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Connecticut Medical Malpractice Attorneys Explain Malpractice Law and the Good Faith Certificate Requirement in Connecticut.

Peter J. Bartinik, Jr.
Civil Trial Attorney, Practicing Law in Connecticut

Connecticut Medical Malpractice Attorneys Explain Malpractice Law and the Good Faith Certificate Requirement in Connecticut. 

If you are interested in this article you will like the two links below.
1.The first thing to do to review you medical malpractice case.
2.What is the good faith certificate, and the purpose of it.

 

 

 

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a term for negligence by a medical professional.   In Connecticut, as in most states, it is defined as professional negligence by act or omission when the medical professional falls below the standard of care in the medical community for that professional.  Of course, that act or omission must also cause harm to the patient. 

What is the specific rule or statute that states what a plaintiff needs to prove in a Connecticut medical malpractice lawsuit?

In a Connecticut medical malpractice case, as stated in Connecticut General Statute § 52-184c(a), the plaintiff must prove “that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider. The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.”

In a sentence, this means that the doctor’s care fell below what was recognized as acceptable and appropriate by a reasonably prudent similar doctor. 

What are the particular requirements that exist in Connecticut that must be satisfied before you file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Superior Court, in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, before you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit you must do two things:  Prepare a:

(1) “good faith certificate,” and

(2) get an “opinion letter” from a “similar health care provider”. 

The “good faith certificate” is the lawyer’s formal statement stating that the lawyer has a good faith belief that medical malpractice has occurred.

The good faith certificate is the lawyer’s written statement that the lawyer has investigated the merits of the case, and can conclude, in good faith, that medical malpractice has occurred.  The lawyer is obviously not a doctor.  The lawyer is not formally trained in medicine.  Then how does the lawyer support for his good faith certificate.  That support is found in the opinion letter from a similar health care provider, which is discussed next.

The opinion letter from a similar health care provider is the lawyer basis for his good faith belief that medical malpractice has occurred. 

The opinion letter is distinctly separate from the good faith certificate, but the good faith certificate is useless without the opinion letter.  An opinion letter is a written opinion from a “similar health care provider” that malpractice has occurred.  It must be in writing.  It must be attached to the good faith certificate.  The lawyer must retain the opinion letter in his files.  

If the defendant doctor is a specialist, then you must have an opinion letter from a specialist.  If the defendant doctor is not a specialist, then you must have an opinion letter from a similar doctor who holds the same license as the defendant.

How are medical malpractice cases decided in Eastern, Connecticut? 

Medical malpractice cases are decided in a Court of law.  In Connecticut, they start with a lawsuit and end with either a settlement, or a decision by the jury.  In Eastern, Connecticut, east of the Connecticut River, are three Counties:  New London, County; Windham County; and Tolland County.   Most of those cases will be filed in the Connecticut Superior Courts.

In a medical malpractice trial in Connecticut, what are the types of things that must be proven?

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s medical treatment fell below the standard of care for similar doctors under the circumstances, and that the medical malpractice caused the plaintiff harm.   The plaintiff has the burden of proof.

For questions about Connecticut medical malpractice lawsuits, contact the lawyers at The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, Connecticut.  Call 860-445-8521 or toll free at 888-717-4211.


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