Due to the immense trust we are forced to place in healthcare professionals, medical malpractice is perhaps the most disturbing form of personal injury claim. Most people don’t realize that medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Although no one can undo the physical harm done to you, Washington, D.C. medical malpractice law does offer a financial remedy.
Sometimes the most difficult aspect of a medical malpractice claim is determining whether the harm done to you was actually caused by medical malpractice. For your reference, some of the most common forms of medical malpractice are listed below.
Most medical malpractice claims are settled privately with a malpractice insurance company. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to prepare for trial, however. The only leverage you have when negotiating with the insurance company is your ability to win a lawsuit if they refuse to offer adequate compensation. The problem is that preparing for trial requires considerable skill.
At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, we have been practicing personal injury law for the past 35 years. In that time, our clients have taken home over $1,000,000,000 in verdicts and settlements, including quite a few multi-million dollar recoveries. Our personal injury attorneys understand the ins and outs of the D.C. legal system, and we won’t let anyone take advantage of you.
The District of Columbia permits two types of damages (sometimes three):
D.C. is one of the few jurisdictions that places almost no limits on medical malpractice damages. The only limit applies to punitive damages (not awarded in most cases anyway) which must not be “grossly excessive.”
Very likely. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice, well over 90 percent of medical malpractice claims never make it to trial. Health care providers are usually averse to the publicity that a trial would provide because their reputations are at stake.
Contributory negligence refers to the victim’s negligence (failing to follow the doctor’s instructions, for example, or concealing your medical history). If you are found even one percent at fault, you will be completely barred from recovery. This harsh rule only applies to D.C. and a few other states. Even D.C. has repealed it for certain types of traffic accidents.
A Notice of Intent is a notice that D.C. medical malpractice law requires you to send to the defendant within 90 days of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against him. The notice must provide:
You cannot commence a medical malpractice lawsuit without first sending this notice and waiting 90 days.
You can sue any healthcare provider, including:
You cannot sue all of these health care providers under any circumstances. If, for example, your doctor committed medical malpractice in XYZ Hospital, you probably could not win a claim against XYZ Hospital unless you could prove that the hospital itself (not just the doctor) was negligent.
Generally, you have three years after the date of discovery of the malpractice, or, if you were a minor at the time the malpractice occurred, until your 21st birthday. Generally, however, the older the claim is, the more difficult it is to win.
A Functional Capacity Evaluation, or FCE, is a medical evaluation used to determine how well you can perform the tasks necessary for your employment. You might use an FCE evaluation as the basis for claiming damages for years of lost future earnings.
Feel free to contact us even if you don’t have any money. Since our fees are calculated as a percentage of your personal injury compensation, you won’t owe us anything until we win your case and your money arrives. If we don’t win, we will waive all of your legal fees, leaving you owing us precisely $0.00. It is the quality of your claim that matters to us, not the state of your finances.
Medical malpractice claims tend to weaken over time as evidence deteriorates. Moreover, if you delay long enough, sooner or later the statute of limitations deadline will arrive and drop the value of your claim to zero. If you suspect that you are a victim of medical malpractice in Washington, D.C., you need to act quickly. Call our D.C. injury lawyers today at (202) 796-3291 or simply contact us online for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.