When you go to see your doctor or to the hospital, you expect to be in good hands. Experienced healthcare professionals will look after you, discover what is making you feel ill and cure you. In reality, a lot of people fall victim to medical errors and end up with severe injuries or even lose their lives. If you or a loved one was a victim of medical negligence, you should contact one of the medical malpractice attorneys at Jacobs & Wallace law firm to understand your legal rights and take action.
The law says that everyone is liable for their negligent actions that cause economic damages to other people. Medical professionals are not immune from this liability. And, with the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can prove that a healthcare provider caused your injuries and damages and win a fair financial compensation.
What Exactly Is Medical Malpractice?
The definition of the term malpractice is "a failure to exercise an ordinary degree of professional skill or learning by one (such as a physician) rendering professional services which results in injury, loss or damage". There is no reference to excellence or quality of care - just an ordinary level of care that you may expect from any licensed health care provider in the US.
Medical malpractice can take a wide variety of forms. Medical providers can be negligent either by doing something or by failing to act. Some of the most frequent causes of medical malpractice lawsuits are:
- surgical errors
- anesthesia errors
- failure to diagnose or diagnosis error in case of fatal conditions (delayed diagnosis of cancer, for example)
- birth injuries
- nursing home neglect
- defective drugs or medical devices.
An experienced attorney can give you professional legal advice to understand exactly who is responsible for your bad diagnosis or injuries that caused you disabling injuries and emotional trauma.
Types of Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence
Patients hurt by a medical professional's careless error can suffer devastating injuries, from nerve damage to brain damage, cerebral palsy and even permanent disability (paralysis). Dangerous drugs can cause a heart attack or permanent damage to internal organs.
Other injury victims realize that they have a life threatening condition, which could have been managed with better outcomes if the person received a correct diagnosis earlier.
What all victims of medical malpractice error have in common is that they sought medical care and expected to be treated with a basic duty of care defined by ethical standards in healthcare. Instead, they were left with catastrophic injuries, sometimes much worse than the initial injury or condition they were suffering from.
How to File Medical Malpractice Claims Successfully
Although medical malpractice law is by your side, you will find that filing a malpractice or wrongful death claim against a healthcare institution or professional is a challenging process. Clinics and hospital work with big insurance companies, whose adjusters will stop at nothing in the attempt to reduce or dismiss your claim.
This is why personal injury victims should never try to file and negotiate their claim on their own. You will never get the fair compensation you deserve, because you are not in the position to fight this kind of battle. You are still in pain or recovering from your injuries. These difficult times also take a toll on your emotional and mental health. Plus, you do not have extensive knowledge of personal injury law in Connecticut.
Instead, you should hire Connecticut personal injury lawyers with extensive experience in medical malpractice cases to negotiate your claim or represent you in a personal injury lawsuit.
Here are the most important reasons why you need to have an experienced attorney by your side:
1. Finding Evidence of Negligence
The first step in any personal injury case is proving that:
- owed you a standard of care
- breached this duty of care
- the breach caused your injuries
- you suffered economic damages as a result.
Proving all these aspects requires evidence, such as:
- medical records: tests, X-rays, CT scans
- CCTV camera footage from hospital corridors, surgical theaters, etc.
- eyewitness testimonies
- Expert testimony.
A detail-oriented injury lawyer knows where to look for all the relevant evidence and how to interpret it.
2. Using the Contributory Negligence Principle in Your Favor
When you try to file a claim on your own, the insurance adjuster will likely tell you that you are partly at fault for your injuries - either by failing to refill your prescription or by doing something that made your initial condition worse. What they will not tell you is that, under Connecticut Law, contributory negligence does not bar you from seeking financial damages if you were less than 50% at fault for your injuries. However, your final compensation will be reduced by your percentage of responsibility.
Thus, if it is established that you were 20% at fault and your claim is for $100,000 you may collect $80,000.
3. Calculating Your Total Damages
One of the most difficult parts in filing medical malpractice lawsuits is knowing how much money to ask for. Personal injury law allows you to claim three types of damages:
- economic damages
- non-economic damages
- punitive damages.
Economic damages represent the actual financial losses you sustained as a result of medical error:
- medical bills
- lost wages
- physical therapy and rehabilitation
- pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages compensate the injury victim for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium. By contrast to other US state, in Connecticut there is no cap (limit) on the amount you may receive as non-economic damages.
Finally, punitive damages can be awarded if it is proven with "clear and convincing" evidence that the medical professional acted recklessly or intentionally. The amount of these damages is limited, however, to the costs of the case and your attorney's fees.
4. Starting Your Legal Action within the Statute of Limitations
One aspect which many patients do not know about is the fact that there is a time limit for personal injury actions. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. For medical malpractice cases is is 2 years since the date when the injury occurred or when it was discovered.
The discovery rule is the only exception to the statute of limitation in medical malpractice cases. In some cases, a patient is not aware immediately after a medical procedure that something went wrong and they were injured. However, Connecticut law determines that there is a reasonable period when a person should discover the injury - this period varies from case to case.
3. Negotiating the Maximum Compensation You Are Entitled to Receive
Medical malpractice lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies. They have both in-depth knowledge of the law and experience in similar cases. When an insurance company refuses to accept your fair claim amount, an experienced legal team will prepare your case for court and represent you in a personal injury lawsuit.
Hire Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Bridgeport CT!
At Jacobs & Wallace law firm, you will find a team of dedicated medical malpractice lawyers with combined experience of over 40 years. We believe that each injury victim deserves fair financial compensation from negligent medical professionals who caused them pain, suffering and economic losses.
We work on a contingency fee basis - meaning that we only get paid after we win your case. Remember that the time to take legal action is running out quickly, so call us now to discuss your case: 203-332-7700!