Washington, D.C. Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Fighting For Victims of Medical Malpractice in Maryland
When in need of medical care, we put our trust in medical professionals who are trained and experienced in their respective fields. We expect that they will provide optimum care and are dependent on the decisions and actions they take. This puts our safety and wellbeing at stake when it comes to routine care, diagnosis, surgery, treatment, aftercare, and more. Medical practitioners from doctors to surgeons to nurses, and more can get distracted, make mistakes, or be in a hurry which can affect your health in negative ways. When that happens, you may need the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
At Fay Law Group, our team of Washington, D.C. medical malpractice lawyers has successfully handled many types of malpractice claims for both civilians and military veterans. Our firm has been serving clients in medical malpractice for more than 50 years with a team of seasoned attorneys sharing more than 100 years of experience between them that can be used to benefit your case. Fay Law Group is well-known and respected for its case results, including the recovery of more than two billion dollars in compensation for military veterans.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
To successfully prevail in a medical malpractice claim, you must be able to demonstrate that a medical practitioner or healthcare provider caused you some type of harm due to negligence that resulted in your damages. These are often complex cases that require testimony by expert medical witnesses in the medical field at issue who can support your claim.
Medical malpractice claims can involve doctors, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, pharmacists, lab technicians, therapists, psychiatrists, dentists, and more. These are practitioners who are bound by professional standards in their field. Avoidable injuries and illnesses can occur when these professionals fail to apply accepted standards of care that others in their field would provide in the same or similar situations.
Common types of medical malpractice claims can include but are not limited to the following:
Diagnosis errors can include:
- Misdiagnosis of a disease
- Failure to accurately diagnose an illness
- Failure to order proper testing to confirm a condition
- Failure to suggest a visit to a specialist
- Failure to properly interpret lab results or order the proper testing
- Improper interpretation of test results
- Failure to consult with a specialist
- Delayed diagnosis
Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis make up the biggest percentage of medical malpractice cases. These include diagnoses that are wrong and sometimes corrected at a later date, resulting in a loss of valuable time in which the illness could have been properly treated.
FAILURE TO TREAT
Failure to treat occurs when a doctor provides the correct diagnosis to a patient but fails to adequately provide treatment. Understaffed hospitals tend to exacerbate the issue. Doctors are required to treat a large volume of patients in a short amount of time, which means that they may miss certain details in a patient’s treatment plan. Doctors who fail to treat are not abiding by the basic standard of care that is owed to patients. They can be held liable for this negligence.
Many types of errors can take place in an instant during surgical procedures. Common errors include performing the wrong procedure, performing a surgery that was not necessary, damaging organs during surgery, administering the wrong amount of anesthesia, using non-sterile surgical instruments, or leaving medical equipment inside the patient after surgery. Surgical errors can have a huge impact on the life of the victim and can lead to deadly results if an infection occurs.
These are among the most devastating injuries that take place due to negligence or reckless actions that cause injuries to newborns. Expectant parents look forward to meeting their baby and are not prepared for errors or negligence during the prenatal or birth process. As a result, negligent doctors or healthcare providers may be held liable when a serious injury or even death takes place due to inadequate care.
As with any other type of personal injury claim, a medical malpractice claim requires you to prove that another party was at fault for the injuries you suffered. This means proving they acted negligently or recklessly. Medical malpractice claims are typically complex and will require medical knowledge to prove such negligence.
The following are conditions that will need to be established to be successful in your claim:
- Relationship with a Doctor: It must be established that you were an existing patient of the medical professional who caused you harm. To prove that this relationship of care existed, you must be able to show that the doctor provided you with medical treatment or a diagnosis and had an obligation to treat you.
- Negligent Care: All doctors must abide by the medical standards in their field of practice. To bring charges of negligent care, it must be proven that your doctor failed to meet those standards that a competent and reasonable healthcare professional with the same type of background would have provided under the same circumstances. If it can be proven that your doctor fell below that standard of care, you may have a medical malpractice claim. Expert witnesses may be called in to show the expected level of duty of care and how it was not met when you were being treated.
- Injury Occurred: It must not only be proven that your doctor was negligent, but you must also be able to prove that, because of this negligence, an injury occurred. Perhaps your condition became worse when the doctor failed to diagnose you correctly. In this case, you will need the help of an expert witness to show that a competent doctor in the same situation would have run similar tests to come to the same diagnosis and ensure that you received treatment in an appropriate amount of time.
- Proven Damages: You must also be able to show that you incurred certain damages as a result of the alleged malpractice. Damages may include lost wages from missing time at work due to the recovery from your illness or disorder. It could also include all the medical bills resulting from the harm that your doctor caused outside of the normal standard of care. Pain and suffering and emotional distress may also be recoverable when caused by a practitioner’s harm.
Who Is Responsible for Your Claim?
If you can prove each of the above conditions, you may be eligible for a medical malpractice claim. This claim will seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries or the loss of a loved one. Our skilled medical malpractice attorneys in Washington, D.C. have helped many clients obtain rightful compensation and are willing to stand by your side through every step of the complex process. No matter what type of negligence a healthcare professional has performed, you have rights.
- Healthcare Professional: Medical professionals, anesthesiologists, nurses, and physicians may be negligent in the treatment of your condition. If you can prove that the professional’s negligence is directly related to the harm that you have received, you may file a successful claim. Your claim will need to identify the medical professional as either a contractor or employee of the hospital or doctor’s office.
- Hospital: Hospitals can be directly held liable for the harm that they or one of their professionals causes to another party. For example, a hospital could be held liable when they fail to properly confirm the credentials of a medical professional and, as a result, they hire someone not properly trained for the position. They may also be held liable for harm under the theory of “vicarious liability.” This means that If a medical professional employed by the hospital worked within the scope of employment when the harm took place, the hospital could be liable as well as the professional. In situations where doctors are considered to be independent contractors, only the doctors are responsible for the damages sustained.
- Pharmaceutical Company: It may be possible to hold a pharmaceutical manufacturer liable for the harm you sustain from the use of its drugs. If you are injured by a drug through side effects that the manufacturer failed to warn about, the manufacturer may be held directly liable. If a physician was provided with side effects knowledge but failed to tell patients, he or she may also be liable for any harm sustained by a patient.
Damages in a Medical Malpractice Claim
In medical malpractice, you can claim damages for your injuries and losses. Two types of damages may be available in these cases: damages that can be calculated based on invoices, receipts, and other physical documentation and those that are incapable of exact calculation.
- Special Damages: Special damages are economic damages, such as lost earnings from missing work and medical bills that you sustained due to your injury. It can be easy to prove some of these damages, especially if you have a detailed record of the income that you receive from your job. However, some issues that may make it difficult to obtain these damages include the status of your employment at the time of your injury or if you are self-employed and your income fluctuates.
- General Damages: These are non-economic damages that include harm such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional trauma, and more. Damages like pain and suffering are not evaluated easily but can be estimated using a variety of different methods. Many factors can impact the amount of compensation that you may receive after you have filed your claim.
How Much are Medical Malpractice Cases Worth?
Medical malpractice encompasses a wide range of negligent actions and inactions that can result in an equally wide range of consequences. Thus, there is no universal answer to the question of how much medical negligence claims may be worth. You may be looking at tens of thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on a long list of factors, including the severity of your injury, your prognosis as a result of the negligence, the value of any quantifiable losses you suffered as a result of the alleged malpractice, and much more.
Putting a target dollar amount on a claim requires careful case-by-case analysis by an attorney and corroboration by other experts who specialize in the calculation of damages for injury claims. Only an experienced attorney can provide you with a better idea of how much your case may be worth and whether it is in your best interests to negotiate a settlement or take the case to trial.
Our Washington, DC medical malpractice attorneys are available to provide you with a personalized legal consultation to answer your questions and give you a better idea of what you might expect.
Should You Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Hiring a medical malpractice attorney is best when you think you have a case to be made. They have the skill and training needed to bring these types of cases to a positive outcome.
You may be thinking that you can handle a medical malpractice case alone, without an attorney. These cases usually involve a very long process and detailed paperwork, and there are specific laws that affect them. While you might think that you can save a little money by acting as your own attorney, you may not have the financial resources to handle such a case. Lawyers often front those fees during the case because they can recoup their costs if a settlement is reached or the case is won.
The first thing that a medical malpractice attorney will do is determine whether or not you actually have a legal case to be made. Just because your outcome was undesirable does not necessarily mean that your doctor was at fault. An attorney will examine any data and current standards of practice to determine if your practitioner was negligent or liable. Standards of care, geographic location, and norms of practice are all facets that will be examined to determine if you have a case.
Once your medical malpractice attorney has determined liability or negligence, he must then make sure that he has documented proof of such a charge. Then, you will be able to sue for damages (such as lost wages, medical costs, etc.). Doctors are insured against these types of charges, so it is likely that you will be dealing with the insurance company. It is estimated that up to 90% of these cases are never tried, but are actually settled out of court.
Another aspect that can be determined by your medical malpractice attorney is whether or not your case is within the statute of limitations. For most issues, there is a time limit for which a lawsuit can be brought against an individual or corporation. If the statute of limitations has expired, you may not be able to sue for damages even if your doctor was negligent or has some liability in your case.
Keep in mind that bringing hiring a medical malpractice attorney and filing a lawsuit is a very time-consuming process. You need to determine for yourself if the time and money is worth the outcome. This is not a decision that can be made by anyone but you. If you do decide to proceed, encourage your friends and family to stand beside you and help you as you make your case.
How Our Washington, D.C. Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help
Many complex issues can arise in medical malpractice cases. For instance, your medical professional may have made an understandable error in judgment that could negate your ability to prove your claim. A skilled Washington, D.C. medical malpractice lawyer at our firm will be able to prove that negligence occurred and the implicated medical professional failed to provide the level of care that meets professional standards when the injury occurred.
At Fay Law Group, we are here to hold liable parties accountable for their actions and help you secure the compensation you deserve through successful claims. We charge no upfront fees or costs. Because we work on a contingency basis, we receive no fees unless we help you obtain monetary compensation from a settlement or litigation.
Need legal representation due to medical error or negligence? Contact Fay Law Group online or at (202) 804-9898 for a free confidential consultation with a Washington, D.C. medical malpractice attorney.
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