Connecticut Injury Settlements

This page looks a personal injury statistics and sample settlement amounts and jury payouts in Connecticut to give you some sense of the potential range of settlement compensation for your claim in 2024.

Then, our lawyers explain the Connecticut law that matters to you if you are seeking compensation for your injuries.

Personal Injury Payout Statistics

Let’s start with some statistics on personal injury compensation in Connecticut. Statistics like this are extremely interesting… and extremely misleading as we explain in a moment.

The average personal injury verdict at trial in Connecticut is $2,519,637, according to Jury Verdict Research.

This is great ammo if you are a personal injury lawyer trying to trump up the value of your case or if you are a tort reform advocate trying to show that juries are going wild. But this is unbelievably misleading.

The median personal injury verdict in Connecticut is $22,499, less than 10% of the average. Only 4% of verdicts exceed $1 million and I would love to see how many of these verdicts are actually collected. My guess? Less than half. Someone got a $326 million verdict in this study. I didn’t look up the verdict, but somehow I doubt someone wrote a $326 million check.

One more stat- this is an old one but still instructive- the median compensation in personal injury trials in Connecticut is $17,391, and injury victims obtain a financial recovery in 58% of cases that go to trial. This is less than half the national average.

Average verdict statistics are often worthless, yet people are always throwing average numbers out there. I’m as guilty as anyone. I put up a lot of average verdicts statistics than anyone.  They are of great interest to me, other lawyers,  and potential plaintiffs. But these Connecticut statistics underscore that the information is for entertainment purposes only.

Example Connecticut Settlement Amount and Jury Payouts

  • 2024 Connecticut: $15,700,000 Verdict:  A woman tragically suffered cardiorespiratory collapse and severe brain damage during a routine outpatient gastroenterology procedure. She died a month later.  The family blamed the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist for failing to properly monitor vital signs and delayed emergency response. Plaintiffs pretty reasonably sought $2 million to resolve the case.  The defendants want to roll the dice and the jury hit them with a $15.7 million verdict.
  • 2024 Connecticut: $15,000,000 Verdict.  A man exposed to asbestos-contaminated talc while working as a process engineer at a General Electric plant in Massachusetts from 1965 to 1967. The lawsuit claimed the mining company knew about the asbestos contamination and hid the information from regulators and customers. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Vanderbilt Minerals, alleging the company hid the fact that its talc contained asbestos, which caused the man to develop mesothelioma.  A Bridgeport jury awarded his wife $15 million in compensatory damages after just two hours of deliberation.
  • 2024 Connecticut: $5.5 Million Verdict. A 69-year-old man presented at a Stamford hospital emergency room with complaints of diarrhea and abdominal cramping, initially diagnosed with traveler’s diarrhea and discharged. His condition worsened despite repeated visits to the hospital. On his final visit, he was diagnosed with severe chronic mesenteric ischemia—a blockage of an artery in his intestines. Scheduled for surgery, he suffered cardiac arrest and died during the procedure. The lawsuit argued the hospital’s failure to properly diagnose and treat his condition early led to his death. The jury awarded $5.5 million to his family, validating the claims of medical negligence and emphasizing the need for accurate diagnosis and timely medical intervention in emergency care settings.
  • 2024 Connecticut: $14.4 Million Verdict. A  Plymouth man suffered a catastrophic injury during a nuclear stress test. The imaging table collapsed, causing severe injuries to one spouse including damage to the back, neck, and spine. This incident led to further medical complications including a stroke and brain abscess. The verdict found the radiologic technologist fully liable, while the doctor involved was not held responsible. The award covered economic damages, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.
  • 2024 Connecticut: $34.6 Million Verdict.   A couple sought assistance through therapeutic donor-insemination services, leading to a pregnancy with twins. Unbeknownst to the couple, the sperm donor was infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV), a herpes virus that is generally benign in adults but can cause significant complications for fetuses if contracted during early pregnancy, as noted in court documents. This risk was highlighted by the high court, emphasizing the potential for severe fetal health issues from an early pregnancy infection. During a challenging pregnancy, they were informed at 37 weeks that one of the twins, a girl, had passed away in the womb. An emergency cesarean section was performed to deliver both children. The autopsy revealed the daughter’s cause of death was a severe CMV infection, according to the court’s findings. The son was born with extensive health issues, leaving him unable to perform basic functions independently, communicate, or eat without assistance. He requires nutrition through a gastrostomy tube and suffers from global developmental delay, along with cognitive, auditory, and motor impairments. His diagnoses include epilepsy, autism, and cerebral palsy, conditions that will necessitate lifelong care and support. The Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the verdict, denying UConn Health’s argument that the claims were barred by sovereign immunity.
  • 2024 Connecticut: $10 Million Verdict. A Special Olympics gold medalist residing at Oak Hill, a group home for people with disabilities, was found dead in his room due to alleged negligence in care. The resident, who had multiple chronic conditions from an early age, was supposed to have his BiPAP machine monitored every 30 minutes throughout the night to manage sleep apnea. However, the complaint alleged that from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., no checks were conducted. Additionally, it was claimed that the BiPAP machine was malfunctioning and needed replacement—a fact purportedly known to both Oak Hill and Lincare Inc., the machine’s provider. While Lincare was found negligent, they were not deemed the proximate cause of death. The jury awarded $10 million in damages, with $6 million designated as punitive and $4 million as non-economic, recognizing severe breaches under the Connecticut Patient Bill of Rights. The defense did not respond to a $3 million settlement offer, leading to a vigorously contested trial.
  • 2023, Connecticut: $6,500,000 Verdict. A woman with gestational diabetes was admitted to Yale-New Haven at 37 weeks of pregnancy due to abdominal ascites in her unborn baby. Concurrently, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which led to alterations in the baby’s development, causing an enlarged stomach and broader shoulders. These conditions significantly increased the risks of birth complications, including shoulder dystocia. However, the hospital let her deliver the child vaginally. This was a mistake. This oversight culminated in a tragic birthing incident where the baby became stuck in the birth canal, resulting in suffocation and a fractured neck that resulted in her death. A New Haven Superior Court jury awarded $7.5 million.
  • 2022, Connecticut: $1,000,000 Settlement. After being hit by an Amazon delivery van, a motorcycle rider was severely injured, suffering from broken ribs, broken bones in the lower leg, spinal fractures, collapsed lungs, knee injuries, swelling and bruising in the calf, cuts, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, bruises, and headaches. These injuries led to multiple hospital stays and surgeries. The case settled for $1 million.
  • 2022, Connecticut: $167,990 Verdict. A 25-year-old woman was struck on the highway. She was thrown 25 feet onto a stone wall. She lost consciousness. The woman died several hours later. Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit that alleged that the driver’s negligence caused her death. They claimed he failed to watch the road and avoid hitting a pedestrian. The jury awarded $167,990.
  • 2021, Connecticut: $280,000 Verdict. A pedestrian was struck, injuring his neck, back, and wrist. The man underwent a surgical repair. He alleged negligence against the at-fault driver, claiming she failed to control her vehicle and maintain an appropriate lookout. He received a $280,000 verdict.
  • 2021, Connecticut: $126,516 Bench Verdict. A man slipped and fell on his apartment’s stairs. The man suffered the exacerbation of his pre-existing spinal injuries. He also sustained emotional distress. The man alleged negligence against his apartment’s owners. He filed a negligence lawsuit that claimed they failed to inspect, maintain, and repair the stairs. The man received a $125,516 bench verdict.
  • 2021, Connecticut: $45,193 Verdict. A man was bit by a Labrador mix. He suffered facial injuries, including chin lacerations and scars. The man alleged negligence against the dog’s owners. He claimed they failed to restrain it. The man received $45,193.
  • 2021, Connecticut: $75,000 Verdict. A police officer was T-boned. She suffered a right wrist injury and lumbar radiculopathy. The woman alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. She claimed she ran a red light and failed to yield the right-of-way. The woman received a $75,000 verdict.
  • 2021, Connecticut: $126,224 Verdict. A 69-year-old woman was rear-ended. She suffered a disc herniation, bilateral arm paresthesia, and other spinal injuries. The woman alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. She claimed he tailgated her, excessively sped, and failed to maintain an appropriate lookout.
  • 2021, Connecticut: $50,501 Verdict. A tenant slipped and fell over ice in front of the house she rented. She fractured a rib and suffered neck and back injuries. She alleged negligence against the property owners, claiming they failed to remove the ice in front of the property, inspect the premises, and maintain the property. A jury awarded the woman $50,501.
  • 2020, Connecticut: $62,465 Verdict. A woman was rear-ended as she attempted a left turn. She suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck, thorax, and back, which caused radiating pain to her arm. The woman also suffered an undisclosed shoulder injury. She sued the other driver, who disputed the injury’s causation and argued that they were not permanent. The jury awarded her $62,465 verdict.
  • 2019, Connecticut: $19,750,000 Settlement. A 38-year-old woman tragically died eight days after her car, a 2015 Maserati Ghibli, was struck by a 23,000-pound truck near an Interstate 95 ramp in Greenwich. The incident occurred when the truck driver, who is now facing manslaughter charges and is out on bail, allegedly ran a red light and was speeding. The collision caused fatal injuries to the woman, who was returning from her job at a hair salon, and brain damage to her passenger, who settled separately with the insurance carriers. A $19.75 million settlement was reached in favor of the woman’s estate just as the jury at Stamford Superior Court was deliberating. The settlement, to be supervised by the Probate Court, will benefit the woman’s 4-year-old son when he turns 18. The plaintiff’s attorneys successfully demonstrated the truck driver’s negligence and recklessness using eyewitness accounts and data from the truck’s black box, showing the driver was exceeding the speed limit. The defendants, including the truck driver and his employing companies, initially contested the allegations but eventually agreed to settle.
  • 2019, Connecticut: $202,000 Verdict. A man’s vehicle was sideswiped by an uninsured driver who was attempting to pass him. He suffered a spinal disc protrusion. The man also suffered unspecified head, cervical, lumbar, and right arm injuries. He sued his UIM carrier, Liberty Mutual, seeking damages under his UIM policy. Liberty Mutual disputed his claims, arguing that the man had previous job-related injuries and was involved in two prior collisions. The jury awarded the man $202,000.
  • 2019, Connecticut: $82,451 Bench Verdict. A woman was rear-ended as she stopped for traffic ahead of her on an interstate highway. She suffered post-traumatic headaches, disc protrusions, and soft-tissue injuries to her neck, back, and thorax. Her disc protrusion resulted in lumbar radiculopathy. She sued the other driver for following her too closely, driving too fast, failing to keep a proper lookout, and failing to apply his brakes. The judge ruled in favor of the woman, awarding her $82,451 in damages.
  • 2019, Connecticut: $95,514 Verdict. Two men suffered multiple injuries after their vehicle was rear-ended at an intersection. The driver suffered an L4-S1 disc herniation, knee trauma, and a neck injury that caused radiating pain to his shoulders.  He was rated with 12 percent permanent impairment to his entire body and 16 percent partial impairment to his spine. His passenger suffered carpal tunnel syndrome to his right wrist, joint dysfunction at C4-T4, and joint malpositioning at L2-S1. They alleged that the other driver failed to stop at a red light, failed to maintain a reasonable distance, and failed to take evasive action. The jury awarded the two men a $95,514 verdict.
  • 2019, Connecticut: $55,100 Verdict. A man suffered unspecified back and knee injuries after his vehicle was struck by another vehicle attempting to pass him. He sued the other driver for failing to yield right-of-way, driving too fast, and overtaking another vehicle at an unsafe distance. The other driver denied liability and made the same allegations. A jury found the man 15 percent liable and the other driver 85 percent liable. They determined that the damages amounted to $55,100 but were reduced by 15% for comparative negligence to $46,835.
  • 2019, Connecticut: $23,050,000 Verdict. A 12-year-old boy was a school bus passenger. The bus driver swerved to avoid a collision with an unidentifiable vehicle but struck a tree instead. Its impact caused the boy to strike his head several times. He sustained multiple skull fractures and brain bleeds. Medical professionals diagnosed him with a traumatic brain injury. He underwent emergency brain surgery. His injuries negatively affected his behavior. He was transferred out of the public school system as a result. In addition to the bus driver and bus company, the family sued the uninsured motorist carrier for the unidentifiable vehicle’s negligence. The Waterbury County jury determined that the car’s driver was 26 percent liable, while the bus driver and bus company were 74 percent liable. They awarded a $23,050,000 verdict.
  • 2019, Connecticut: $4,600,000 Settlement. A man suffered a traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures after a pickup truck struck his motorcycle. Specifically, he suffered fractures to his knees, shoulder, ribs, legs, and skull. He underwent brain surgery, in which doctors placed shunts. His brain injury caused him to experience cognitive and neurological deficits. He also underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery. Before trial, the case settled for $4,600,000.
  • 2018, Connecticut: $2,271,486 Verdict. A woman slipped and fell on black ice in a parking garage owned by the town of Greenwich. She suffered a concussion and other head injuries. The woman sued the town for failing to remove ice and snow from the town-owned parking garage. The Fairfield County jury awarded her $2,271,486.
  • 2017, Connecticut: $1,000,000 Verdict. A woman suffered unspecified injuries during her acupuncture treatment. She sued her acupuncturist, alleging that he failed to protect her from contacting a heat lamp during the procedure, and left her unattended. The jury awarded her $1,000,000.
  • 2016, Connecticut: $1,300,000 Settlement. A couple’s vehicle was rear-ended by another vehicle, owned by a construction company. The husband sustained an arm fracture and a back injury, while the wife suffered a knee ligament tear and an undisclosed injury. They filed suit in New Britain Superior Court against the driver and his employer. The case settled for $1,300,000.

Do these example lawsuits tell you what the average settlement compensation for your case will be? Of course not. They are just one more tool for gaining a better understanding of what your personal injury or wrongful death claim may be worth.

Each personal injury case is unique. That sounds trite, but it is true.  So you cannot use these example Connecticut settlements and verdicts to calculate your expected payout.

The amount awarded or offered in a settlement in a personal injury case will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case, as well as the amount of damages suffered by the plaintiff. Still, seeing settlement and jury payouts gives you a better feel for the potential range of values.

Connecticut Personal Injury Law

Below is a summary outline of Connecticut law on torts, which includes personal injury and medical malpractice cases.

Connecticut Car Accident Law

Connecticut follows a fault-based system for car accidents. This means that the person who is found to be at fault for causing an accident is responsible for the damages. Victims can pursue compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance, their own insurance, or through personal injury lawsuits.

Minimum Insurance Requirements

Connecticut law requires all drivers to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance. As of my last update, these minimums were $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for total bodily injury per accident if multiple people are injured, and $25,000 for property damage. Drivers are also required to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This coverage protects drivers in the event they are involved in an accident with a driver who either lacks insurance or whose insurance is insufficient to cover the damages. This coverage is crucial as it provides financial protection against drivers who are uninsured.

No Stacking

But underinsured motorist coverage in Connecticut is not meant to guarantee full reimbursement for injuries nor to ensure maximum policy payouts. It’s designed to provide the same level of resources to an insured individual as if the at-fault party possessed liability insurance equal to the insured’s underinsured motorist coverage.

Connecticut does not allow “stacking” of uninsured motorist coverage. Stacking is a practice where a person involved in an accident combines the uninsured motorist coverage limits from multiple policies to increase the total available coverage. In Connecticut, you can only claim up to the limit of the coverage on one policy.

Every auto insurance policy issued in Connecticut must include uninsured motorist coverage that matches the policy’s liability limits unless explicitly rejected by the insured, which you do not see very often.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 38-175c mandates that for a vehicle to be considered underinsured, the insured’s uninsured motorist coverage limits must exceed the total liability limits of the tortfeasor’s vehicle. This law aims to provide the insured who is injured in an accident with the same level of resources they would have had if the tortfeasor had maintained liability insurance equal to the insured’s uninsured motorist coverage. Essentially, an underinsured motor vehicle is defined as one where the applicable liability limits are less than the injured person’s uninsured motorist limits. Consequently, underinsured motorist coverage does not apply if the insured person’s uninsured motorist limits are equal to or less than the tortfeasor’s liability limits.

Applying Conn. Gen. Stat. § 38a-336 involves two steps. Initially, it must be determined if the tortfeasor’s vehicle qualifies as underinsured according to the statute’s definition. If it does qualify, the applicable underinsured motorist coverage becomes effective, and the compensation amount to be awarded to the victim is then calculated by the finder of fact. This step is crucial as it outlines the judicial process required to ascertain and apply the relevant coverage following the established legal precedent.

Broad Coverage

Coverage in Connecticut extends to all “insured” individuals under the policy. This includes the named policyholder, other drivers listed in the policy, and family members residing in the same household, provided they are considered “insured” under the policy.

Connecticut wants injury victims to have coverage.  So, the law and the courts both work to that end.  Connecticut courts have interpreted UM coverage to apply broadly.  Statutory construction and judicial decisions interpreting Connecticut’s statutory scheme favor extending comprehensive coverage under uninsured motorists provisions.

Accordingly, there is often insurance coverage where you would not intuitively expect coverage. It applies to insured individuals regardless of whether they are occupants of a vehicle at the time of the accident, so it can extend to pedestrians, hit-and-run victims, and cyclists. This interpretation aims to ensure that insured parties receive consistent protection under their UM coverage, similar to the protection they would have under liability coverage if the roles were reversed and the insured was the at-fault party.

Connecticut Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

In Connecticut, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system (Connecticut General Statutes section 52-584). This means that you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date when the injury occurred to seek compensation for damages.

However, Connecticut also recognizes the discovery rule, which may extend this period. Under the discovery rule, if the injury was not immediately known or could not reasonably have been discovered, the statute of limitations may start from the time the injury was discovered or should have been discovered with reasonable diligence. This rule acknowledges that some injuries, particularly those related to medical malpractice, might not be apparent immediately. Therefore, if an injury is discovered after the initial two-year period, you may still have the opportunity to file a lawsuit, provided it is within three years of the date of the act or omission that caused the injury.

When someone passes away due to another’s negligence, the statute of limitations typically allows for the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit within two years from the date of death, but this period cannot exceed five years from the date the negligent act occurred.

Connecticut Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations

Like many states, Connecticut recently passed new laws revising the applicable statute of limitations for civil lawsuits involving child sex abuse. Under CT’s new laws, victims of child sexual abuse that occurred before October 2019 have until their 48th birthday to file a civil lawsuit.

For cases where the child sexual abuse occurred after October 1, 2019, the victim has until their 51st birthday to file suit.  Connecticut law holds entities like schools, churches, and other organizations liable if they negligently hire, supervise, or retain an employee who perpetrates abuse.

With the new changes to the sex abuse statute of limitations,  these institutions can face suits even if the abuse occurred a long time ago. When the victim of the sexual abuse or assault is an adult, the general statute of limitation applies.

Connecticut Discovery Rule

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations.  The most common is the discovery rule.  The time frame for taking legal action due to someone’s negligence starts on the day the harm is noticed, or when someone reasonably should have noticed it. This is outlined in the Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 4-148(a) and 52-584. When they talk about “injury,” they mean a harm that allows you to take legal action, or “actionable harm.”  Actionable harm happens when the victim realizes, or should have realized, they’ve been wronged.

For something to be legally wrong, two main things have to be in place: the wrongdoer failed to act properly, and that failure directly caused harm to the victim.

Be careful assuming you have more time than the statute of limitations because of the discovery rule.  But usually when people think the discovery rule applies, it does not.  Talk to a lawyer as soon as you can.

Connecticut Statute of Repose

Connecticut’s general statute of repose for product liability claims is ten years from the date the party last parted with possession or control of the product.  This rule is codified in Connecticut General Statutes § 52-577a.

The statute essentially provides a time limit on bringing product liability claims, regardless of when the injury or harm is discovered.  Under Connecticut General Statute § 52-584, the statute of limitations can be extended through the legal principles of continuous behavior and fraudulent concealment.

Comparative Negligence in Connecticut

Connecticut adheres to a modified comparative negligence rule under Connecticut General Statutes section 52-572h. This legal framework is designed to allocate damages in proportion to each party’s degree of fault in a personal injury case. If the plaintiff is found partially responsible for their injury, the total compensation awarded will be reduced by the percentage of their fault.

For example, if a plaintiff is awarded $1,000,000 in damages but is found to be 20% at fault, their compensation will be reduced by 20%, resulting in a final award of $800,000. However, if the plaintiff is found to be 51% or more at fault, they are barred from recovering any damages from the other party. This rule encourages fairness by ensuring that plaintiffs can only recover damages if their level of fault is less than that of the defendants.

Connecticut’s comparative negligence law applies to various types of personal injury claims, including automobile accidents, medical malpractice, and slip and fall cases. The objective is to ensure that liability is distributed equitably based on the specific circumstances of each case.

Connecticut Collateral Source Rule

In Connecticut, the collateral source rule (outlined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-225a) mandates that the court deduct any collateral source payments from the total amount of economic damages awarded. “Collateral sources” are defined as payments made either directly to the claimant or on their behalf. These can be from health or sickness insurance, auto accident insurance offering health benefits, and other similar insurance benefits, excluding life insurance. They can also come from any agreement or contract from entities that pay for or cover the cost of healthcare services (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-225b). However, the awarded settlement itself is not considered a collateral source. There are two notable exceptions:

The award for economic damages won’t be reduced by collateral sources if there’s a subrogation right.

The award also won’t be reduced by collateral sources that correspond to a reduction in the plaintiff’s economic damages due to their own percentage of negligence (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-225a(a)).

Limits on What Your Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyer Can Charge You

In Connecticut, attorney’s fees for personal injury cases generally adhere to a structured percentage system based on the gross recovery amount. Initially, the legal fees are set at thirty-three percent (33%) of the gross recovery for any award, verdict, or settlement. However, for recoveries exceeding $300,000, the percentages adjust as follows:

  • Twenty-five percent (25%) for amounts over $300,000 up to $600,000.
  • Twenty percent (20%) for the next $300,000.
  • Fifteen percent (15%) for the following $300,000.
  • Ten percent (10%) for any amount above $1,200,000.

Connecticut regularly allow for a “Statutory Waiver Agreement” in complex cases and our firm has done this in birth injury lawsuits in Connecticut.  This agreement waives the standard fee limitations, potentially allowing attorneys to claim up to 33% of the gross amount recovered, under specific complex circumstances that warrant deviation from the standard fee schedule.

Such circumstances may include complex medical or legal issues like you see in birth injury case that require extensive discovery and expert witness testimony. This waiver must meet strict criteria to be valid, including a written agreement and acknowledgment by the claimant before a notary public or authorized individual​.

Joint and Several Liability

In cases with multiple defendants, each defendant may be liable for the full amount of damages. This is known as joint and several liability, and it allows the plaintiff to recover the full amount of damages from any defendant, regardless of their individual percentage of fault.

You can sue multiple people or groups for the same injury, whether together or separately, and get judgments against each of them. This approach aims to ensure that the injured party is compensated.

However, even if there are multiple judgments, you can only be compensated once for the same loss. In simpler terms, you can’t double-dip and get paid twice for the same harm. Typically, once you’ve been fully paid for the damage, the matter is settled.

Medical Malpractice

Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim in Connecticut

To succeed in a medical malpractice lawsuit, A Connecticut plaintiff must demonstrate: (1) the appropriate standard of care for the treatment, (2) a breach of that standard, and (3) a direct link between the breach and the injuries sustained.

Just like any other negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit in Connecticut case must prove proximate cause and damages, along with a violation of the professional duty of care. Damages must be quantified with reasonable certainty and should not be based on mere speculation or conjecture.

Connecticut Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

For medical malpractice claims, Connecticut also follows a two-year statute of limitations. However, this starts from the date the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered, but no later than three years from the date of the act or omission complained of (Connecticut General Statutes section 52-584).

Expert Required in Malpractice Lawsuit

In Connecticut, to bring a medical malpractice claim, an expert’s opinion is typically required. The plaintiff must obtain a written, signed opinion from a qualified healthcare provider indicating that there seems to be evidence of medical negligence. This is known as a Certificate of Good Faith.

This is codified under General Statutes §52-190a, which mandates specific procedural requirements that must be met when initiating a medical malpractice lawsuit in Connecticut. The key elements of this statute are the requirement to attach a “good faith certificate” and a detailed opinion letter authored by a “similar healthcare provider,” which can be a battleground for malpractice lawyers in determining who is qualified to testify.  Let’s break down the two key elements of the statute:

  1. Good Faith Certificate:  In Connecticut, before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, an attorney must obtain a written opinion from a “similar healthcare provider” indicating that there is a good faith belief that there was medical negligence on the part of the healthcare professional. This is codified in Connecticut General Statutes § 52-190a. This “Certificate of Good Faith” is an important initial hurdle to ensure that only meritorious claims proceed.
  2. Opinion Letter from a Similar Healthcare Provider: Alongside the good faith certificate, the plaintiff must also file an opinion letter from a healthcare provider who holds a valid license and is trained in the same specialty as the defendant. This healthcare provider should ideally also be practicing or knowledgeable about the standards practiced in the same community as the defendant. The opinion letter must detail the ways in which the standard of care was breached and how this breach resulted in harm to the patient.

You cannot blow by these requirements. They are strictly enforced. The failure to attach either a good faith certificate or a comprehensive and compliant opinion letter from a similar healthcare provider at the time of filing is grounds for dismissal of the malpractice lawsuit.

What Is Medical Malpractice and What Is Not?

Defining what medical malpractice is can be a tricky. So the question often arises whether the negligence is medical malpractice or just negligence.  In ambiguous situations where it’s unclear if a claim falls under medical malpractice, three key questions are considered to determine its nature:  (1) are the defendants being sued in their capacities as medical professionals, (2) is the alleged negligence of a specialized medical nature that arises out of the medical professional-patient relationship, and (3) is the alleged negligence substantially related to medical diagnosis or treatment and does it involve the exercise of medical judgment?

Connecticut Malpractice Cap

Connecticut does not have a cap or limit on the damages that can be awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Connecticut Informed Consent Law

In Connecticut, informed consent law requires healthcare providers to ensure that patients are fully informed about the risks and implications of medical procedures they might undergo. This involves a clear communication process where healthcare providers must disclose all relevant information that might influence a patient’s decision to undergo a procedure. The information typically includes the nature of the procedure, the expected benefits, potential risks, and alternative treatments available.

The law emphasizes the necessity for patients to understand this information to make an informed decision about their medical care. It’s not enough for healthcare providers to merely provide the information; they must also ensure that the patient comprehends it to the extent necessary to make a knowledgeable decision.

If a healthcare provider fails to obtain informed consent adequately, it can lead to legal implications under medical malpractice claims. This aspect of the law is designed to protect patient autonomy, allowing individuals to make voluntary and informed choices about their healthcare based on a full understanding of their options and the risks involved.

Birth Injury

If your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, it’s essential to act swiftly. Connecticut has a shorter leash than most states in birth injury lawsuits. You have two years from the date the injury is discovered—or reasonably should have been discovered—to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is referred to as the “discovery of harm rule.” However, this rule extends the statute of limitations by only one additional year.  So you only have a maximum of three years from the discovery of the injury to initiate a birth injury claim. The problem is that you often do not know if a child has a birth injury in the first three years.

The Connecticut Supreme Court has acknowledged that there is a legal basis for claims of bystander emotional distress stemming from incidents of medical malpractice. So when a fetus or infant sustains physical injuries due to medical malpractice during labor and delivery, the birthing mother is also considered a victim of the malpractice and is entitled to compensation for emotional distress resulting from the incident.

What about loss of consortium claims for child’s injuries? There is no Supreme Court ruling, but most lower courts have rejected the extension of filial consortium claims to parents, maintaining that the unique responsibilities and legal duties from parents to minor children do not exist reciprocally from children to parents and thus do not support a cause of action for loss of filial consortium.

What Is the Average Malpractice Payout in Connecticut?

The average payout for a successful malpractice lawsuit in Connecticut is $782,993.

There are pretty large medical malpractice settlements in Connecticut malpractice lawsuits because the juries are generally reasonable and there is no cap on jury payouts. This leaves malpractice insurers fearing a large verdict.

Who Are the Largest Malpractice Insurers in Connecticut?

MCIC, VT, ProSelect Insurance Company, and Connecticut Medical Insurance Company (CMIC), have two-thirds of Connecticut’s medical malpractice insurance market.

Connecticut Product Liability and Mass Tort Cases

There are a number of national mass torts or “class actions” that involve hundreds of Connecticut plaintiffs, including claims our law firm is handling across the country:

  • Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit: The opioid dependency drug Suboxone causes severe tooth decay. Lawsuits are now being filed alleging that the manufacturer failed to warn about this problem.
  • Bard PowerPort Lawsuit: Infection and other complications from using this port
  • Camp Lejeune lawsuit: A new law allowed individuals exposed to the toxic water at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina to file compensation claims.

Hiring a Lawyer for Your Connecticut Injury Claim

Our firm is dedicated to handling serious injury and wrongful death victims in Connecticut. How does our service work when you hire us? We collaborate with and compensate Connecticut lawyers for the fees we collect as attorneys. So you are getting two lawyers for the price of one, and we are picking the best Connecticut personal attorney we can to help us.  This ensures you have great lawyers.

This next part is important – you do not incur any extra fees or costs to engage two law firms rather than just one. Moreover, you only pay a fee if you are awarded settlement compensation or a jury verdict in your favor.

You can get a free no-obligation consultation online or call us today at 800-553-8082.

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