How to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Friday June 10, 2022

According to Connecticut law, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit if you've suffered losses and injury due to medical error or negligence. If you manage to prove your lawsuit for medical malpractice in court, you'll be able to recover compensation for your pain and suffering.

However, proving your medical malpractice case in court can be difficult. That's why you need to hire an experienced Connecticut medical malpractice attorney to help you win your case. 

In this article, we'll look at what is considered medical malpractice in Connecticut and how to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a cause of action that happens when a healthcare professional fails to exercise the skill and care of an average qualified practitioner in the profession. Specifically, you can sue if you can prove that your healthcare professional:

  • Failed to take an appropriate action
  • Neglected to give appropriate treatment
  • Gave substandard treatment that caused injury or harm to you.

Medical malpractice typically involves medical errors such as birth injuries and errors in delivery, mistakes in medication dosage, treatment, diagnosis, health management, surgical errors, or aftercare. For example, you could sue for medical malpractice if your doctor failed to diagnose your cancer. Depending on the circumstances, you could also sue if your doctor or hospital failed to diagnose life-threatening conditions such as internal bleeds, blood clots, strokes, or many other serious conditions.

What Are the Steps to Filing a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice?

Here's how you can file a lawsuit for medical malpractice.

Review the Facts of Your Potential Case

Your first task is to review the facts of your potential case. According to General Statutes of Connecticut section 52-190a, you can only sue if you file a certificate with the court to declare that:

  • You or your attorney has made a reasonable inquiry to determine that there are grounds for a good faith belief that there was medical malpractice.
  • The inquiry showed that there are grounds for this action.

The same section requires you to get a written and signed opinion from a qualified medical expert where the expert:

  • Gives their opinion that you were injured by medical negligence, and
  • Gives details to support that opinion

An expert is considered a person with similar credentials, experience, and skills as the healthcare professional you are suing (the defendant).

You should file your reasonable inquiry certificate along with your initial complaint. However, in some situations, you can get a 90-day extension to file both of them.

Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney

While it's technically possible to do this alone, you should hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney because a medical malpractice lawsuit is extremely complex. 

At the very least, your complaint has to establish the following:

  • The events as they happened
  • The kind of violations or negligent acts that occurred
  • The losses and harms that resulted

An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will help you create a strong claim and walk you through the entire lawsuit process. Here's what they will do:

Review the Statute of Limitations

According to Connecticut's Statute of Limitations, every medical malpractice lawsuit must be brought to the civil courts within two years. What's more, the clock starts ticking on the date you first sustained or discovered the injury.

To make sure that your case will get to court, your lawyer will help you file the initial complaint and the reasonable inquiry certificate as soon as possible. If you're not sure when you were injured and when you first discovered the injury, your lawyer will also help out with that. For instance, if you don't learn about your injury right away, your lawyer will help you argue that you couldn't have reasonably discovered the injury before.

Determine Whether a Doctor-Patient Relationship Existed

Your attorney will also look at whether a doctor-patient relationship existed between you and the defendant. If the defendant didn't have this relationship with you, your lawsuit will not be successful.

Find Out if the Standard of Care Was Breached

Next, your lawyer will determine if the defendant had breached their standard of care to you. Under Connecticut law, you — as the plaintiff or the person bringing the case against the defendant — are required to prove that the healthcare provider's actions breached the prevailing national standard of care.

In other words, your attorney will compare the defendant to other U.S. healthcare providers with similar skills, experience, and training. They will ask, "Is this something that a typical U.S. practitioner  with this training would do?" If the answer is an obvious "no," you have a strong case in court. 

Establish Whether Injuries Were a Result of Negligence

After proving the defendant did breach their standard of care, you need to prove that their negligence actually caused your injury. The law will not hold your healthcare provider responsible for any and all of your injuries just because they happened to you after the negligent behavior. 

A Verdict and Settlement Amount Will Be Determined

After your attorney has filed everything, the court will determine a verdict and settlement amount. Unlike most other states, Connecticut does not have a law that limits damages in medical malpractice cases. Accordingly, there's no limit on the amount of money you could get if you win your case.

How Long Do Medical Malpractice Cases Take?

The time needed depends on the facts of your case and when you sustained or discovered your injuries. Talk to an experienced Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer to determine how long your medical malpractice case will take.

Where Can You Find Medical Malpractice Attorneys?

You can find medical malpractice attorneys by calling Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab, & Roberge, LLC. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, our law firm was founded in 1988 to provide ethical and intelligent legal representation for injured people in Connecticut.

Start with a free consultation today by calling us at 866-689-1248 or emailing us. We handle all injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you don't have to pay us until you receive a jury award or settlement.

Get in Touch

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid unless and until you receive a settlement or a jury award.

Schedule a free, confidential consultation with a skilled Connecticut personal injury lawyer today.

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