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Death from medical malpractice in Connecticut

Sudden accidents or crimes are not the only causes of death that lead to lawsuits. Medical care, even in routine situations, may result in the loss of a loved one. Family members in Connecticut may file a wrongful death action for medical malpractice.

However, simply because an injury or other problem occurred after a medical procedure does not indicate malpractice. Plaintiffs must prove the requisite standard of care existed, that a deviation from the standard of care occurred and show a causal connection between the deviation from the standard of care and the injury claimed in the lawsuit.

The standard of care for a healthcare provider defending against a lawsuit is the level of care, skill and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized by reasonably prudent and similar healthcare providers as being acceptable and appropriate. Expert testimony is usually required to establish the governing standard of care and whether the doctor breached that standard.

When commencing a medical malpractice action, plaintiffs must attach a certificate to their complaint that reasonable inquiry gave rise to a good faith belief that grounds existed for the lawsuit. This certificate has to be supported by a signed opinion by a healthcare provider indicating that there may be negligence and containing a detailed basis for that opinion.

Healthcare providers have defenses against medical malpractice cases. They may claim that the decedent was also negligent or that other parties are responsible. Healthcare providers may also claim that they are not liable under a Good Samaritan law.

Time periods restrict the time in which a medical malpractice case may be filed. Families of a deceased patient should get the right information in order to assure that their rights are protected in a lawsuit and that the numerous legal and expert obstacles in these cases are surmounted.

Source: Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries, "Medical malpractice in Connecticut," assessed Aug. 25, 2014

Source: Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries, "Medical malpractice in Connecticut," assessed Aug. 25, 2014

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