The law requires that a medical malpractice lawsuit is initiated within two years from the date the injury or illness was first sustained or discovered. It is also required that the lawsuit is initiated within three years from the date of the act or the date of omission under CGS Section 52-584. Therefore, if you feel that you have a valid medical malpractice claim, you must initiate it within three years, though most patients will discover malpractice and file much sooner.
If you miss the three-year cut off, you can get around the time frame requirement by alleging that the physician had a continuing duty to warn you about malpractice and its consequence. This is a very rare situation that requires the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney. In these types of cases, the Supreme Court has held that the physician continually breached their duty to warn their patient; this, in turn, extends the statute of limitations further.
Under CGS Section 52-184c, Connecticut law requires that a plaintiff’s claim based on physician negligence prove that the healthcare provider’s specific actions breached the professional standard of care. The standard of care is the level of care, skill and treatment that, under relevant circumstances, are recognized as acceptable practice by similar health care providers.
If the health care provider is a licensed specialist, his breach of the standard of care will either be compared to a professional with similar training and experience in the same specialty, or someone certified by the American board in the same specialty. If the physician is a non-specialist, he or she will be compared to a licensed physician or a physician trained and experienced in a similar area of medicine.
Some plaintiffs do not file their malpractice claims right away. Some may wait a few months or even close to the statute of limitations, and may wonder if waiting limits their compensation. In most cases, waiting will not harm your opportunity for compensation. It is important to remember, though, that compensation may depend on the reasons for the delay. If you, in good faith, did not recognize malpractice had occurred, then waiting a year or so would not harm your case. If, however, you did know that the physician’s error or negligence led to your injuries and still failed to act, the courts may feel that this harms the credibility of your true damages and injuries.
If you feel that you have a valid medical malpractice claim, contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Call today or contact us online to get started.