Every year, thousands of people throughout the United States suffer injuries at the hands of the medical professionals they trust to provide safe and effective care. Medicine is uncertain in many respects, and there is a reasonable margin for error in virtually every medical procedure conducted today. However, a significant difference exists between an honest and understandable mistake in good faith and medical negligence.
If you or a loved one has been injured from any type of negligent medical care in Michigan, an experienced medical malpractice attorney is a vital asset if you want to recover from your experience as wholly as possible. However, many people believe that legal counsel is prohibitively expensive and that hiring a lawyer would cost more than they could win from their case. Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, has successfully helped many past clients navigate very complex medical malpractice claims, and we are often able to secure much better results than our clients initially expected.
Michigan Laws for Medical Malpractice Attorneys’ Fees
Every state has different laws pertaining to medical malpractice, including specific provisions related to how much an attorney can charge their client for representation. Michigan law only allows medical malpractice attorneys to bill their clients using contingency fee agreements. This means the attorney only takes a percentage of the client’s final case award, but only if they win the case. If the client does not receive compensation, the attorney cannot charge them a fee. When the attorney wins their client’s case, the client’s fee is a percentage of the final case award.
While the average person may not like the idea of sacrificing a significant percentage of their final compensation to pay for their legal expenses, the alternative would be receiving nothing at all or securing a lowball settlement due to the claimant’s lack of awareness of their rights and the compensation legally available to them. Therefore, hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney is well worth the investment for several reasons. Most importantly, they can make your case much easier to approach with confidence and more likely to generate the results you hope to see.
How to Succeed With a Medical Malpractice Case
A medical malpractice suit is technically a type of personal injury case, but there are special laws pertaining to medical malpractice you must understand to succeed with your recovery efforts. Not only do you need to ensure you file your claim within the appropriate statute of limitations, but you must also have an affidavit of merit signed by a healthcare practitioner.
This individual should hold medical credentials similar to the defendant you have named in your suit. Their affidavit should clearly explain how the defendant failed to meet the plaintiff’s standard of care and what they should have done differently.
Your attorney will help you submit this affidavit with a Notice of Intent to File Suit prior to the actual filing of the claim. For example, the medical malpractice case plaintiff must submit this notice and the accompanying affidavit to the defendant at least 182 days prior to filing the claim in court. Once the defendant receives the notice, a settlement negotiation process typically ensues; however, if the defendant denies liability, the case will need to be resolved through litigation.
If you fulfill the legal prerequisites of your case, you can potentially secure compensation for all the economic losses you suffered because of the defendant’s actions. Your claimable economic damages may include medical expenses, lost income, and lost future earning capacity. State law also allows the plaintiff to seek pain and suffering compensation. However, the amount they may claim is limited by state law, and the limit changes each year to account for cost of living increases and inflation.
FAQs About How Much Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Cost in Michigan?
How Much Is My Medical Malpractice Case Worth?
If you can successfully prove you suffered an injury because of medical malpractice, you have the right to claim compensation for any and all economic damages the defendant inflicted on you and your family. These may include increased medical treatment costs, lost income from inability to work, and lost future earning capacity. You also have the right to claim pain and suffering compensation, but this aspect is limited by state law.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Michigan?
The state enforces a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, meaning your claim must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurred. Alternatively, the discovery rule may apply if your injury is not immediately noticeable. Under the discovery rule, the claimant has six months from the date they discovered their injury or reasonably should have discovered it to file their claim.
How Do I Find the Right Attorney for My Medical Malpractice Claim?
Time is a critical concern for any medical malpractice claimant, but it’s vital to take the time necessary to find the right attorney for your case. Your chosen medical malpractice attorney should have experience handling cases similar to yours, and they should provide a detailed professional assessment of your situation when you first consult them for their advice. In addition, check online reviews and testimonials from past clients to gain an understanding of what it might be like to hire an attorney for your case.
Is It a Good Idea to Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
It’s natural to be hesitant about the potential cost of hiring legal counsel for your impending medical malpractice case. However, state law restricts how much the attorney can charge you for their representation, and most medical malpractice plaintiffs must only part with percentages of their final case awards. Therefore, the right attorney can increase your chances of success with the claim and enhance the compensation you receive.
Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, can provide the robust and responsive legal representation you need to approach any medical malpractice case with peace of mind. If it’s time for you to explore your options for legal recourse after suffering an injury from negligent medical care in Michigan, contact our team to schedule a consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.