Does Connecticut Require That Claims Be Arbitrated Prior To Litigation?

Connecticut law does not require claims of medical malpractice be arbitrated absent the parties` agreement to arbitrate. Many hospitals and doctors have patients sign an agreement to go to binding arbitration if there is any dispute. Often a patient does not even realize he or she has signed a binding arbitration agreement until a lawyer finds this clause in the patient`s medical records. These binding arbitration agreements are typically iron clad. Most arbitration clauses provide that each side bears their own cost. That means that even if the patient wins their medical malpractice claim, they still have to pay all of the costs for the experts and the arbitrators out of their own pockets. This is different from most trials where the victim`s attorney tries to shift the costs to the defendants if the victim wins the trial. Upon the agreement of all parties, the case can be referred to a malpractice­screening panel, which will review the claim and enter a finding as to liability. If the finding is unanimous, it is admissible in subsequent court proceedings.

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