Waterbury Medical Malpractice Attorneys
We trust doctors with our lives. When they break that trust through carelessness or incompetence, the consequences can be severe.
Medical mistakes can cause significant harm to patients, often requiring additional expensive procedures to correct the mistake. In some cases, medical errors can cause irreparable damage to a person’s well-being. The experienced Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi have recovered millions in compensation on behalf of clients who have suffered due to medical malpractice. As an accomplished personal injury law firm, D’Amico & Pettinicchi has decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured patients. Firm partner Mike D’Amico is the president of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association and serves on the organization’s Medical Malpractice Committee. He has also been included among The Best Lawyers in America® for medical malpractice.
Call (866) 848-7077 for a free consultation. We do not get paid unless you do.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional, such as a doctor, nurse, medical assistant or other professional, acts in a negligent or reckless way and causes a patient to suffer an injury, the worsening of a medical condition or death.
The circumstances of how this happens can vary greatly from case to case. However, in all cases the medical professional failed to act within the accepted standards of medical care.
In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for an injury from medical negligence, our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys must gather evidence to show that:
A Doctor/Patient Relationship Existed
To file a medical malpractice claim, we must be able to show that you were a patient of the medical professional who caused you harm. This means that you hired the medical professional to provide you with care and the medical professional agreed to treat you. Claims can only be filed for malpractice that occurred within the scope of employment.
The Medical Professional Owed You a Duty of Care
Physicians have a legal obligation to perform their duties with consistency within the accepted standards of the medical community. This means that a medical professional must act as others with similar training would under the same conditions.
The Medical Professional Breached His or Her Duty
For a medical professional to be considered negligent, our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys must prove that he or she violated the duty of care that was owed to the patient. This means that the medical professional did not act as others would have in a similar situation.
Your Injuries Were Caused by the Breached Duty
Causation is a key element in proving a malpractice case. We must be able to provide evidence that shows that your injuries were directly caused by the professional’s breach of duty.
The defense will likely try to argue that your injuries were caused by something else or may try to blame you for not following through with treatment. Our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys will utilize medical records and testimony from medical experts to show the exact cause of your injury.
Your Injuries Caused You to Suffer Damages
In order to obtain compensation, you must have suffered damages from your injuries. This includes medical bills and other expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact D’Amico & Pettinicchi for more information.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical negligence can include a variety of medical errors, such as:
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
As patients, we rely on the expertise of medical professionals to tell us when we are suffering from an injury or illness. If a doctor fails to diagnose, misdiagnoses or delays the diagnosis of a condition, it can have life-threatening consequences. This type of error most often occurs because of a failure to:
- Listen to the patient and examine the symptoms a patient is experiencing
- Examine a patient’s medical history
- Order the proper tests
- Interpret tests correctly
Emergency Room Errors
Despite the hectic environment of emergency rooms, medical professionals must still uphold the standards of the medical community. This can be even more important given that patients in the emergency room are suffering from severe injuries that require immediate care.
Negligence in the emergency room can occur if a medical professional:
- Misreads medical tests or x-rays
- Fails to recognize and address the symptoms of a patient
- Makes serious errors during surgery or other medical procedures
- Misdiagnoses or delays the diagnosis of a life-threatening condition
- Makes medication errors
Surgery is a very precise procedure that requires the surgeon and other involved medical professionals to act with the highest standard of care. Any error during the surgical process can have severe consequences. Some common surgical errors that result from negligence include operating on the wrong body part, causing injury to another body part during surgery or leaving medical tools inside a patient.
If a medical professional, including a nurse, doctor or pharmacist, is negligent in prescribing or administering medication, he or she can be held liable for any resulting injuries. Medication errors commonly occur as a result of:
- Prescribing or administering the wrong drug or wrong dosage
- Giving medications that interact negatively together
- Not taking into account a patient’s allergies
Anesthesia can have serious consequences if it is not administered correctly. Our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys can help you hold accountable a medical professional who caused harm by incorrectly administering anesthesia. Negligence in administering anesthesia can include:
- Using the wrong drug
- Failing to check a patient’s allergies
- Failing to monitor a patient’s vital signs
- Administering too little or too much of the drug
A patient’s care does not end once surgery or treatment is over. A medical professional’s negligence during post-operative care can lead to dangerous infections and other conditions, such as sepsis, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), blood clots and internal bleeding.
If a medical professional fails to monitor a patient and his or her vital signs and symptoms, he or she can be held liable if an injury occurs.
In some cases, a hospital can also be held liable for the negligence of its employees. It is the hospital’s responsibility to ensure that its employees have the necessary qualifications, certifications, education and experience for their position. Any failure to do this can be grounds for legal action.
However, many doctors in hospitals are contracted with the hospital and are not employees of the facility. In this case, the hospital is not liable for the doctor’s actions.
The Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi have the skills and resources to hold medical professionals and hospitals accountable for the harm they cause to patients through negligence. We will work to gather the evidence needed to prove that malpractice caused your injuries.
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Filing a Medical Negligence Lawsuit in Connecticut
If you believe that you have a case, you should contact our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys as soon as possible so we can investigate your claim and begin the process for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
When filing a medical malpractice claim, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-190a(a) requires that a certificate of good faith and a written opinion from a medical expert be included with the filing paperwork to demonstrate that there is evidence to believe that malpractice occurred.
Certificate of Good Faith
The attorney or party filing the initial complaint, or documents required for filing a lawsuit, must submit a certificate of good faith stating that the attorney has conducted a reasonable inquiry into the claim and determined that there are grounds to believe that the medical professional was negligent in the care of the patient.
If the court finds that a certificate was not made in good faith and that the medical professional acted as he or she should have and fully cooperated with the process, the court can require that the attorney or filing party who signed the certificate pay the other party for reasonable expenses associated with the filing.
Medical Expert Written Opinion
To demonstrate that a claim is made in good faith, the filing attorney must obtain a written opinion from a healthcare provider in a similar role to the one whom the claim will be filed against. The opinion must provide details as to why he or she thinks negligence appears to have occurred.
Our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys have strong relationships with many medical experts in the Waterbury area and will handle the details of obtaining and submitting these documents to the court when we file your claim.
Call (866) 848-7077 for help from our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys.
Deadlines for Filing a Claim
Connecticut has strict deadlines for filing medical malpractice claims. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-584 requires that all personal injury claims, including those resulting from medical malpractice, be filed within two years of when the injury first occurred or when the patient discovered the injury, but no longer than three years from when the act occurred.
If medical malpractice resulted in death, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-555 states that all claims must be filed within two years of the date of the death.
If these deadlines pass, you will not be able to file a claim or obtain compensation.
The only situation in which these deadlines can be extended is once the complaint, certificate of good faith and medical expert opinion have been filed with the court. At this point, an automatic extension of 90 days will be added to the statute of limitations to allow a reasonable investigation into the claim.
You have two years to file a claim. Do not wait to contact our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys.
Compensation from Medical Malpractice Claims
Personal injury lawsuits like medical malpractice claims use monetary compensation to attempt to make the injury victim whole again, or as close as possible to the position he or she was in before the injury.
Victims may be entitled to recover payment for the economic and noneconomic damages they have suffered.
Economic damages are awarded as compensation for the monetary losses and expenses that were incurred or will be incurred as a result of an individual’s injuries. This can include:
- Medical care and expenses – A victim is entitled to reimbursement for the reasonable medical expenses for the treatment of injuries he or she sustained. These expenses must be reasonably necessary and directly linked to injuries from negligence. This can include additional surgeries, doctors’ appointments and other healthcare costs.
- Lost wages and other income – If your injury prevented you from being able to work for any amount of time, you may be able to recover compensation for the wages you lost during your missed time at work.
- Lost earning capacity – If your injury prevents you from returning to the same kind or work or any other type of work, you may be able to recover compensation for lost earning capacity. This will take into account the wages you would have earned in the future if the at-fault party had not been negligent and caused you harm. This also includes the additional income that you earn through your work, such as pension contributions.
- Funeral and death expenses – If you lost a loved one from medical negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for funeral costs and other monetary expenses associated with the death and burial of your loved one.
Noneconomic damages are awarded as compensation for the non-monetary expenses that were suffered or will be incurred as a result of your injuries. These damages are not as easy to calculate, but can include:
- Physical pain and suffering – It may be possible to recover compensation for the suffering and discomfort you have experienced as a result of the malpractice or the injuries you sustained.
- Mental distress and suffering – In some situations, another’s negligence can cause a victim to suffer mental anguish or psychological trauma. This type of compensation can be awarded for victims who experience anxiety, depression, insomnia and more.
- Permanent impairment or loss of function – A permanent impairment will have a lasting effect on an individual’s life. For this reason, it may be possible to recover compensation if your injury is permanently debilitating and leads to a loss of function.
- Disfigurement – A judge and jury will consider the effects permanent scarring and disfigurement will have on a victim’s life.
- Loss of life’s enjoyment – You may be able to recover compensation if your injuries prevent you from being able to enjoy the day-to-day activities and hobbies you enjoyed before your injury.
- Loss of consortium – This type of damage attempts to compensate a victim for the effects an injury has on his or her relationship with a spouse and other family members. This can include loss of companionship, emotional support, comfort, dependence, affection and more.
In rare cases involving reckless indifference for the rights of others or intentional or malicious actions, a judge or jury can award punitive damages. In Connecticut, these damages are limited to the costs of litigation and attorneys’ fees.
Our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys have recovered millions on behalf of injured patients and know how to build a case that will help you recover the maximum compensation you are entitled for your injuries.
Call (866) 848-7077 to find out if you are entitled to compensation.
Connecticut’s Contributory Negligence Rule
Like many states, Connecticut follows a modified contributory negligence rule. As outlined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-572h, this means an individual can recover compensation from a personal injury lawsuit so long as that individual was not more than 50 percent responsible for causing his or her injury.
However, the individual’s compensation award will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault in causing his or her injuries. For instance, if a victim was seeking $100,000 but was found to be 20 percent liable for his or her injuries, he or she will only be able to recover $80,000.
In a medical negligence case, an individual could be considered negligent in contributing to his or her injuries if he or she failed to follow through on a doctor’s orders for treatment or medical care.
In an effort to reduce their payout, the at-fault party and his or her insurance company will likely try to push as much blame on the victim as possible. Having our experienced Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys by your side can help ensure you are not blamed for more than your share of fault. We are committed to helping you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
No Cost to You Unless We Win
Medical malpractice lawsuits are often some of the most expensive types of personal injury cases to represent as they require in-depth investigations and the expertise of medical experts.
However, as an accomplished personal injury law firm, D’Amico & Pettinicchi has the resources to handle these types of cases. Our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys have decades of experience recovering millions in medical malpractice cases throughout Waterbury and the State of Connecticut.
Furthermore, because our medical malpractice lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, we cover all of the expenses associated with building, negotiating and trying your case. We charge you nothing unless we recover compensation for you, at which point we will only charge a percentage of your recovery.
Call (866) 848-7077 for a free, no obligation consultation.
Contact Our Waterbury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today
If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of medical negligence, you need the skilled representation of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. At D’Amico & Pettnicchi, our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys have decades of experience representing injury victims throughout the area.
Our team has recovered millions in verdicts and settlements against negligent healthcare providers, including:
- $2.7 million settlement for a woman who suffered injuries from surgical malpractice
- $1.4 million settlement for a man who died as a result of dental and internal medicine negligence
- $1.2 million settlement for a failure to diagnose a bowel obstruction
We are members of the Waterbury Bar Association and are committed to fighting for the justice our clients deserve.
Contact our Waterbury medical malpractice attorneys today for a free, no obligation consultation to determine if you have a case. If you do, we will charge no costs unless we recover compensation for your claim.