Currently in Connecticut there is no cap on damage awards in medical malpractice cases. There is a modified comparative negligence rule in place. A successful plaintiff will receive an award less their proportion of fault in the matter. If the plaintiff’s fault is greater than the defendant, no damages will be awarded.
Connecticut does not provide a fund program for liability limits. Professional liability insurance minimums for physicians are $500,000 per occurrence and $1,500,000 aggregate. However, many physicians are not comfortable with these relatively low coverage limits and many hospitals want their physicians to carry higher limits. The argument for lower limits is that in the case of a law suit attorneys will only go after the amount of the policy limit, so the higher the limit the more money they will sue for. But in today’s litigious environment a minimum $1M/$3M limit policy is recommended.
In Connecticut, medical malpractice claims must normally be brought within 2 years from the date of injury or discovery of the negligent act. However, Connecticut also has a statute of repose, which places a three year absolute deadline on medical malpractice claims regardless of discovery date. Connecticut is unusual in that they do not have a separate statute of limitations for minors.
As of 2013 licensed companies made up 67.7% of the market in Connecticut, while excess and surplus lines made up 13%, and risk retention groups made up 19.2%. The top 15 carriers comprised over 87% of the market, which indicates a healthy level of competition and stable, rates for physician. The presence of a growing number of insurance providers in Connecticut (up more than 50% since 1991) indicates a healthy, stable risk environment. With a good policy in place that has at least the standard baseline $1M/3M limits you can practice with the confidence that you are protected.
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