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What are the Elements of Medical Malpractice in Connecticut?

Posted on October 24, 2023 in

When a person sustains an injury or illness caused by the negligent actions of a medical provider or facility, they may be able to recover compensation for their losses. Medical malpractice lawsuits provide avenues for victims to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. However, there are specific elements of medical malpractice claims that need to be in place in order for a claim to be successful.

1. A Duty of Care Owed by the Medical Professional

The first element of a medical malpractice claim is showing that the medical professional did indeed owe a duty of care to the plaintiff (the victim in the case). The duty of care will typically be established by showing there was a doctor-patient relationship between the medical professional and the patient. It is important to understand that this would be more properly defined as a “medical professional-patient relationship” because there are a multitude of types of medical professionals that can face lawsuits aside from doctors themselves.

2. Breach in the Standard of Medical Care

After showing that there was a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff, the next step in a medical malpractice claim is showing that the medical professional breached the accepted standard of medical care. This is one of the more challenging aspects of a medical malpractice claim.

Analyzing whether or not there was a breach in the standard of care involves looking at a theoretical scenario in which the actions of the allegedly negligent medical professional are compared to a similarly trained doctor with a similar background and in the same or similar medical communities. If this “theoretical” medical professional had pursued a different course of treatment, then there may indeed be a case of medical malpractice to move forward with.

A breach in the standard of medical care can occur in a wide variety of ways, including failing to obtain a patient medical history, failing to obtain informed consent, making a mistake during surgery, administering incorrect medications or the wrong dosage of a medication, and more.

3. Causation Between the Breach of Duty and the Injury or Illness

After establishing that the medical professional did indeed preach their duty of care by providing substandard medical care, it must be shown that the substandard care is what caused the patient’s injury or illness. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer will be able to “paint a picture,” so to speak, of the facts of the case for a jury or the insurance carriers. They will show how the substandard care directly or indirectly led to the injury or illness their client sustained.

4. Damages Associated With the Injury or Illness

The last element of a wrongful death claim in Connecticut is showing that the plaintiff sustained some sort of monetary loss as a result of the negligent actions of the medical provider. These losses can include emergency and ongoing medical expenses, lost wages if a victim is unable to work, loss of future earning potential, as well as physical and emotional pain and suffering damages.

Working With an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the negligent actions of a medical provider, we encourage you to contact a skilled medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. These claims are more challenging than typical personal injury cases in civil court, and your attorney will guide you through the entire process, ensuring that you are taken care of every step of the way.