Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider, such as a doctor, nurse or surgeon, causes harm to a patient due to negligence or wrongdoing. The negligence might be due to errors in diagnosis, treatment or aftercare. When this happens, the victim may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim.
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The lawyers at Jay Trucks & Associates have helped many injury victims and their loved ones in the Lansing area and throughout Michigan obtain the compensation needed for the economic and non-economic losses they have suffered. With over 150 years of combined legal experience, we have successfully recovered more than $500 million in recoveries on behalf of our clients.
A Lansing medical malpractice lawyer is ready to meet with you during a free consultation. This meeting will help us determine whether you may have a valid claim, and we can also discuss your potential legal options to obtain a recovery. You are under no obligation to hire us, but if you do, there are no fees unless and until we help you win.
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Why Medical Malpractice Happens
Incidents of medical malpractice resulting in harm to a patient typically fall into one of three categories:
- Failure to diagnose – A situation in which a doctor fails to properly diagnose a patient’s condition compared to another competent physician who would have diagnosed that same patient according to acceptable standards.
- Failure to warn of risks – A doctor who fails to warn a patient of known risks prior to undergoing a certain procedure or type of treatment.
- Improper treatment – Failing to treat a patient according to current medical standards or as another physician in a similar situation would have done.
Proving Medical Malpractice
Health care providers sometimes make mistakes. Proving that these errors were caused by negligence or a failure to provide reasonable care can be difficult. Hospitals and doctors have several resources at their disposal to protect themselves from medical malpractice. This is why you need an experienced attorney on your side.
Our Lansing medical malpractice attorneys have decades of experience handling these types of cases and are prepared to determine who was at fault for your injury and stand up to them for causing you harm. Doing so means establishing that the health care provider failed to give care within the accepted medical standards.
Four elements of negligence must be proven:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed, meaning the doctor agreed to treat you and this agreement meant owing you a duty to provide competent care based on your circumstances.
- The doctor breached this duty by not providing treatment that another health care provider with the same skills, tools, resources and expertise would have done under similar circumstances
- The doctor’s actions or lack of action either caused your injury or illness or made it worse and it would not have otherwise happened. It is not enough to show that the doctor was simply incompetent.
- Your injury or illness resulted in damages, such as additional medical treatment, loss of wages due to missing work, and pain and suffering, both physically and mentally.
Medical malpractice victims have some difficult legal hurdles to overcome but having a qualified lawyer who is willing to advocate for your best interests could be beneficial to any case.
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How is Medical Malpractice Different From Medical Negligence?
Although medical malpractice and medical negligence are closely related, both terms are different. Medical malpractice is a negligent act or omission by a health care provider who knew he or she should have done something to treat the patient but failed to do it. However, medical negligence does not involve intent. The health care provider made a mistake in treating the patient and the patient suffered harm.
What Forms of Compensation Could I Pursue?
If you have a valid claim for medical malpractice, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for a variety of damages. The damages awarded and their award amount will be based on factors unique to your situation.
These damages help reimburse victims for financial costs related to the malpractice. This may include medical expenses related to treatment or physical therapy, stays in the hospital, transportation to and from doctors’ visits, corrective surgeries, prescription and over-the-counter medications, assistive devices, and so forth. Economic damages could also cover loss of income if your injuries caused you to miss work for some time.
Non-economic damages help reimburse victims for the pain and suffering they have endured but are less easy to calculate, such as:
- Physical pain
- Mental suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of companionship with a spouse.
Non-economic damages could also cover loss of future earning capacity if your injury caused by malpractice resulted in a permanent disability.
Michigan does impose caps on non-economic damages for medical malpractice claims. For any cases being filed in 2020, the cap is at $495,700. This cap can increase to $842,500 for certain permanent disabilities, such as permanent cognitive damage rendering you unable to make life decisions or take care of everyday tasks, permanent damage to the reproductive organs rendering you unable to procreate, and brain or spinal cord injuries that result in paraplegia or quadriplegia rendering you unable to move an entire limb.
Not to be mistaken with punitive damages, exemplary damages can be awarded in Michigan medical malpractice cases when the other party’s willful acts were malicious or grossly negligent with a disregard for a victim’s rights and causing him or her to feel outrage, humiliation, increased harm or mental anguish.
Set up your free consultation with a Lansing Medical Malpractice attorney today: (800) 762-8623.
Deadline for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice victims in Michigan must file a claim generally within two years from the date of the injury. There are exceptions to this two-year deadline in certain situations.
For instance, if your injury caused by malpractice was not discovered until after the two years had passed, you have six months from the date the injury was reasonably discovered to file a claim. All medical malpractice claims must be filed within six years after the act or omission giving rise to the claim.
A licensed Lansing medical malpractice attorney from our firm is ready to review your claim and help determine the deadline that applies to your particular circumstances.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Although many people who seek medical care receive adequate treatment, medical malpractice can still happen. The most common types of medical malpractice include, but are not limited to:
Poorly trained health care providers or those who do not order appropriate diagnostic tests can cause a patient harm with an incorrect diagnosis. Conditions often misdiagnosed include infections, heart attacks, heart disease, blood clots and tumor or masses inside a patient’s body. These errors typically occur at a later date, which could cause a patient’s condition to worsen and could limit his or her options for treatment.
Medications are being readily prescribed more than ever before, making drug errors a common type of medical malpractice. This can happen when a health care provider gives a patient the wrong medication, fails to give the appropriate medication at the correct time, gives a patient an incorrect dosage, or fails to notice a harmful drug interaction. These errors can cause a patient to suffer serious side effects or possibly overdose.
Although spinal surgery and gastrointestinal surgery account for most surgical errors, it can happen even during routine operations. Surgeons could be liable for medical malpractice if they perform the wrong procedure, operate on the wrong patient or body part, leave sponges or other surgical instrument inside the body, or fail to follow proper sanitary procedures. These errors can result in severe, life-changing injuries.
Anesthesia errors can happen when an anesthesiologist administers an incorrect dosage, delays the delivery of anesthesia, fails to monitor the patient during a procedure, or fails to recognize and respond to anesthesia complications. These errors can cause a patient to suffer permanent brain damage or even death.
When a health care provider is not mindful of the potential complications that can arise during labor and delivery, both the mother and child can suffer harm. Childbirth errors often happen due to a failure to monitor or recognize a mother’s condition or fetal distress, failure to stop a long labor, delays in a C-section delivery or poor use of birthing instruments. A child can suffer nerve damage and developmental delays.
Speak With a Lansing Medical Malpractice Attorney
Victims of medical malpractice could be eligible to pursue compensation for injuries and other damages caused by diagnostic errors, inadequate treatment and poor aftercare. If you or someone you care about has been injured by a negligent health care provider, our Lansing medical malpractice attorneys are here to help.
Jay Trucks & Associates has been representing injury victims in Ingham County and across Michigan state for more than 30 years. We have a proven track record recovering millions in compensation for our clients. You may be able to obtain compensation to help cover costs for your medical expenses and loss of wages.
A consultation with our firm is free of charge with no obligations involved. There are no upfront fees for our services unless we help you obtain a recovery. We are available day or night to take your call or chat online.
Call us today at (800) 762-8623. Free Consultation.