The Basics of Medical Malpractice in Michigan
Medical malpractice starts with an error made by the healthcare practitioner. If the error relates to diagnosis or treatment, the patient is clearly at risk. Determining when an error amounts to actionable malpractice is complex and is related to the standards of care applicable to the practitioner who is responsible for the error.
Under the law of medical malpractice, four elements must be determined including:
● Evidence of a doctor-patient relationship, patient needs to prove that a duty was owed to them by the medical facility/doctor
● A doctor, or often health care provider breached the duty
● Proximate injury caused by the breached duty
● The duty results in injury or other damages which cause ethic, economic or non-economic loss.
Statute of Limitations
In a medical malpractice claim filed in Michigan, the lawsuit must be filed within,
● Two years from the date of the malpractice
● Or the six-month discovery rule extends the time to file the lawsuit after the date the patient should have discovered the claim
● Or within six years from the act or omission that gave rise to the claim, if there is a fraudulent concealment of the malpractice or there was an injury to the person’s reproductive system.
● Or in death cases, two years from the date a personal representative of the estate is appointed but not to exceed 5 years from the date of malpractice.
Notice of Intent to File Lawsuit
A Notice of Intent must be sent 182 days, to any potentially liable health care provider who may be later named as a defendant, before the filing of the lawsuit.
Affidavit of an Expert
At the time that the Complaint is filed, an Affidavit of Merit must be filed. Essentially, this Affidavit affirms that the case is not frivolous, in that the appropriate expert has fully examined the medical records and is knowledgeable of the medical standard of care, after which he or she can agree that the standard was breached. The appropriate expert is one who is qualified in the same specialty as the doctor or health care provider who is being sued.
In a claim for damages, the non economic damages eg. pain and suffering, cannot exceed $450,000.00 correctly for the low cap and $800,000.00 for the higher cap. There are however, exceptions, and the possibility of economic damages which may increase the amount of the potential damage award.
If you’re looking for medical malpractice lawyers in Michigan contact the team at Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys today.