Many Bridgeport residents trust their doctors to provide sound advice and appropriate medical care. These highly-trained professionals take an oath to care for their patients, and most of them take that duty seriously. There are exceptions to every rule, however, and careless or reckless medical professionals can cause profound harm to their patients.
Medical malpractice lawsuits differ in important ways from standard negligence cases. This includes additional requirements to file suit as well as particular rules about when a plaintiff must file a lawsuit in the first place.
If you are living with an injury or illness that resulted from negligent medical care, a Bridgeport medical malpractice lawyer can help. You might have a viable claim for compensation, and a seasoned personal injury attorney could advise you if you have a case. If they determine you have grounds for a lawsuit, your attorney could also advise you on how best to proceed.
For most people who suffer an injury due to the negligence of another person, the process of seeking compensation begins with hiring an attorney and filing a lawsuit. This process is more complicated for an attorney pursuing a medical malpractice claim.
Before a plaintiff can pursue medical malpractice litigation, they must comply with what is known as a reasonable inquiry certification. The requirements of this specification are established under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §52-190A.
According to the statute, a plaintiff must file a reasonable inquiry certificate at the same time as a medical malpractice lawsuit. The court has the power to extend this deadline for up to 90 days after the filing of the case. The certificate must be executed by the plaintiff or their attorney and it must declare they have made a reasonable inquiry to determine medical negligence occurred. The certification must make clear these grounds apply to all defendants.
Additionally, this certification must confirm the plaintiff obtained a written, signed opinion from a qualified medical expert. This opinion must detail the expert’s view that negligence occurred and was responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
While courts have the power to give a plaintiff some leeway to comply with the certificate requirement, they could ultimately dismiss a case or sanction a plaintiff for failing to meet each requirement. Hiring a Bridgeport medical malpractice attorney could help reduce the risk of sanction or dismissal.
Another important difference between medical malpractice claims and standard negligence lawsuits is the statute of limitations. While these rules are essentially the same, determining the statute of limitations for a malpractice case can be complex.
C.G.S. §52-584 gives a plaintiff two years from the date an injury occurs to file a negligence lawsuit. The problem with some malpractice cases is that these injuries are not always immediately obvious. It can take years for a plaintiff to notice the effects of a botched surgery, for example.
Because of this, the statute allows the plaintiff two years from the date a medical error is discovered. This could extend the statute of limitations outside of the two year window that starts the date the injury occurred. However, the statute also sets a hard time limit of three years from the date malpractice occurred to bring a suit. With such a narrow window to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, speaking with a Bridgeport attorney immediately could be vital.
The steps to file a medical malpractice case are complex. The same is true for investigating these claims and identifying the at-fault party. Given what is at stake, pursuing these cases without experienced legal counsel could be risky.
A Bridgeport medical malpractice lawyer could ensure your claim meets the requirements under state law. To learn more, set up your consultation immediately.