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Connecticut Personal Injury Law Blog

$6.3 million award in medical malpractice case

For the last several years, a now-76-year-old woman has been involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit against a physician and a multi-specialty physician group. Recently, the woman and her husband were awarded $6.3 million for past and future medical costs, past and future non-economic losses and loss of consortium.

The woman originally went to see the doctor in 2003, and it was determined that her cholesterol was high. She also had an MRI in 2003 after suffering from vertigo. The court papers stated the MRI showed that the woman suffered from small vessel ischemic disease, which is when the brain's arteries have restricted blood flow. Her physician allegedly had his staff tell the woman that MRI results were all in the normal limits.

House bill could give make it harder to prove doctor's negligence

A bill has passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 392 to 37. With overwhelming support, the House Medicare bill will stop a cut in fees for Medicare doctors that was supposed to happen this month. The U.S. Senate will vote on the bill after returning on April 13.

The bill will also require that doctors are rated on their performance and the quality of care they provide. The government will rate the doctors from zero to 100. This rating would be used in a new payment formula that would be based on "quality measures."

Is a doctor's apology admissible in a medical malpractice trial?

When a patient is injured or his or her illness is made worse because of a doctor's negligence, that patient may want to hear an apology. However, some doctor's may be reluctant to make such statements if they could be used by the patient in a medical malpractice case.

In Connecticut, a health care provider's apology to a patient who suffered from medical negligence or malpractice is not admissible in court as evidence of an admission against liability or interest. In addition, such a statement is also not admissible if made to a relative, legal guardian, attorney or other representative.

States ranked from safest to deadliest for drivers

According to recent report from the Auto Insurance Center, Connecticut is one of the safest states for drivers in the country. The report sought to create a list ranking all states from the safest to the deadliest for drivers based on national fatal car accident data from the years 1994 through 2013.

According to the report, Connecticut’s fatal car accident rate came in at 15.43 fatal crashes per 10,000 people, which made it one of the safest states in the country for drivers, but not one of the top five safest states.

Graco punished for delaying car seat recall

Most parents put a lot of thought into the car seat that they purchase for their children, wanting to choose the safest option possible. In many cases, parents end up choosing car seats manufactured by well-known brands such as Graco, because they believe they can trust these manufacturers.

However, parents may not feel this way about Graco anymore after a report was issued last week stating that the company has been fined up to $10 million by the U.S. Department of Transportation for failing to notify the public in a timely manner about defects in millions of its car seats.

Emergency room doctors ordering unnecessary tests, survey says

According to survey results published in Academic Emergency Medicine, 97 percent of emergency room doctors said they have ordered cat scans or MRIs in order to avoid medical malpractice lawsuits. The findings are the result of a survey of 435 ER doctors.

The doctors said the tests were because they didn't want to miss diagnosing something, which could lead to medical malpractice. The lead researcher, an ER doctor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that unnecessary tests like MRIs and cat scans can really present a risk of patient harm. For example, the doctor said that a "false positive" might appear as a result, which could lead to a patient more tests, biopsies and even treatments that could be harmful for an illness or disease that he or she didn't have in the first place.

Feds to investigate, combat drowsy driving (2 of 2)

As we began discussing in our last post, federal safety officials recently announced that they will be targeting drowsy driving in a new safety campaign.

It was once believed that fatigued driving played a role in 100,000 crashes annually, contributing to 1,500 fatalities and 71,000 injuries. But the National Transportation Safety Board believes the number could be much higher, which is why safety officials agree that more data is needed.

Tackling road rage-the worst form of aggressive driving

Aggressive driving is a common problem across the United States, including Connecticut. Unfortunately, the worst form of aggressive driving-road rage-is too common and has too many negative consequences, including accidents that injure and killed, that it cannot be ignored by legislators and law enforcement authorities. For this reason, Connecticut stresses how both newer and older more experienced drivers can avoid it.

Driving is privilege, not a right, and acceptance of a driver's license comes with many responsibilities, including self-control. Studies of aggressive driving behavior have found that many factors-increased traffic on roads, improper driving techniques learned from parents, reduced sense of courtesy and immaturity in some drivers-contribute to road rage and, too often, car accidents.

Feds to investigate, combat drowsy driving (1 of 2)

We hear a lot about how dangerous distracted driving and drunk driving are, but federal safety officials want the public to know that drowsy driving can be just as bad.

Most of us have been tired while driving at some point in our lives. Maybe it was after the arrival of a child, when sleep deprivation is as common as diaper changes. Or maybe it was during the overnight leg of a long road trip. Or perhaps it was on the way to work after a sleepless night.

What should I do if an underage drunk driver caused the accident?

Driving drunk is reckless and inconsiderate. Not only is the driver putting himself or herself in danger, but he or she is also putting others directly in harm's way. All it takes is for one slight swerve, or a slower reaction time, for there to be an accident with life-altering consequences. 

When talking about drinking and driving, the person coming home from the bar often comes to mind. However, the truth is that underage drinkers also cause accidents. And, just like with drivers who are legally of age to drink, underage drunk drivers face similar consequences, both criminally and civilly.

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