Victim of Medical Malpractice? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you need to take steps to protect your/their legal rights. This can be extremely difficult because of the fact that you are focusing on recovering from the medical issue, but if you don’t handle the malpractice case correctly, it could result in you losing your right to a significant settlement or judgment. The following are some key points that you need to know about regarding medical malpractice cases in Michigan.

Statute of Limitations

In Michigan, the statute of limitations for filing a suit against an offending medical provider is two years from the date when the action that caused the injury occurred. This means that if you don’t file the lawsuit within those two years, you will lose all your legal rights to seek damages.

In some cases, however, the injury will not be known for quite some time after a procedure takes place. In those instances, you will have up to six months after the injury is detected (or reasonably should have been detected) to file the lawsuit.

Statute of Repose

Any issues that are detected more than six years after the event will not be eligible for filing a malpractice claim. This is known as a statute of repose. While this rule applies to most situations, it will not apply if it can be shown that there was fraud committed by the health care providers, or if the issue has to do with the reproductive system.

Damage Caps

As the victim or loved one of a victim of medical malpractice, it is important to know that Michigan has several caps, or limits, on how much a case can be worth. These caps give an upper maximum on the amount that the courts can award for different types of injuries. For compensatory damages—which are the costs directly associated with the injury, and can include lost wages and medical expenses—there is no cap. The healthcare provider can be made to pay out all compensatory damages.

Intangible losses (aka non-economic damages), change from year to year based on costs of living and other factors. As of 2017, the standard cap on damages for pain and suffering is just under $500,000. It can go up to almost $800,000 in certain situations based on what types of injuries the victim sustained.

What Qualifies?

One of the most important things to be aware of is what actually qualifies as medical malpractice. Just because a surgery doesn’t go well, for example, does not mean you will have a viable case. The definition of medical malpractice states that the injury must be caused by an act or an omission by a healthcare provider. That act or omission must go outside what the generally accepted standards of practice are. To put it simply, the healthcare professional must have acted in a way that a typical doctor should have known was outside the ordinary.

Get the Help You Need

Medical malpractice cases can be extremely complex, and they are not something that you want to try to handle on your own. In addition to what has been discussed above, you will need to send notice to the doctor or hospital and finds doctor who will render an opinion that the standard of care was breached.

Contact Attorney Carla D. Aikens to go over the details of your case, and get reliable legal advice and representation on how you should proceed.