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Changes in Connecticut Medical Malpractice Law in 2013

February 6th, 2014 at 5:49 pm

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The past year was a big one regarding medical malpractice law and lawsuits. At the beginning of the year in Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn “quietly signed a law allowing [medical malpractice attorneys] to collect higher fees,” according the Chicago Tribune, a practice that supporters say aims to protect victims of medical malpractice. Rather than Illinois attorneys being able to take sometimes up to 50 percent of their clients’ award, “the law is aimed at setting a standardized rate of pay,” the Tribune reports. While no such law has been passed in Connecticut yet—Connecticut is still one of the 15 states that “establishes a specific limit or sliding scale on contingency fees attorneys may charge clients,” according to the Connecticut State government—there were other changes made to medical malpractice procedure in the state this year.

In April, according to the Connecticut Mirror, the Connecticut State Judiciary Committee heard testimony “on a proposed change to how cases against physicians come to court.” Attorneys who were pro-change explained that unless the doctor was specifically described in state law, many legitimate cases of medical malpractice were being thrown out in court. “Since 2005,” the Connecticut Mirror reports, “a patient wanting to claim damages from a doctor for alleged negligence must have his or her case reviewed by a similar health care provider.”

According to the Connecticut Post, the legislation that “would change who could write the opinions from “similar” health care providers to “qualified” health care providers.” Several physicians and hospital officials, including the American Medical Association, “submitted testimony against the legislation,” the Post reports, “saying it would undo the 2005 reform that curbed the skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates.” After the 2005 law was passed that required this type of opinion, “the number of medical malpractice cases filed in the state has dropped about 20 percent,” according to the Post.

If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Connecticut, the most important first step you can take is to contact an experienced malpractice attorney. Don’t go through it alone. Contact Richard R. Raphael today.

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