What is the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit filed in Connecticut?

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Question:

What is the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit filed in Connecticut?

Answer:

Connecticut has a broad statute of limitations that applies to all injury-related lawsuits, including medical malpractice cases.

But first, in case your legalese is rusty, we should explain that a “statute of limitations” is a state law that limits the amount of time you have to get a lawsuit filed after you have suffered some kind of harm.  If you try to file your malpractice case after the statutory time limit has passed, it’s a safe bet that the doctor or health care entity you are trying to sue will point out to the court that you missed the deadline, and the court will grant a motion to dismiss the case.

Now, what does the law say in Connecticut? According to section 52-584 of the General Statutes of Connecticut, any lawsuit for injury caused by “by malpractice of a physician, surgeon, dentist, podiatrist, chiropractor, hospital or sanatorium” must be brought within two years. In Connecticut, that means filing the initial complaint and the required sworn statement -- from the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney -- declaring that there is a good faith basis for the claim, including the opinion of an expert medical witness who believes that a medical negligence has occurred.

The statute of limitations “clock” starts running on the date on which “the injury is first sustained or discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered.” So, if you don’t learn about your injury right away, you still have some leeway to get the case started.

But the Connecticut statute goes on to say that “no such action may be brought more than three years from the date of the act or omission complained of.” In other words, the statute really only gives you one extra year in which to discover that you were harmed by malpractice. Once three years have passed since the defendant committed the medical error , you’ve lost your right to file the medical malpractice lawsuit.  

Learn more about  Medical Malpractice Cases In-Depth .

by: David Goguen, J.D.

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