Medical errors are unfortunately common throughout Michigan. To help mitigate the confusion and uncertainty after an injury, we try to answer any question that may come across your mind.
We hope that the knowledge we provide can give you direction on what to do next, from collecting evidence and calculating damages to pursuing a claim for compensation.
Along with answering questions, a skilled lawyer can assist you with each step of your case. In fact, we may be able to assist you in receiving a settlement or reimbursement for damages.
The attorneys at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. have the experience and expertise with gathering evidence, calculating damages, and negotiating an appropriate settlement for you after a medical mistake was made.
Get Answers to Your Malpractice Questions Below
Our Michigan medical malpractice lawyers are aware that you probably have many questions about your current situation or a case involving someone that you love.
We try to answer many of these questions below.
Although each medical malpractice case is unique, these frequently asked questions and answers could provide you with some guidance regarding what initial steps should be taken.
Some of the common questions we receive about malpractice cases include:
- What is “informed consent”?
- If I sign a consent form, do I waive my rights to sue?
- How do I know if I have a case against a doctor or other medical professional?
- Who can I sue for medical malpractice?
- Do I need a medical malpractice lawyer to file a case?
- What types of compensation could I receive?
- What is the damage cap for medical malpractice cases?
- How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
- Can I file a medical malpractice lawsuit for a misdiagnosis?
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that we hear from clients throughout Michigan who have suffered injuries due to medical malpractice. Of course, you may have other inquiries regarding your unique case that must be addressed by a skillful attorney.
We encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation case review to tell us your story.
Call us now. We are friendly and eager to help you.
Whom can I sue in a medical malpractice claim?
You can sue any licensed medical provider that caused you harm due to a medical error. This can include a doctor, nurse, technician, and other medical professionals.
In many cases, there are multiple people who committed medical malpractice. For example, a patient may die in surgery due to negligence by both a surgeon and anesthesiologist. In that situation, you would file medical malpractice claims against both physicians.
What is the standard of care for medical malpractice cases?
The phrase “standard of care” refers to the required medical treatment that should be provided to a patient under the circumstances. This is determined by the factors surrounding any treatment or diagnosis and then measured against what a competent physician would do under the same or similar circumstances. In most malpractice lawsuits, the parties disagree on whether or not the defendants breached, or violated, the standard of care for the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
What are damage caps in medical negligence cases?
Damage caps are limits on the amount of money a patient can get in a medical malpractice case. These are determined by state laws, or statutes, and are different in each state. They are artificial limits implemented to keep settlements and jury verdicts down.
Unfortunately, they only harm patients who have been the most harmed by medical mistakes and errors. Those with the most serious injuries have their damages limited and rarely receive appropriate compensation. Caps generally apply to pain and suffering damages and not financial losses.
How much money is my medical malpractice case worth?
There are no guidelines or schedules that set how much money a medical malpractice case is worth. Every case depends on its own unique circumstances and the harm suffered by the patient. In addition, the financial losses, like medical bills and lost wages, are never the same in two cases. As a result, each case is weighed on its own merits to determine the fair amount of a settlement.
Can I still sue for malpractice if I signed a consent form?
You were likely required to sign a Patient Consent Form before any treatments, procedures, or surgeries. These forms state the potential risks of the procedure and you acknowledge that you understand them. After all, there are risks to procedures and injuries happen in the absence of medical negligence.
However, you never consent or agree to medical malpractice. So, a patient who suffers harm due to a medical error, and not just a bad outcome, can still file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
How do I know if I was the victim of medical malpractice?
On rare occasions, another doctor will be honest and tell you if you were the victim of malpractice. Most of the time, the only way to know is by consulting with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. Your lawyer will get all of your medical records and carefully review them.
Then, your lawyer will consult with a medical specialist to discuss your case. The specialist will review all records and radiology studies to see if a medical error caused you harm. It is the opinion of the medical expert that will let you know if you were the victim of medical malpractice?
What is the hospital risk management department?
Most hospitals have risk management departments. These are staffed by hospital employees, many of which are attorneys and former insurance adjusters. The purpose of the department is to evaluate all potential claims to see if a patient has a valid medical malpractice claim.
You may be contacted by a risk manager to discuss your case. Sometimes, you will be offered a settlement or you may be told why the hospital does not think you have a case. It is best to speak with an experienced lawyer before meeting and speaking with the risk management office.
What is the statute of limitations for Michigan medical malpractice lawsuits?
In general, you have two years from the date of the medical negligence to file a lawsuit in Michigan. There are exceptions for children and in some wrongful death cases. There is also a “discovery rule” which may allow you to file your lawsuit after the two-year period.
These time deadlines are very unforgiving. If you miss the cutoff date, your case will be lost forever. It is important to contact a medical malpractice law firm as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Do most cases go to a jury trial?
Most medical malpractice cases settle before a trial. Quite often, the attorneys and parties will meet with an independent mediator for settlement discussion purposes. Other times, the parties conduct their own settlement talks to reach a fair resolution before going to court for trial.