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Washington, D.C. Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Helping Injured Patients and Their Family Members Pursue Financial Compensation in Medical Malpractice Cases

Have you or a loved one suffered due to the medical mistakes of health care professionals in the Washington DC area? Such negligence should not be allowed to go unpunished. We entrust medical providers with the care and appropriate treatment of ourselves and our family members when we are at our most vulnerable. The doctor-patient relationship is supposed to be sacred. A medical provider has a professional duty owed to their patients to provide adequate and appropriate medical care. If a physician acted negligently and caused great harm either by administering the wrong medication, messing up in surgery, or making an error in the medical treatment of their patients, they and their medical practice may be held legally accountable for damages by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

It is highly recommended that you work with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to file a medical negligence lawsuit. Our law firm is dedicated to helping injured patients with their medical malpractice suits in pursuit of justice and financial recovery.

It is not recommended to pursue a medical malpractice action unless you are familiar with  the medical liability system in Washington, DC, and our district’s unique medical malpractice laws. As your legal counsel a DC medical malpractice lawyer from our law offices can help by reviewing your case to ensure that your claims are considered malpractice and help you through the entire legal process in pursuit of a fair and just settlement.

The majority of our legal team are either current or past treating medical professionals. This gives us a unique perspective on the types of medical malpractice claims you have and the severity of the injuries from which you are currently suffering.

Contact our Washington, DC, law office to schedule your free case review today.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare providers or healthcare facilities fail in their legal duty to provide you with appropriate medical care. Both actions and inactions can be considered medical malpractice in Washington, DC. For example, if a health care professional fails to act or offers a delayed diagnosis when a reasonable and qualified other health care provider would have acted, this medical error may be considered malpractice. Similarly, if you are treated and the quality of your medical procedures falls well below the level of care expected of any other similarly trained doctor or physician, thus endangering patient safety, you may have the makings of a malpractice case.

Medical malpractice may be committed by any health care provider who has the legal duty to provide you with competent medical care. This may include, but is not exclusive to, doctors, surgeons, nurses, clinical orthopedics, anesthesiologists, radiologists, and more.

To successfully win a malpractice case before a negligent medical procedure, a direct line of causation between the negligent actions and the patient’s injury or illness must be drawn. Additionally, the injury or illness must have resulted in damages, such as pain, suffering, disability, disfigurement, dismemberment, lost wages, and lost income earning capacity.

Contact a medical malpractice lawyer at LawMD to begin immediately discussing your case in more detail.

How Common is Medical Malpractice in the U.S.?

Every year, approximately 20,000 medical malpractice lawsuits are filed across the United States. Nearly one in every three healthcare professionals is sued for medical malpractice at some point during their medical careers. Sometimes, these medical errors are not simply responsible for injuries or illness; it is estimated that medical mistakes account for approximately 9.5% of all deaths in the United States of America every year, making medical malpractice one of the leading causes of death in the country, following heart disease and cancer.

According to a 2022 study, the state of California had the highest number of medical malpractice claims per capita. Meanwhile, Hawaii, Idaho, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont have the lowest number of reported medical malpractice cases per capita. Medical malpractice payouts were highest in New York and Florida.

How safe are hospitals in Washington, DC? Patient safety advocates have developed hospital safety grades, which provide safety ratings for hospitals across the country.Howard University Hospital received a D, while Holy Cross Hospital and George Washington University Hospital received Cs. Sibley Memorial Hospital, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and MedStar Washington Hospital Center all received Bs.

What is Informed Consent and Why is it Important in Medical Malpractice Cases?

As a patient, you have the right to ask questions about your medical procedures, medications, and other medical care so that you are informed about side effects and expected results. This is known as informed consent. Withholding this vital information from patients means that a doctor’s patients do not possess the relevant information required to make informed decisions about their medical care.

Informed consent is a legal doctrine imposed on doctors and healthcare professionals to explain the risks of side effects and complications related to different procedures as well as expectations of results so that patients can make informed decisions about their ongoing care.

As a patient, you must provide consent before undergoing any medical treatment in America. You also have a right to deny treatment if you so choose. Medical workers who perform procedures without your informed consent are breaking the law.

What Are Different Types of Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence in Washington DC?

Medical malpractice can occur whenever a person is injured, infected, or killed because of medical negligence and a failure on the part of a doctor or healthcare provider. Any significant medical error that causes harm to a patient could potentially be considered medical malpractice.

Common examples of medical malpractice cases include:

  • Amputation injuries: Negligent or incorrect amputation injuries may result from the unnecessary or wrongful removal of limbs or body parts due to the physician’s error, such as failing to discover the origins of infection, using non-sterile medical devices, amputating the wrong limbs, operating on the wrong patients, and failure to diagnose vascular conditions or diabetes.
  • Anesthesia errors: Anesthesiologists have a variety of responsibilities, such as reviewing a patient’s medical records on the lookout for potential allergic reactions, as well as monitoring the patient before, during, and after surgery. If an anesthesiologist makes an error, it could cause oxygen deprivation, brain damage, blood clots, coma, heart attacks, and even death.
  • Birth injuries: Many things can go wrong during the course of labor and the delivery of a baby. The consequences of medical negligence can be life-threatening to the mother and child. If a doctor or nurse fails in some way during the delivery of a baby, they should be held accountable for the resulting injuries.
  • Cancer misdiagnosis: Failure to promptly diagnose and treat cancer because of lab negligence, radiology negligence, and physician negligence could be considered the cause of a medical malpractice case.
  • Dangerous drugs: A worrying number of prescription medications enter the market without undergoing proper testing. If you have been harmed because of the prescribing of a dangerous medication, we can help you pursue compensation.
  • Defective medical devices: We trust medical devices and products like knee replacements and pacemakers to enrich our lives. But when these products are not fully tested, built with defective parts, or installed incorrectly, they can have life-threatening consequences.
  • Delayed diagnosis: Doctors and other physicians must promptly diagnose their patients with any adverse medical conditions. A late diagnosis could be life-threatening. If a doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition that any other reasonably competent doctor could have correctly diagnosed, that health care provider may be considered incompetent and be held negligent in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
  • Emergency room negligence: Emergency rooms can be a chaotic place, where doctors and surgeons must make life and death decisions and the little time afforded to them. But even so, doctors and nurses owe a certain duty of care to their patients. If you have been harmed due to ER negligence, it is possible to file an ER malpractice claim.
  • Failure to follow up with a patient: Medical professionals are expected to follow up with their patients, especially after they undergo a dangerous medical procedure. A doctor who fails to keep an eye on a deadly disease or monitor medical treatment could be considered negligent.
  • Failure to obtain informed consent: Caregivers must obtain informed consent from patients before providing them with medical treatment or procedures. If a physician fails to inform you of the risks and seeks your consent, they may be held liable via a medical malpractice claim.
  • Health care providers under the influence: Whether your physician was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this would likely be cause for a medical malpractice case.
  • Incorrect treatment: While no doctor is perfect and everyone human will make mistakes, if a reasonably competent physician would have recommended a different type of treatment, it may be possible to hold doctors accountable for offering dangerous, risky, experimental, and incorrect medical treatments.
  • Lab result errors: Medical malpractice can often result from incorrect diagnoses. One cause of a misdiagnosis is the failure to provide the correct lab test results. Lab mistakes can have dire consequences.
  • Medical errors and treatment mistakes: If a similarly trained physician would not have made the mistake that your doctor made, you can hold your doctor accountable for making an error in a treatment program or medical procedure. Incompetent doctors should not be allowed to injure more patients.
  • Medication errors: Incorrect dosages, pharmacy errors, and impossible-to-read prescriptions can cause medical malpractice cases.
  • If a doctor or healthcare professional incorrectly diagnoses you with a medical condition, this could be considered medical malpractice. Provided that a competent physician with similar training would have diagnosed you correctly, it may be possible to hold the one doctor accountable for their misdiagnosis.
  • Nursing home negligence and abuse: Many malpractice cases involve harming the elderly loved ones we entrusted to the care of nursing home facilities.
  • Surgical malpractice: Examples of surgical malpractice may include operating on the wrong side of the body, operating on the wrong patient entirely, removal of healthy organs, and forgetting surgical instruments in a patient’s body.
  • Wrongful death: If a medical provider’s error is so significant that it causes the loss of life to their patient, the surviving family members have the right to pursue wrongful death claims against the negligent doctor or surgeon.

In addition to the above, we represent medical malpractice cases involving stem cell therapy malpractice, organ lacerations, bowel perforations, improper treatment of sepsis, pulmonary embolisms, infections, improper treatment of bone fractures, unnecessary surgeries, and more.

Contact our Washington D.C. law firm for a free initial consultation today.

Why Do Medical Errors Happen in the First Place?

In a medical malpractice case, it is necessary to establish negligence. Understanding how or why the medical errors occurred can be vital to establishing negligence for your legal case.

Common reasons medical malpractice occurs include the following:

  • Doctors, nurses, and other physicians are tasked with caring for too many patients
  • Doctors, surgeons, and nurses under the influence of alcohol or drugs while treating patients
  • Failure to read medical records and medical history
  • Healthcare providers who treat patients with too little sleep
  • Miscommunication between doctors and staff
  • Mixed up medical records and files
  • Not understanding symptoms to look for in a sick or injured patient
  • Understaffed hospitals, emergency rooms, and health care facilities
  • And more

What Are the Elements of Medical Malpractice Claims?

If you believe that you were the victim of medical malpractice in Washington, DC, the burden of proof rests on your shoulders. In order to approve a medical malpractice claim and recover financial compensation for your injuries and other losses, you must establish specific legal elements.

Firstly, there must have been a doctor-patient relationship, meaning that the medical professional had a duty of care to you as their patient.

A breach of duty of care occurs when the medical provider acts negligently or fails to act in a way that any reasonably competent physician would have performed differently.

As a result of this breach of duty of care, you suffered serious harm. And because of that harm, you have sustained real damages, both economic and otherwise, such as lost wages, costly medical bills, and pain and suffering.

Who or What May Face Medical Malpractice Liability?

Depending on the unique facts of your medical malpractice case, you could pursue a legal claim against various parties.

You can file a medical negligence claim against medical professionals if they have provided you with substandard or dangerous medical treatment. Medical professionals against whom you may file a lawsuit include, but are not limited to, doctors, nurses, surgeons, dentists, pharmacists, anesthesiologists, radiologists, plastic surgeons, psychiatrists, and more.

In addition to suing the medical providers and their staff, hospitals and medical institutions may also be held liable for medical malpractice. If a hospital fails to maintain adequate training and staffing levels or provides faulty medical equipment, it may be held liable. A hospital or clinic may also be held legally accountable under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability, which makes an employer responsible for the on-duty acts of certain staff members.

In Washington, DC, it is possible for more than one party to be negligent in the cause of your injuries. It is highly recommended that you work with experienced medical malpractice attorneys so that you can build a strong case against the at fault parties and recover the compensation you deserve.

What is Medical Malpractice Insurance?

In the United States of America, all licensed doctors must have medical malpractice insurance in order to legally practice. This insurance can provide a certain level of protection against medical malpractice litigation.

There are two primary types of medical malpractice coverage. A claims-based policy covers a financial payout if the malpractice occurs, and a lawsuit is filed when the policy is still in effect. Occurrence-based policies, on the other hand, pay a medical malpractice lawsuit claim based on the period of time when the physician had insurance, even if the policy is no longer in effect.

The type of medical malpractice insurance your healthcare professional has can have a large impact on your case and the type of financial recovery you stand to obtain. For information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our law firm to discuss your case in more detail.

How to Prove Your Medical Malpractice Case?

It is not easy for medical malpractice victims to recover fair and full compensation for their injuries and other losses. If you are a victim of medical malpractice, you and your Washington, DC, medical malpractice lawyers have to prove several things in order to win your case.

To prevail in a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff and their legal representatives must establish the following:

  • There was a doctor-patient relationship
  • The medical professional acted negligently while providing treatment and medical care
  • This negligence breached the standard duty of care that other medical professionals would have provided to a patient
  • As a result, the patient suffered injuries, infections, or financial damages
  • A direct line can be drawn from the misconduct of the physician and the resulting injuries

It is not enough to show that a medical professional made a mistake or that the treatment did not meet your expectations when you signed off on the procedure. The medical errors must have been unreasonable and incompetent in nature. Our legal team can help you prove your case in pursuit of financial recovery and some form of justice.

Can You Seek Compensation with a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

With a strong medical malpractice case, it is possible to recover fair compensation for your damages and injuries. This compensation may come in the form of both economic and non-economic damages. While no financial recovery can ever reverse or undo the damage done, the hope is to make the patient ‘whole’ again, at least financially speaking.

Economic damages may include the following:

  • Funeral, burial, and memorial expenses in the event of a wrongful death
  • Lost wages and lost income earning capacity
  • Past medical bills and future medical expenses
  • Physical therapy expenses

Non-economic damages may include the following:

  • Disability, disfigurement, or dismemberment
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • Lost quality of life
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

In certain extreme cases, it may also be possible to pursue punitive damages against the defendant.

Is There a Settlement Cap for Medical Malpractice Cases in Washington DC?

Many states have laws that dictate how much a victim may recover from a medical malpractice lawsuit. Washington, DC, does not have any such caps or restrictions on the type or maximum amount of financial recovery that can be awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Contact our law firm for more information on medical malpractice cases and how our legal team can help you seek the maximum compensation for your claim.

What if Personal Injury Was a Known Risk for Your Medical Procedure?

Some procedures come with a ‘known risk’ of injuries occurring. These injuries may happen regardless of whether a doctor acted competently when performing the procedure. In many medical malpractice cases, physicians will use this as a defense against litigation. However, you should still contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Washington, DC, to discuss your case in more detail if you believe that your injury was sustained regardless of the risks involved in the procedure.

What Factors Influence the Settlement Amount in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

Every medical malpractice claim is unique, meaning there is no average or typical settlement amount for these types of cases. Several factors may influence the maximum compensation you stand to recover from a medical malpractice lawsuit.

These factors may include:

  • Loss of wages during and after recovery
  • Medical expenses and other related costs
  • Medical malpractice insurance coverage
  • The medical professional’s degree of liability
  • The severity of your injuries
  • Whether or not you are able to return to work

Can You File a Wrongful Death Claim on Behalf of a Deceased Family Member?

In most medical malpractice cases, the injured party hires legal representation and pursues compensation for their own case. But if medical negligence or incompetence claimed the life of the patient, it will be up to the deceased’s surviving loved ones to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.

Contact our law firm to discuss your case in more detail and determine whether you have a viable lawsuit for wrongful death following medical negligence. Our legal team is experienced in providing compassionate and respectful legal representation to make things easier for family members during these difficult times.

How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Suit in Washington DC?

The time limitation or deadline for filing a medical malpractice case in Washington DC is usually three years. However, the three-year statute of limitations period can vary, depending on when the injury was discovered and when the patient was last treated by their health care provider.

It is highly recommended that you speak with experienced attorneys knowledgeable in this area of law about your case without delay. If you miss the time window to file your case, you may be barred from collecting any financial compensation.

What is Washington DC’s Medical Malpractice Law?

In addition to the statute of limitations, there is a local rule for medical and dental malpractice cases that requires you to file an early notice to healthcare providers against whom you plan to sue. The rule is meant to provide defendants with enough time to consider an alternative dispute resolution before the case gets more complicated when it enters the legal system.

In addition, there are also case management and electronic filing requirements.

Because of all of these unique rules in Washington, DC, it is essential that you seek legal representation from experienced local medical malpractice attorneys. Our law firm has years of experience in this area of law, and we would be proud to lend legal guidance to you throughout your case.

Do You Need the Legal Representation of a DC Medical Malpractice Attorney?

Theoretically, it is possible to file a medical malpractice claim without a lawyer. However, these claims can be complicated, lengthy, and costly. It is highly recommended that you work with an experienced and knowledgeable Washington DC medical malpractice attorney when pursuing justice and financial recovery from negligence doctors and hospitals.

Statistically speaking, the clients who retain professional legal counsel recover far more in terms of compensation than those who pursue legal action alone.

Why Choose the Washington DC Medical Malpractice Lawyers of LawMD?

At LawMD, we understand your medical malpractice injuries because we’ve likely treated them in the past. Many of our attorneys are either current or past licensed doctors in a wide range of areas of specialty, which grants us a unique perspective in handling medical malpractice cases for our clients.

Our legal team can help investigate your case, prove your claims, and negotiate for full and fair compensation for your injuries and other losses. To discuss your medical malpractice case in more detail, please get in touch with our physician attorneys to schedule your free case evaluation today.

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