If you were injured during a medical procedure or developed an illness after undergoing medical treatment, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. Talking to an experienced medical malpractice attorney about what happened could be an important step as you consider possible legal options. The attorneys at Jay Trucks and Associates have been representing Michigan injury victims for more than 30 years. Our firm has been able to recover over $500 million in compensation on behalf of our clients.
Contact the Clare medical malpractice attorneys at Jay Trucks and Associates for a free review of your claim. There are no upfront fees or obligations. Unless you receive compensation, we do not get paid.
Free Consultation. No Upfront Fees. (800) 762-8623
How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
The burden of proof is on the victim, which means you or your lawyer must be able to prove the defendant engaged in some form of medical malpractice.
Your lawyer must establish four things:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship – You or your lawyer must prove you received treatment from the doctor or health care professional in question.
- The doctor did not uphold the medical standard of care – The health care professional failed to provide care that met accepted standards in the medical community. In other words, he or she failed to provide the level of care another qualified health care professional would have provided in a similar situation.
- The breach of the standard duty of care directly resulted in your injury – There must be a direct link between the breach and your injury and it would not have happened otherwise. When you file a medical malpractice claim in Michigan, it must include an affidavit of merit signed by a health care professional who meets the state’s criteria for an expert witness. The affidavit must explain how the standard of care was breached and how it is linked to the injury suffered. Our firm has access to medical experts we can use to help draft an affidavit of merit.
- Damages were sustained – There must be proof of your damages such as medical bills, lost income or physical pain and mental suffering.
Our dedicated team of legal professionals is prepared to answer any questions you may have about your medical malpractice claim. If you have a valid claim, we are prepared to manage the entire legal process, from investigating to gathering medical records, talking to witnesses, negotiating for fair compensation and preparing for trial if necessary.
Do I Need to File my Claim by a Certain Time?
Under the Michigan statute of limitations, a medical malpractice claim must be filed within two years of the date of the injury. However, if you did not discover the injury when it happened, such as in a misdiagnosis claim, you must file within two years of the injury or six months of the date you discovered it, whichever date falls later.
Despite this exception, claims cannot be filed more than six years from the date of the act or omission that is the basis of the claim (Michigan Compiled Laws 600.5838a).
If you are unsure about the deadline for your claim, contact a knowledgeable Clare medical malpractice attorney from Jay Trucks & Associates. If you do not file before the deadline passes, you may lose the right to do so.
Compensation for a Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice can result in many damages, financial and otherwise.
These are the financial damages that may result from a medical malpractice injury:
- Past, present or future medical expenses (surgery, physical therapy, testing, mobility aids, etc.)
- Lost wages due to missed time from work
- Surviving family members (in wrongful death cases) may be compensated for loss of future income and benefits
If you experienced physical pain and suffering due to your injury, your lawyer may be able to pursue compensation. Other non-economic damages may include:
- Mental trauma
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of companionship due to a physical impairment
In some ways, these damages are like punitive damages awarded in other states to punish at-fault parties for severe negligence. However, exemplary damages are not meant as punishment. These are awarded as compensation for mental anguish, humiliation, outrage or increased injury to a victim’s feelings due to the at-fault party’s willful, malicious or wanton behavior or reckless disregard for a victim’s rights.
Our Clare medical malpractice attorneys have in-depth knowledge of medical malpractice cases and state laws that apply to these cases. If your claim is valid, we are committed to pursuing maximum compensation for the damages you suffered.
We can discuss the damages you may be eligible to pursue during your free case review. (800) 762-8623
Cap on Non-Economic Damages
Michigan is one of many states that places a limit on the amount of non-economic compensation you can pursue in an injury claim. The cap increases each year to account for inflation – in 2019 it was $489,400.
There is a higher cap for claims involving certain types of injuries. This cap also increases for inflation – in 2019 it was $832,000.
This higher cap applies if you or your loved one suffered:
- Brain or spinal cord damage resulting in hemiplegia, paraplegia or quadriplegia causing permanent functional loss in at least one limb
- Permanent damage to cognitive capacity that makes you unable to make life decisions independently and perform activities of daily living on your own
- Permanent impairment of reproductive organ making you unable to have children
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice usually falls into one of three categories:
- Failure to provide warning – Health care providers could be held liable for not warning patients of known risks or possible side effects of a treatment they provide. In other words, the health care provider failed to obtain informed consent before a procedure or treatment. If the patient had all the information, he or she may have declined treatment or requested a different type of treatment.
- Failure in diagnosis – The patient would likely need to prove that another qualified health care professional would have provided a different diagnosis and it would have resulted in a better outcome. Examples of a failure in diagnosis include misdiagnosing a patient, failing to diagnose a medical issue, or not diagnosing an issue before it became more difficult to treatment. When a patient has cancer, misdiagnosis can be fatal.
- Failure in treatment – If a physician fails to provide treatment or provides treatment incorrectly, he or she could be held liable for damages. Examples of this could include surgical errors (operating on the wrong body part, damaging internal organs during surgery, leaving instruments inside patients, etc.), medication errors (prescribing a medication that causes harmful side effects, administering the medication wrong, etc.), or failure to obtain a complete medical history.
What Causes Medical Malpractice?
There are many reasons why medical malpractice occurs. Some of the most common are:
- Lack of communication – Sometimes a health care professional may have a misunderstanding about a patient’s medical history or is unaware of an allergy to a medication. Miscommunication could lead to things like operating on the wrong body part or performing the wrong procedure on a patient.
- Unorganized staff – This could lead to medication errors, surgical errors, anesthesia errors and many other forms of medical malpractice. For example, if staff members fail to document treatments that have already been provided, a patient could be given too many doses of a medication. Disorganization could also lead to a patient not receiving treatment, which could happen in an emergency room. The results of this could be fatal.
- Fatigue – Lack of sleep due to long hours and overtime could cause health care professionals to make serious mistakes due to confusion, slower reaction times and poor decision-making.
- Operating under the influence – When a medical professional is performing his or her duties under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she can make poor decisions that can lead to serious consequences.
Call (800) 762-8623 to schedule your free consultation with a licensed Clare medical malpractice lawyer at Jay trucks & Associates.
Differences Between Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence
Accidents and mistakes can happen when people receive medical treatment. This can be referred to as medical negligence. The treating doctors did not know about the error and there was no intent to cause harm.
The difference between medical negligence and medical malpractice is the doctor knows or should know about the standard of care in a situation. He or she should know taking certain actions or not taking certain actions could lead to the patient suffering an injury.
Unsure if you were a victim of negligence or malpractice? Our licensed Clare medical malpractice lawyers are available to answer your questions.
Is a Medical Malpractice Settlement Taxed?
The general rules are that punitive damages are taxed, along with compensation for things like emotional distress and interest on the settlement. However, compensation for economic damages is generally not taxed.
Discuss Your Claim with a Clare Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
The licensed lawyers at Jay Trucks and Associates are available to discuss the details of your claim. We understand this may be a difficult time for you and your loved ones, which is why we are prepared to handle the entire legal process on your behalf, if you have a case.
We charge no upfront fees and you will not be billed unless we win fair compensation on your behalf. You will not be obligated to hire our firm to represent you, so there is no risk involved.
Our office is located at 600 Pine Street in Clare, Michigan, just two blocks away from the MidMichigan Medical Center.
Jay Trucks and Associates. Ph: (800) 762-8623