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 you need lifetime medical care and treatment for your injuries or medical condition, you can't work and you (or someone in your family) can't do many things the rest of us take for granted.
The reasons we start here, with your injuries and medical condition (and most of the best medical malpractice lawyers do) are important:
- We need to understand your medical condition so we can determine how best to help you, what you need and what you want.
- 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.
- Minor injuries are not worth it - 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?
Once we've listened to you and helped you determine how a lawsuit can help you and your family, we break it down like this:
First, you have to get all of the medical records - everything - the hospital records, radiology records, labs, consultant notes, the actual images of any tests you had, like MRIs, x-rays, sonograms. We can help you get all of the medical records, of course.
Second, we review everything thoroughly, doing our own independent analysis and medical research (and we share all of this with you, usually asking a few more questions and doing a lot of listening).
Next we send the records to expert physicians and nurses who can give us their independent, professional analysis and opinions.
Let's say you have a child with cerebral palsy and you think it was caused at birth because the doctor delayed the delivery, or there was an infection that wasn't diagnosed and treated, or the residents didn't communicate everything to the attending doctor.
The expert physicians reviewing your medical malpractice case would have different specialties - ob gyn, neonatology, pediatric neurology, etc. - to review all of the medical care you and your baby received, but from different angles.
How do you actually sue a doctor or hospital for medical malpractice in DC?
If you've had a devastating injury and the expert physicians analysis says it was caused by medical mistakes, you have to first give notice of your intention to file the lawsuit against the doctor or hospital before filing the case. Technically you have 3 years (unless it happens to a child - a child has until age 21 in most cases). You can do this yourself, but be careful. Many lawyers don't know the rules for how and when to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
We do this for the people we represent, of course. But even before that, we work the case up for you - we help you determine what you'll need in the future and how much it will cost - getting you everything you need is our goal from the beginning.
But you never want to wait or delay - it takes time to prepare everything the right way for you, so don't wait until the last minute, because even if you have a great case, we (and most lawyers we know) won't be able to help - there just won't be enough time to do it right.
Why go through with a medical malpractice case?
Well, to help you and your family get everything you need after a terrible injury and loss that should have never happened to you and your family.
But also, to hold the doctor or hospital accountable, to make sure this doesn't happen again to someone else, or someone else's child.
If this sounds like you or someone you know, please call us at (202) 393-3320.