When seeking medical treatment, you expect to receive the best care possible. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Many people suffer serious injury or even die because of medical errors. Healthcare providers, including doctors, dentists, nurses, and other medical staff, must be held accountable for injuries to patients due to medical malpractice or negligence.

At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, our team of Washington, DC medical malpractice attorneys represents clients throughout the District of Columbia in a wide range of medical malpractice cases. Senior partner Barry Nace’s cases have produced many groundbreaking decisions as well as millions of dollars in awards for his clients, including the two largest medical malpractice verdicts in Washington, DC. When your family is suffering because of a negligent medical professional, our family wants to hear your story.


Medical malpractice is a legal description for a professional negligent action or the failure to take action that caused injury to a patient. The action or failure to act must violate the standard of care that is accepted by other reasonable medical professionals under the same circumstances. There must be a direct line of causation between the negligent action and the patient’s injury, and the injury must have resulted in damages such as pain, disability, loss of income or other losses.

Examples of medical malpractice that results in injury or death:

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Here are a few examples of what people commonly think might be considered medical malpractice:

  • You go in to the hospital for elective surgery and you are unhappy with the outcome.
  • Your doctor treated your health condition and it got worse.
  • Your body did not respond to the recommended treatment.

Not everything that goes wrong in a medical setting can be considered medical malpractice. A consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you understand the difference if you are still not sure.


How safe are the hospitals in your area? The patient safety advocates at Leapfrog have developed Hospital Safety Grade, which provides safety ratings for hospitals. Here’s a look at the safety grades that some of our local hospitals in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia area have received for issues such as hospital acquired infection rates, surgical errors, safety problems, doctors, nurses and hospital staff:

  • MedStar Georgetown University Hospital: No Score. Maryland hospitals do not receive a hospital safety score because the state does not require them to report patient safety information.
  • MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center No Score. Maryland hospitals do not receive a hospital safety score because the state does not require them to report patient safety information.
  • MedStar Washington Hospital Center: Score: D
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital Score: B
  • Virginia Hospital Center Score: A
  • Inova Fairfax Hospital Score: B
  • Berkley Medical Center, West Virginia: Score C
  • Jefferson Memorial Hospital, West Virginia: Score C


Our DC medical malpractice attorneys work with families who have been victimized by negligent or incompetent healthcare providers, or who have been injured because of defective or faulty medical products. Though we handle all serious medical malpractice claims, our clients commonly come to us with claims involving:

  • Failure to diagnose/misdiagnoses. A proper diagnosis made in a timely manner could be the difference between life and death. When your doctor or medical specialist fails to diagnose your condition, he or she delays the treatment you need to get well. We are particularly adept at cases where a missed or incorrect diagnosis has led to an exacerbated condition.
  • Surgical errors. All surgeries come with risks, even when they are performed perfectly. A surgical error adds to that risk and in some cases, may lead to more serious illness or a needless revision surgery to correct the mistake.
  • Medication errors. From illegible prescriptions to incorrect dosages to pharmacy errors, medication mistakes are among the most common – and most dangerous – types of medical malpractice cases. Our medical malpractice lawyers help families whose loved ones were harmed because of a medication error. We also represent individuals who have suffered during their chronic pain management treatments.
  • Anesthesia errors. Proper use of anesthesia is complicated: too little and the patient feels every move the doctor makes, too much and the patient could potentially slip into a coma. We work with clients who have suffered harm because of local and general anesthesia errors.
  • Emergency room errors. Emergency rooms are chaotic places, and the medical personnel and staff who work in them are often fatigued and overworked. Paulson & Nace medical malpractice attorneys advocate on behalf of patients whose conditions were missed or exacerbated because of an emergency room mistake.
  • Healthcare providers under the influence. Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in Washington, DC – a problem which extends, sadly, to the very people we trust with our lives. If you were treated by a medical professional who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, we may be able to help.
  • Dangerous drugs. Increasingly, prescription medications are entering the market without undergoing proper testing. Our DC medical malpractice lawyers have extensive experience taking on drug liability cases and knows how to build a winning case for patients who were injured because of dangerous drugs.
  • Defective medical devices. Medical products like pacemakers or knee replacements are supposed to undergo rigorous testing before they are placed into a patient. Sometimes the products are not fully tested; other times, the products are made with defective or faulty parts. Our skilled team of trial attorneys has successfully represented clients who were harmed because of defective medical devices.
  • Stem cell therapy malpractice. Stem cells are often hailed as a “miracle cure,” but most therapies are still in the initial, experimental stages. If you were involved in a clinical trial involving stem cell therapy, or sustained an injury or illness after undergoing treatment at a center “specializing” in stem cell therapy, we may be able to help.


As a patient, you have the right to know exactly how your procedure or medication should work, and what types of side-effects or results you may expect. The informed consent doctrine is “a duty imposed on a doctor to explain the risks of recommended procedures to a patient before a patient determines whether he or she should go forward with the procedure,” and it is applicable in both Washington, DC, and West Virginia. As a patient, you – or your guardian, if you are incapacitated – must give consent before undergoing any treatments. You also have the right to deny treatment for a variety of reasons. Medical professionals who perform a procedure without your informed consent are breaking the law, as are those who administer a treatment against your or your guardian’s express wishes.

Our DC medical malpractice attorneys strive to provide our clients with counsel and support that goes beyond the call of duty. We help you understand your rights as a patient and as a victim, and advocate aggressively on your behalf during trials or settlement negotiations. For the last four decades, our family has represented clients in this incredibly complex and nuanced area of law and has obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for medical malpractice victims.

You can trust in us to protect your rights as a victim of medical malpractice

If you suspect that you or a loved one has been injured or a loved one killed because of a medical mistake, it is important to consult with an experienced Washington DC medical malpractice lawyer immediately to protect your legal rights. Since there are strict time limits for filing medical malpractice cases in Washington, DC, it is important to contact Paulson & Nace, PLLC, as soon as possible by calling us at 202-463-1999 or by filling out our contact form.

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