Medical Malpractice in Connecticut
You trust your doctor to treat you with an acceptable standard of care. When a health care professional breaches that trust, you may end up injured. Medical mistakes cause catastrophic injuries like birth injury, brain trauma, and wrongful amputation. These mistakes can lead to increased medical costs, a need for rehabilitation, and a decrease in your quality of life.
Medical malpractice law is designed to compensate those affected by poor medical treatment. These laws revolve around the idea of an acceptable standard of care, which is based on what you could expect a competent medical professional to do in the same situation. It’s not just doctors that can be sued for medical malpractice, but any licensed health care provider including, nurses, hospital staff, physical therapists, and mental health professionals.
Types of Medical Malpractice
There are many things that can go wrong in the medical field when a health care professional is acting negligently. While every medical malpractice case is unique, there are some types that are commonly seen in the courts. These include, but are not limited to:
- Diagnosis Errors: Doctors may misdiagnose or fail to diagnose an illness or injury. The diagnosis error itself is not enough for a malpractice claim, as it must be proven that a competent doctor would not have made the same mistake.
- Birth Injuries: Birth injuries due to medical malpractice can lead to years of trauma or life-long impairment. There are several factors that can lead to a birth injury, including improper medical tool usage, failure to monitor the mother or fetus, and negligent delivery.
- Informed Consent Errors: Most informed consent errors deal with medical professionals failing to provide the patient with enough information to make a knowledgeable decision about a treatment or procedure. There are also cases where a procedure was done without the patient’s knowledge at all.
- Surgical Errors: Examples of surgical errors include leaving a surgical tool inside the area of operation, operating on the wrong body part, operating on the wrong person, or injuring the body during surgery.
- Medication Errors: Medication errors include prescribing the wrong medication as well as the wrong dosage. Anesthesia errors are one common type of medication error, with potentially long-lasting or fatal effects.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case
For a successful medical malpractice case, there are four elements that must be proven:
- Duty: There must be a legal duty to provide care. Licensed health care professionals do have a duty to provide an acceptable standard of care to their patients.
- Breach: There must be a breach in the provider’s duty to provide care. In medical malpractice, this by failing to conform to the acceptable standard of care.
- Causation: It’s not enough to prove that the health care provider acted negligently. There must be an injury, and that injury must be proven to be caused by the breach in providing an acceptable standard of care.
- Harm: There must be a significant injury in order to have a medical malpractice claim. Because malpractice cases tend to be expensive to prosecute, significant damages typically must have been sustained.
The Statute of Limitations
When filing a medical malpractice claim, the timeliness in which you consult an attorney is important. Most medical malpractice cases require the injured party to file a claim within two years from when the medical error was made. Though there are some exceptions to this rule, like with discovering the injury later, even these exceptions only provide an additional year to file.
Victim of Medical Malpractice? Contact an Attorney
Medical malpractice claims can be daunting, especially when it comes to holding a hospital or medical provider responsible. Our experienced Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas E. Porzio, LLC can walk you through the process and help you understand your case. Call (203) 573-0019 for a free legal consultation.