Washington, D.C. Personal Injury Blog

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Cardiac Stents Medical Malpractice Claims

For people who have suffered a heard attack, cardiac stents can be life saving. The tube-shaped stent is used to restore blood flow to hear attack sufferers and opens up the arteries so they can continue to treat coronary heart disease. While cardiac stents have brought so many benefits to those with heart problems, recently there has been an increase in medical malpractice claims associated with the stents. Cardiologists have been accused more and more of using stents in elective surgery on patients who had stable heart conditions. While cardiac stents are often beneficial, there are also risks associated with them. When patients who are not in actual need of stents have them put in, they are needlessly opened up to the risks of cardiac stents.

Cardiac stents carry some serious risks that a patient needing them in a life saving procedure may willingly accept, but might not be worth assuming for a patient in stable condition. These risks include:

  • Blood clots resulting in heart attack and stroke
  • Damage to the coronary arteries
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Kidney problems
  • Allergic reactions
  • Infections

Unfortunately, an increasing number of doctors, cardiologists in particular, have been accused of putting money over the well-being of patients. The cardiac stent business is booming in the U.S. In the past 10 years, 7 million people have had stents implanted. The cost associated with all of these procedures exceeds $110 billion. Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that cardiac stents were associated with 773 deaths in 2012. This is a 71% increase since 2008.

The overuse of cardiac stents has reached such a troubling level that the Department of Justice has gotten involved after fraud cases poured in. These fraud cases are based on claims that doctors were being paid by healthcare facilities to refer patients for cardiac stent placement and this was resulting in putting patients who did not need the stents at serious risk. It is therefore no surprise that after Dr. David Brown, a Stony Brook University School of Medicine cardiologist, studied eight clinic trials involving 7,000 patients in the last decade, came to the conclusion that two out of three elective stents were unnecessary. This means that 200,000 stent implant procedures a year were medically unnecessary. Hundreds of thousands of patients each year would be needlessly opening themselves up to the severe risks of cardiac stents.

When doctors put pay days before patients, that is when medical malpractice claims begin. You trust your medical professional to help guide you through honestly weighing the benefits and risks of your health treatments. Doctors are supposed to educate you on potential complications that can arise during procedures such as cardiac stent placement. When doctors fail in these duties, patients needlessly suffer and sometimes will result in death. Cardiac stents were supposed to revolutionize treatment for heart attack patients. Now, they are tied up in claims of fraud and medical malpractice.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Distracted Driving Laws in the U.S.

The rapid growth of technology has connected us now more than ever. We are able to communicate with each other via phone call, text message, or social media at any point in the day. Unfortunately, many people continue to use technology even while they are operating a motor vehicle. It can be hard to put down the phone, but distracted driving is proving to be an increasing danger on the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives and injured 391,000 people in 2015 alone.

Read more . . .

Thursday, November 16, 2017

How Extreme Workouts Can Cause Injuries

Everyone is looking for that fitness trend that will get them into shape in record time and in an enjoyable way. The latest trend is extreme fitness programs. These programs usually involve circuit training, resistance training, running intervals, and aggressive, timed weight lifting. The problem is that people are participating in these extreme programs at a level not suitable for their current workout capabilities. The journal Sports Health reports that new athletes in these programs were 2.5 times more likely to sustain injury than more experienced participants. People are doing too much too fast and are suffering sometimes severe and lasting injuries as a result.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

U.S Traffic Fatalities Are On the Rise

With things like lower gas prices making car travel more affordable than ever and things like cell phone making people more distracted than ever, it might not be surprising to hear that the number of U.S. traffic fatalities continues to rise each year. The actually numbers, however, are shocking. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimate that 38,300 people died and 4.4 million injured on U.S. roads in 2015. This means that the number of U.S. traffic fatalities increased by 8 percent from 2014 to 2015, the single largest one-year increase to occur in 50 years. Furthermore, NSC reports that 2.3 million people sustained “serious injuries,” or injuries requiring medical care, in just a period of 6 months in 2015.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Using Social Media Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Case

We live our lives online. This is a new revelation that has come with the explosion of social media use. In fact, as of January 2014, 74% of adults using the internet are using social media sites according to a Pew Research Center report. We celebrate our triumphs and vent our tribulations on very public platforms. Social media is a great way to build communities of support and to keep in touch with friends and family near and far. With our continued use of social media, however, there needs to be consideration for the possible downsides of putting our lives online for the world to see. One such downside, is that using social media can and, most likely will, hurt your personal injury case. Insurance companies are looking for any possible way to undermine or eliminate your claim and they have found a treasure trove of supporting evidence available in social media accounts of claimants.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What Are My Legal Options as a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident?

Being injured in a car accident can feel like life as you know it has come to a screeching halt. It is emotionally traumatic. You are physically injured and in pain. These types of things follow you long after you leave the crash site. In addition to all of this, you are facing mounting medical bills and possible lapses in income due to missed work. Drivers may worry that they will be found at fault for the accident. What about passengers? Passengers do not have to worry about being found at fault for an accident, but, as a passenger, you may still worry about whether or not you will be compensated for your injuries and who will pay your personal injury claim.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What Do You Do If You Are Hit by an Uninsured Motorist

In 2015, an estimated 13% of drivers on U.S. roads were uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That means that as many as 1 in every 10 drivers you see on roads across the country do not have insurance to provide coverage for your injuries should you be involved in a car crash with them. This is a scary thought. Know your options for seeking compensation for your injuries in the event you are hit by an uninsured driver.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and the other driver does not have insurance company, the best case scenario is that you carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM policies exists for this particular type of accident scenario. Your UM coverage will help you pay for expenses resulting from bodily injury, including emergency room treatment and follow-up medical care.

UM coverage is something that you pay your insurance company for to protect yourself from uninsured drivers. Unfortunately, it can still be a fight to get those benefits paid out should you ever need them. An insurance company will find any kind of loophole to not pay out on your UM claim or to undercut the value of your claim so they only have to pay out a minimum. To help you in pursuing a UM claim with your insurance carrier, take the following precautions:

  • Obtain a copy of the crash report and check that it accurately reflects what actually happened in the accident.
  • Seek immediate and consistent medical treatment. Follow doctor recommendation regarding follow-up care. Maintain copies of all crash-related medical records. This is the evidence of your injuries that will prove your insurance claim.
  • Immediately contact your insurance company to notify them of the crash. Do not speculate on the crash and especially not on your injuries. If they ask about your injuries, you can simply respond by saying you do not know the extent of your injuries and are currently seeking medical treatment.
  • Talk to a personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys have the experience with these types of claims and with insurance companies to help insure that an insurance company does not take advantage of you when you are in times of need.

If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you will be limited to your own insurance coverage. Many states require drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP is “no fault” coverage that will pay for your medical expenses, up to your policy limit, regardless of who was at fault for an accident. Some states have auto medical payments (AMP) coverage which is first-party, “no fault” coverage. Regardless of what state you may be from, check your insurance policy to see what type of first party benefits you have to cover your expenses after an accident.

Getting into a car accident is overwhelming. Being injured in a car accident can leave you in pain and in distress at the thought of missed days of work, missed income, and mounting medical bills. Know your options. Review your insurance policy for the type of coverage that may be available to you.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been in injured in an accident, the consequences can long lasting. In addition to pain and suffering and medical expenses, you may be unable to work or provide for yourself and your family.

That's the bad news. The good news is that you may be entitled to meaningful compensation if the accident was the result of the negligent or reckless conduct of another person.

In order to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit, however, it is crucial to engage the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. While many injury claims are settled through a negotiation with an insurance company, insurers are more concerned about profits than injury victims. These companies typically make settlement offers that are far below the full value of the claim. In addition, the scales are tipped in their favor because insurers has vast financial resources and teams of attorneys, claims adjusters, medical experts and private investigators. For this reason, it is crucial to have an attorney in your corner who will fight for right to just compensation.

In addition, personal injury attorneys often have expertise in assessing claims and can help determine how much you case is really worth. Moreover, injury claims involve a number of complexities such as obtaining evidence that will support you case, interviewing witnesses, reconstructing the accident scene, all of which are aimed at demonstrating the other parties liability.

It is also necessary to submit doctor's reports, medical tests, proof of medical expenses and other relevant information. Because attorneys often collaborate with a network of medical experts and investigators, they can level the playing field against the insurance company. Lastly, most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means that you do not pay attorney fees unless you recover settlement money.

If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and property damage. A savvy personal injury attorney will also ensure that any settlement considers future physical, emotional and financial harm you may suffer.

Being injured in an accident is a frightening experience, and the road to recovery can be long. Don't go it alone, call a personal injury attorney today.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Common Construction Accidents

Because construction work is inherently dangerous, the risk of injury to workers is greater than in other industries and workplaces. However, construction workers have a right to a safe work environment. While construction injuries are usually covered under workers' compensation laws, it may be possible to pursue a lawsuit based on negligence against site owners, contractors, subcontractors, their employees and agents for violations of applicable safety laws.

There are number of causes of construction accidents, including:

  • Falls - from roofs, ladders scaffolding and other heights
  • Falling objects - improperly secured tools, equipment and construction material can fall and strike a worker, causing head, neck, brain and spinal injuries
  • Equipment accidents - workers can be injured by machinery and equipment such as forklifts, cranes, nails guns and dumpsters
  • Fires and explosions - hazards arise from exposed wires, flammable materials, blow torches and leaking pipes which can lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities
  • Trench/ Building Collapses - workers can be buried, injured and killed in trench collapses or by buildings that are being constructed or demolished
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries - physical labor often requires bending and lifting that can lead to muscle and joint damage
  • Respiratory illnesses - as a result of exposure to dust, asbestos, and other pollutants

Construction accidents can lead to a variety of injuries. For example, many injuries require fingers, toes and limbs to be amputated. In addition, broken bones and fractures are common as are shoulder, knee and ankle injuries. Workers can suffer head or brain injuries from falls or falling objects as well as spinal cord injuries or paralysis. Other common injuries include eye injuries or loss of vision, and hearing loss.

If you are a construction worker who has been injured on the job, you have the right to be treated for your injuries and the right to receive workers' compensation benefits. If the injury was the result of negligence, however, you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Leading Reasons for Medical Malpractice

People who need medical care put their trust in doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers. When that trust is violated and a patient is injured because of a medical mistake or incompetence, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is a brief overview of leading reasons for medical malpractice.

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

Many medical practice claims arise from misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. A patient whose injury or illness is not accurately or quickly diagnosed may not receive the necessary treatment and suffer serious harm or death. Having a valid claim requires demonstrating that a reasonably skilled doctor would not have made the same mistake under the same circumstances.

Medication Errors

Medication errors occur when the wrong drug or dosage is prescribed or the medication is not properly administered. These errors often occur when hospitalized patients are given the wrong drugs or equipment such an IV pump malfunctions and overdoses a patient. In most cases, prescription errors cause patients to receive to little or too much of a medication, often with catastrophic consequences.

Surgical Errors

A variety of mistakes can occur during surgical procedures. In some cases, a negligent surgeon may operate on the wrong bodypart, fail to close a bleeding vein or artery, puncture a vital organ, or leave sponges or surgical instruments inside a patient's body. In addition, the nursing staff may be negligent during post-operative care by failing to notice complications.

Anesthesia Errors

Mistakes by anesthesiologists are especially dangerous and even a small error can lead to a permanent injury or death. These mistakes have a variety of causes, such as defective equipment or patients not being properly intubated. In many cases, injuries arise when anesthesiologists fail to adequately review a patient's medical history and administer too much anesthesia.

In the end, the fact that a doctor, hospital, or other medical professional makes a mistake does not mean they were negligent. In order to have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is necessary to demonstrate that medical professional failed to provide the appropriate level of care.

Monday, March 13, 2017

What is Nursing Home Negligence

For those who can no longer care for themselves as they age, it may be necessary to enter a skilled nursing facility. While many seniors receive quality care in these facilities, the elder care system has well documented problems with abuse and neglect. When accidents and failures lead to injuries or a resident is the victim of intentional harm, a nursing home can be held liable.

The most vulnerable members of our society can be harmed in a number of ways. For example, many nursing homes fail to supervise patient's adequately, which often leads to slip and fall accidents that result in significant injuries and even death. Moreover, many facilities are owned by corporations that engage in negligent hiring practices or fair to properly train and supervise employees. In these situations, employees may neglect or abuse patients.

The most egregious cases of negligence occur when a facility fails to maintain adequate health and safety policies or fails to provide patients with adequate medical treatment. However, a patient who suffers an injury as a result of a medical mistake that does not meet the accepted standard of medical care may have grounds for a lawsuit.

In short, this standard is the type of care that a reasonably skilled medical professional would have provided under the same circumstances. Both the nursing home and the individual who was responsible for the resident's care may be held liable.

It is important to note that residents of facilities that accept Medicare are also protected by federal regulations. The environment in these facilities must be free of accident hazards as possible and each resident must receive adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents. Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services - the agency that oversees these facilities, has banned the use of arbitration clauses in patient admittance agreements.

This is important because many skilled nursing facilities include mandatory arbitrations clauses in admittance agreements to resolve disputes. As a results, incidents of abuse and neglect often go unreported and patients and their families are often unaware of these problems when they are selecting a facility. Now, residents who are injured have legal recourse to hold negligent nursing homes accountable.

In the end, residents of skilled nursing facilities have a right to receive the care that they deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in a nursing home, a personal injury attorney can help you obtain significant compensation.


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Richard F. Silber is admitted to practice in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. From his office in Georgetown, he and his legal team assist clients throughout the Washington metropolitan area.

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| Phone: 202-338-0687

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