People think of doctors when they hear the word malpractice. However, nurses spend much more time with patients than doctors do. They collect vitals, assess symptoms, and provide information to doctors. In addition, they administer medications, monitor health symptoms, and handle much of the hands-on patient care. If they fail to meet the standard of care, this is considered negligence, which serves as the foundation for a medical malpractice claim.
The state allows patients to bring malpractice cases against any licensed healthcare provider, including nurses. Like doctors, most nurses carry medical malpractice coverage, either individually or through their employer. This means most cases will settle out of court before heading to trial. A Bridgeport nursing malpractice lawyer can assess your case, negotiate a settlement, and go to trial if you cannot get a fair settlement.
To bring a lawsuit against a nurse, a patient must prove the healthcare provider was negligent and that their negligence led to the patient’s injury or illness.
The first step is showing the nurse has a duty of care. Any nurse treating a patient has a duty to meet the accepted standard of care for the patient’s medical diagnosis and physical condition.
Next, a patient must prove that the nurse deviated from their duty of care. This can happen in a number of ways, as a Bridgeport nursing malpractice attorney could explain. An example of nursing malpractice would be a nurse administering the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of medication.
To support a malpractice claim, it is not enough to show the nurse was negligent. A patient also must also show that the negligence led to an injury or illness—which can be physical, mental, or emotional—and as a result, the patient incurred damages. Damages can be economic, such as medical costs, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity, as well as non-economic, such as pain and suffering.
Finally, a patient must show that their nurse’s negligence directly caused the injury or illness. If there are multiple causes, the recovery amount will reflect the percentage of fault linked to the malpractice. An attorney handling nursing malpractice claims in Bridgeport can explain the role of modified comparative negligence in determining damage awards.
Connecticut does not cap potential awards from medical malpractice suits. This can be very beneficial to patients because it puts pressure on malpractice insurers to settle claims: If they go to trial, they face the potential of uncapped damages.
Having no cap on settlement amounts may help with negotiations, convincing insurers to increase offers. A knowledgeable nursing malpractice lawyer in Bridgeport can provide value estimates based on the claim. That valuation can help a patient assess whether a settlement offer is fair.
The state’s two-year statute of limitations requires a patient to bring suit within two years of the date they knew—or should have known—of a malpractice. Furthermore, under the state’s “statute of repose,” a patient has only three years from the date of the malpractice to bring suit, regardless of whether they knew or should have known of the injury or illness in that period. Some exceptions can extend this deadline; speak with a Bridgeport nursing malpractice attorney to learn more.
Medical malpractice cases are complex. Do not try to handle this on your own.
A Bridgeport nursing malpractice lawyer from our firm brings the necessary knowledge and experience to your corner. Contact Berkowitz Hanna today to get started on your case.