Finding a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Michigan: What You Should Know
April 18, 2019
Have you or someone in your family been harmed by negligence on the part of a doctor or hospital? If so, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries, including pain and suffering. You may be thinking of filing a lawsuit. However, Michigan malpractice laws are complex, and building a winning case takes considerable time and legal expertise. Therefore, you will have a more successful end result when you hire a medical malpractice lawyer in Michigan.
What is Medical Malpractice?
When a physician or other medical provider makes a mistake that causes serious harm to a patient, it is considered medical malpractice. One of the legal principles used to determine malpractice is whether a patient suffered harm because a doctor failed to comply with “a reasonable standard of care.”
Why You Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Michigan
A typical malpractice case involves a variety of complicated issues, in addition to reams of paperwork. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer understands Michigan malpractice law and knows how to handle the most challenging situations.
Here are some examples:
Michigan has strict filing deadlines for malpractice cases
The statute of limitations for a Michigan medical malpractice claim is two years. This time period begins on the date the asserted malpractice occurred. However, after two years, plaintiffs can still file suit under certain circumstances. One condition is if the injury was not discovered, or could not have been discovered during the first two years. In those cases, plaintiffs have an additional six months. Furthermore, all claims must be filed no later than six years from of the date the medical mistake was made.
Recovering non-economic damages can be challenging
Michigan law includes a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. In addition to pain and suffering, which is often significant, non-economic damages may be awarded for other factors. These include loss of consortium (companionship), reduced enjoyment, anxiety, disfigurement and other adverse effects caused by the malpractice. These damages can also apply to negative consequences experienced by the victim’s family members.
The specified cap may be increased in certain situations, usually involving permanent injury or disability. In these cases, a medical malpractice lawyer in Michigan will help you obtain the maximum possible amount.
Proving malpractice takes experience and expertise
Accusing a physician of malpractice is a serious claim, and these cases are taken very seriously. Consequently, victims must furnish considerable proof that malpractice occurred in order to receive compensation.
In general, a plaintiff must prove a medical professional or facility was negligent, and that this negligence caused a new injury, illness or condition.
Building a successful case involves gathering and evaluating numerous medical records and other documents. A qualified malpractice lawyer has the knowledge and resources to best handle this daunting and time-consuming task.
Michigan has specific requirements for malpractice lawsuits
- Notice of Intent to File Suit (NOI)
First, every plaintiff in a Michigan malpractice case has to file a written Notice of Intent to File Suit, or NOI. The defendant(s) must receive this notice at least 182 days before the suit is filed.
- Affidavit of Merit
Michigan plaintiffs are also required to consult a medical professional who is knowledgeable about the relevant issues of the case. This health care professional must submit a written affidavit stating there is “reasonable and meritorious cause” for the lawsuit.
If a plaintiff fails to comply with one or both of these requirements, the lawsuit could be dismissed.
You Need a Qualified Malpractice Lawyer to Represent You at Trial
While many medical malpractice lawsuits are settled out of court, some proceed to trial before a judge and jury. If this happens, you want a malpractice lawyer with extensive courtroom experience to prepare and present your case.
Medical malpractice law is complicated, but finding the right lawyer is simple.
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free no-obligation consultation.