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Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyers

Bringing over 75 years of experience to your case with proven ability, dedication and ethics

Walsh Woodard has the highest personal injury verdict in Connecticut in the last 5 years*

How Could I Be Harmed by a Misdiagnosis or Other Diagnostic Error?

Diagnostic errors are the most common type of medical mistake made by health care providers. These are cases where a health care provider misdiagnoses a patient or provides a delayed diagnosis. There are multiple types of diagnostic errors that affect thousands of patients in the US each year. The different types of diagnostic errors include:

  • Delayed diagnosis: As the name implies, this is where a health care provider makes the correct diagnosis after a significant period of time has passed. In such cases, your health care provider may have delayed ordering tests or failed to recognize symptoms.
  • Missed diagnosis: Your health care provider could discharge you with a clean bill of health when you are still suffering from an illness. This could lead to a missed diagnosis.
  • Misdiagnosis: If you went to the hospital suffering from a heart attack but were misdiagnosed with acid reflux, it could be an example of a misdiagnosis. These are cases where a health care provider mistakes one condition with another.
  • Failure to identify complications: You could be suffering from a health condition that is being aggravated by other complications. Your doctor could make the correct diagnosis while failing to identify complications that could worsen the condition.
  • Failure to recognize related illnesses: Your doctor could fail to recognize that you are suffering from two related health conditions. He or she may diagnose one condition but not the other.

Diagnostic errors are more than capable of causing injuries or death. A diagnostic error involving bacterial meningitis is a perfect example. Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord. Bacterial meningitis is where a bacterial infection is responsible for causing this inflammation. Health care providers have a very limited window of time to treat this condition before death or permanent injury occurs. What could happen if you had this condition and did not promptly receive antibiotics and other treatment? You could die within hours. Brain damage, coma and limb loss are also possible outcomes.

Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for a Diagnostic Error?

There are times where you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit for a diagnostic error. Certain criteria would have to be met to bring forward a successful claim.  Before we are able to move forward in Connecticut, we are required to have a physician or similar health care provider review the medical evidence and provide us with a written opinion letter concluding that the diagnostic error was malpractice.  The law on this is contained in Connecticut General Statutes section 52-190a.[1]

You should never wait to speak with an attorney if you believe negligence caused the diagnostic error. Although there are a few exceptions, you have a limited window of time to file a claim. It is also possible that multiple parties are responsible for the diagnostic error. You may also be able to hold those parties accountable.

The Hartford medical malpractice lawyers at Walsh Woodard, LLC could review the specifics of your situation at no cost. We could help you determine whether medical malpractice occurred.  If we believe there is sufficient evidence in your case, we also will seek out the physician review at no cost to you.

[1] The statute provides: (a) No civil action or apportionment complaint shall be filed to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death occurring on or after October 1, 1987, whether in tort or in contract, in which it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the negligence of a health care provider, unless the attorney or party filing the action or apportionment complaint has made a reasonable inquiry as permitted by the circumstances to determine that there are grounds for a good faith belief that there has been negligence in the care or treatment of the claimant. The complaint, initial pleading or apportionment complaint shall contain a certificate of the attorney or party filing the action or apportionment complaint that such reasonable inquiry gave rise to a good faith belief that grounds exist for an action against each named defendant or for an apportionment complaint against each named apportionment defendant. To show the existence of such good faith, the claimant or the claimant’s attorney, and any apportionment complainant or the apportionment complainant’s attorney, shall obtain a written and signed opinion of a similar health care provider, as defined in section 52-184c, which similar health care provider shall be selected pursuant to the provisions of said section, that there appears to be evidence of medical negligence and includes a detailed basis for the formation of such opinion. Such written opinion shall not be subject to discovery by any party except for questioning the validity of the certificate. The claimant or the claimant’s attorney, and any apportionment complainant or apportionment complainant’s attorney, shall retain the original written opinion and shall attach a copy of such written opinion, with the name and signature of the similar health care provider expunged, to such certificate. The similar health care provider who provides such written opinion shall not, without a showing of malice, be personally liable for any damages to the defendant health care provider by reason of having provided such written opinion. In addition to such written opinion, the court may consider other factors with regard to the existence of good faith. If the court determines, after the completion of discovery, that such certificate was not made in good faith and that no justiciable issue was presented against a health care provider that fully cooperated in providing informal discovery, the court upon motion or upon its own initiative shall impose upon the person who signed such certificate or a represented party, or both, an appropriate sanction which may include an order to pay to the other party or parties the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred because of the filing of the pleading, motion or other paper, including a reasonable attorney’s fee. The court may also submit the matter to the appropriate authority for disciplinary review of the attorney if the claimant’s attorney or the apportionment complainant’s attorney submitted the certificate.

(b) Upon petition to the clerk of the court where the civil action will be filed to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death, an automatic ninety-day extension of the statute of limitations shall be granted to allow the reasonable inquiry required by subsection (a) of this section. This period shall be in addition to other tolling periods.

(c) The failure to obtain and file the written opinion required by subsection (a) of this section shall be grounds for the dismissal of the action.

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Are Medical Mistakes a Leading Cause of Death in the US?

Many of us already know that heart disease and cancer are leading causes of death in the US. You may not know that medical mistakes also kill hundreds of thousands of people in the US each year. Depending on who you ask, medical mistakes could be responsible for anywhere from 250,000 to 440,000 deaths annually.

According to a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety, 440,000 people die in the US each year from preventable medical mistakes. A study published in British Medical Journal (also called BMJ) put this number at roughly 252,000 per year. By comparison, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statistics show that heart disease and cancer are responsible for 610,000 and 590,000 deaths respectively.

Why are so many people in our country dying while receiving health care? Unfortunately, the answer is never simple and varies substantially with each case. However, there are common errors that can be divided into specific groups.

  1. Diagnostic errors: Research has shown that diagnostic errors are responsible for more preventable deaths than any other type of medical mistake. Johns Hopkins University estimates that 80,000 to 160,000 patients die or suffer significant injuries each year due to diagnostic errors. You may never receive a correct diagnosis if you are affected by this mistake. In other cases, you may receive an incorrect diagnosis followed by a correct one at a later date. Your doctor could also fail to diagnose a second health condition caused by the first one.
  2. Medication mistakes: There are cases where patients are given the wrong medications. They may also be given the wrong dosages. Perhaps they are given two medications that should never be taken together. All of these medication mistakes could result in permanent injury or death. Medication mistakes can occur in any type of health care setting.
  3. Never events: The word “never event” is an umbrella term used to describe a specific group of mistakes that should never occur. This term could refer to specific types of surgery mistakes, such as performing a surgical operation on the wrong part of the body.
  4. Infections/poor sanitation: If your doctor does not follow basic handwashing and sanitation procedures, they could be putting you and others at risk of developing an infection. The same could be said if they failed to properly sanitize equipment before an operation.

When are Medical Mistakes Considered Medical Malpractice?

Medical mistakes have to meet certain criteria to be considered medical malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you make this determination if you or a loved one were harmed by a health care provider. Our law firm could review the details of your case at no cost to help you determine whether medical malpractice occurred. If we determined that malpractice did occur, we could begin laying the groundwork to pursue damages against the doctor, hospital, health facility or other parties.

Walsh Woodard, LLC has a proven record of success helping victims of medical malpractice and their families.

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Has Your Vehicle Been Recalled for Safety Defects?

Call our Hartford car crash attorneysManufacturing or design defects in vehicles can cause catastrophic injuries or deaths. For instance, many recalled vehicles contain Takata’s airbag inflators, which are associated with multiple deaths and catastrophic injuries. The inflators can explode and send metal shrapnel flying into the cabins of vehicles. This is only one example that highlights the importance of knowing whether your vehicle is under recall.

A recent Carfax study found that 63 million vehicles with safety defects are being driven on roads across the country. Although automakers are required by law to inform their customers of recalls, there are several reasons why owners may not receive repairs. It can take months to get a vehicle with a Takata airbag fixed. Takata and multiple automakers have been chastised for not doing enough to facilitate more repairs for vehicles affected by the recall.

Vehicle owners may also not receive repairs because they are unaware that recalls have been issued. For whatever reason, they simply did not receive crucial recall notices from their auto manufacturers. Our blog is going to walk you through how to sign up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (also called NHTSA) and how to check the recall status of your vehicle online.

How to Check the Recall Status of Your Vehicle

To check the recall status of your vehicle, you will first need to grab your vehicle identification number. This is also called the “VIN.” Many auto insurance policy cards display this number. It may also be found on insurance documents, your vehicle’s title or on auto shop repair records. If all else fails, you can also check the driver’s side dashboard.

Once you have the VIN, it’s time to visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls. After arriving at the website, type your VIN into the search feature at the top of the page. Search results could inform you of any open recalls associated with your vehicle. However, it may also say “zero recalls are associated with this VIN.”

This search tool covers vehicle safety recalls that are incomplete. It may also display vehicle recalls conducted over the past 15 years. Recalls for light automobiles (for example, if you own an ATV or motorcycle) may also be included. Search results will not cover recalls from more than 15 years ago or completed recalls. International vehicles and very recently announced recalls may also be excluded from the search results.

Even if the website informed you that your vehicle has no open recalls, you should still take action to register your vehicle with NHTSA’s website. Your vehicle could always be recalled later. If you register with NHTSA, you could receive an email notification for future recalls.

What Can I Do if My Vehicle is Under Recall?

If you discover that your vehicle has an unrepaired recall, then it is important to contact your dealership to schedule an appointment for repairs. Automakers are required by federal law to fix recalls at no cost. You could also inquire about a rental vehicle if the dealership does not have the parts to conduct repairs.

If you or a loved one were harmed by a defective auto part, then you should speak with an attorney to discuss legal options. It may be possible to hold the auto manufacturer or other parties accountable for injuries or deaths caused by defects.

Walsh Woodard, LLC has an extensive history of helping individuals who were harmed by the negligent actions of others. To speak with one of our Hartford product liability lawyers, you may call (860) 785-2011 or describe your situation by filling out our online case review form.

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Voted #1 Attorney In Connecticut: Michael J. Walsh, Esq.

West Hartford attorney Michael J. Walsh has been ranked as the number one attorney in the state in a statewide poll of practicing attorneys.  The poll is conducted each year by Thomson Reuters and is published in the November issue of Connecticut Magazine.

Attorney Walsh practices personal injury law at his West Hartford law firm, Walsh Woodard LLC.  He has handled several high-profile personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits.

Attorney Walsh is a 1987 graduate of the University of Connecticut Law School.  He clerked for the Honorable Ellen Bree Burns in the United States Federal District Court, and has then practiced personal injury law in the West Hartford and Hartford areas for his entire career.

The statewide poll consists not only of a vote by other attorneys in the state, but also consists of third party validation and independent research analysis by a Blue Ribbon panel of attorneys.  The poll is conducted under the “Super Lawyers” trademark and is considered a highly credentialed resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.

To read more about Michael J. Walsh, please see his bio here.

 

 

 

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Attacked By A Dog In Hartford?

If you have been attacked by a dog in Hartford, then you may be able to collect compensation. However, there are several requirements that must be met in order for a person to file a lawsuit. It is important for you to be aware of the dog bite laws in Connecticut.

Dog Bite Laws in Connecticut

In order to file a lawsuit, you must have suffered an injury due to the dog bite. You must also not have been trespassing on someone else’s property. Additionally, you must not have provoked or teased the dog. Keep in mind that these laws also apply to other injuries that a dog can cause. For example, if a dog knocks you over and pounces on you, then you can file a lawsuit even if the dog does not bite you.

Strict Liability

Connecticut has a strict liability law regarding dog bites. This means that the owner can be held responsible for the dog bite even if they did not know that the dog was aggressive. Most states have a strict liability law. If a state does not have a strict liability law, then it likely has a one-bite rule. This means that the owner cannot be held responsible unless they knew that the dog was aggressive.

Time Limits

If you have been attacked by a dog in Hartford, then you have a limited amount of time to file a case in court. Cases that are filed after a certain period of time are almost always thrown out. That is why it is vital for you to file your case within the allowable time period.

Why it is Important to Contact an Attorney

One of the most important things that you can do if you have been attacked by a dog in Hartford is to hire an attorney. Your lawyer can review your case and help you get compensated. Contact the dog bite attorneys at Walsh Woodard today for a free case evaluation.

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Common Summertime Injuries

For many people, summer is the time to unwind and relax after months of waiting for the mediocre weather to subside. While the sunshine is great, it also encourages more activity among people in a community. More activity, therefore, increases the chances that a person gets into an accident and injures him or herself. There are a plethora of situations that a person can file a personal injury claim for. Whether an individual is hit by a car, bit by a dog, or slips on a wet floor, certain steps should be taken to handle the situation accordingly.

Nice weather normally results in more people leaving their homes. Congestion, especially in an urban area, greatly increases the chance that a citizen is hit by a car. Getting hit by an automobile is one of the more pertinent summertime injuries. The severity of a car accident may vary greatly from person to person, but it is important to address the situation correctly. Often times, an accident will result in the victim(s) having to seek medical attention. Although driving is convenient, pedestrians have to remain aware because car accidents produce between 20-50 million injuries each year (ASIRT,2017).

While everything may appear to be glorious, it is very true that accidents happen. Perhaps a person is walking in the park and suddenly gets attacked by a dog. Similar to most summertime injuries, the severity of a dog’s bite can vary, but may result in stitches to stop the bleeding. Nearly every park consists of multiple dogs roaming around, making the chance to get bitten much higher.

Even a trip to the grocery store could result in a person getting injured. The summer humidity often persuades business owners to mop their floors more frequently. Without suspecting it, any random person could fail to notice the wet floor and fall rather hard.

If you have been injured, please contact Walsh Woodard LLC’s personal injury attorneys today at (860) 549-8440 for a free consultation.

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Safety Tips For Your Summer Road Trips

In many parts of the country, winter was long and hard. And many of us are not quite done with a cold and wet spring. But summer will be here in just a matter of weeks. Most people are not yet ready to think about it, let alone prepare for it. We’re not just talking about finding and washing the window screens we’re talking about summer road trips. And preparing for summer road trips doesn’t just mean getting swimsuit ready or making hotel reservations.

Americans will be spending hundreds of thousands of miles behind the wheels of their vehicles this summer or as passengers, and why not? Time off + beautiful weather + predicted low gas prices means that it’s a great time to take your motorized old heap on holiday with you. But sadly, a consequence of summer luring more motorists onto the road is more vehicle-related mishaps. Some of them are the result of actual contact between two vehicles. But a surprising number of them aren’t and could have been potentially avoided altogether with more preparation. Read on for some tips on how to avoid summer road trip mishaps, and keeping your trips memorable for all of the right reasons.

Car Health

Most of us wouldn’t take a trip if we were ill or had broken bones. So why are you doing so with a car with bald tires, a bad axle or dying brakes? Even if “Christine” is in generally good health, make sure that her filters, plugs, hoses, windshield/windshield wipers and air tire pressure are all in good shape.

Weather

Yes, it’s probably unlikely that you’ll encounter a blizzard at the height of summer. But severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornados, hailstorms, and flash flooding can certainly happen. Savvy road warriors check weather reports before heading out and take them seriously. Delay trips or get off of the road before bad weather strikes.

Teenagers

The American Automobile Association calls the days when these inexperienced and often inattentive drivers are out of school “the deadliest days of summer”. Use extra caution while driving in areas where they congregate- shopping centers, movie theaters, restaurants, parks, and swimming pools and beaches.

Night-Time Driving

You might think that you’ll save time and money on summer road trips by driving at night when there’s less traffic. But night-time driving often causes dangerous driver fatigue to occur. And late hours often mean fewer people to report and respond to accidents and breakdowns that might occur.

Walsh Woodard LLC is a law firm that represents individuals in personal injury matters. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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Do You Have a Wrongful Death Case?

To know whether or not you have the right to file a claim for wrongful death, you need to understand exactly what it is.

Wrongful death is a claim that can be filed when a person (or a company) is at fault for the death of a person. There are a variety of reasons to file this type of claim, such as medical malpractice, vehicle accidents caused by another driver, a defective automobile, dangerous roadways, and even abuse. Any fatal accident which has been caused by negligence can cause a wrongful death claim to be filed.

In the United States, this is the only method of suing a company when a death has been caused by their actions instead of those of an individual. Around 400 lawsuits were filed against Toyota when their broken gas pedals caused cars to accelerate and crash.

So do you have a case for a wrongful death lawsuit? If your loved one was killed in an automobile accident caused by another driver or caused by a failure in their car, you could have a case. If they died during surgery or another medical procedure, you should consider pursuing a civil lawsuit– especially if the doctor has a history of medical malpractice. Essentially, if you have lost a loved one in a way that you feel could have been prevented and you know who’s at fault, consider filing a wrongful death claim.

You can contact Walsh Woodard LLC for your civil litigation needs online or call us at 860-785-2011 for a free consultation.

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Victims of Trucking Accidents in The Winter Deserve Fair Compensation!

The average family vehicle weighs 2,000 – 5,000 pounds. Semi’s hauling tractor trailers can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. You don’t have to be an expert in math to understand that the odds are against you when you are involved in an accident with these huge machines. Add to the equation ice, sleet, and snow and the results can be catastrophic.

There are half a million accidents involving 18 wheeled vehicles every year. In fact, one out of every eight traffic deaths are a result of just such a collision. Many freight companies are neglectful of the safety standards needed to keep these trucks safe in good weather. When you are talking about winter conditions these lapses in regulation can be disastrous for people who are involved in accidents with these “Big Rigs.”Read More

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Avoid an Increase In Holiday Injuries

The holiday season is a time of year to catch up with friends and family, and it is often a time of travel. Leaving home may seem safe as most accidents occur within a five-mile radius, but the holiday season is often a time when there is an increase in injuries for many. There are a number of reasons this occurs, but staying safe and injury free is possible.

Texting and Driving Do Not Mix

Over the last few years, texting and driving has been in the news for causing accidents. People become distracted while they are on the road, and they forget about vehicle safety. This has become such an issue that the U. S. Air Force  has listed it first in a post about holiday safety. No matter how important that text may seem, it will wait until later. Ignoring the phone also allows for defensive driving and watching for road hazards such as impaired drivers in other vehicles.Read More

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