Understanding Connecticut Medical Malpractice Laws
Think You Have Been a Victim of Medical Malpractice? Here’s What You Need to Know about Medical Malpractice Laws in Connecticut
Out of all of the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice is one of the most serious. We place our complete faith in medical professionals to look after us when we’re most in need, and if we’re the victims of medical negligence or error, the consequences can be devastating. Medical malpractice can lead to a delay in diagnosis and treatment (an oversight which can allow dangerous diseases like cancer to spread), misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment, and prescription errors. Injuries to mothers and babies during birth also occur as a result of malpractice, and can have lifelong repercussions. When it comes to medical malpractice laws there’s a few things you should know.
While the consequences of medical malpractice are often irreversibly life-altering, there are steps you can take to hold those responsible accountable for their negligence. Connecticut has a number of medical malpractice laws in place that can protect you from the financial impact of substandard medical care. Here’s what you need to know.
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3 Key Facts About Connecticut Medical Malpractice Laws
1. Connecticut medical malpractice laws apply to an array of different medical professionals.
Malpractice is not just committed by doctors and surgeons. Negligence from nurses, hospice care workers, and even dentists can have severe consequences (a tooth abscess that is not diagnosed or treated correctly, for example, can easily lead to a life-threatening infection). As such, Connecticut malpractice law applies to a wide range of different professionals who are involved in the provision of health care. If you have sustained personal injury in any kind of health care setting, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately in order to determine whether or not you have grounds to sue.
2. A filing deadline exists for medical malpractice cases in Connecticut, but you may be eligible for an extension based on the details of your case.
As is the case with most personal injury claims in Connecticut, there is a statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases that states the claimant must file within two years of his or her injury. However, unlike with most other forms of personal injury, this deadline may sometimes be extended for medical malpractice claimants. If, for example, your injury only became evident many months after the negligent act that caused it, then the statute of limitations may take effect from the date of your diagnosis (of injury), not the date of the injury. This extension cannot exceed the length of one additional year (that is, you must file within three years of the date of injury), however. It’s therefore absolutely imperative that you contact an excellent personal injury lawyer as soon as you realize you’re injured. We can effectively advocate on your behalf and secure you the deadline extension you need to reach a fair settlement.
3. You’re entitled to claim for multiples types of damage if you’re the victim of medical malpractice in Connecticut.
Medical malpractice often does a lot more damage than simply increasing a person’s medical bills. It can also cause you to lose wages and experience significant emotional duress. Under Connecticut law, patients are therefore entitled to collect economic damages (direct financial losses), noneconomic damages (compensation for personal damages), and punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to directly punish the individual responsible for your malpractice injury. However, you can only claim punitive damages if it can be proven that the person who caused your injury did so willfully or maliciously. If a medical practitioner harmed you by accident (e.g., a nurse administered the wrong medication because he or she made an absentminded error due to being overworked), then you probably cannot file for punitive damages. The only way to truly assess what kind of damages you can claim, and what size of settlement you’re entitled to, is to ask a Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer to review the details of your case.
As a final note, it’s important be aware that choosing a skilled lawyer is especially important if you’ve experienced malpractice. Because medicine is such a complex field, proving your claim will take time, effort, and specific expertise in the area of medical lawsuits. Medical malpractice trials often necessitate the presence of expert witnesses and there may be multiple defendants involved in the case. By working with a trusted name in personal injury law, you can dramatically increase your chances of securing a fair settlement. You can learn more about Connecticut medical malpractice laws from the jud.ct.gov website.
Timothy C. Moynahan is the CEO and owner of Moynahan Partners, which offers business development consultancy, identifying strategic business partnerships and funding sources. He founded and heads the Moynahan Law Firm, Waterbury, Connecticut, and is “of counsel” to the Jin Law Group at 200 Park Avenue in New York. He is a sought-after and successful trial lawyer, earning the Super Lawyer of New England and Connecticut awards from 2009 to 2012 and Best Criminal Defense Attorney accolade in 2013.