Every year, millions of people are the victim of medical malpractice, although many of these people do not suffer from long-term negative consequences from the preventable error. However, when the error does lead to serious harm, it is critical for the victim to seek legal help as soon as possible.
There are many different types of medical malpractice, which can be an act or omission leading to an injury that would not have occurred but for the negligence. Some of the most common types of malpractice are:
- A doctor makes the wrong diagnosis or fails to diagnose a condition that could have been treated more effectively with an earlier diagnosis;
- A doctor or other medical professional fails to treat a person properly;
- A doctor or other medical professional does not respond to an emergency situation in an appropriate manner;
- A doctor or pharmacist makes an error involving a prescription, whether there is an error in the writing or filling of the prescription or the patient does not receive the correct dosage instructions;
- A medical professional leaves a foreign object in a patient following surgery or an invasive procedure; or
- A doctor operated on the wrong site.
Regardless of the type of malpractice, there is a limited amount of time in which to get to court in order to preserve critical legal rights, known as the statute of limitations.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Connecticut
There are a number of different time limits in states across the country, which vary in restrictiveness. These statutes of limitations serve as absolute bars to litigation commenced after the established period, regardless of the merits of the case and the egregiousness of the error that was committed. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations covers all personal injury cases. The basic rule is that a lawsuit arising out of harm caused by negligence on the part of a doctor or other medical professional must be brought within two years of the act or omission that led to the harm. (See General Statutes of Connecticut § 52-584). Although the statute of limitations does not act to close the courthouse doors to a litigant, it is the first thing that a defendant will raise if the plaintiff has not made it to court within the established time period. The judge will dismiss the case without question if the statute of limitations has run. Unlike many areas of the law, there is no wiggle room on this issue. The lawsuit is commenced with the filing of a complaint and a sworn statement, so this is what an injured person’s attorney must develop and finalize before time runs out.
There is some hope for individuals who are injured as the result of medical malpractice in Connecticut. Under the provisions of the statute of limitations, the clock does not start to run until the injury is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered based on the information available to the person who was harmed. This means that an injury that develops slowly or has an unknown cause for some period of time will not prevent a person from getting justice because of the delay, but only for a certain period. There is a limit of three years from the date of the act or omission that caused the harm, so a person has an additional year from the two-year statute of limitations to discover that he was the victim of medical malpractice.
Unlike many other states, Connecticut does not have special exceptions for minors who were injured or disabled individuals who may not have the mental capacity to bring an action on their own. If the person died as the result of the negligence, there is a two-year statute of limitations that applies unless it was an omission that resulted in the harm, which may provide up to five years to discover the cause of the harm and commence a legal action.
Stern Law, PLLC Aggressively Fights on Behalf of Its Injured Clients in Connecticut
Medical malpractice occurs every day throughout the State of Connecticut and the individuals who are impacted by this negligence face an uncertain future due to the preventable mistake made by a person in whom they placed their trust. At Stern Law, PLLC, our attorney understands how physically, emotionally, and economically devastated these victims are after suffering the harm. We have spent more than 30 years working hard to get our clients the results that they need in order to pay bills, receive necessary treatments, obtain technological and mechanical accommodations, and compensate for the pain and suffering. One of the critical first steps is to ensure a timely filing of the lawsuit. In addition, we focus on providing answers for anyone who has been harmed, or believes he may have been harmed, as the result of medical malpractice. We have knowledgeable representatives available to respond to questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us at 1-844-808-7529 or fill out an online contact form in order to learn how we can help you get through this difficult time.