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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  • Throwback Thursday: How much does a medical malpractice attorney cost?

    Frank Kearney was a guest on a local TV show speaking about our firm’s work with families of special needs children and our approach to medical malpractice cases. He explains how medical malpractice cases work, from how a case is investigated to the benefits of a successful case, and everything in between.

    Above is a clip of Mr. Kearney explaining the cost of hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney.  Many people don’t realize that it doesn’t cost any more to hire an experienced, Board certified attorney with a track record of successful medical malpractice cases than it does to hire a lawyer right out of law school.

    Frank Kearney, Esq:

    Most of the families that we work with can’t afford the services of a lawyer billing on an hourly rate and there are very different reasons for that. As a civil justice attorney, what I do, my law firm and I, we work on a contingent fee, which means it’s a percentage of any total verdict or award after the case is finished. And these cases can go on for several years and many times do.

    We also front all the costs and expenses associated with the case. For example, when there’s been a violation of a patient safety rule by a HMO or a hospital, it takes a very thorough investigation. We need experts, physicians, primarily in all different specialties to review the case, to review the chart, to work with you. Obviously all those things cost money before you even file a case or when you’re still investigating it. So we don’t require our families to front those cost in the beginning because again, if you have a special needs child or if you’re dealing with a death in the family due to a medical error, you know, that’s a 24/7 occupation. You can’t be worried about your lawyer calling you up saying, ‘Oh you need to pay me this much this month, or this much next week, I need this or I need that.’

    It’s just not the best way to help families—we don’t think.

    If you missed it, here’s a YouTube link to watch Mr. Kearney’s full interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFfeRnK8zWk&feature=youtu.be

  • How Do I Hold a Doctor or Hospital Accountable for Small Injuries or Serious Mistakes?

    I got an email from a long-time client today. She had been injured in one of our local hospitals: the doctor gave her a medication to which she is allergic. Subsequently, she discovered that the nurse was about to push a medication that could have been fatal to her and she stopped it.

    She had an allergic reaction to the medication, of course, and she was shaken up from the near catastrophic and even deadly medical treatment she averted. Understandably so.

    She was confused and scared, and wanted to know how to hold the hospital accountable. It got me thinking: we hear about a lot of incidents and near catastrophic incidents where the patient ends up being okay, thankfully, and doesn't the type of serious injury that would warrant the expense of a medical malpractice case. But, shouldn't they have a way to hold the hospital accountable?

    Here are a few ways to hold a doctor or hospital accountable for their erroneous treatment.

    1. Report it to the hospital. They cannot improve on their Patient Safety Practices unless they are aware of when things have gone wrong.

    2. Report is to the city's department of health. For example in DC, you can contact them at https://dchealth.dc.gov/service/file-complaint-health%20prof

    3. Report it to the physician's governing board if it was the fault of a board-certified physician. Different specialties have different governing boards. For example if you were injured by a plastic surgeon, you could report it to the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

    These are just a few things you can do in order to hold physician's accountable and help prevent mistakes to other people. 

    If you have been catastrophically injured by a hospital, medical doctor, HMO, or other type of medical conglomerate, you may want to have your case reviewed by experienced medical malpractice attorneys Frank Kearney and Keith Donahoe.

  • Can I Sue For Malpractice for My Daughter's Cerebral Palsy?

    What a child with cerebral palsy due to malpractice is entitled to.

    In the District of Columbia, a child with cerebral palsy due to a birth injury, or a child injured by another person's negligence, can get money damages to make up for the harms and losses they suffered through a medical malpractice case in DC against the hospital or doctor that caused the child's cerebral palsy - usually because the baby was not delivered in time, or there was a misdiagnosis that led to the baby's being premature and suffering from cerebral palsy or other developmental delays due to being born prematurely.

    Some of those harms and losses a child with cerebral palsy may have are:

    • the cost of future medical care and treatment, 
    • the cost of modifying your home to make it accessible, safe and comfortable for your child,
    • the cost of a nurse to come in and help take care of the child,
    • the cost of motorized wheelchairs or scooters,
    • the cost of a handicap accessible van, 
    • the income she lost since she will never work as an adult

    These are only the harms and losses we can put a price tag on - and for a child with severe cerebral palsy, these costs will continue for the rest of her life, so that the resources to take care of her are critical to her safety and well being, especially since she will probably outlive her parents.  There are other harms of course, like pain, suffering, disfigurement, enjoyment of the loss of life and other damages she is entitled to as well. 

    Since every child with cerebral palsy is unique, no two children will have the exact same harms and losses.  For a great guide on some of the things available in the DC area that kids with cerebral palsy can often benefit from, order our free, no obligation guide for parents by clicking on the below or calling us at (202) 393 - 3320.

  • What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy in a Child or Infant?

    Cerebral palsy is a movement disorder caused by an injury or abnormality of the brain, usually around the time of birth.

    As lawyers representing children in medical malpractice cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia, and with cerebral palsy caused by birth injuries, like delay in performing a c-section, we are often asked about signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy. One of the most concerning signs would be if a child is not meeting his or her developmental milestones; not rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, walking, or talking when they normally should.

    Sometimes children with cerebral palsy don't have muscle coordination (this is also called ataxia) or stiff muscles with movement (spasticity). 

    Other signs and symptoms can include problems with sucking or eating, excessive drooling, difficult swallowing, and problems with fine motor skills (like picking up small objects). 

    If your child was born prematurely because of infection, or their was a difficult labor, or the hospital was late in delivering the baby, you should be aware that your child's cerebral palsy could be caused by medical malpractice, and holding the hospital or doctors accountable could give your child the resources you need to take care of him or her for the rest of their lives.  

    Have more questions or need more information about a medical malpractice case in DC, Maryland or Virginia? Give us a call at 202-393-3320 to speak with a real person today and we will send you our free, no obligation guides to help you make the best decision for you and your family.

  • How do I get the best medical malpractice lawyer for my child's case?

    www.donahoekearney/reports

    In D.C., the best medical malpractice lawyer for your child - whether she suffers from cerebral palsy, developmental delay, shoulder dystocia or some other medical condition that should have been prevented by proper medical care - is a lawyer who has experience representing children who have been injured, have special needs or disabilities.  The best medical malpractice lawyer for your family has taken medical malpractice cases to trial (and won), settled medical malpractice cases with virtually every hospital and insurance company in the D.C. area, and will be able to explain everything about a child's medical malpractice case to you and your family.

    When you have a family member affected by medical malpractice in DC., Maryland or Virginia, choosing the right lawyer can be a difficult decision because your child's future is so important.

    That's one of the reasons we published Picking Up the Pieces After Medical Malpractice: A Parent's Guide To help parents and families get the information they need to make these difficult decisions.

    If your family or someone you know was affected by medical malpractice in D.C., Maryland or Virginia, call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 to receive your FREE copy of this resource.   

  • What is Perinatal Asphyxia?

    My child was born in a hospital in Washington, DC and we had to stay at the hospital due to perinatal asphyxia.

    What is perinatal asphyxia?

    Medical Malpractice and Perinatal Asphyxia in DC

    We've helped a lot of families just like yours, when their baby has cerebral palsy because of medical malpractice in a DC hospital. And we've written books, guides and reports to help people looking for a medical malpractice lawyer in DC, or wanting to know more about whether a medical malpractice case can help a child with severe disabilities.

    Here's what we've learned:

    Perinatal means the period of time immediately before and after birth.  Asphyxia is a lack of oxygen to the brain. 

    The diagnosis of perinatal asphyxia means the baby's brain wasn't getting enough oxygen just before or after birth.  Perinatal asphyxia can be a life threatening condition and can cause severe brain damage to the baby.  

    We have seen this diagnosis in some of our medical malpractice cases, and it can cause cerebral palsy, paralysis, blindness and other conditions in the baby.

    And in one case, a DC hospital never told the mom that her son's cerebral palsy was due to perinatal asphyxia, even though he got all of his health care at that hospital.  We had to tell her that, 18 years later, when we found out in the medical malpractice case that they had made the diagnosis shortly after he was born.

    So call us to see how we can help your family.  Just call us at (202) 393 - 3320 and speak to a real person who actually wants to talk to you and help!

    Order one of our free books today - get your information on medical malpractice -- it's your responsibility if you have a child who may have been affected.

     

    Call us at 202-393-3320 for more information.

  • 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:

    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

  • 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.