Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, is a legal term that refers to an incident in which a healthcare provider’s carelessness resulted in a serious or fatal patient injury. At Stanger Stanfield Law, we are committed to helping West Hartford patients who have sustained severe or life-threatening injuries as a result of a doctor’s negligence. An experienced West Hartford medical malpractice lawyer can assist with your claim.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
There are many different types of medical negligence claims. At Stanger Stanfield Law, we regularly assist clients who have sustained injuries as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence. Examples of some common types of medical malpractice cases we handle include but are not limited to the following:
- Missed diagnosis or delayed diagnosis: When a healthcare provider makes an inaccurate diagnosis, or fails to diagnose a health condition properly, the patient can suffer serious physical consequences. In the case of a missed diagnosis, the patient may receive treatment that she does not need, resulting in additional harms. Often in the case of both missed and delayed diagnoses, the patient does not receive proper treatment for her actual condition, and as a result the condition can worsen substantially. For patients with a missed or delayed cancer diagnosis, the result of a doctor’s negligence can be death.
- Surgical errors: When a surgeon makes a mistake during a surgical procedure, a patient can suffer serious and even fatal injuries. According to WebMD, more than 4,000 preventable surgical mistakes occur every year in hospitals, and they lead to more than $1.3 billion in medical malpractice claim payouts. The most common types of surgical errors include those in which a surgeon leaves a foreign object in the body of a patient, performs the wrong operation on a patient, or operates on the wrong body site of a patient.
- Medication mistakes: Medication errors, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), result in at least one death per day in the United States and result in around 1.3 million injuries each year. Medication mistakes can result from the negligence of a wide variety of healthcare providers, from nurses administering medications to prescribing physicians to pharmacists. Common medication errors including prescribing errors, repackaging errors, dispensing mistakes, medication administration errors, and monitoring mistakes.
- Anesthesia errors: When a patient suffers an injury as a result of anesthesia, the patient may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Anesthesia mistakes often involve a patient receiving the wrong amount of anesthesia based on the patient’s size and history, or complications or reactions to the anesthesia.
Elements of a Connecticut Medical Malpractice Claim
What must a plaintiff prove in order to be successful in a medical malpractice lawsuit in West Hartford? Under Connecticut law, a plaintiff must be able to show the following:
- What the required standard of care was for the treatment or medical service being provided
- Healthcare provider deviated from that standard of care, thereby breaching a duty of care owed to the patient
- Healthcare provider’s breach of the duty of care resulted in the patient’s injuries
Connecticut law emphasizes the distinction between a medical malpractice claim and an ordinary negligence claim, defining medical malpractice as “the failure of one rendering professional services to exercise that degree of skill and learning commonly applied under all the circumstances in the community by the average prudent reputable member of the profession with the result of injury, loss, or damage to the recipient of those services.” To put that another way, the law clarifies that medical malpractice lawsuits, as opposed to ordinary negligence claims, exist when the following statements are true:
- Defendant has been sued in her or his capacity as a medical professional
- Alleged negligence is of a medical nature that has arisen out of the doctor-patient relationship
- Alleged negligence is substantially related to a medical diagnosis or treatment
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Since medical negligence can occur at many different stages of a patient’s care, numerous parties may be liable for a patient’s injuries, including but not limited to:
- Physician’s assistant
- Hospital staff
- Hospital itself
- Laboratory technician
- Dental hygienist
Medical malpractice claims are complicated, and it is important to discuss your case with a medical malpractice attorney in Connecticut.<?p>
Statute of Limitations in Medical Negligence Lawsuits
How long do you have to file your medical malpractice lawsuit? Under Connecticut law, a plaintiff must file a medical malpractice claim within two years from the date of the injury, or within two years from which the injury was discovered or reasonable should have been discovered. If the injury was discovered after the incident took place, a plaintiff cannot file a claim more than three years after the initial incident that caused the injury.
Contact a West Hartford Medical Negligence Attorney
Were you injured as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence? You may be eligible to seek compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim. An experienced West Hartford medical malpractice attorney can discuss your options with you today. Contact Stanger Stanfield Law for more information.