Are you preparing to file a medical malpractice claim?
There are several Connecticut medical malpractice laws that you need to review before you file a lawsuit. These laws cover everything from deadlines for filing claims to things you must prove before courts will let you move forward with your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations
Every personal injury claim in the state is governed by a statute of limitations, or deadline for filing a lawsuit. If the deadline passes, you will not be able to bring a lawsuit.
Connecticut’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including medical malpractice claims, is two years from the date you sustained the injury or two years from the date when you discovered or should have discovered the injury by exercising reasonable care.
However, under no circumstances can you file a claim more than three years from the date of the act or omission cited in your complaint. This is also known as the statute of repose.
Unlike many other states, Connecticut does not have a separate statute of limitations for minors.
90-Day Extension to the Statute of Limitations
If the statute of limitations is about to expire, you can petition the clerk of the court for an automatic 90-day extension of the statute to allow for reasonable inquiry into your claim.
Reasonable Inquiry and Certificate of Good Faith
Before you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Connecticut, you or your attorney must make a reasonable inquiry to determine that you have grounds for a good faith belief that negligence occurred.The only way to show a good faith belief is to obtain a written, signed opinion from a healthcare provider similar to the one you are accusing of medical malpractice.
The definition of a similar healthcare provider depends on the defendant’s qualifications. If the defendant is not a specialist, a similar healthcare provider would be one who is:
- Licensed by the appropriate regulatory agency of Connecticut or another state that requires the same or greater qualifications
- Trained and experienced in the same medical discipline and his or her training and experience is a result of active involvement in the practice or teaching of medicine within a five-year period before the incident giving rise to your claim
If the defendant is a specialist, a similar healthcare provider is one who is:
- Trained and experienced in the same specialty
- Certified by the relevant American board in the same specialty
When you file your complaint, it must contain a certificate showing that the proper inquiry was conducted and there is a good faith belief that negligence occurred.
Limitations on Damages
Unlike some states, Connecticut does not limit economic or non-economic compensation in medical malpractice claims. However, the state does apply the theory of comparative negligence.
This theory acknowledges that plaintiffs sometimes bear some responsibility for the injuries they suffered. The law prohibits claimants from recovering compensation if their percentage of fault is greater than the combined percentage of fault of all defendants. Otherwise, your compensation will be reduced by your share of negligence.
The medical malpractice attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi have a detailed understanding of the different laws governing medical malpractice claims. We know how to ensure they are applied correctly to your claim.