Hospitals, doctors and other medical professionals are expected to provide a certain standard of care. However, if a patient is harmed because the health care provider failed to meet that standard and an injury was caused, the victim may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
From day one, my attorney and the office staff at Jay Trucks & Associates went above and beyond what I expected. I was treated as a person, not just a client…
– D. Lathrop
For over three decades, the legal team at Jay Trucks & Associates has been representing Michigan injury victims, helping to recover compensation for any medical, physical and financial harm caused by negligence or wrongdoing. We have been able to recover more than $500 million for our clients.
A member of our legal team is ready to take your call and arrange a free and confidential consultation with a Grand Rapids medical malpractice attorney. After reviewing your situation and legal options, you are under no obligation to move forward and there are no upfront fees for our services. We only receive payment if we help you obtain compensation.
We are available 24/7 to take your call at (800) 762-8623.
How Does Medical Malpractice Happen?
Medical malpractice can happen when a medical professional neglects to provide adequate treatment, fails to take appropriate action, or gives substandard care that causes injury or death to a patient.
A number of situations can lead to a medical malpractice claim, often including failure to diagnose or treat an illness or warn a patient of known risks of treatment. Examples include a surgeon leaving tools inside a patient’s body during an operation, a doctor incorrectly prescribing a medication that interacts dangerously with other drugs, or an anesthesiologist failing to review a patient’s medical records for allergies or other complications.
If you are uncertain if you have a medical malpractice claim, call (800) 762-8623 today.
Proving A Medical Malpractice Claim
To prove medical malpractice, four elements must be established:
- A doctor-patient relationship was established, causing the doctor to owe you a duty of care to deliver treatment consistent with the accepted standards in the medical community.
- The doctor violated the standard of care by not providing treatment that another medical professional with the same education, training and background would have provided in a similar situation.
- The doctor’s negligent actions or inactions caused you to sustain an injury that would not have otherwise happened. An unfavorable outcome by itself is not considered malpractice. It must be directly linked to a breach of the standard of care.
- Your injury resulted in significant damages, such as medical bills or loss of wages from missing work
Medical malpractice claims can be difficult to handle without the legal knowledge and experience of an experienced lawyer. Our legal team is well-versed in state medical malpractice laws and knows how these laws may apply to your situation.
We are also prepared to find an expert witness to complete an affidavit of merit, if we find you have a valid claim. Michigan law requires this affidavit to be filed with any medical malpractice complaint, and it must explain how the standard of care was breached (Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.2912d).
There are specific criteria on who qualifies as an expert witness and our lawyers can handle finding an individual who would work for your case, if we validate your claim. For example, if you are filing a claim against a general practitioner, the expert witness could be someone who was in active clinical practice in the year preceding the date of the alleged medical malpractice.
Difference Between Medical Negligence and Medical Malpractice
It is important to note that medical malpractice and medical negligence are terms closely associated with one another but are not the same thing. Medical malpractice involves a negligent act or omission that a doctor was or should have been aware of whereas medical negligence is unintentional and there was no intent to cause harm.
Damages Awarded for Medical Malpractice
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice and have a valid claim, you may be eligible to recover a variety of damages. The damages awarded will depend on your individual situation and could include:
These damages help cover monetary losses that can be easily quantified through medical bills or pay stubs, such as past, current and future medical costs, hospital stays, emergency services, medications, rehabilitation services and therapy. If you also missed work due to an injury, loss of wages may be compensable. If you are permanently disabled and unable to do the same job as before, you may be eligible for compensation for lost earning capacity.
These damages are harder to quantify since they have no actual monetary value, such as physical and mental pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship with a spouse or partner. Michigan does place a cap on how much is recoverable for these damages. The cap is $495,700 for cases filed in 2020.
The cap increases to $842,500 for certain kinds of permanent disabilities:
- Permanent cognitive damage that makes you unable to make life decisions on your own or take care of activities of daily living independently
- Permanent damage to reproductive organ that prevents you from having children
- Brain injuries or spinal cord injuries that cause paraplegia or quadriplegia resulting in permanent functional loss of one limb
While other states may issue punitive damages, which are meant to punish the at-fault party for reckless negligence, Michigan is not one of them. The state does however issue exemplary damages. These damages are awarded when another party’s willful or apparent disregard for a victim’s rights causes him or her to feel mental anguish, outrage, humiliation or increased harm.
Learn more about the potential value of your claim during a free consultation. (800) 762-8623.
Are Medical Malpractice Settlements Taxable?
It depends. Certain circumstances must be considered that will determine whether or not you have to pay taxes on a medical malpractice settlement. Generally, special damages are not taxable income, but general damages such as emotional distress are taxable unless they are directly connected to a physical injury.
Is There a Time Limit To Take Legal Action?
In Michigan, victims of medical malpractice usually have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim for compensation. There are certain exceptions to this rule.
If the injury was not reasonably discovered before the two-year deadline passes, such as in cases involving a delayed diagnosis, victims have up to six months from the date the injury was discovered to take legal action.
Regardless, medical malpractice claims may not be filed more than six years after the act or omission giving rise to the claim. A licensed Grand Rapids medical malpractice lawyer from our firm is prepared to help determine the deadline applicable to your situation.
Call at Jay Trucks & Associates to get started. (800) 762-8623.
Different Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can arise during any stage of treatment and take many forms. Examples include:
- Failing to diagnose or misdiagnosis of an injury
- Performing an unnecessary surgery
- Operating on the wrong patient or body part
- Misreading laboratory results or acting on inaccurate results
- Failing to conduct medical tests
- Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage
- Inadequately conducting follow-up or aftercare
- Disregarding a patient’s medical history
- Failing to recognize symptoms
- Prematurely discharging a patient
- Administering too much or too little anesthesia
- Failing to perform or delaying a C-section during childbirth
Medical malpractice can be caused by many things, such as a lack of communication between medical professionals or with a patient. Doctors could also be tired, leading to surgical errors, such as damage to internal organs or anesthesia errors that may cause brain damage. Hospitals can be hectic places, which could easily cause medication errors or failure to document a patient’s allergies to medications.
Reach Out to a Grand Rapids Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Filing a medical malpractice claim could help victims recover compensation for an injury or death that resulted from substandard treatment. If you have been harmed by a negligent medical professional, you should consult with a licensed lawyer as soon as possible.
Our legal team at Jay Trucks & Associates has represented many injury victims in Kent County and throughout Michigan state. We have also helped recover more than $500 million in compensation for our clients. This includes compensation to cover medical bills related to hospital stays, revision surgeries and medications.
Our consultations are completely free and come with no risk or obligation to hire our Grand Rapids medical malpractice attorneys. Any upfront fees are waived unless we are successful in helping you obtain compensation.
Call us 24/7 at (800) 762-8623.