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What circumstances give rise to a medical malpractice or medical negligence claim?
This simple question is not an easy one to answer. The mere fact that you have had a bad result from medical care is not enough. Routinely, doctors, hospitals and other medical personnel obtain consent forms for medical procedures that spell out problems that could occur. While signing such a form does not absolutely take away your right to bring a malpractice action it does provide the healthcare provider some cover if things go wrong.
The basic rule of thumb is that healthcare providers are not permitted to deviate from the standard of care expected of them. This standard of care is usually defined by other healthcare providers practicing in the same area. One of the most important reasons to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer such as the lawyers at Clark & Steinhorn is to assist in analyzing what the standard of care is and in finding an appropriate expert or experts.
How long do I have to file such a claim?
Maryland and the District of Columbia each have somewhat different rules for determining how long one has to bring a claim. The basic legal limit involves a concept called the statute of limitations. While there are exceptions, the general rule is that any such claim must be filed with the appropriate court or arbitration office within 3 years of injury. The analysis involving how long one has to file a claim is very complex and often will require detailed analysis by a medical malpractice lawyer experienced in such matters.
Why are truck and tractor trailer cases different than ordinary car accidents?
The most obvious difference is the severity of such collisions owing to the fact that trucks weigh vastly more than cars. When a sixty thousand pound truck strikes a three thousand pound car the injuries almost invariably are quite severe. Also, the regulations and obligations that are ascribed to trucks and tractor trailers are much greater because of the potential for catastrophic injury. If you have been involved in a truck or tractor trailer accident it is important to contact a lawyer with expertise in such matters such as the Law Offices of Clark & Steinhorn.
The truck driver who caused my injuries was from West Virginia and he was driving a truck owned by another company in Ohio, how do I figure out where to make my claim?
In handling such cases we have learned that there are often complex relationships between the owners of the truck, the operators of the truck and the company for whom the truck was being operated. We are skilled at tracking down these relationships and determining what jurisdiction or court to bring the case in, in order to ensure that you receive the maximum recovery available.
We have sustained terrible injuries as a result of a tractor trailer collision, how can we ever expect to pay for our medical and other expenses?
Commercial trucking companies maintain substantial insurance policies. While no settlement or verdict can change what has happened, having lawyers who know where to find sufficient insurance coverage is vitally important to ensuring that you receive a full and complete economic recovery. It is important if you have such a case that you contact the Law Offices of Clark & Steinhorn.
What is a premises liability claim?
Such a claim is shorthand for a whole group of cases involving injuries sustained by people while on the land or premises of others. This can include commercial establishments such as shopping malls, hotels, theme parks, or sports arenas and stadiums. It could also include injuries that you sustain at the home of another.
How do I figure out who is responsible for such an injury?
This will often require a detailed investigation by an attorney experienced in such cases. We have represented a number of individuals who have been injured or even attacked at various hotels, malls, and even their own apartment complexes. Companies and individuals that operate such premises are required to do so with an eye on potential harm that could come to their patrons. We routinely see apartment complexes where the management knows that criminal activity is taking place there and does not warn their own tenants and guests of their tenants how to avoid being a victim of such a thing. Similarly, many area malls can be magnets for criminal activity. The mall owners know this, often the merchants know this but the shoppers are exposed to this without warning.
What other kinds of premises cases are there?
We have represented many people in premises cases including swimming pool injury cases, attacks on hotel guests and visitors, collapsing wall and ceiling cases, and even cases at big box stores where large heavy objects fall off the shelves and severely injure shoppers and their children.
The pool we were at had a lifeguard but he was not paying attention, how does this affect things?
One of the most significant problems we see in swimming pool cases involves lifeguard training and attention. The mere fact that a lifeguard was on duty does not mean they were engaged appropriately in life-guarding. If a tragic incident occurs at a pool where a lifeguard was present it is important to determine whether others at the pool were aware of the lifeguard’s inattention.
Whom do I bring such a claim against?
Sometimes the mistake is with the pharmacy and other times it is with the doctor or his office. Figuring this out can often be puzzling and it is essential that you obtain an attorney who is experienced in such matters.
I had a terrible reaction to a prescription, does this mean I have a claim?
The mere fact that you have had a terrible reaction to a prescription does not guarantee a successful claim. Many modern day medications have known side-effects. Some of these side-effects only occur in a very small group of people. Analyzing such a claim requires an attorney sophisticated in such matters.
I often see on TV ads for lawyers who say they represent individuals who have been prescribed specific medications. I have been prescribed this medication, does this mean I have a claim?
You may or may not have a claim. An analysis of this question will require a focus on the circumstances under which you were prescribed the medication, the dosage you were prescribed, whether or not you have other prescriptions or health factors which would make this prescription ill advised and a host of other considerations. It is important that you consult a lawyer experienced in such cases so that a proper analysis to present your claim can be made.
Who can I make a claim against if I am injured while riding on public transportation?
Generally speaking, if you are riding an Amtrak train the claim should be made against Amtrak, if you are riding a Metro or MARC train against Metro or MARC, and if you are riding a Metro bus against Metro. Each of these entities is owned or operated by governmental authorities, and the rules for making claims against them are quite specific and consequently the need for an attorney experienced in making such claims is important. Please contact Clark & Steinhorn if you have such a claim.
I was riding a Metro bus which stopped suddenly because a car turned into its path, do I make a claim against Metro, or against the other driver?
These claims require detailed investigation in order to determine how best to pursue your claim. Even if it appears that the conduct of the bus driver was appropriate from your observation, it may well be that their violation of Metro rules and regulations or ordinary rules of the road would permit you to make a successful claim against Metro. Such cases require a timely and thoughtful analysis in order to be pursued properly.
I was contacted by an adjuster from Metro/Amtrak/MARC and they said they would take care of everything, why should I get a lawyer?
As in all such injury cases, the insurance companies and transit companies try and get out ahead of claims in order to minimize the amount that they pay for such claims. Unless you have experience pursuing these claims, it is very difficult to accurately understand what fair compensation should be. Further, there are often deadlines and notification requirements for claims against governmental and quasi-governmental entities. Failure to make appropriate notification of the right entity can take away your ability to make any claim. It is important to contact an attorney who is experienced in such matters to ensure that all proper notifications are made.
I do not know why the Amtrak train derailed, how could I possibly make a claim?
Train derailments while infrequent cause many injuries. As a consequence, detailed investigations are performed of such things by the appropriate governmental authorities. Accessing this information and participating in the investigation can be a valuable tool in assisting your attorney in developing your claim.