Medical Malpractice refers generally to negligence claims against doctors, hospitals or other health care providers. To win, a Washington, DC, Maryland or Virginia medical malpractice attorney for the injured party must prove a breach in the standard of care or failure to do what a reasonably prudent health care provider would do under the same or similar circumstances. Most medical malpractice cases boil down to a fight between the competing experts as to whether the health care provider did something contrary to acceptable standards.
Even if one can prove liability through a breach in the standard of care, Plaintiff also has the burden of proving causation. or failure to do what a reasonably prudent health care provider would do under the same or similar circumstances. Most medical malpractice cases boil down to a fight between the competing summary judgment. If you suspect that you or a family member has been the victim of inappropriate treatment, incorrect diagnosis, or any other medical error, do not hesitate: find an experienced medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your case.
DC, Maryland, and Virginia residents are able to select from a variety of lawyers. Medical malpractice lawyers in Maryland, VA, and the District regularly serve the entire tri-state area. Whether you ultimately select a medical malpractice attorney in DC or the surrounding states, it is important to make sure that your chosen lawyer understands the relevant state law where the case will be filed. Although the basics which must be proven are similar throughout the country, each state will have differences and each court will have its own history which must be considered. The same applies to Federal cases. It is common for medical malpractice lawyers in Maryland and Virginia to have experience working outside of the state, but you should always verify their credentials and capability.
Birth Injuries / Cerebral Palsy
Misdiagnosis or the failure to timely diagnose medical conditions like cancer
From bowel or other organ perforations to the failure to remove sponges, clamps, and other foreign objects, surgical errors are more common than one might think. If you or a loved one has suffered an unexpected adverse outcome after a surgical procedure, you many want to get a free case evaluation. The fact that one experiences an adverse outcome does not mean the health care provider was necessarily negligent. Most cases require an expert qualified in the particular field of medicine to evaluate the case for breaches in the standard of care. Many states, including Virginia and Maryland, require expert certifications before a party may file suit against a health care provider and place caps on a recovery.
Birth Injuries/Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a permanent medical condition caused by brain damage. It can result from a negligent delivery that causes a lack of oxygen, trauma, bleeding or infection. Consider the following factors to assess one’s risk for birth injuries:
- Mother over 40
- Prolonged labor
- Vaginal bleeding
- Premature birth (less than 37 weeks)
- Low Birth weight
- Low Apgar score
- Fetal distress during birth
- Low blood PH (acidic) is consistent with oxygen deprivation
- Mechanical trauma (from forceps or other devises)
- Cord complications or interruption in oxygen during delivery
- Breech birth
- Placental complications
- Brachial Plexus Injury
Sometimes during the delivery of a large baby, the baby's shoulder can get stuck in the birth canal, causing extensive stretching of the neck resulting in permanent nerve damage. The nerves typically damaged are those located in the brachial plexus, which control movement of the hand, arm and shoulder.
When brachial nerve damage occurs because of excessive delivery forces, the result can include stretched or damaged nerves, ruptured nerves, or avulsion (where the nerves are pulled from the spinal chord). These injuries may require additional surgery and in many case, can be permanent. When the lower brachial plexus is damaged during delivery, the condition is referred to as Klumpke's Palsy. This condition can decrease and sometimes prevent effective use of one’s had an wrist. Erb’s Palsy, involving injury to the upper brachial plexus, affects the arm and shoulder.
Unexplained or unexpected deaths may be the result of medical negligence. The family has the right to obtain and review the medical records leading up to death, and request an autopsy under appropriate circumstances. If you suspect wrong-doing you may want to have an autopsy done by an independent medical examiner of your choosing. It i's important to act quickly and take action to preserve the remains. Wrongful death is a statutory claim in many jurisdictions and state laws may limit or cap your recovery.
Misdiagnosis or the failure to timely diagnose medical conditions like cancer.
Every year thousands of Americans are misdiagnosed or not timely diagnosed with conditions that are treatable. Early detection is critical in the treatment of many diseases, and in most situations early detection increases the probability of survival. For women early detection of breast cancer on a mammogram is essential for a favorable prognosis. Men are at high risk for prostate cancer and doctors should be ordering the appropriate tests to look for early signs of this treatable condition.
Brain damage generally refers to permanent damage to brain tissue, as brain tissue does not regenerate or heal in the traditional sense. It can result from trauma, infection, disease or an interruption in blood flow to the brain (stroke). The timely diagnosis and treatment of a stroke can significantly increase one’s chance of minimizing or preventing brain damage completely. Patients at risk for stroke should be evaluated by their internist, who may recommend blood thinners or other medications to decrease the probability of a stroke. People with high blood pressure and women who are pregnant have a significantly higher risk of stroke then the general populations.
Infections result from the body’s inability to fight off foreign microorganisms. They can be viral or bacterial in origin. Common bacterial infections include a UTI or urinary infection, E.coli, strep and tuberculosis. Viral infections, like influenza or the common cold, usually infect a specific type of cell, which localizes their effect upon a particular part of the body.
Sometimes infections can be caused by the negligence of a health care provider who fails to implement proper infection control procedures. Patients who are incontinent and have open wounds can be very susceptible to infections, and many pressure sores on the sacral area become infected with e-coli bacteria. When an infection becomes advanced, and enters the blood stream, a patient becomes septic. This condition poses a high risk of mortality and requires aggressive treatment in a hospital. Other medical errors may involve a doctors failure to perform a culture to identify and treat a specific infectious agent.
Amputation refers to the intentional surgical removal of a limb or body part, usually to remove diseased or infected tissue. Its estimated that some 65,000 amputations are performed in the United States each year. Medical reasons for amputation may include trauma, a malignant tumor, interruption of blood flow, or other diseases. While amputation may be a necessary medical procedure, sometimes it results from negligent care, or the failure to pursue more aggressive treatment like evaluation and treatment by a vascular surgeon.
The misadministration of anesthesia can have catastrophic consequences for a patient. Certain procedures involve injections into the spinal canal where mishap can result in damage to the spinal cord.
Estimates from the Institute of Medicine indicate that at least 1.5 million Americans are killed, injured or made ill because of errors in prescribing or dispensing medications. Under applicable standards of care, nurses and doctors are required to keep accurate records of the medications that are ordered and dispensed to patients. Click here.
Examples of medication errors include the following:
- A nurse fails to provide a medication ordered by the Doctor
- A nurse administers a medication that is different from the one ordered by your doctor
- A nurse administers the wrong dosage of a medication
- A doctor or nurse practitioner prescribes a medication despite a known allergy
- A doctor or nurse practitioner prescribes a medication that is contraindicated by ant
- A health care provider fails to timely recognize adverse side effects from a medication, which would prompt the medications immediate cessation and treatment
- A pharmacy misfills the prescription by either providing the wrong medication or provides inaccurate dosage instructions
- A doctor treating a nursing home patients uses medications as chemical restraints or to fails to seek medication reductions to maximize a patient’s mental health.