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How Bad Does my Doctor Have to Mess up Before I Can Sue?

Posted On behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jun 16, 2014 in Medical Malpractice

Earlier this month, a jury awarded a Connecticut woman $12 million in a medical malpractice case involving allegations that the doctor made an error during surgery which caused her to go into a coma and sustain permanent injuries. The injury, clearly, was quite serious, as is the award, and provides a good example of the kind of damage medical error can lead to.

Medical error isn’t always as big as it is in this case, though. In many cases, medical error actually has insignificant consequences, so much so that physicians may not even choose to inform the patient of the error. All of this raises the question: when does medical error rise to the level of medical negligence? This is a good question, and is critical to consider before deciding to take a medical malpractice claim to court.  

Under Connecticut law, a plaintiff must be able to prove that the health care provider acted in a way that constituted a breach of the professional standard of care generally recognized as applying to that kind of health care provider. In making a determination of whether the physician’s actions meet the standard, the particular circumstances of the case have to be considered.

In medical malpractice cases, it is common for both the plaintiff and defendant to call expert witnesses to testify regarding the standard of care. This can sometimes result in evidentiary disputes regarding what testimony may be admitted at trial.

Breach of duty is an important element of medical malpractice cases, but it surely isn’t the only element.  In all of this, of course, it is absolutely critical to work with an injury attorney experienced in handling medical malpractice cases to ensure the best possible outcome.