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DC Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider, such as a physician, surgeon, nurse, or other healthcare provider has breached their duty of care by providing care and treatment carelessly, causing serious injury or death. Victims and their families may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the doctor or healthcare facility to seek the justice and compensation they are entitled to.

It can be difficult to prove medical malpractice without the right lawyer. You will need a medical expert to show how your doctor’s actions caused your injuries. But fortunately, a Washington DC medical malpractice lawyer at Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the resources to help you prove your claim and provide legal advice.

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Washington DC Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence Lawyers

Our legal team has handled thousands of cases in the DC, Maryland and Virginia. As an experienced nurse and a practicing medical malpractice lawyer, Partner Jacqueline T. Colclough has the expertise and medical knowledge needed for these types of negligence claims.

Recent settlements and verdicts to the firm include a $15 million settlement for a child who suffered an in-hospital cardiac arrest, an $8 million settlement for a woman who suffered quadriplegia as a result of a medical error, and a $6.5 million settlement for an infant who suffered neurological injuries after birth.

We’ve obtained some of the largest settlements and verdicts for medical malpractice victims in the DC area and we are ready to speak with you today to see how we can help.

$77M Wrongful Death Settlement
$20M Brain Injury Verdict
$19.5M Wrongful Death Verdict
$16M Premises Liability Settlement
$15.2M Wrongful Death Settlement
$15.2M Wrongful Death Verdict
$14M Personal Injury Settlement
$14M Car Accident Settlement
$11M Med. Malpractice Settlement

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured because the medical professional either acted negligently or failed to act, causing further injury or serious harm to the patient’s life. For your injury to be considered negligence, your DC medical malpractice attorney must show that another healthcare professional would not have acted in the same manner under the same circumstances.

What Are the Legal Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Medical malpractice law provides a legal process for victims to recover financially from the harm they suffered as a result of substandard care or their treatment did not meet the standard of care. The “standard of care” is a legal term that describes the level of skill and care an average healthcare provider should offer, shaped by the common practices in their community and their specialty’s current knowledge. Although this standard can adapt based on factors like age and health history, if a competent provider would have treated your condition differently, leading to better outcomes, you might be eligible for compensation.

The four elements of negligence in healthcare are:

  • Duty of Care: Show that the doctor provided medical treatment or diagnosis and had an obligation to care for you.
  • Breach of Standard of Care: Demonstrate that the medical professionals had the necessary skills and knowledge to meet your needs but failed to provide the standard of care expected of them.
  • Causation: Prove that the healthcare provider’s negligence or reckless behavior directly caused your injury. This involves a thorough review of all medical records and consultations with medical experts to determine if the breach led to your injury.
  • Damages: Finally, it must be shown that the injury resulted in quantifiable damages, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
  • If you suspect that you’ve suffered due to medical malpractice, consider scheduling a free consultation with a Regan Zambri Long injury attorney to discuss your case and explore your options.

5 stars medical professional with head in hands after making a medical mistake

Examples of Medical Negligence

Negligence comes in several different forms — from a doctor missing a diagnosis, emergency room errors, medical staff failing to treat a patient properly to nursing home abuse. The most common types of medical malpractice cases our law firm handles include:

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

The most common type of medical malpractice is misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. This is when the doctor fails to diagnose a condition properly or delays the proper diagnosis, which can seriously impact the patient’s treatment options and survival rate and potentially lead to wrongful death. 

Surgical Errors

A surgical error is known as a “preventable mistake” because often, what happens is not a known or expected risk but is the result of the surgeon’s negligence. Some examples of surgical errors include physicians leaving tools or sponges inside the body during surgery, ineffective sterilization during surgery, or anesthesia errors that endanger the patient’s life and cause nerve damage or brain damage.

Failure to Treat Properly

Harm is caused when doctors diagnose the problem quickly but fail to treat or prescribe the correct medication. Failure to treat a patient properly could be discharging the patient too soon, lack of follow-up care, or failure to prevent or treat infection.

Medication Errors

Medication error can include prescribing the wrong medication or incorrect dosage of prescription drugs, a healthcare professional administrating the wrong medication to a patient, and failing to warn patients about the risks associated with the medication.

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can be devastating to a family. Obstetrical malpractice makes up a large portion of medical malpractice cases in Washington, DC, and around the country. Injuries to an infant can occur at any point during pregnancy and delivery like cerebral palsy.

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What Compensation Can I Receive for My Medical Malpractice Claim?

While there is no set amount for malpractice damages, your Washington, DC medical malpractice lawyer will work hard to secure several types of damages, which are categorized as compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory Damages

These are intended to compensate the victim for the harm caused. They are divided into two subcategories:

Economic Damages

These cover the financial losses related to the malpractice, such as:

Non-Economic Damages

These damages that are not tangible and compensate for non-financial losses, which can be more subjective. They include:

Punitive Damages

Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are awarded in cases of egregious negligence or when the defendant’s actions are deemed especially harmful or malicious.

Is there a cap on compensation in DC?

The limits on reimbursement vary from state to state. Currently, there is no cap on compensation for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Washington, DC.

What Is the Process to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in DC?

In Washington, DC, if you’re considering filing a lawsuit, you’ll need to start by notifying the medical provider you believe was negligent, at least 90 days before you officially file your lawsuit. This notice is a precursor to the mediation that the District requires both parties to attend. This mediation is non-binding and occurs early on, before the discovery phase of the lawsuit. According to DC law (the Medical Malpractice Proceedings Act of 2006), all named parties are required to participate in mediation in these cases. The law has strict timetables for when mediation must occur.

Once you formally start your lawsuit by filing a Complaint, the process involves several steps and can take anywhere from a year to three years. The discovery phase allows both sides to examine each other’s claims and defenses thoroughly, which includes exchanging documents, sending interrogatories, and conducting depositions.

Most cases are resolved through negotiating settlements, which tend to provide quicker and often favorable outcomes for patients.

If a settlement cannot be reached, your case may go to trial. Trials can extend the timeline further due to court schedules and potential delays.

It’s also important to consider DC’s contributory negligence rule, which could affect your case if you’re found even 1 percent at fault for your injury. This rule could prevent you from recovering any damages, so if you think you might share some responsibility for your injury, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer at Regan Zambri Long to understand all your legal options.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for a DC Medical Malpractice Claim?

The statute of limitations, or the period injury victims have to file a medical malpractice claim in Washington, DC, is three years. That usually means three years from when the medical error occurred. However, the three-year time limit can also start when you discover a medical error harmed you.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

Known as the discovery rule, the timer does not start if the patient could not reasonably have known about the medical malpractice. The three-year deadline begins once the person knows they were injured and has some evidence of the hospital’s wrongdoing. Every state and the District of Columbia have their own rules regarding the statute of limitations for medical malpractice.

If the victim was a minor, they have until they turn 21 to file a lawsuit. Other exceptions are if the healthcare provider intentionally hid the malpractice or left the District of Columbia after the incident.

To ensure you don’t miss any critical deadlines to recover compensation, consult with a DC medical malpractice attorney as soon as you believe you or a family member may have been a victim of medical malpractice. Once it is outside the prescribed period, the victim or their family members cannot pursue a claim and potentially collect compensation.

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Medical Malpractice Case

Anyone administers medical care to the injury victim could potentially be held responsible for negligence. The following are examples of healthcare professionals and entities that could be sued for negligence:

  • Doctors (including surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other specialists) .
  • Nurses
  • Lab Technicians
  • Pharmacists
  • Physician Assistants
  • Emergency Medical Care Attendants
  • Nursing Homes
  • Hospitals – Can be sued if the negligence involved their employees.

Determining the specific parties responsible in a medical malpractice case can be complicated. Consult with a personal injury attorney to understand your legal options.

How Do I Know if I Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

The burden of proof, which is the responsibility to prove the claim you made, falls on the victim. Your  DC medical malpractice lawyer from Regan Zambri Long will work to determine who is at fault and how to prove it. The party or parties responsible for medical negligence will be unique to your case. Still, any healthcare provider acting in an official capacity can be held responsible for the negligence that caused the patient harm. Hospitals can also be liable for allowing unqualified and/or incompetent healthcare professionals to care for patients.

Regan Zambri Long’s lawyers have won millions for their clients, including an $11 million settlement in a medical malpractice case against a health maintenance organization and hospital after heart surgery. They are experts with extensive experience in complicated medical malpractice lawsuits and will fiercely defend your rights to compensation.

5 stars Washington, DC medical malpractice attorney Jacqueline Colclough

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Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney in Washington, DC Now

According to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine, over eight years, more than 250,000 deaths were caused by a medical error in the United States. It is considered the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. today. Unfortunately, medical malpractice does take its toll on the victim — a study published in the peer-reviewed journal BMJ found that medical errors impact one in every 20 patients annually. The study further found that approximately 12 percent of preventable patient harm results in either a permanent disability or death.

At Regan Zambri Long PLLC, our medical malpractice law firm in Washington, DC, has investigated and litigated hundreds of medical malpractice cases. Our law firm has obtained significant settlements and verdicts for our clients, providing them with the financial resources to restore their lives.

Schedule a free medical malpractice case consultation today by calling (202) 960-4596 or sending our team a message now. We look forward to hearing how we can help you with your case.

Other Personal Injury Claims We Handle in Washington, DC

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Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

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