DC Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Whether you are going to your primary care provider for a new symptom, seeing an emergency doctor in a hospital, or having surgery, you trust that those providing your medical care will do so to the best of their trained ability. There are times, however, when healthcare providers are distracted, in a hurry, or for some other reason are negligent in the duty they owe to you as their patient.
If you or a loved one was injured as the result of substandard care at a hospital or medical facility, a DC medical malpractice lawyer could fight for compensation for the harms and losses you have suffered. While not every course of medical treatment has the desired outcome, health care professionals and physicians must provide their patients with a level of care that meets professional standards. Failure to meet this basic standard of care can leave patients suffering from illness or injury that may have been avoided.

If the negligence of a doctor or medical professional harmed you or a loved one, let an experienced personal injury lawyer work to recover the compensation you need while you focus on healing.

Common Causes of Malpractice Claims

The skilled medical malpractice attorneys at our firm are capable of handling a full range of claims, including:

In DC, one of the most common medical malpractice causes of action is a misdiagnosis. This can occur when a doctor or other health care staff member provides a diagnosis for a condition that does not represent what the patient is actually suffering from. Some examples of misdiagnosis include, but are not limited to, cancer, heart disease, and strokes.

Cancer

Though lone symptoms — such as a new mole, a nagging headache, indigestion, or difficulty breathing — are typically minor issues, any number of these seemingly innocuous health problems can be an early indication of a more severe infliction, such as cancer. If a doctor does not properly investigate or follow-up when a patient reports these symptoms and, as a result, misses a cancer diagnosis, a medical malpractice suit may be warranted.

Heart Disease

When an individual has symptoms such as an upset stomach or back pain and difficulty breathing, they may be sent home with a diagnosis of acid reflux disease or an anxiety disorder when they may be suffering a heart attack.

Stroke

Dizziness, confusion, and headaches are often blamed on intoxication, low blood sugar, or other existing medical conditions when the real culprit may be a stroke. Individuals who have suffered from a misdiagnosis are recommended to reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer in DC.

Legal Basis for a Medical Malpractice Claim

All medical treatment and procedures have inherent risks. However, if a physician fails to inform you of those risks and/or makes an error, and you are hurt as a result of the procedure, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

When you seek professional medical care, you should have a reasonable expectation that you will receive adequate treatment. If your treatment leaves you with injuries or illness that could have been prevented had proper care been administered and standard procedures been followed, you should seek advice from a qualified DC medical malpractice lawyer. Because each case has unique circumstances and details, you should contact an experienced attorney to evaluate whether you have a valid malpractice case.

Often, a medical malpractice claim is based on the theory of negligence. An attorney must show the judge or the jury that the following are true:

  • The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff when they assumed their medical care
  • The defendant breached their duty by not acting the way a reasonably prudent physician in their position would act
  • As a direct result of this breach in the standard of care, the plaintiff suffered harm or injuries
  • The injuries caused damages to the plaintiff such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering

DC’s Contributory Negligence Doctrine

From state to state, there are generally two different ways to look at medical malpractice and other accident cases. Most states subscribe to either the rule of contributory negligence or the rule of comparative negligence. The law that each state chooses to enforce can have a direct impact on the type of medical malpractice cases that may prove successful in the courtroom.

The District of Columbia is among a handful of jurisdictions that enforces a pure contributory negligence doctrine. In broad terms, contributory negligence is a form of defense to various claims based on negligence. This means that if the plaintiff can be considered even remotely responsible for the incident, even just one percent, they will not be eligible to receive compensation for their damages.

This can make it difficult for the average person to understand which types of claims can result in successful civil litigation. That is why it is crucial for anyone who believes their suffering is a result of medical malpractice to contact a dedicated medical malpractice lawyer in Washington, DC as soon as possible. An attorney could help guide you through the strict rules that apply under this defense claim and give you a frank and forthright assessment of your case and whether it is worth pursuing civil justice.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Intent to File Requirement

According to the Code of the District of Columbia §16–2802, all medical malpractice plaintiffs are required to give a notice of intention to file suit. This notice must be provided to the defendants in the case at least 30 days before filing the lawsuit in the local court.

Sufficient details must be included in the notice of intent to give the defendant the basis for the lawsuit. The type and severity of the injury suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the defendant’s malpractice should be provided in the notice.

If the plaintiff or their medical malpractice lawyer in DC is unable to provide a 90-day notice to the defendant based on the statute of limitations, the statute of limitations may be extended for 90-days so that they can deliver the notice of intent to file. In some cases, failure to comply with the 90-day notice of intent to file may be forgiven by the court. Therefore, it is critical to obtain a DC medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible as they could help with filing a claim within the statute of limitations.

Does DC Limit Compensation in Medical Malpractice Cases?

Across America, many states have statutes that limit how much compensation a medical malpractice plaintiff might recover. These damage caps are made with the intent to stop the sky-rocketing insurance rates of medical providers. However, they can be unfair to certain plaintiffs.

Washington DC does not have any damage caps in their statutes. As such, the jury is allowed to award what they believe to be fair compensation for the plaintiff. In the case of a settlement, there are no damage caps that may impact the settlement amount.

Statute of Limitations in Malpractice Cases

If you suspect your injury was the result of negligence or error on the part of a medical caregiver, it is vital that you schedule a consultation with an attorney as soon as possible. Not only does that often give your attorney the best possible chance of obtaining the compensation that you deserve, but it is also essential that you do not surpass the amount of time allotted for civil claims under the District of Columbia’s statute of limitations.

In Washington DC, if you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you have three years to bring a claim from the date of the injury or the date that you first became aware of the illness or injury. Our DC medical malpractice lawyers provide no-cost, no-obligation consultations at your convenience because delay can affect the success of your claim.

Experienced Washington, DC Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you are negatively impacted by the medical malpractice of a healthcare professional that you entrusted with your well-being, now is the time to contact a DC medical malpractice lawyer. Since the law time-limits your legal rights, the sooner you call an attorney, the better your chances could be at receiving compensation for your injuries.

At our firm, clients come first. We understand the regrettable circumstances that move patients to seek legal advice and work hard to make clients feel at ease throughout the complicated legal process.

The firm also offers all of the benefits that come with being headquartered in the heart of Washington, DC and having attorneys with law offices located throughout Maryland and Virginia. That combination of sophistication and the local connection should never be underestimated. Our attorneys have strong working relationships with the courts at all levels and understand the policies and practices of the various jurisdictions. That means we are well-suited to pursuing a wide variety of personal injury cases through an array of optimal results, whether it be avoiding a lengthy trial and pushing for a settlement or fighting for civil justice in a courtroom. Our medical malpractice attorneys in DC are committed to holding those responsible for causing serious harm via malpractice and other forms of negligence accountable. This benefits not only our clients but our whole community.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

After any medical procedure, you are likely focused on health and recovery. As a victim of medical malpractice, your recovery could be more extensive and costly than initially expected. Health care is expensive even when correctly administered, so the setbacks of a medical malpractice injury can seriously disrupt your finances.

Pursuing a medical malpractice claim with the help of a DC medical malpractice lawyer could help you secure the financial compensation you deserve and start getting your personal and professional life back to normal. If you or a loved one suffered pain, injury, loss of work and other damages as a result of the recklessness or negligence of a medical provider, contact our firm now for a no-cost case evaluation.