Washington DC Pediatric Malpractice Lawyer

While every licensed medical professional has a legal obligation to meet a certain standard of care, few providers have higher expectations for responsible and considerate service than those who specialize in treating minor children. Fortunately, most pediatricians live up to those responsibilities without any problems. Unfortunately, the few who do not can cause children to sustain severe and even life-threatening harm through their reckless or careless misconduct.

Pursuing civil litigation against a negligent pediatrician could be much easier and have much better chances of success if you retain a seasoned Washington, DC pediatric malpractice lawyer to help with your case. From start to finish of your litigation, your seasoned malpractice attorney could work tirelessly to advocate on your child’s behalf and protect their future prospects through comprehensive financial recovery.

What Constitutes Malpractice by a Pediatrician?

The key term to know prior to pursuing any kind of malpractice litigation is “standard of care”—and more specifically, how a “standard of care” differs from the “duty of care” that often plays a role in other types of personal injury claims. Put simply, doctors have an obligation not just to act responsibly in a broad sense, but to meet a specific standard of behavior that an equally qualified and experienced physician in their same situation would meet.

As doctors who have completed years of education and training to practice pediatric medicine, the standard of care for most pediatricians requires them to accurately assess the condition of every patient, identify potential illnesses and injuries in a timely fashion, and prescribe appropriate medications and/or treatments for any problems they find. Accordingly, many pediatric malpractice claims stem from either a misdiagnosis of or failure to diagnose a serious illness like appendicitis or meningitis, or a mistake that leads to a child taking the wrong type or dosage of medication.

So long as a plaintiff—in this kind of case, usually the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the impacted child—can show that a pediatrician failed to meet the applicable standard of care and directly caused avoidable harm as a result, they could have grounds to pursue civil compensation. A Washington, DC pediatric malpractice attorney could review filing options on a case-by-case basis during a confidential consultation.

Demanding Restitution While Avoiding Legal Roadblocks

Because of the critical role that medical professionals fill in modern society and the degree of subjectivity present in virtually all medical diagnoses, there are some additional rules for malpractice litigation that do not apply to other personal injury claims. For example, D.C. Code §16-2802 requires prospective plaintiffs to notify prospective defendant healthcare providers of their intent to file suit at least 90 days before actually submitting their complaint. Prospective plaintiffs must also include key information about their case in this notice, including what harm the defendant’s irresponsible conduct caused and what legal basis they intend to build their case upon.

Importantly, though, there are also some special rules for cases involving injuries to minors. Most notably, the typical three-year filing deadline established under D.C. Code §12-301 may be “tolled”—meaning “paused”—until a child injured by someone else’s negligence or malpractice reaches the age of 18. A knowledgeable pediatric malpractice lawyer in Washington, DC could explain these and other rules applicable to a particular claim in more detail as needed.

Discuss Legal Options with a Washington, DC Pediatric Malpractice Attorney

Protecting your child’s best interests after their doctor fails to do so can be an unfortunately complex and challenging endeavor. Even if you have conclusive evidence that your family pediatrician acted in a reckless or careless way, you may have a very difficult time holding them financially accountable for their misconduct without guidance from seasoned legal counsel.

Working with a Washington, DC pediatric malpractice lawyer in a scenario like this could be virtually essential to securing the best possible case result. Learn more by calling today.