States like Connecticut often have conflicting policy outcomes that need to be reconciled when they are passing laws that affect their citizens. For example, states have an interest in protecting vulnerable people, like patients with medical problems, from being injured by the negligence of health care providers, and to allow them to seek compensation when they are. This is why there are laws regarding medical malpractice. However, some argue that the state also has an interest in keeping the provision of health care services viable, which would be difficult if doctors and other providers were eternally looking out for possible lawsuits over possible mistakes made in the past. Further, legal cases become harder to make as time passes, as evidence gets lost or becomes stale, and witnesses have a harder time remembering specifics.
For these reasons, all states, Connecticut included, pass laws called ‘statutes of limitation’ that put a cap on how long an injured party can wait before filing a lawsuit based upon an injury caused by another. This statute applies to medical malpractice cases as well. General Statute Section 52-584 is the law that applies in Connecticut. According to it, suits for damages based on negligence or medical malpractice must be filed within two years of the date of the injury.
There is an exception in that, in a medical malpractice case, the two-year period may begin when the victim discovers the injury, or should have discovered it given a reasonable person standard. This concession recognizes that sometimes the effects of a medical mistake are not apparent until some time after the surgery or other treatment has taken place. However, it is important to note that no suit can be filed more than three years from the date of the injury in any case.
Because of laws like the statute of limitations, it is important that Connecticut residents who believe they have been harmed due to medical malpractice consider seeking help as soon as possible. To recover damages for medical expenses and other injuries, any civil action will need to be filed in a timely fashion.