Medical malpractice is a highly complex area of personal injury law pertaining to claims for damages against medical professionals. Every medical professional has a duty to adhere to the standard of care their patient requires, only straying from accepted treatments when a patient’s unique health condition prevents the typically accepted treatment method from being effective. When a medical professional violates the standard of care in any way, resulting in harm to their patient, this can form the foundation of a medical malpractice claim.
If you or a member of your family is injured because of negligent medical care, it’s important to know the state’s laws that will apply to your case. While a medical malpractice claim is a form of personal injury case, there are special rules for medical malpractice claims in terms of preliminary requirements for filing them and the damages available. Your medical malpractice attorney can be invaluable for navigating your case successfully.
Like any other personal injury claim filed, the plaintiff has the right to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the direct financial effects of an injury, typically proven with the appropriate documentation. For example, if you require additional medical care to recover from an injury, the defendant is liable for the cost of this treatment. Other claimable economic damages include lost income if your injury prevents you from returning to work. It’s possible for the victim of a serious injury to claim compensation for the future income they are no longer able to earn because of their injury.
When it comes to non-economic damages, these include intangible losses like physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma resulting from medical malpractice. It may sound difficult to assign monetary values to these losses, but it’s possible for non-economic damages to amount to greater recovery than economic damages in some personal injury claims. This is rarely the case with medical malpractice claims, however, due to the fact that state law limits compensation for pain and suffering in medical malpractice claims. There is a lower limit that applies to most claims in which plaintiffs have not suffered permanent harm, and the upper limit applies whenever a plaintiff has suffered a permanent injury from medical malpractice.
As of January 2023, the lower limit for non-economic damages medical malpractice claims is $537,900. The upper limit is adjusted to $960,500, and this will only apply if the plaintiff suffered paralysis of one or more limbs, a permanently damaging brain injury, or a permanently damaging spinal cord injury.
The optimal way to maximize compensation for any medical malpractice case is to hire an attorney who has experience handling these claims. The right attorney can help their client gather the evidence needed to prove the full scope of their experience from malpractice. When it comes to substantiating a claim for pain and suffering compensation, an attorney can consult expert witnesses who can clearly explain the scope of the effects an injury has had on the plaintiff’s life.
State law limits how much a plaintiff can seek in pain and suffering damages in their medical malpractice claim. However, there is no cap on economic damages. This means you have the right to seek full compensation for any and all economic losses resulting from the medical malpractice you experienced. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help accurately calculate the full financial impact of your injury so you can hold the defendant appropriately accountable.
The statute of limitations for most medical malpractice claims in the state is two years, meaning the victim has two years from the date their injury occurred to file their complaint. However, if the effects of medical malpractice are not immediately apparent, they would have six months from the date they discovered their injury to file their claim. As soon as you believe you have been harmed by medical malpractice, you should reach out to legal counsel so you can begin building your case.
Whenever a personal injury results in fatal harm, the victim’s family can pursue a wrongful death claim instead of a personal injury suit. The same rule applies when a death results from medical malpractice, but the state’s laws pertaining to medical malpractice apply to the case. If you have lost a loved one from negligent medical care, it is vital to consult an attorney as soon as possible to start building your claim.
The time your case may require to complete hinges on several variables. When you have more than enough evidence to prove liability and the right attorney to handle your claim, you may be able to reach a positive conclusion to your case within a few weeks. However, if a defendant denies liability or disputes the damages sought in the claim, the case may need to go to trial, and litigation can take much longer, potentially several months.
State law limits how much attorneys can charge their clients for representation in medical malpractice cases. Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, uses the contingency fee billing system to make our legal counsel as accessible as possible to those who need it most. With this billing arrangement, you will pay a percentage of your final case award as your attorney’s fee, but only if they win your case.
Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, has many years of professional experience handling medical malpractice cases, and we know the various obstacles you could encounter as you seek compensation for the losses you suffered. If you believe you have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim, contact us today and schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help with your case.
3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103