Medical malpractice cases are technically within the purview of personal injury law, but there are unique statutes that apply to this type of case and various procedural requirements you must meet to succeed with your case. For example, the statute of limitations is the time limit in which you must file a legal claim, and Michigan’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years from the date the incident in question occurred. However, there are exceptions to this, and there are also several other laws you should understand if you intend to file any type of medical malpractice case in the near future.
Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, provides comprehensive legal representation for all types of medical malpractice claims. We can carefully assess the details of your case and help you determine the best path to recovery while meeting all statutory requirements of your case.
How to Start a Medical Malpractice Case
The first step in filing a medical malpractice case in Michigan is ensuring you meet the statute of limitations. You have two years from the date your injury occurred to file your case, but you may not be able to immediately recognize an injury from malpractice. In the event your injury is not immediately noticeable, the discovery rule could apply to your case. If so, the statute of limitations would extend to six months after the date you discovered the harm in question or reasonably should have discovered it.
Once you have verified that you meet the statute of limitations, your attorney can help you fulfill the preliminary requirements of your case. First, you must notify the defendant of your intention to file a civil suit against them at least 182 days prior to the actual filing of your claim. This provides the defendant with an opportunity to respond and, more often than not, will lead to settlement negotiations. Second, you must submit an affidavit of merit from a qualified medical professional alongside your Notice of Intent to File Suit.
This affidavit of merit should come from a physician who holds similar professional qualifications to the defendant in your case. For example, if an orthopedic surgeon injured you with a surgical error, your attorney would likely consult a similarly experienced orthopedic surgeon to complete your affidavit of merit. They must clearly explain how the defendant breached the standard of care in the situation in question and what they should have done differently.
Recovering From Medical Malpractice
State law allows the plaintiff of any medical malpractice case to seek compensation for all of the economic damage they suffered as well as compensation for the pain and suffering they endured. When it comes to economic damages, the plaintiff can claim repayment for all immediate and future medical costs related to the incident of malpractice in question. Pain and suffering compensation is more difficult to calculate and should be reflective of the patient’s overall medical condition after their injury. However, state law caps pain and suffering compensation claimable in medical malpractice cases, and the cap increases each year to account for inflation.
While limited pain and suffering compensation may seem unfair if you have sustained a catastrophic injury of any kind, the right attorney can still help you maximize the total compensation you receive in your medical malpractice suit. The statute of limitations is just the first of many prerequisites you must fulfill to succeed with your case, and the right attorney will be a tremendous asset in streamlining these difficult proceedings as much as possible.
FAQs About Michigan MI Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations & Laws
What Happens If a Medical Malpractice Injury Isn’t Immediately Noticeable?
The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim typically begins on the date the injury occurs, and the victim has two years from this date to file their claim. However, an exception to this rule applies when a defendant has concealed their actions, engaged in any fraud, or if the injury was not immediately noticeable for any other reason. In addition, the discovery rule allows for a six-month statute of limitations starting on the date you discover the harm you suffered.
How Much Compensation Can I Claim for Medical Malpractice in Michigan?
State law permits the plaintiff of a medical malpractice case to seek full repayment for all the economic damages the defendant caused them to sustain. These can include medical expenses now and in the future for correcting the damage done by the defendant and managing ongoing medical complications resulting from the incident in question. They can also seek compensation for lost income and lost earning capacity when their injury has interfered with their ability to work and earn income. State law also permits the plaintiff to recover pain and suffering compensation, but this aspect of their recovery is limited by state law.
How Long Does a Medical Malpractice Claim Take to Resolve?
The time your case could require to reach a conclusion depends on several factors, and there are procedural prerequisites you must fulfill before proceeding with your claim against the defendant. As long as you have an experienced medical malpractice attorney advising you and the defendant’s liability is clear, settling your case relatively quickly is possible. However, if the defendant refuses to settle, your case will need to be resolved through litigation, and this can take much longer.
Why Should I Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
If the defendant’s liability for your damages seems perfectly clear to you, you may wonder whether you really need to invest in a medical malpractice attorney to hold them accountable for your damages. Technically, hiring an attorney for your medical malpractice claim is not required, but doing so will make every aspect of your case easier to manage and more likely to generate a positive outcome.
Ultimately, every medical malpractice case is different, but a constant factor in every case is the need to meet the statute of limitations. If you want to file a claim, our team is ready to assist you. Contact Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, today and set up a consultation with a trustworthy medical malpractice attorney.