What is a Claim for Medical Malpractice and How Does It Differ From an Ordinary Personal Injury Claim?

A legal claim for medical malpractice is a civil action seeking money damages because a medical provider was negligent in providing medical care or treatment. A claim for medical malpractice is a claim in negligence applying the principles of tort law. In such a claim, an injured person (or the estate of a deceased person) alleges that a medical provider deviated from the standard of care expected of a similar medical provider by doing something that should not have been done or by failing to do something that should have been done.

What distinguishes malpractice cases from ordinary negligence cases is the professional standard of care and the need for expert testimony. In fact, this distinction has been codified in medical malpractice cases in Connecticut General Statute Section 52-184c, which provides in part: "In any civil action to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death ... in which it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the negligence of a health care provider ... the claimant shall have the burden of proving by the preponderance of the evidence that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider." This statute codifies long established common law standards.

Accordingly, to prevail in a medical malpractice action in Connecticut, a plaintiff must prove (1) the requisite standard of care for treatment; (2) a deviation from that standard of care; and (3) a causal connection or relationship between that deviation and the injury. Moreover, each of these elements must be proven through expert testimony. Pisel v. Stamford Hospital, 180 Conn. 314, 334, 430 A.2d 1 (1980); see also Samose v. Hammer-Passero Norwalk Chiropractic Group, P.C., 24 Conn. App. 99, 102-103, 586 A.2d 614, cert. denied, 218 Conn. 903, 588 A.2d 1079 (1991).

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or loss caused by medical malpractice, medical negligence, or medical mistake, please contact our MedicalMalpractice.Pro Team to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

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