GRAND RAPIDS MICHIGAN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS |MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER
If you or a loved one are faced with a medical malpractice related injury or death in Grand Rapids Michigan, it is important to contact a Grand Rapids medical malpractice attorney. The medical malpractice attorneys at Krupp Law Offices PC can answer your questions about medical malpractice claims and injuries at no cost to you. Medical Malpractice attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. They don't get paid unless you recover. It is extremely important to contact an attorney immediately when you or a loved one is injured by medical malpractice. You need to know your rights when faced with medical malpractice injuries. Medical malpractice insurance adjusters are working for the hospitals and doctors to reduce or eliminate your compensation on a technicality. You need an experienced Grand Rapids medical malpractice attorney representing your interests to make sure you are justly and fairly compensated. Call us now and speak with an attorney that can explain your rights under the Michigan Medical Malpractice Act.
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MICHIGAN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE GENERALLY
Michigan Medical Malpractice is a specific type of negligence that is committed by a doctor or hospital. Doctors and hospitals have an obligation to treat you or diagnose you consistent with the standard of care that other hospitals and doctors treat patients. Doctors and hospitals have an obligation to treat and diagnose you correctly when you are patient. They owe you a duty of reasonable care. If they breach the standard of care they have been negligent. In addition to negligence, a plaintiff must establish that their breach of care caused damages. As such, a plaintiff needs to establish (1) duty, (2) breach of that duty, (3) causation, and (4) damages. Typically, doctors and hospitals that are treating you as a patient will always owe you a duty to act as a reasonable doctor and hospital would under similar circumstances. The breach of that duty is established by expert witnesses (typically doctors) who practice in the specialty of the treating physician. In Michigan, a plaintiff must file an affidavit with their medical malpractice complaint signed by a doctor who will testify that in his professional opinion the doctor or hospital breach their duty of care. Even if a doctor or hospital owes a duty of care and breaches that duty of care, a plaintiff still must establish that this breach of care caused them damage. For example, if a patient had cancer and the doctor or hospital fails to diagnose the cancer, then the hospital or doctor is negligent. However, if that patient died as a result of an automobile accident, then the misdiagnosis of cancer did not cause damage to the patient.
In addition to negligence and causation, a plaintiff must establish that they have been damaged by the negligence. For example, if a doctor prescribed medication which a patient is allergic to but the doctor realized his mistake before the patient took the medication, and then the patient has not been damaged by the negligence of the doctor. As such, there would be no basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
MICHIGAN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAW MCLA 600.2912
MICHIGAN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAW MCLA 600.2912
Much of Michigan law on medical malpractice is codified at Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §§ 600.2912 through 600.2912h (West 2000). Subjects covered there include the elements of a malpractice action, a compulsory procedure for notice and discovery prior to filing suit, and affidavits of merit. The legislature made major changes to the laws of medical malpractice effective April 1, 1994, so the information below will not always apply to cases arising before that date.
Medical Malpractice Statutes of Limitations
A medical malpractice action may be brought within two years after the act or omission that forms the basis for the claim. Alternatively, it may be brought within six months after the claimant discovers or should have discovered the existence of the claim, so long as it is brought within six years after the act or omission. Minors have the benefit of the foregoing rules. In addition, a minor’s action may be brought any time before the minor’s tenth birthday (or fifteenth birthday for injury to the reproductive system). An action for wrongful death accrues on the date of the wrongful act, not the date of death, and is governed by the statute of limitations that would have applied had the decedent merely been injured. However, the wrongful death “saving statute” can extend either the two-year or six-month period. If the injured person dies before the statute runs (or within a 30-day grace period thereafter), his personal representative may sue within two years after being appointed so long as the suit is commenced within three years after the statute expires.
Medical Malpractice Notice of Intent
A person intending to file a medical malpractice action must first give written notice to the prospective defendants at least 182 days before the action is commenced. (This period can be reduced under some circumstances.). Giving notice tolls the running of the statute of limitations for 182 days. However, time continues to run unless the claimant complies with all the provisions of the notice statute, which calls for detailed information. There are circumstances under which a new party may be added to a lawsuit even after the statute of limitations has expired, so long as the lawsuit was filed in a timely manner against some defendants.
Medical Malpractice Joint and Several Liability
In an action for personal injury or wrongful death, the liability of each person is allocated in direct proportion to the person’s percentage of fault. In assessing each party’s percentage of fault, the trier of fact must consider the fault of persons who are not parties, including those who have settled. If the claimant in a medical malpractice action is without fault, the defendants are jointly and severally liable. If the claimant has some degree of fault, which is unusual in malpractice cases, the defendants are severally liable only. However, upon a motion made within six months of the judgment, the court will reallocate any uncollectable amount among the other defendants according to their respective percentages of fault.
Medical Malpractice Vicarious Liability
Under the doctrine of ostensible agency, as recognized by Michigan courts, a hospital may be found liable for the acts of a physician who is not actually its agent or employee. The critical factor in determining whether ostensible agency exists is whether the patient reasonably looked to the hospital for treatment or merely viewed it as the site for treatment by his physician. Ostensible agency does not arise merely because a person goes to the hospital for medical care; there must be some action or representation by the hospital to lead the patient to reasonably believe an agency in fact existed.
Medical Malpractice Expert Testimony
An expert witness in a medical malpractice case must be a licensed health care professional practicing or teaching in the same specialty as the defendant for whom or against whom he testifies, and must have any board certifications that the defendant has. A complaint alleging malpractice must be accompanied by an affidavit of merit, signed by a health care professional qualified under § 600.2169, setting forth (a) the applicable standard of care, (b) the opinion that the defendant breached the applicable standard of care, (c) the actions that should have been taken to avoid a breach of the applicable standard of care, and (d) the manner in which the breach was the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injury. A complaint that lacks this affidavit is insufficient to prevent the running of the statute of limitations. The defendant’s answer must be accompanied by a similar affidavit of meritorious defense. In all personal injury and wrongful death actions, an expert’s scientific opinion can be admitted only if the court finds that it is reliable and will assist the trier of fact. This is in addition to the court’s duty to rule on a malpractice expert’s qualifications. The criteria the court is to apply favor opinions based on scientific testing, using generally accepted methodologies for which error rates are understood, that are subject to peer review, and that are generally accepted by other scientists, especially outside of the context of litigation.
Medical Malpractice Damages
In a medical malpractice action, there is a limit on the amount recoverable for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, and physical disfigurement. These amounts increase annually with the cost of living.
Statutory Cap on Medical Malpractice Attorneys’ Fees
By statute, the compensation of attorneys is left to the express or implied agreement of the parties, subject to court rule. Contingency fees in personal injury and wrongful death cases are limited by rule to one third of the amount recovered.
GRAND RAPIDS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS
Medical malpractice lawsuits are an area of law that requires a medical malpractice attorney to properly evaluate a claim. Very few attorneys handle medical malpractice lawsuits because of their complexity and expense. They are usually handled on a contingency fee basis (one-third of net settlement). If you believe that a hospital or doctor has mistreated or misdiagnosed you, than you should consult with an attorney who specializes in this field. An attorney will usually consult with you for free to determine whether you have a valid claim.
Krupp Law Offices P.C. represents clients in medical malpractice cases throughout West Michigan, including the cities of Grand Rapids, Holland, and Grand Haven, and the counties of Kent, Ottawa, Allegan, Barry, Newaygo, Montcalm, and Ionia.
Call for a free phone consultation. Our office can help.
161 Ottawa NW Suite 404
Grand Rapids, MI49503
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