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How do courts determine validity of medical malpractice lawsuits?


Despite the faith that most people have in their medical caregivers, it is entirely possible that a doctor error can result in a medical procedure that injures a patient. New Haven, Connecticut, residents may know that the laws of the state provide a legal remedy for patients and their families suffering from physician's negligence.

However, to ensure that the courts only handle genuine cases of medical malpractice, certain conditions must be met. Most importantly, the person filing the lawsuit must be able to prove that there was indeed negligence on the part of the doctor. Such proof usually takes the form of another doctor's opinion, without which the lawsuit may be deemed invalid.

Specifically, the law requires that another physician describe in writing the error committed by the physician accused of medical malpractice. The court may also inquire into the actual procedure, as stipulated by medical science, and seek to compare it with the performed procedure to verify that the opinion of the second doctor is indeed accurate. Because a physician accused of malpractice can lose his or her license, such accusations are taken seriously, and giving false information in a case like this can be grounds for severe penalties.

Because each medical procedure can involve a separate branch of medicine and a degree of specialization, courts scrutinize each case. Often, this requires finding a qualified specialist in the procedure under investigation. Thus, Connecticut courts have the liberty of extending the statute of limitations, or the time in which a case expires, by up to 90 days. Only after a thorough inquiry can a lawsuit be deemed valid, and proceedings initiated.

Source: CT.gov, "Medical Malpractice in Connecticut," Accessed on Aug. 14, 2014

Source: CT.gov, "Medical Malpractice in Connecticut," Accessed on Aug. 14, 2014

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