How Can I Prove Medical Malpractice In Michigan?
Since the early 1990’s, Michigan has enacted modified legislation regarding medical malpractice lawsuits. The most radical change implemented relates to the concepts of ‘Discovery’ and ‘Affidavits of Merit.’
Michigan’s Malpractice Lawsuit Restrictions Statutes of Limitations
A medical malpractice lawsuit must be started within two years after the act or omission that is deemed to be medical negligence or, if the medical negligence caused someone’s death then within two years after first estate is opened for the decedent, not to exceed five years from the date of the negligence. There is also a discovery role that allows a claim to be filed within 6 months of discovery of medical negligence (not to exceed six years) if the medical negligence was not reasonably known previously or within six months after the injury is discovered.
Notice and Expert Requirements
Each Michigan medical malpractice lawsuit starts with the filing of a Notice of Intent to File Suit (NOI). This written notice must be served to potential defendants at least 182 days before the lawsuit is filed. Serving a Notice of Intent suspends Michigan’s Statute of Limitations for 182 days.
At the start of every case filed in court, Plaintiffs must submit an Affidavit of Merit signed by a healthcare professional who meets the expert requirements defined by MCL 600.2169. The Affidavit of Merit is a written expert narrative that asserts that the defendant breached the mandated ‘Standard Of Care.’ In response, a defendant is required to file an Affidavit Of Meritorious Defense to refute the plaintiff’s assertions.
Breaching The Standard Of Care (Negligence)
Patterns found when analyzing the source of medical injuries include, medical professionals who:
- Use shortcuts, ill-advised techniques or misdiagnoses
- Fail to recognize (or disregard) signs and symptoms
- Are careless with lab work or misinterpretations of lab results
- Fail to appropriately supervise medical staff
- Are sloppy caregivers because they try to see too many patients each day
- Don’t listen to their patients
Proving Your Case By Demonstrating Harm
Your legal team must identify specifically the acts or omission that make up the medical negligence and then prove how the negligence was the source of the injury. As such, medical malpractice lawsuits always require the use of expert testimony and medical literature research. Liability, regarding malpractice lawsuits, is quite intricate. Medical Malpractice cases are among the few types of cases that still have “joint and several” liability, meaning a plaintiff can collect a judgement from all the defendants or just one defendant found to be liable in the case. This rule applies only if the injured person (plaintiff) is not comparatively negligent in any way. If the injured person is comparatively negligent then the jury is asked to assign a percentage of fault among all parties and even non-parties. Those found liable are responsible for their respective portion of the damages in the case.
If you’re looking for medical malpractice lawyers in Michigan, then contact the team at Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys today! We are a leading medical malpractice firm in Michigan.