you choose one of the lawyers you see on TV commercials or who advertises on the side of a bus?
What kind of credentials do they have?
Will that lawyer have the experience and resources to properly investigate your case?
What will the jury think if you go to court with a TV lawyer? Will they be skeptical of you and your case? You may not know this, but the judges know who the big TV lawyers are, and their reputation is generally less serious than specialists.
Being exposed to medical malpractice is stressful. You are worried about your health, paying for future medical care you need, and not being able to earn a living. We know that. That’s why we provide a number of different resources for patients who were victims of medical malpractice – so you can take the time get the best information and make the best decisions. And when it’s time for you to choose a lawyer, we compiled a list of questions you should ask any attorney you want to represent you in your case: Click Here.
We also provide reports to help patients identify and hopefully prevent medical malpractice: Click Here.
Call us today at (202)393-3320 so we can get you started on getting the right information for you and your family.
Could My Child's Developmental Delays Have been Caused by Medical Malpractice?
Developmental Delays and Missed Milestones May Be a Sign of Malpractice
Developmental milestones are times when a newborn or child should do certain things - roll over, sit up, walk, form sentences of 2-3 words, etc. Its not just pediatricians, child neurologists, neuro-psychologists and other experts who use developmental milestones as a tool to help diagnose cerebral palsy and other conditions - most of the time its parents and grandparents who sense something is wrong or that a child has some disability because he is not meeting these milestones on time.
Medical malpractice, usually some form of injury to a child's brain around the time of birth, sometimes from lack of oxygen, or infection or extreme prematurity, can certainly cause a child to be developmentally delayed. Sometimes this can be diagnosed shortly after birth, other times, parents may not know the true cause of their child's injury.
Many times, an injury to the brain means a person cannot control certain muscles, so its important to look at your child's gross motor skills - sitting up, holding her head up, crawling and walking are examples. If your child has trouble with these or can't do them at the time she should be able to, talk to her doctor about it. And keep a journal of what your child can do and what she struggles with, plus take pictures or video. It will help you remember everything and give the best information to your doctor.
Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today If You Think There May Be Malpractice
If you think your child is not meeting developmental milestones, it may just be that she is developing at her own pace. But if you suspect a birth injury or trauma or difficult labor played a part in causing developmental delay, take action to get all the information today. Don't wait or delay - it will take time to assess your child's case, so you need to take action as soon as you can. Call us today at 202-393-3320.
If You Have Been Affected By Medical Malpractice In DC, You Need Resources Immediately
Medical Malpractice Comes In Many Forms And Can Affect Anyone
Medical malpractice - mistakes by hospitals, HMOs and doctors when they don't follow the rules to keep patients safe - obviously harms and hurts the patient they injure.
But medical malpractice does not just affect the patient.
Medical Malpractice Can Take Its Toll On The Patient's Family As Well
We've represented people who have had a severe brain injury in a hospital and need 24/7 care. In one case, the father had to quit his job and start a new business so he could be home to help care for his adult daughter. The family had to convert a first floor room into a hospital room to fit the wheelchair, hospital bed, medical equipment and supplies their daughter needs. Their credit is shot - because Medicaid never pays for everything they need.Plus, Medicaid never provides the amount of nursing care to take care of someone who needs around the clock care. And nurses can quit or not show up, leaving the family in a bind where they can't go to work, can't attend the other kids' activities, or even go out for dinner or a movie.
We can help get families affected by medical malpractice the resources they need to make their lives better.
And you can order two of our publications for free: Picking Up the Pieces: A Parent's Guide to Medical Malpractice and Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves.
Both are written based on our experience working with families affected by medical malpractice in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Don't Wait. There Are Time Limits For Everything. Start Getting Help For Your Family Today.
We understand that medical malpractice is a difficult sitation for the many families that it affects. We want you to have the resources you need.You can start today by calling us at (202) 393-3320 to confidentially, discreetly discuss your family's situation.
When should I contact a D.C. medical malpractice attorney about a medical malpractice case?
The best medical malpractice attorneys are both selective in the cases they choose and busy. For example, we want to help people with certain types of medical malpractice cases such as cerebral palsy, injuries to children and babies, and wrongful death cases for adults. These are people who are worried about the future of their loved ones and family – how to take care of them. Those are the kind of people we serve.
So as soon as you are suspicious that a patient has been critically injured or has died due to medical malpractice by a hospital, HMO or doctor in D.C., Maryland or Virginia, you should call us and talk it through with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. Starting the process of investigating and preparing a medical malpractice case earlier always helps the family - it is less stressful and time consuming and you don't have to worry about whether something was missed because you waited too long.
And with medical malpractice cases, the longer you wait, the harder it is to get an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to even talk to you about your case. The best lawyers won't take cases when the statute of limitations is near because there may not be enough time to really help someone. That's our policy.
Please give yourself and your family enough time to thoroughly investigate any medical malpractice issue. You can call us at (202) 393 - 3320 to set up a time to speak with you to see if we can help.