I suffered medical malpractice in Connecticut. Now what?

To successfully prove medical malpractice, people in Connecticut must know the laws that apply to these cases.

Doctors and medical facilities in Connecticut have a duty their patients that should fall in line with the standard of care. If they deviate from that standard, serious injuries and even death can occur. Additionally, victims of medical negligence can encounter additional medical bills and missed time from work.

Fortunately, the law provides a way for people in these circumstances to find relief. Anyone considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit should know the laws and expectations associated with it.

The deadline

There is a timeframe in which people in Connecticut must file a medical malpractice claim. Under the statute of limitations, victims of negligence must initiate the suit within two years of the following:

  • The date the incident occurred
  • The date the injury was discovered
  • The date the injury should have been discovered

There is an absolute timeline of three years from which the date of the actual incident. Therefore, if someone discovers the injury four years after the fact, his or her claim could be nullified.

Damages available

These lawsuits can provide compensation for both economic and noneconomic losses. For example, money for medical bills and rehabilitation costs would be considered economic. Funds that are noneconomic refer to compensation to account for someone's pain and suffering or a loss of enjoyment in life.

There are also punitive damages that may be awarded in rare circumstances in which the defendant is found to be especially negligent. These damages are intended solely to punish the party responsible for the damage caused.

Comparative negligence

It must be noted that Connecticut follows a comparative negligence model. In other words, if a plaintiff is found to be responsible in any way for the damages, his or her award would be reduced by the proportionate amount. If the plaintiff is found to be more responsible, then he or she would be barred from recovery. For example, if a patient provides inaccurate medical history information, he or she could be found to be partially responsible for an event like a missed or delayed diagnosis.

Proving medical malpractice

In order to prove that medical negligence occurred, a plaintiff will have to demonstrate that he or she was in the care of the defendant, that the defendant strayed from the standard of care and that the deviation led to his or her injuries. Often, a malpractice case will necessitate testimony from an expert in the same field as the defendant. It is also important for a plaintiff to create a timeline of events and provide all proof of any damages that were a result of the incident.

People with concerns about this topic should speak with a personal injury attorney in Connecticut.