Archive for July, 2015

New Bill Would Increase Amtrak Crash Cap Law

July 16th, 2015 at 11:31 am

mass transit accident,  Westport Personal Injury Attorney, Amtrak Crash Cap LawIn 1997, the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act was enacted into law. This law caps the damages, which can be paid to victims who are injured or families who have lost loved ones in Amtrak train crashes, to $200 million per crash.

Debate over the law has resurfaced following the horrific Amtrak train crash which occurred in Philadelphia. On May 12th, a northbound train went flying off the track as it turned a curve. According to investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), in the minute right before the train derailed, its speed accelerated from 70 mph to 100 mph, even though the speed limit at the location of the crash is only 50 mph.

The engineer who was driving the train has told investigators he does not remember the moments leading up to the crash. There had been reports that the engineer was on his cell phone when the crash happened, but the NTSB recently released a statement saying their investigation has concluded that he was not using his cell phone for calls, texting, or Internet during the time he was operating the train. The agency is still trying to determine the cause of the deadly crash.

There were eight people killed in the crash and over 200 more injured. Many of the injured sustained long-term injuries, requiring millions of dollars just in medical care alone and many legal analysts predict that the amount of legal claims will far exceed the $200 million government cap.

In response to that concern, one lawmaker filed new legislation just days after the Philadelphia crash. If the bill is passed, it would raise the cap from $200 million to $500 million. In a statement announcing the filing of the bill, Florida Senator Bill Nelson pointed out that when Congress passed the Act in 1997, there was no provision to adjust the amount of the cap based on inflation and the cap is based on what costs associated with accident injuries were two decades ago.

If you have been injured in a mass transit accident, an aggressive Westport personal injury attorney can help. Call 203-226-6168 today to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss you have sustained.

Study Shows Frequency of Misdiagnosis in Breast Tissue Biopsy Samples

July 9th, 2015 at 7:00 am

misdiagnosis in breast tissue biopsy, Westport Personal Injury LawyerNew research exploring breast cancer occurrence in women reveals how conditions can often be misdiagnosed by biopsy specialists.

The new study shows that pathologists often determine if cancerous conditions are present in the breast tissue correctly, yet they fall short when making the correct diagnosis in cases where the tissue is normal or has less serious conditions. Hence, a patient with a positive diagnosis is then at risk to be either under-treated or over-treated.

Up to Half of Breast Tissue Biopsy Diagnosis May be Incorrect

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that of the breast biopsy samples in the control group, 33 percent were misdiagnosed as worrisome or normal and 17 percent were mislabeled as having suspicious cells. In roughly half of the samples, when precancerous abnormal cells were present, a pathologist was able to diagnose it correctly. In other words, the study has seemingly shed light on the fact that diagnosis of precancerous cells was incorrect in almost half the cases examined.

In 13 percent of tissue specimens, pathologists mistakenly found suspicious cells and many times had trouble identifying a condition called DCIS—ductal carcinoma in situ. DCIS is the most common non-invasive form of breast cancer and develops first inside the milk ducts in the breast. Close to 60,000 women are diagnosed with DCIS each year—a statistical rise due to increased mammography use. Misdiagnosing DCIS, or identifying normal cells when cancerous ones are present, could mean a life or death situation for some women.

Misdiagnosis Results in Inadequate Treatment and Possible Medical Malpractice

Annually, over one hundred thousand U.S. women are diagnosed with cancerous breast cells and many of these women may not be receiving the proper amount of treatment for their situations. Pathology is an imperfect science. Therefore it is always important to obtain a second opinion when faced with a positive diagnosis for cancerous cells.

Failure to diagnose cancer in some situations may result in medical malpractice. Patients who believe they may have been the victim of medical malpractice or misdiagnosis should consult with a Westport personal injury attorney without delay to discuss their case. Richard Raphael, Attorney at Law, is proud to represent victims of medical malpractice in Connecticut.

Time Limits for Filing Medical Malpractice Claims in Connecticut

July 7th, 2015 at 7:00 am

filing medical malpractice claims, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyConnecticut state laws that can affect a medical malpractice case are varied. Moreover, it can be confusing for some parties if they are exploring whether or not they might have cause to file a claim for medical malpractice or error. Like most states, Connecticut has a legal code that mandates a statute of limitations for a party’s eligibility to file a medical malpractice claim. However, there are exceptions that may apply to the statute of limitations depending on the circumstances of the case.

Standard Two Year Statute of Limitations

The standard deadline or statute of limitations gives a complainant two years to file a lawsuit. Missing the two-year window ends the ability to file a medical malpractice lawsuit unless one of the designated exceptions for missing the initial filing time period pertains to the case.

Discovery Rule Presents One Exception

The discovery rule applies as one of the potential exceptions to the initial or standard deadline. This rule pertains to situations where a complainant has not had the time or wherewithal to become aware that he or she might have a claim for the medical malpractice suit. In Connecticut, the discovery rule allows for the standard deadline of two years to begin once a party has had a reasonable amount of time to discover an injury related to the potential case of medical malpractice.

Other Exceptions

There are additional exceptions to the statute of limitations in Connecticut. Various circumstances of the case will potentially determine if a deviation from the statute limitations will be allowed. For instance, if a defendant moves to another state after the malpractice was committed or is found to have fraudulently concealed the malpractice, the statute of limitations may be modified.

Statute of Repose

Another element of the statute of limitations is known as the statute of repose. This is a definite deadline for malpractice suits to be filed, regardless of when a plaintiff discovered an injury that was caused by medical malpractice or error. In Connecticut, there is a three-year statute of repose for filing of medical malpractice claims—no matter when the injury was discovered.

In several states, a medical malpractice lawsuit will have a limit or cap on the total amount of compensation that can be recovered by an injured party. However, in Connecticut there is no such award of damages limit in a medical malpractice case.

Consult with a CT Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you suspect that you or a family member has been the victim of medical malpractice or error, please do not delay in consulting with a Westport personal injury attorney to discuss your case today. Attorney Richard H. Raphael has the knowledge and experience to manage your case so you can focus on recovery. Call 203-226-6168 today.

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