A Michigan medical malpractice lawyer works hard to hold medical professionals accountable for the harm to patients caused by their negligence.  This includes doctors, nurses, hospitals, and any other person or entity providing medical care and treatment.

If you or a loved one was injured due to a medical mistake or error, the doctors and hospital will not give you honest answers about what went wrong. All you want is the truth.

An experienced Michigan medical malpractice lawyer at the Buckfire Law Firm we will get it for you. When you choose our law firm, we will get all of your medical records and review them to see if a medical error or mistake caused a serious injury or death. We will also speak with highly respected board-certified physicians and medical experts about your care.

If we can prove that you or someone you care about was the victim of medical negligence, we will file a lawsuit for you. Malpractice lawsuits seek settlements for patients harmed by medical negligence.

For medical malpractice cases involving a patient’s death, we file a wrongful death lawsuit for the surviving family members to seek justice and compensation for their losses.

Choose Us for Your Michigan Medical Malpractice Case

When you hire The Buckfire Law Firm for your case, you are getting a great team of attorneys on your side. Each medical malpractice lawyer at the firm has over 25 years of experience specializing in medical negligence lawsuits and a history of winning major settlements for our clients.

We have law offices in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Southfield, and Macomb County and represent clients on a statewide basis. Our medical malpractice lawyers sue hospitals and doctors for malpractice in every area of Michigan, including Monroe, Port Huron, Kalamazoo, Flint, Lansing, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City.

We can help wherever negligent medical care happened in Michigan. Our Michigan medical malpractice attorneys always give a free consultation.

About our Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawyers

We have been winning personal injury cases since the firm was started in 1969. We are recognized as legal experts in medical malpractice cases. Our attorneys for medical malpractice have earned the top awards in the legal profession, including:

  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • U.S. News Best Law Firm
  • Super Lawyers
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • A.V. Rating by Martindale-Hubbell

We will represent you under our No Fee Promise. There is no up-front money and we do not charge any legal fees whatsoever unless you get a settlement. We also pay all of the case expenses.
Buckfire Law Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawyer

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice, also called medical negligence, is when a hospital, clinic, doctor, nurse, or other health care professional fails to provide appropriate medical care to a patient.

The negligence could be medical errors or mistakes in the diagnosis, treatment, surgery, or management of the patient. This includes surgical mistakes, anesthesia errors, medication mistakes, or harm caused by a misdiagnosis or the failure to diagnose a serious medical condition. To determine if you have a case, contact a top-rated medical malpractice lawyer at our firm.

Common Examples of Medical Malpractice

Our Michigan medical malpractice attorneys handle are many types of medical malpractice and medical negligence lawsuits, including:

Medical Malpractice Statistics

More than 250,000 Americans die each year as a result of medical errors, according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The study suggests medical errors rank as the third leading cause of non-violent death — behind heart disease and cancer — in the United States.

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), surgeons and obstetricians-gynecologists are sued the most often on medical malpractice lawsuits.

It was found that pediatricians and psychiatrists were sued the least in malpractice suits. Below is a list of suits by doctor specialties and least in descending order from the highest percentage to the lowest percentage sued by lawyers for medical malpractice.

  1. Obstetrics-gynecology (OB/GYN) and fertility clinics
  2. General surgery
  3. Surgical sub-specialties
  4. Emergency room medicine
  5. Radiology
  6. Anesthesiology
  7. Internal medicine subspecialties (cardiology, nephrology, endocrinology)
  8. Pathology
  9. Other specialties (dermatology, ophthalmology)
  10. General and family practice
  11. General internal medicine
  12. Pediatrics
  13. Psychiatry
  14. Podiatry 
  15. Dentistry
  16. Chiropractic

Between 2009-2018, there were only 13 states in the entire United States that ranked higher than Michigan for medical malpractice payment settlements. In that period, the amount of $697,320,000 was paid out to patients. Let a medical malpractice lawyer at our law firm help you get a settlement.

What are Michigan Laws on Medical Malpractice?

Michigan has several state statutes the deal with lawsuits involving medical malpractice.

The laws provide very specific requirements for the filing of a complaint (MCL 600.2912d) and even the steps needed before a lawsuit is filed (MCL 600.2912B). In addition, laws are established by cases and legal precedents decided by the courts based upon interpretation of these laws.

These laws are very rigid and must be strictly complied with in order to file a case in the courts. They include requirements for sending out a Notice of Intent to Sue more than six months before a lawsuit can be filed with the court, the requirements of expert witnesses, and other required procedures.

Do I Have a Case for Medical Malpractice?

Doctors and hospitals will rarely if ever, admit that they are guilty of medical negligence.

The only way to know if you have a medical malpractice case is to have your records reviewed by an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. Buckfire Law has more than 50 years of experience handling medical malpractice cases. You will have a top-notch medical malpractice attorney working on your case.

Our malpractice attorneys will get your records, review them with our in-house medical team, and then discuss your case with our medical experts.

After the review is complete, we will know if you have a meritorious case to file in court. We will then let you know if you have a medical malpractice case.

What Qualifies for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

A lawyer can help with a medical malpractice lawsuit, which is when a case is actually filed at the courthouse alleging negligence by a doctor, hospital, clinic, or nurse.

The lawsuit, called the Complaint, states the history of the treatment, the medical basis for alleging negligent care, and an explanation of the damages claimed in the suit. It must have an Affidavit of Merit attached from a qualified physician supporting the case.

This legal pleading is served on all defendant medical professionals who must then answer the allegations in their own legal pleading filed with the court. This is the beginning of the litigation process. Our medical malpractice attorneys take care of everything from start to finish on your case.

How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice in Michigan?

Proving medical malpractice cases requires more than finding that a medical error was made or that a patient had a poor outcome.

A bad result alone does not support a finding of malpractice.

Under Michigan law, the main factors you need to prove a medical malpractice case are:

  • The existence of a doctor-patient relationship (or hospital, urgent care, clinic, medical professional)
  • That the medical care or treatment provided was below the acceptable standard of care, including the failure to make a medical diagnosis or provide necessary treatment for a condition.
  • That the alleged negligence caused injury, harm, or death to the patient
  • The patient (or estate) suffered quantifiable harm as a result of medical malpractice, which would include pain and suffering, disability, loss of income, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, and other economic harm.

It is necessary to prove all of these factors to win your case.

If a doctor made a mistake but it did not result in harm to the patient, then a case cannot be filed under the law. Or, if a patient suffered harm during a medical procedure but it was not caused by a medical error, then a medical malpractice case cannot be filed.

Hospitals and doctors defend every factor of a case to defeat your claim so it is essential that there is a legal and medical basis to prove every element.

Can I Sue a Doctor for Medical Negligence?

With the help of a Michigan medical malpractice lawyer, you can sue a doctor for medical malpractice if the physician failed to properly diagnose a condition, treat a condition, or refer you to the appropriate medical specialist and it resulted in serious injury or death.

If the doctor was employed by a hospital system or if the malpractice occurred while you were in the hospital, you may also be able to include the hospital as a defendant in the lawsuit.

In most cases, you can sue a hospital for medical malpractice if the negligence was committed by a hospital employee or agent. This includes staff physicians, nurses, and other employees at the hospital.

A hospital is generally liable for the negligence of its medical professionals. This includes mistakes in the emergency room, surgical center, and patient floors.

Many times, a doctor or surgeon is not employed by the hospital and is either an independent contractor or just using the facility to treat their own patients. In these cases, the hospital may argue that it is not responsible for the negligent care provided by a non-hospital employee in their own facility.

A judge or jury will have to decide if the hospital is responsible to the patient in these circumstances.

How Do I Find Out if My Doctor Has Been Sued for Medical Malpractice?

Unfortunately, there is no public database available to find out if your doctor has been sued for medical malpractice in the past. This would be great information to know before you chose a physician, especially for an important necessary or elective surgery.

One way to find out is to search the case listings at the courthouse in the counties where the doctor currently practices or has practiced in the past.

Many courts now give you the ability to search case listings online by a party’s name, so you can search for the name of the physician. Some doctors have had multiple medical malpractice cases filed against them in the past and information from those lawsuits can be helpful to your case.

Another way to find out is by consulting with a malpractice attorney who may have sued the same doctor in the past or knows of a previous lawsuit filed against the doctor.

Michigan Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations, or time limit, to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Michigan is prescribed by a statute,  MCL 600.5838.  In general, a patient or family members has two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. There are some exceptions to this deadline for cases involving minors and those involving the death of the patient.

There is also a very limited discovery rule, which may extend the filing date if the medical negligence was discovered after the two-year period. A victim of medical malpractice should consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing any deadlines.  Our lawyers recently settled a case for a stroke victim almost six years after the date of malpractice

How Long Does it Take for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

The actual medical malpractice lawsuit takes around one and a half to two years to complete from the time the Complaint is filed at the court until either the trial or settlement. However, the process often takes much longer because it can take many months to get all of your medical records and have them reviewed by a physician expert witness.

Once it has been determined that you have a valid case, Michigan law requires that a Notice of Intent to File Suit be sent to all negligent medical providers, including doctors and hospitals.

There is then a sixth-month waiting period set by law before the actual suit can be filed at the courthouse. After the lawsuit is filed, the process can often take up to two years but many cases are settled sooner.

Do Most Medical Malpractice Cases Settle or Go to Trial?

The majority of medical malpractice cases settle before a trial. Statistics show that more than 90% of lawsuits settle before a trial. This is for several reasons.

First, the requirements for filing a case are very strict, and therefore most cases have merit.

Second, the cost of going through a trial is very high and can take several weeks or more from start to finish.

Third, although the defendants win most cases that do go to trial, the jury verdicts against them often exceed one million dollars.

Therefore, the costs and risks of going through a trial are significant, and it is often beneficial to the medical provider and insurance company to settle before a trial.

How Much Can you Sue for in a Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

In Michigan, there are damage limits (or caps) on the amount of compensation that you can receive in a case. These damage caps do not include medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, or other economic losses that can be added to the damages limit to determine how much you can get in your lawsuit.

Many times, the economic losses caused by medical negligence are substantial and this can increase the settlement amount by millions of dollars. Insurance companies are often very concerned about the future loss of earnings by a victim of medical malpractice.

What is the Average Settlement for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

There is no “average settlement” for a medical malpractice lawsuit. The settlement amount depends on a large number of factors and they vary from case to case. These factors include the degree to which you can prove medical negligence, whether you can prove negligence caused a serious injury and the type of harm caused by the medical error.

When it comes to damages, the settlement amount takes into consideration the permanency of the injury, whether there has been a loss of income or earning capacity, and the amount of the medical expenses incurred due to the malpractice.

Another important factor includes the venue, or location, of the lawsuit. Juries in certain counties regularly award fewer money damages than other counties. This is often a major consideration in determining the settlement.

Finally, the medical malpractice lawyer representing you is often the biggest factor in your settlement amount. The best attorneys get their clients the highest settlements through their skill, hard work, and experience.

Choosing the right attorney is the most important decision you will make for your case.

How are Settlements Determined?

The amount of a medical malpractice settlement depends on the strength of the evidence in proving the required legal factors for a case.

Cases with the most significant injuries, or death, have the highest settlement amounts. Cases with significant economic loss, such as loss of income or large medical expenses have a higher settlement value or result in larger jury verdicts.

There is no set guideline or formula to determine the amount of a settlement. It is the experience of a skilled attorney that can determine a fair settlement based upon the factors needed to prove and win a case.

Other factors include the insurance policy limits of the doctor, the severity of the injuries, and the county where the lawsuit was filed. Hospitals and insurance companies evaluate the same factors when deciding if they want to settle a lawsuit or take it to trial. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will get you the top settlement.

Medical Malpractice Case Study

A 41-year-old man went to the hospital with complaints of symptoms consistent with a spinal epidural abscess. An MRI was ordered but not performed for several days due to the patient’s significant pain in the spine. His condition continued to worsen over the next several days.

The patient was not taken to surgery until it was too late to evacuate the abscess and minimize the pressure on the spinal cord. As a result, he suffered quadriplegia. The hospital disputed negligence and a medical malpractice lawsuit was filed. The parties later settled for $3,360,000.

Examples of Michigan Malpractice Settlements

  • $9,000,000 settlement for a patient who suffered severe hypoxic encephalopathy in a hospital.
  • $6,400,000 jury verdict in Lansing for the wrongful death of a man in the county jail
  • $4,500,000 settlement against a hospital and OBGYN for a birth injury resulting in cerebral palsy.
  • $4,100,000 settlement against a hospital for a surgical error causing severe complications.
  • $3,750,000 settlement for a teenager not properly supervised in the suicide wing of a hospital.
  • $3,500,000 settlement against a Detroit area hospital for the wrongful death of a patient.
  • $3,500,000 settlement for a spinal cord injury caused in surgery and resulted in paralysis.
  • $2,100,000 settlement for medical negligence that led to a stroke, causing quadriplegia.
  • $3,100,000 stroke malpractice settlement for emergency room physician negligence.
  • $2,500,000 medication mistake settlement that caused permanent brain damage.
  • $2,400,000.00 settlement for failing to diagnose a bowel obstruction in a 6-year-old.
  • $1,750,000 jury verdict against a Detroit hospital for surgery errors causing brain damage.

How Much do Lawyers Charge for Medical Malpractice Cases?

At the Buckfire Law Firm, an award-winning medical malpractice lawyer will represent you under our No-Fee Promise, which means we will pay for the full investigation of your case and only charge a fee if you receive a settlement.  This also called a “contingency fee agreement” and is preferred by clients due to the significant cost of pursuing a claim.

If your case is unsuccessful and you do not receive a settlement, then you owe us nothing.

Finding the Best Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawyer

You definitely will want to find the best Michigan medical malpractice lawyer to handle your case. The lawyer you choose is the biggest factor in winning your malpractice lawsuit.

Our award-winning lawyers have received the top awards in the legal profession for both skill and integrity. We regularly win among the highest settlements in Michigan every year.

Call us now to learn more about our law firm and to find out how we can help you.

We are friendly and eager to hear your story so we can start working on your case immediately.

Michigan Medical Malpractice References and Resources

- Harry Carter
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Title: Medical Malpractice
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