Each state has its own set of malpractice laws, establishing caps and limitations that directly influence how your case will play out. Certain states tend to be stricter, while others offer a bit more leniency regarding when you can file and how much you’ll be awarded.
If you or a loved one is facing a medical malpractice case in Connecticut, keep the following points in mind:
Statute of Limitations
In this state, a medical malpractice lawsuit nearly always must be filed within two years from the time the injury first occurred, was discovered, or should have logically been identified.
However, in certain instances, the lawsuit may be initiated within three years from a medical professional’s omission, even if the plaintiff does not and could not have reasonably discovered the injury. This is called the Statute of Repose.
In very select instances, the plaintiff can circumvent these requirements. To do so, he or she needs to prove the physician had a “continuing duty” to warn the patient about malpractice, and not doing so was a breach of standard care. In proving this, the plaintiff’s legal team must present evidence concerning an act of omission or affirmative acts of misconduct.
As well, the deadline may further be extended if the defendant left the state after committing malpractice or concealing the action.
Along with these factors, Connecticut, unlike other states, does not have a separate statute of limitations for minors.
Connecticut has no cap on the amount that may be awarded from a case.
Shared Fault or Partial Liability
Connecticut, on the other hand, has a modified comparative negligence rule. When the plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit does not follow the doctor’s instructions, the court may decide to reduce or eliminate the reward.
What occurs is, the court decides to lessen the amount proportional to the plaintiff’s fault. For instance, if his or her fault is established as 25 percent, the total amount is cut by a quarter.
As well, if the plaintiff’s fault is equal to or greater than the defendant’s, the plaintiff cannot recover damages, and the case may be dismissed.
Connecticut requires the lawyer representing the plaintiff to file a certificate with a good faith belief that negligence occurred. The document must include a letter of opinion from a medical expert, who, because of the frequent backlash resulting from these cases, has the option to remain anonymous.
Collateral Source Rule
With this standard rule, the defendant cannot attempt to lessen its liability by revealing that other sources compensated the plaintiff. In Connecticut, however, the reward is reduced for these factors, although the plaintiff is compensated for any premiums paid.
This state defines who can be an expert witness in a malpractice trial. He or she must be a similar healthcare provider or have equivalent training and experience to the defendant. As well, any expert witness must be licensed and should have practiced for more than five years.
If you suspect and have evidence a doctor you trusted committed medical malpractice or misdiagnosis, Trantolo & Trantolo’s team is here to help. To have a lawyer review your claim, contact any of our Connecticut locations.