New Haven Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Hospitals, doctor’s offices, outpatient clinics, urgent care facilities, dental offices, emergency rooms, hospitals, and physical therapy centers; these are the places that we turn to for healing. When you become ill, injured, or scared for your well-being, you put your trust in the hands of health professionals, who stand among the most important and well-educated people in society.

When we turn to these treatment providers for care, we expect that treatment to improve our condition. Many times, that is exactly what happens – but unfortunately not always.

What happens when hospitals, nurses, doctors, and other medical experts make costly, devastating mistakes? Unfortunately, such mistakes happen more often than you might realize. In fact, it is estimated that more than 100,000 Americans die because of a preventable medical error every single year.

If you’ve ever wondered why medical malpractice litigation seems so prevalent, consider that astounding statistic. Doctors and hospitals make mistakes with frightening regularity. Those errors don’t happen because doctors are bad people. Indeed, the majority of mistakes are not intended or made with ill will.  Rather, they are usually the result of carelessness – being too busy, not paying attention, or failing to think a delicate medical situation all the way through, for example.

The simple truth of the matter, however, is this: doctors have a crucial responsibility to exercise due care when tending to their patients’ needs. The risks of not doing so are simply too high. A single, simple mistake can have a catastrophic impact on a patient’s life. Even cases of wrongful death, unfortunately, are not uncommon.

Unfortunately, despite evidence of widespread medical negligence in America, state legislatures across the country have made it increasingly difficult to pursue medical malpractice claims in court. That’s even true here in Connecticut. It is so important, that malpractice victims enlist the aid of an experienced legal representative.

When you think of the health care industry, you don’t immediately think you will need to speak with a malpractice attorney about a malpractice case. However, as the statistics above clearly indicate, you may need to. If you suspect that negligent care may have resulted in serious or fatal injuries to your loved one, you can seek legal guidance from a New Haven medical malpractice lawyer at Berkowitz Hanna. We can help you get the justice that you deserve.

We Have the Know How to Help You

With a long history of experience, Berkowitz Hanna has established itself as a fierce and effective advocate for victims of medical negligence in Connecticut.

Our job is to passionately advance our clients’ very best interests and to maximize the value of the financial compensation that they ultimately recover. We’ve done that for countless Connecticut families, and if you’re in need of a lawyer’s assistance, we’d like to do it for you too. Please contact Berkowitz Hanna right away.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is defined as a medical professional’s deviation from the standard of care in his or her profession. A patient can sue for medical malpractice when he or she suffers some form of loss or harm (i.e., damages) as a result of that deviation.

Likewise, family members of a patient who has not been provided with effective and proper care can sue if their loved one dies as a result of the deviation. These cases are especially complicated because they involve claims for both medical malpractice and wrongful death.  Navigating the maze of laws pertaining to these claims can be complex, but our savvy team of litigators understands the law, and your rights under it, very well.

Medical negligence can occur in a variety of scenarios, and the courts recognize a range of hardships when awarding damages to patients and their families. Examples of malpractice which our New Haven medical malpractice lawyers are experienced with include, but are not limited to:

  • Performing surgery at the wrong site
  • Misdiagnosing a condition
  • Failure to provide adequate treatment, leading to a worsened condition
  • Failure to provide adequate notice of possible dangers
  • Misreading charts, x-rays, medical test results, etc.
  • Prescribing medications despite contraindications
  • Discharging a patient who still needs care
  • Failure to take a patient’s comprehensive health history into account
  • Rushing through examinations, leading to error
  • Allowing unqualified personnel to examine or operate on a patient
  • Much more

These are only a few of the many ways in which medical malpractice might unfold. Whatever situation you might be facing, our trusted New Haven medical malpractice attorney can help. Trying to understand your rights can be frustrating, but we’re here to assist you in determining whether you might have a case. Call us today.

We would welcome the opportunity to listen to your story and to explain how we may be able to help you pursue the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Why Are Medical Mistakes So Common?

Doctors spend years in medical school, and hospitals spend millions of dollars investing in the most advanced medical technology. Given that this is the case, why are medical mistakes so common? Our experience points to a variety of different factors:

  • Inadequate training and experience – Despite the number of times doctors spend in medical school and residency, many still lack the training and experience required to accurately diagnose and appropriately treat patients’ medical conditions.
  • Too many patients – Our health care insurance system incentivizes health care providers to treat as many patients as they possibly can. While it is important that health care is available to everyone who needs it, it is just as important that patients receive the time and attention their conditions demand.
  • Too little time – Even when doctors and hospitals aren’t overbooked, patients often only see their providers for minutes (and in many cases seconds) at a time. In many cases, this simply isn’t adequate to provide an appropriate diagnosis or treatment recommendation.
  • Doctor fatigue – Studies have shown that a large percentage of doctors do not get enough sleep, and being fatigued can significantly impair doctors’ ability to identify medical issues and make sound medical judgments.
  • Administrative shortcomings – From hiring inadequate staff to failing to maintain proper patient records, various administrative issues cause and contribute to misdiagnoses and other medical mistakes as well.
  • Doctor and other caregiver mistakes – Sometimes, even highly-skilled and highly-experienced doctors make mistakes. The same is true of physician assistants, nurses, and other caregivers. While some mistakes may be excusable given the circumstances involved, caregiver mistakes are often indicative of medical negligence.
  • Alcohol and drug use – Although relatively rare in comparison to the other forms of negligence discussed in this list, alcohol and drug use among doctors and other caregivers is still a major issue. Despite the obvious risks, some health care providers make extremely poor decisions to see patients while under the influence of alcohol, sleep medications, and other drugs.

This list is not exhaustive, and it does not begin to touch on the specific types of medical errors that are to blame for innumerable patient injuries and illnesses each year. From improperly administering anesthesia during labor and delivery to performing wrong-site surgeries and leaving surgical tools in patients’ bodies, there are countless ways that health care providers in Connecticut can – and do – cause their patients serious harm. If you are concerned about medical malpractice for any reason, we encourage you to contact us promptly to discuss your legal rights. Our New Haven medical malpractice lawyers can review the facts of your case and determine if you have a claim for just compensation.

What If I Gave My Informed Consent?

Medical malpractice case report in New Haven.

Informed consent is one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of our medical system. Fundamentally, the concept of informed consent is intended to protect the patient: Prior to performing a medical procedure or administering any other course of treatment, a health care provider must provide the patient with the information he or she needs to make an informed decision about whether or not to move forward.

When you sign an informed consent form, you are agreeing to receive treatment. Your doctor must provide the agreed-upon treatment consistent with the relevant medical standard of care. If your doctor fails to meet this standard of care, then the fact that you provided your informed consent has no bearing on your right to seek just compensation for medical malpractice. While you may be unable to pursue a claim if your procedure or treatment is ineffective or causes you harm despite your doctor meeting the relevant standard of care (which might not be the case if your health care provider failed to obtain informed consent), signing an informed consent form does not amount to a waiver of your right to file a medical malpractice claim under Connecticut law. Get assistance from the trusted New Haven medical malpractice attorneys at Berkowitz Hanna.

St Raphael Medical Malpractice

The Hospital of St. Raphael is a 511-bed community teaching hospital in New Haven and the fourth largest hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. Medical students and residents from Yale University School of Medicine train at the hospital, which serves patients from the greater New Haven community. The hospital was founded in 1907 as a 12-bed facility by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth.

The institution, according to its website, is a leader in Connecticut in bilateral joint replacement. In the region, it is at the forefront of:

  • Adult in-patient surgery
  • In-patient services to persons 65 years of age and older
  • Orthopedic surgery (especially single-joint replacement surgery)
  • Thoracic surgery

Other programs the hospital offers in surrounding communities include prenatal and primary care clinics for women and children, early cancer detection, education and prevention programs, mobile dental clinics, primary care clinics in elderly housing facilities and senior centers, and preventive and basic health care to students at two school-based clinics.

An injured woman in a wheelchair checking her x-ray result.When patients suffer harm because of a hospital staff’s negligence, he or she can pursue damages by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital. Examples of hospital-related negligence include:

  • Wrong diagnosis of a serious condition such as cancer
  • Wrong treatment administered to a patient
  • Lack of communication between staff members that results in inadequate care
  • Failure to monitor a patient’s condition
  • Failure to detect symptoms of a condition that requires emergency treatment
  • Failure to treat a patient in a timely manner
  • Failure to take into account a patient’s medical history
  • Administering the wrong type or dose of a medication
  • Mistakes during surgery such as a perforation of the spleen
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Switching patient records

These are just some of the many types of mistakes that can cause serious and even fatal injuries to a patient. If you believe that someone you love received inadequate care from St. Raphael Hospital, you should talk to an attorney to find out if you can file a claim against the hospital and the responsible staff members.

FAQs: Your Rights as a Victim of Medical Malpractice in Connecticut

Q: What are the most common forms of medical malpractice?

While all of the forms of medical malpractice discussed above are alarmingly common, by far, the most common forms of medical malpractice are misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose. If you or a loved one sought treatment for an injury or illness and either (i) received an incorrect diagnosis, or (ii) were sent home without treatment, you should speak with a medical malpractice attorney, right away.

Q: What do I need to do in order to file a claim for medical malpractice?

While Connecticut law imposes some unique requirements for medical malpractice claims, right now, all you need to focus on is seeking help for your (or your loved one’s) condition. If you have not done so already, you should seek treatment from a different health care provider, immediately, and you should schedule a free initial consultation with a New Haven medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

Q: Don’t I have a couple of years to file my claim?

Technically, yes. If you have been researching online, you may have seen that Connecticut has a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims that runs from the date of discovery. While this is true in most cases, there are several steps you need to take before you can file a claim. And to maximize your chances of a financial recovery, you should not delay your claim any longer than necessary. Let a knowledgeable New Haven medical malpractice attorney answer all your questions.

Q: What losses am I entitled to recover?

Since Connecticut does not have a cap on compensatory damages for medical malpractice, if you have been harmed or a loved one has died due to medical negligence, you are entitled to seek full compensation for all of your financial and non-financial losses. While every case is unique, in a typical situation, compensation will be available for:

  • Current and future loss of earnings (or earning capacity)
  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, services, and society
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Q: How much does it cost to hire a medical malpractice lawyer?

Our firm handles all medical malpractice claims on a contingency fee basis. We do this so that our clients do not have to pay anything out of pocket to assert their legal rights. If we win your case, then we receive a portion of your settlement or verdict as compensation for our services and expenses. If we lose, you owe us nothing.

Proving Your Right to Just Compensation for Medical Malpractice

Even if it is clear that your doctor made a mistake, you still need evidence that proves your right to just compensation. To seek just compensation on your behalf, our New Haven medical malpractice lawyers will rely on evidence including:

1. Your Medical Records from the Incident of Malpractice

If you don’t have them, we will obtain your medical records from the healthcare provider that committed the malpractice. If necessary, we will also obtain your past medical records to show that you were not suffering from a pre-existing condition or that you had symptoms that your doctor could (and should) have diagnosed in a timely manner.

2. Your Medical Records Subsequent to the Incident of Malpractice

We will also obtain your medical records after the incident of malpractice. These records will help to establish both the effects and the cost of your doctor’s mistake. We will work with your new medical providers directly if you allow us to do so, and we will coordinate with your providers to make sure we have everything we need to seek the compensation you deserve.

3. Report and Testimony from a Qualified Medical Expert

We will also obtain a report and testimony from a qualified medical expert. This report is necessary to prove that your doctor’s mistake fell below Connecticut’s standard of care. We have relationships with many medical experts in and around New Haven who specialize in evaluating medical malpractice claims.

4. Financial Analysis of the Costs of Your Doctor’s Malpractice

In addition to proving the cause of your current medical condition, we must also prove the cost of your doctor’s malpractice. To do this, we will assess not only your medical needs but also your costs in terms of loss of income, other out-of-pocket expenses, and the non-financial impacts of your doctor’s malpractice (i.e., pain and suffering).

Contact Our New Haven Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today

If you are currently suffering because of a mistake made by a healthcare provider, know that you don’t have to continue to suffer alone. Perhaps a hospital, doctor, or healthcare provider has even told you that you don’t have a case, that no mistake was made, and that you aren’t entitled to any damages.  Don’t take their word for it, and don’t enter into any settlement agreements with an insurance company until you’ve at least listened to a lawyer’s point of view.

Berkowitz Hanna is here for you and your family. We are proud to offer free case reviews to patients throughout Connecticut. If you decide that you want to move forward with legal action, we can help you do that by putting our combined experience to work for you. You can also rest assured that we won’t charge you for our services unless we recover compensation for your claim.

To get started, or to simply get answers to some of your questions, call our office and talk with a New Haven medical malpractice lawyer today. We look forward to learning more about your story, your life, your goals, and how we may be able to help assist you as you pursue the compensation you deserve.