Washington DC Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving The District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider’s service quality is less than the law requires, resulting in harm to the patient. Unfortunately, medical errors happen in doctor’s offices, surgery facilities, nursing homes and elder care centers, health care clinics, and other health care settings.
Injuries resulting from medical malpractice can alter your life forever. Victims are left with the debilitating effects of these injuries, which can impact your job, quality of life, and emotional and mental well-being.
Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury where doctors did not adhere a standard of medical care other doctors in similar situations would follow. While medicine is a complicated practice, physicians and hospitals must take certain steps to prevent foreseeable errors.
When patients suffer harm due to medical negligence, the law gives victims the right to file medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors to recover for their damages. Often times, hospitals deny their role in causing harm to patients but an experienced Washington, DC medical malpractice attorney has the resources and legal training necessary to compel defendants to take responsibility and compensate victims appropriately.
How do I know if my doctor committed medical malpractice?
If you believe you were the victim of medical malpractice, you should contact an experienced Washington, DC medical malpractice attorney to discuss the details of your case. At The Cochran Firm, D.C., our dedicated medical negligence attorneys use their years of experience and partnership with experts on the standards of medical care to determine if your doctor committed an error.
Often times, the experts our Washington, DC attorneys consult with are teaching doctors at some of the finest medical schools in the country, meaning these physicians teach aspiring doctors proper protocols to follow in medical treatment. You can be sure that when our office handles your case it means your claim has merit and will be pursued as long as it takes to get you and your family the justice and compensation you deserve.
What are the elements of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Like other tort claims, medical malpractice lawsuits consist of four main points the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence to be successful. The four key points of tort claims are:
Duty of Care – The patient’s doctor owed a legal duty to adhere to a generally accepted standard of care and take certain steps to prevent foreseeable medical injuries other doctors would too
Breach of Duty – A physician acted negligently when the individual breached his or her legal duty by failing to follow the accepted medical standard of care
Causation – The doctor’s negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the patient’s medical malpractice injury
Damages – A patient must suffer some sort of harm as the result of the doctor’s error, such as pain and suffering and/or economic damages like lost wages or extra hospital bills
Establishing these four principles is the first step in prosecuting a lawsuit against hospitals and doctors for their carelessness. After our attorneys complete their investigation, our office files a formal claim in court and serves the parties we believe should be held responsible for their negligence.
Next comes the discovery phase where our attorneys gather even more evidence to build the strongest case we can. The main elements of discovery in a medical malpractice suit are:
Interrogatories – Written questions sent by each party that the other must answer, usually within 30-days
Depositions – Each side may take testimony from witnesses who must testify under oath
Subpoenas – Requests to produce documents and other evidence used to prove or disprove the case
After working through the discovery phase of your medical malpractice suit, our attorneys will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the other side through mediation. During this process, an experienced mediator (usually a former judge) meets with each side individually and sometimes together to help reach an acceptable resolution to the claim.
While our medical malpractice attorneys try to maximize compensation and resolve cases as expediently as possible for our clients, make no mistake that The Cochran Firm, D.C. will take your case all the way to trial if that is what is necessary to secure justice.
What damages can I recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Courts award victims in medical malpractice lawsuits financial compensation to help made the plaintiff “whole again” and put their lives back together. Depending on the circumstances of a tort claim, victims may recover special damages for their medical bills (direct damages), lost income (consequential damages), as well as pain and suffering.
Types of damages in a medical negligence lawsuit include:
Medical bills – Medical mistakes can have long term impacts on the health and wellness of victims. This can include extended hospital stays, additional surgeries, long term dependence on prescription drugs, and future therapy to help treat the condition caused by the doctor’s careless actions
Lost wages – The time spent recovering from a hospital’s mistake often means the victim is unable to work and provide for this or her family. Fortunately, the law gives plaintiffs the right to recover lost wages in their tort claims
Future lost income – Serious medical malpractice injuries like spinal cord injuries, amputation, and infection can jeopardize a person’s earning potential. Whether the victim can only earn some income or ends up out of work completely, he or she may be compensated for these losses
Pain and suffering – The unfortunate outcome of many medical malpractices cases is the physical pain and suffering that results from the episode. This can also include the pain resulting from future treatment (like surgery) to correct the ailment
Emotional distress – When victims suffer emotional distress (depression, fear, anxiety, etc.) as the result of a physical injury, they may file claims to recover compensation. Additionally, if the injury leaves the victim unable to take part in once enjoyable activities, they may be compensated for that loss
Hospitals and doctors often attempt to downplay the extent victims’ injuries in an attempt to pay as little as possible for the harm caused. Doctor mistake lawsuits are complex pieces of litigation, requiring a deep understanding of the law, how medical malpractice occurs, and how the injury could have been avoided in the first place. That is why it is so important victims retain a dedicated medical malpractice lawyer in Washington, DC to conduct a thorough investigation of their case and craft a strong legal strategy.
Should I Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Mistakes by physicians and medical professionals can alter a victim’s life forever. Defendants in medical malpractice cases – usually hospitals, HMOs, and healthcare companies – are often experienced in defending malpractice suits and fight hard to minimize a victim’s compensation and deny responsibility. We hold HMOs, hospitals, and large healthcare corporations responsible for the preventable harms inflicted upon patients in their care.
Medical malpractice is a complex, highly-specialized field of law. In addition to practical legal skills, a medical malpractice attorney must have access to top-notch medical experts, the capability to fund the case, and an understanding of medicine. Unlike smaller DC, Maryland, and Virginia law firms, The Cochran Firm DC has the resources to retain nationally renowned board-certified medical experts who can consult with our attorneys throughout a medical malpractice case. In addition to our highly experienced medical malpractices lawyers, we also have an in-house nurse legal consultant who provides invaluable medical expertise in order to provide the highest level of service to our clients. Yet even though The Cochran Firm DC has the resources and recognition of a national firm, your medical malpractice case will receive the individualized, personal attention of an experienced partner.
Medical negligence is, unfortunately, a common occurrence. In fact, according to the Journal of American Medical Association, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The Cochran Firm DC’s highly-qualified and dedicated attorneys are experienced handling the defenses offered by medical negligence defendants and are prepared to hold them accountable.
Contact our experienced DC, Maryland, Virginia medical malpractice lawyers serving injury victims throughout:
Let our knowledgeable medical malpractice professionals help you. The seasoned medical malpractice lawyers with The Cochran Firm DC understand how to take a case from its inception to its satisfactory conclusion. Our team of premier medical malpractice lawyers has secured noteworthy verdicts and settlements, recognized both by legal peers and the media.
To schedule your free no-obligation consultation and case evaluation, please contact The Cochran Firm today.
Types of Medical Malpractice
The Cochran Firm DC is a full-service litigation and trial practice law firm with the resources to provide the highest-quality legal representation to victims of devastating and life-changing medical malpractice injuries, including:
The law requires medical providers, not just medical doctors, to provide care and treatment that meets a legally acceptable standard of care. Other parties that may be sued for medical negligence include nurses, osteopaths, hospital employees, healthcare facilities and hospitals, dentists, and nursing homes. Damages that may be awarded in a medical malpractice case include medical expenses for treatment of injuries caused by negligence, loss of consortium, damage for pain and suffering, lost wages and diminished ability to earn future wages.
Experienced and Recognized Medical Malpractice Attorneys with a Record of Success
Medical malpractice is always avoidable. Healthcare providers make choices that may be based on cost, convenience, resources, time, or other considerations. When medical malpractice happens, the healthcare provider’s choice did not meet the legally required standard of care. Common causes of medical negligence include the provider’s inexperience, failure to follow healthcare protocols, failure to properly diagnose a patient, and simple lack of diligence. Insurance companies and large healthcare corporations act quickly to protect their establishment and employees. An experienced medical malpractice attorney with The Cochran Firm DC will look out for your best interests and hold healthcare professionals responsible for their negligence.
The medical malpractice attorneys of The Cochran Firm DC have secured many significant verdicts and settlements for victims of medical negligence and health care errors. Noteworthy case resolutions include:
$8 million for a 35-year-old female who suffered severe brain injuries after healthcare providers failed to recognize complications from gastric bypass surgery.
$4 million for a child born with cerebral palsy as a result of a healthcare provider’s failure to recognize placental abruption after the mother arrived at the hospital.
$4 million for a newborn child who was losing weight and not feeding, yet the pediatrician failed to treat and admit the child to the hospital. The newborn child suffered extreme metabolic acidosis and brain injuries.
$3.5 million for an elderly woman who suffered a brain injury as a result of a healthcare provider’s failure to treat a compromised airway while she was in the hospital.
$3.4 million for a 19-year-old who suffered bilateral lower extremity paralysis resulting from negligent administration of anesthesia.
$3.2 million for a heart transplant patient who suffered massive brain damage when her blood sugar was allowed to plummet in post-surgical ICU to a level inconsistent with life, due to lack of proper monitoring.
Not only should victims of medical malpractice receive full compensation for their injuries, but healthcare companies should be held accountable for their actions. Bringing a medical malpractice claim can also help prevent future medical negligence victims.
Sometimes a careful investigation that takes place during a medical malpractice case uncovers systems, protocols, or practice methods that are careless and unsafe.
Holding a healthcare company responsible for its actions can help change these policies and protect future patients. Taking a medical malpractice case to court may result in reforming the training and behavior of the medical professionals whom the law requires to provide adequate healthcare.
When Should I Investigate My Medical Malpractice Claim?
In DC, Maryland, and Virginia, there are deadlines you must met in order to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. In addition to statutory deadlines, it can also be difficult to obtain witnesses and other evidence as the time since the injury elapses. Memories become hazy and records are misplaced. If you wait too long, an attorney may be unable to give you the service you need because there isn’t enough time to conduct a proper investigation. It is imperative that you contact a skilled medical malpractice lawyer in PG County as soon as practical after the date of the harm in order to preserve your claim.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area, Baltimore, Maryland, or Virginia, contact The Cochran Firm DC today.
“I received the highest quality of assistance from Charles and Simone during the handling of my brother’s case. I would recommend the Cochran Firm to anyone that needs assistance with their legal needs. Great job…”Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars