Questions About Medical Malpractice?
The questions and answers below are not a substitute for legal advice (or medical advice). The best way to get answers about your specific situation is to talk with one of our experienced medical malpractice lawyers.
Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., serves New Haven, the Gold Coast and clients throughout Connecticut. Arrange your free consultation.
What constitutes medical malpractice?
Not every mistake or bad outcome is the basis for a lawsuit. Medical malpractice means that the doctors or medical professionals strayed from the accepted standard of care, resulting in serious and lasting harm. Many situations can be medical malpractice, from mistakes during surgery or childbirth to lab errors or failure to diagnose a life-threatening condition.
How is medical malpractice compensated?
You are entitled to damages for all associated medical treatment, including costs of medical intervention and future treatment. You should be compensated for lost income, time away from work or diminished earning capacity. You can seek damages for lasting injury, such as nerve damage, brain damage or amputation. You are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. In rare cases, punitive damages may apply for egregious misconduct.
If someone dies as a result of medical negligence, the family can pursue a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit.
Are there caps on medical malpractice damages?
Connecticut does not limit damages on medical malpractice.
Are there time limits on bringing a malpractice lawsuit?
In general, you have two years to file a lawsuit. But it is best to consult legal counsel as soon as you have suspicions, to preserve your right to sue and to make sure important evidence is secured.
Who can be sued for medical malpractice?
Any licensed medical professional or medical provider can be sued for negligence. Most physicians and surgeons are “independent contractors” and carry their own malpractice insurance. Some doctors are employees of the hospital or clinic, as are nurses and technicians. The lawsuit may name the physician, the hospital, the pharmacy or all of the above.
Will I have to go to trial?
Not necessarily. Medical malpractice is more likely to be litigated, but when there is straightforward evidence of medical negligence there is a stronger likelihood that the medical provider will settle out of court.
What makes medical malpractice so hard to win?
Doctors are inclined to fight a lawsuit because their reputation and possibly their medical license is at stake. The standard of proof is high. The cost of expert witnesses is high. And juries are sympathetic to medical providers. Only a fraction of claims that are investigated proceed all the way to settlement or jury verdict.
Even with a viable case, you will need an experienced attorney on your side to prevail against medical providers and their insurance carriers. Call Kennedy Johnson Schwab & Roberge at 866-689-1248 to schedule a free consultation.