Medical malpractice is the overarching legal term used to describe events that occur when a doctor departs from the profession’s accepted standards of care during treatment of a patient. When the doctor’s negligence results in significant and avoidable injury to the patient, then the patient may have a claim for medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice claims may be brought against doctors of all types — including surgeons, emergency room doctors, pediatricians, obstetricians, heart specialists, oncologists (for failure to diagnose cancer) and orthopedic doctors. Other health care professionals may also be vulnerable to charges of medical malpractice or medical negligence, including nursing staff in hospitals and in nursing homes.
Located in New Haven, the Connecticut personal injury law firm of Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., has a well-established practice representing people injured due to medical malpractice.
Several of our attorneys are rated AV Preeminent* through Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system and have been selected for inclusion in Connecticut Super Lawyers as among the top attorneys in Connecticut. Our lawyers have a combined total of more than 150 years representing injured people throughout Connecticut, and our high rate of success is illustrated by some of our recent settlements and verdicts.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are usually complicated, time-consuming and costly. Each case begins with a thorough review of all relevant medical records — first by our attorneys in house, and then by outside medical experts. Based on the information in the medical records, we are able to determine whether our client has a valid claim for medical malpractice.
At this point, we have a frank and detailed conversation with our client and our client’s family. If the medical records review shows there was no error, or that the error did not cause significant and irreparable harm, then we may have to inform our client that no valid legal claim exists.
If, on the other hand, our own review and the independent review reveal that the doctor in question did depart from the accepted standard of care — and that significant injury resulted — then the case will move forward into a formal lawsuit.
Sometimes, medical malpractice lawsuits are resolved through negotiation or formal mediation or arbitration. Often, however, medical malpractice lawsuits must go to a trial in front of a jury if our client is to have the best chance of receiving full and fair compensation. In all cases, our clients’ medical malpractice cases receive our full and devoted attention from the moment we meet until a resolution is reached.
At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we handle all Medical Malpractice 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.
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.
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.
Connecticut does not limit damages on medical malpractice.
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.
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.
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.
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.