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.

  • Page 4
  • My doctor in D.C. got my due date wrong and now my baby has serious complications - do I have a medical malpractice case?

    One of the most important (and first) steps of good obstetric procedure is dating the pregnancy. 

    Once a pregnancy is dated, then other important dates of the pregnancy are determined and prenatal care is scheduled accordingly. For instance, let's say a doctor mistakenly thinks a 24 week pregnancy is actually a 23 week pregancy, and he treats the mother and baby accordingly.  This is critical - and we have handled a DC medical malpractice case against a hospital in Washington, D.C. just lke this - because 24 weeks is considered viability (the age at which a baby can live outside the womb).  Obviously, this will be critical for good obstetrical medical care and management.  

    Premature babies are more likely to have developmental delays and sometimes significant health problems, but there are medical interventions that can reduce these risks.

    In our case, a well known obstetrician didn't correctly date the pregnancy. But the hospital's mistake was not having a system in place to make sure a simple but vital piece of medical information was checked.  Any intern or resident could have checked the dates and correctly calculated the number of weeks - but no one did. Every doctor and nurse just wrote down the incorrect number because someone else had. 

    Unfortunately, with inadequate prenatal care, birth injuries are more likely. In fact, mothers who receive the best prenatal care are more likely to have heatlhy pregnancies and healthy children in the long run. So, it's important to make sure prenatal care offered to pregnant mothers is adequate. 

    One simple mistake like this can compound and it could mean injury for baby and mother - it may also mean medical malpractice in some cases. When an experienced obstetrician dates the pregnancy wrong because he was rushing, wasn't listening, or because of simple miscalculations, and no one else bothers to check it, both baby and mother can suffer. 

    And serious birth injuries - like brachial plexus or cerebral palsy - can result.

    Especially if a miscalculated due date was never checked by others on the team - by residents, fellows, interns, and nurses - then you may have a case for system wide failure that led to your baby's injury. 

    But, remember, every case is different and only an experienced attorney can give you advice for you. Give us a call at 202-393-3320 if you think you may be dealing with medical malpractice that caused cerebral palsy, developmental delays or other birth injury.

  • My friend's child has cerebral palsy and she thinks it's because the doctor waited too long to deliver the baby. Can you help?

    Cerebral palsy is considered one of the most common motor disorders in children today. Cerebral palsy can occur when there is no malpractice or medical mistake made by health care providers. But, medical mistakes can cause cerebral palsy, too  and they often do

    In fact, cerebral palsy can be directly related to medical mistakes when the hospital, doctors, interns, residents and nurses don't follow established patient safety rules.  Unfortunately, as medical malpractice lawyers in D.C., we've seen the devastating effects cerebral palsy can have on a child and family.  

    And we've represented families and special needs children against many hospitals in the D.C. area, get families the resources they need and to hold hospitals and healthcare providers accountable, so they follow patient safety rules the next time and don't hurt someone else.

    You can read about how we helped one family in a similar situation here. 

    Here are some common reasons for cerebral palsy:

    1) Failure to monitor fetal and maternal distress

    2) Failure to diagnose - or a misdiagnosis of an issue

    3) Failure to identify umbilical cord problems 

    and these can laso lead to another problem:

    4) Delay in delivering the infant

    It's hard to know if your infant has cerebral palsy due to a medical mistake. Want specific answers that will help get your family back on track? Still have questions about cerebral palsy or medical malpractice? Check to see if we've answered any of them in our FAQs or in our blogs on our website.

    Know someone with a special needs child that would benefit from our list of resources in the area? Call us today for our FREE Resource Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves: A Parent's Guide to Resources

    When a child suffers cerebral palsy because of medical errors, the responsible party should be liable for damages - and those damages can last a life time.  So we focus on your special needs child and your family, to do everything we can to make your child's life better.  

    Don't take our word for it, see for yourself how we investigate and prepare a case and how that lead to a D.C. medical malpractice verdict that changed a young man's life.  

  • Is a mistake during delivery a possible medical malpractice case in DC?

    Maybe, if the accident caused significant injuries and fell below the standard of care. But remember: not every bad result means medical malpractice.

    Medical malpractice means that a doctor, hospital, HMO, or some other health care provider fell below the standard of care when providing medical care for you, and you were injured as a result. It requires an attorney and medical experts investigating what happened - reviewing the medical records, test results, labs and other information to determine whether the doctor, hospital or HMO followed the rules.  You can click here to see if you have a claim - or use some of our FREE materials to see if you've suffered from medical malpractice, like our 7 Symptoms of Medical Malpractice Report. You can also call us at 202-393-3320 and you'll get a live person able to answer your questions.

    But malpractice during childbirth does happen at DC hospitals and can be devastating if the child and mother suffer injuries as a result.

    Just the other day, we heard of a hospital performing the wrong surgery on a baby and unnecessary surgeries have become even more commonplace.

    We know that parents taking care of children never feel they have the time to start a long litigation process - even if they have a gut instinct that malpractice may have caused their child's injuries. We understand. And we try to make it easy on you.

    We represent children with special needs, and that's why we have a "You focus on getting better, and we'll do the work" approach.

    That means we take care of all the nitty gritty stuff, like talking to the hospital, insurance company, getting all of the medical records, organizing everything and having your case reviewed by top experts and specialists - so that you can focus on your child. We even have a book of resources for children of special needs in the area, full of information like camps for special needs kids and respite care facilities in the area, and we're offering it FREE - just order your copy here or give us a call and we'll send one out to you.

    Even if it seems overwhelming, take one small step - all you have to do is contact us today. 

     

  • My son had a brachial plexus injury after delivery - can we recover for his injuries?

    Birth injuries are sadly common and can have long term effects. Brachial plexus injuries are the most common type of birth injury. This injury happens when the bundle of nerves that originiate from the upper spine and go through the neck, shoulder, arm and hand get damaged during birth. When this injury happens, it can cause temporary and mild complications or it can cause permanent and lasting injuries where the arm isn't functioning.

    Is it medical malpractice?

    It could be. During delivery, doctors, midwives, nurses, and other health-care providers have a duty to uphold the standard of care. This means they have to follow established rules to keep their patients (mom and baby) safe and healthy.  And there are a number of factors that determine whether the rules were followed.  When that doesn't happen, and your baby is injured, that's medical malpractice. 

    It isn't always easy to tell if you have a medical malpractice case. That's why we've published free reports, books and guides that we offer free to parents in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia who have a child who has a brachial plexus birth injury, or any other type of birth injury. Just give us a call at 202-393-3320 and order your free, no obligation copy today.

     

     

  • Doctors discharged me too soon after an injury. Is that medical malpractice?

    There are many factors that go in to deciding whether or not a patient is ready to be discharged.

    Often times, patients can have a say in when they leave the hospital by telling their doctor how they've been feeling after treatment. A quick "Doc, I'm feeling much better now!" can have an impact on whether or not that patient is discharged or has a longer stay in the hospital. 

    This reminds us: take control of your health by speaking up about what goes on in the hospital! You have a say...and often times this can help your doctor pinpoint the right time for you to be discharged. 

    That's not always an option for serious medical conditions, however.

    We have seen cases where a patient was discharged before his physician reviewed an important MRI, or before consulting with a specialist, or before arriving at a diagnosis for the patient's serious symptoms - shortness of breath and chest pain in one case.

    Unfortuantely, patients have had unnecessary surgeries, had physicians who gave them the wrong information about their treatment and medications, and worse, doctors who removed the wrong body part during surgery. And we know that medical malpractice happens more frequently than most people realize.  

    Having a patient advocate who can speak up and ask your doctor and hospital personnel tough questions is a good start.  But it is up to your hospital, HMO, doctors and nurses to follow established patient safety rules to keep you and other patients safe. 

    And when it comes to discharging you from the hospital, the doctor has the ultimate say. 

    Remember, if the choices the doctors and nurses make in the hospital fall below the standard of care and you were harmed as a result, then your early discharge may mean medical malpractice. And if your child was harmed due to medical malpractice,  Picking Up The Pieces After Medical Malpractice: A Parent's Guide can be a great resource, and we're offering it for free. You can order this FREE book on our website or give us a call to order today

    With doctors, nurses and hospitals extremely busy, a patient can be discharged too early if there isn't a system in place to make sure the doctor has reviewed all the test results, consults with specialists and arranged follow up care.  

    If you think you are your loved one were discharged from a D.C. hospital too early and have suffered serious medical complications as a result, call us at 202-393-3320. Our attorneys can give you specific advice about your particular issue.  

  • Can I recover for medical malpractice if I contributed to my injury?

    This is a question that we get asked frequently, so let's unpack it today. Medical malpractice simply means that the doctor, hospital or HMO did not follow patient safety rules - that they did not comply with the standard of care for your condition or injury, and that following the standard of care would have prevented your injuries and damages. If you have a serious catastrophic injury where you can't work and need lifetime medical care, your harms and losses could require significant money, just so your family can take care of you. 

    Many people suffer from medical mistakes, and they never get compensated for their injuries. Read our blog here on the myth of too many medical malpractice cases

    Some people suffer from medical malpractice but cannot receover because if a jury finds that you've contributed to your injury in any way, you may not be able to get compensated for your injuries. 

    In medical malpractice cases in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia the law is very similar on this issue.

    Yes, if you've contributed to your medical malpractice injury, you may not be able to recover anything in Court. 

    But, you need an experienced attorney on your side to advise you as to what behaviors are viewed as a patient contributing to their own injury and what are not - that will focus on the specific medical treatment and circumstances surrounding your medical condition and medical care.  That's something we can do, and we will be able to help you navigate the system in a way that feels most comfortable for you. 

    Order one of our guides or books on medical malpractice so you and your family can get a basic understanding of this complicated process.

    If you believe you were hurt by your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, nurse assistant, or other healthcare provider, give us a call today at 202-393-3320 and you will be able to speak to a live person that can answer your questions and connect you with attorneys that have the experience to help you with a serious medical malpractice case in D.C., Maryland or Virginia.

  • Is Misdiagnosing a Pulmonary Embolism Medical Malpractice in DC?

    Is Misdiagnosing a Pulmonary Embolism Medical Malpractice in DC? Well, that depends...

    Here's what we've learned representing families who have lost a loved one because of pulmonary embolism.  It's not medical advice, but you can get a sense of what we look for when we investigate a D.C. medical malpractice case.

    A pulmonary embolism is a serious, life threatening medical condition that can be avoided. But if it is not diagnosed and treated, it can be fatal.

    Many times the embolism (or blood clot) originates in the legs, in the form of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These blood clots in the leg can cause pain, swelling, and redness. The blood clot can then break off and travel up to the lungs, and cause chest pains and shortness of breath. What are the common risks of DVT that may lead to a pulmonary embolism?

    One of the risk factors for DVT and pulmonary embolism can be immobility - after a surgery when you’re confined to bed, for example, and you now unable to get up and walk around, you may be at a higher risk of getting DVT. Why? If you're not able to at least walk around or have some mobility in your legs for an extended period of time, it's much harder to allow a healthy level of blood flow to and through your legs. And, if there is no healthy blood flow, in your legs, the blood will start to clot and the clot can start to travel throughout the rest of your body, including your legs. 

    There are ways that your doctor or a hospital can test to see if you have DVT that may lead to a pulmonary embolism.

    A common screening test for DVT is a sonogram that checks the veins in the leg. Another common screening test is a d-dimer, which is a blood test that helps to determine whether there is a clot or not in your legs.  

    Screening and diagnosis is critical because effective treatment is available. 

    Determining whether the pulmonary embolism was not diagnosed properly or in time could be the first step in determining whether medical malpractice occurred.  Unfortunately, many times, the cause of death is disputed by the hospital or doctor who did not properly diagnose the pulmonary embolism, so an autopsy is usually important to prove the cause of death.

    Remember, not every medical error reaches the level of malpractice. Call us today to see if it does.  

    If someone you know had pulmonary embolism that could have been prevented, call us today at 202-393-3320 and you will be able to get a live person on the phone who will answer your questions. Don't put your health on hold, get started today and get the help you need!

  • How, why and when should you sue for malpractice in the DMV?

    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 mislabled 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.  

     

  • The hospital never explained the risks of surgery and I was severely injured during surgery. What does informed consent mean?

    Informed consent means that your doctor lets you know everything about the potential benefits, risks, or complications that comes with the procedure, test or course of treatment that they are recommending for you.  It means that the doctor explained the risks to you and you understand them and have the information to make the best decision about your medical treatment. 

    Informed consent does not release your health-care provider from liability if you are hurt because of their substandard care. You are still entitled to the standard of care for your procedure, treatment, diagnosis, etc. and the doctor, hospital, HMO - they still have to follow the rules that apply. 

    If you were seriously injured from the medical treatment, then in a medical malpractice case, we need to show that the doctor (or hospital or HMO) did not comply with the standard of care - in other words, did not follow established patient safety rules, and that you were injured as a result - this test has nothing to do with whether or not you've signed a consent form

    Simply put, if you can prove that the doctor deviated from the standard of care, and that you were injured as a result, you may still have a claim for medical malpractice against the one responsible - whether it is a doctor, nurse or hospital. And, this is still true even if you've signed a consent form. If they didn't notify you of the risks of the procedure, you may also have a separate reason for holding them accountable for the injuries, because they have a duty to give you al of the information.

    Check out some of our videos, like Determining If You Are a Victim of Malpractice to learn more. If you feel you were harmed due to the negligence of your doctor or hospital, give us a call at 202-393-3320 and we can get started giving you the help you need TODAY.