Q What is a similar health provider in a Connecticut medical malpractice case?
Why is a similar heath provider important?
The rule is Connecticut is that you must get pre-approval before you file a medical malpractice lawsuit. A "similar health provider" important because the similar health provider is the only person who can give you that approval. They are like a gate-keeper. This is the rule: Before you file your medical malpractice lawsuit you must have your case reviewed by a doctor who possesses experience sufficiently similar to the defendant doctor, and your reviewing doctor must give you a written opinion that there is a good faith belief that medical malpractice occurred. Therefore, a similar health provider is important because they are absolutely essential to your case. Without their opinion that you have a case, you can't bring it. This rule is designed to prevent frivolous lawsuits.
What is a similar health provider?
A "similar health provider" is defined by statute, and the term's meaning has been explained further in caselaw. It is important to double check the statute each time you review a case. Essentially, if the defendant doctor is a specialist or board certified, then the similar health provider must also be a specialist in the same specialty and must also be board certified. If the defendant doctor is not a specialist, then the similar health provider must be licensed by the appropriate licencing authority, and must be trained in the same discipline as the defendant doctor and such training must be from the active involvement in the practice or teaching of medicine in the last five years.
What does this mean for you when you perform and initial case assessment?
The rule that requires a good faith certificate from a similar health providers means that you must do two things early on in your case. First, you must make sure that you know what kind of doctor you defendant doctor is. This is sometimes a challenge for various reasons. Second, you must make sure your expert reviewing doctors is the same kind of doctor.
Where to find help?
If you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice that has resulted in a serious or life altering injury or condition you can contact the medical malpractice lawyers at The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C. for help. We handle cases statewide. Our office is in Groton, Connecticut at 100 Fort Hill Road, Ste. 2, Groton, Connecticut. Our phone number is 860-445-8521 or 888-717-4211.