If you feel you have experienced substandard medical care, it is important to understand what medical malpractice is.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the accepted standards of practice in the medical community, leading to injury or harm to a patient. In Connecticut, the laws surrounding medical malpractice are specific and set high standards for what qualifies as malpractice.
Proof of a doctor-patient relationship
You must first establish that there was a doctor-patient relationship. This means you hired the doctor, and the doctor agreed to this relationship. This establishes the duty of care that the doctor owes you.
Breach of standard care
You must prove that the doctor breached the standard of care. This means the doctor did not provide the type and level of care that a similarly skilled and trained doctor would have provided in the same situation. This breach of duty is often the most contested part of a medical malpractice case.
Injury resulting from the breach
You must show that you suffered an injury or harm as a direct result of the breach of standard care. If you were already ill or injured and the doctor’s actions did not make your condition worse, it might not constitute malpractice.
Finally, you must prove that the injury led to specific damages. This can include physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills or lost work and earning capacity.
Understanding these elements can help you evaluate whether you have experienced medical malpractice if you have concerns about your medical care. It is important to document everything related to your case and start the proceedings within the two-year statute of limitations, although you can appeal for an automatic 90-day extension.