Michigan Medical Malpractice Attorney

Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Thurswell LawDoctors take an oath to do no harm when they diagnose, cure, and treat illness and disease, and they have a legal obligation to provide an acceptable “standard of care” to patients. When doctors, other medical professionals, and medical facilities fail to provide proper and adequate care, causing harm or death to a patient, it devastates families.

In addition to the physical pain of injury, and likely accompanying financial burden, medical malpractice can cause severe emotional harm because it damages the trust a patient places in a doctor.

Malpractice and Your Rights

The Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Thurswell Law have been successfully representing clients who are injured or killed by the careless or intentional acts of healthcare providers since 1968. Experience gets results.

If you or a loved one have suffered harm at the hands of a medical professional, Michigan law entitles you to seek compensation for damages related to your injury. Contact the experienced Michigan medical malpractice attorneys at Thurswell Law at (248) 354-2222 for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can help you hold doctors and facilities accountable for their negligence.

No one should ever have to suffer at the hands of medical providers with whom so many of us place our trust. Most injuries and deaths could have and should have been prevented.

Call Thurswell Law today if you or your loved one has ever suffered an injury or death caused by:

You’ve trusted your hospital with your care and they’ve failed you. Now it’s our turn; we won’t charge you any fees unless we recover money for you. Call today: 1-866-354-5544

What Really Is Medical Malpractice?

The simplest definition of medical malpractice is “a careless or intentional act committed by a healthcare provider that leads to injury or death.” When a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional fails to deliver the care they have pledged to provide, their negligence can irrevocably alter the lives of their victims and the victims’ families.

From a legal standpoint, medical malpractice occurs when a facility or medical professional causes injury to a patient through a negligent act or omission. Not all injuries which occur in a health care setting qualify as medical malpractice. An attorney can advise you on your particular situation, but medical malpractice generally occurs during diagnosis, treatment, or aftercare. Some examples of negligent acts which might lead to a medical malpractice claim include:

  • Failure to diagnose a terminal disease or to recognize symptoms
  • Misdiagnosis of an illness or disease
  • Failure to obtain a patient history resulting in injury
  • So-called “never events” that represent a severe violation of medical protocol, including performing unneeded or wrong-site surgery, and certain surgical errors
  • Improper dosing or failure to administer medication
  • Inadequate aftercare
  • Failure to order needed diagnostic testing

How to Know If It’s Medical Malpractice

When someone dies or is severely injured while under the care of a medical professional, the situation may be written off by the healthcare provider as something that was out of their hands or could not have been prevented. Medical negligence or medical malpractice can sometimes be tricky to identify, but it is always wise to question whether or not what you experienced qualifies as malpractice.

Sometimes, having a long-established relationship with a doctor may make you reluctant to believe that this trusted professional could have provided anything but high-quality care. People do make mistakes, but accountability must always be in place, especially when it comes to life and death.

Doctors and nurses know what is expected of them and what critical jobs they have. Every step of protocol must be followed, every exam carried out a certain way, every surgery conducted as described, every emergency handled with the best possible care, every medication carefully considered before it is prescribed.

Here are a few explanations of  some examples of medical malpractice:

  • Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis: It’s malpractice to not diagnose a traumatic brain injury, to neglect to notice a vital sign that signaled a bigger problem, to delay a cancer diagnosis which allows the disease to spread, or to overlook an infection that became septic. Any incorrect identification (or lack of identification) of a patient’s problem could lead to sub-par, inappropriate, or harmful treatments .
  • Surgical Errors: When TV doctors, interns, and nurses screw up, it makes for good drama. But the medial mistakes made in real life come with serious real-world consequences. The operating room is a stressful environment filled with potential problems, from the poor administration of anesthesia to the surgery causing a problem that was not preexisting. Post-operative care can become medical malpractice if patients are mishandled, given incorrect medication, or provided with inadequate instructions for caring for themselves after surgery.
  • Emergency Room Errors: Few places are more chaotic than the ER. Medical professionals who work in this environment do their jobs with adrenaline and quick-thinking, which makes it all to easy for them to be careless, act too quickly, misdiagnose, or mistreat a condition.
  • Incorrect Treatment: Innovations in medicine save lives, but utilizing experimental treatments that have not been proven may constitute medical malpractice. Similarly, prescribing a known treatment but administering it improperly can also be grounds for a case.
  • Medication Errors: When the wrong medication or wrong dosage was prescribed or administered, and the patient suffered an overdose or injury because of this mistake, it can be considered medical malpractice. A pharmacist’s error, such as mislabeled medicine, can also fall into this category.
  • Failing to Explain Risk: Before any surgery or procedure, doctors are bound by law to warn patientd of any potential known risks to their health and life. If informed consent is not given by the patient but the treatment is administered anyway – especially with a negative outcome – the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice.
  • Labor and Delivery Errors: Birth injuries like cerebral palsy can result when doctors and nurses are negligent in their care of a mother and her infant. If the child was harmed during delivery by the improper use of tools, decision-making delays that led to oxygen deprivation, or poor judgment, this negligence can fall under the category of medical malpractice.

Michigan Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases

If you have suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice, Michigan law gives you a limited amount of time to take legal action against the medical professional and/or facility. The exact amount of time varies based on the situation. An attorney can advise you on the statute of limitations for your situation.

Procedural Requirements for Medical Malpractice Cases in Michigan

Michigan, like most states, has strict procedural requirements for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, which include:

Notice of Intent

Before you file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Michigan, you must file a Notice of Intent to File Suit. Your Notice of Intent must be in writing and served upon any potential defendants no later than 182 days before filing a lawsuit. Defendants have 154 days to respond to the notice; if they fail to respond, you can proceed with the lawsuit.

Affidavit of Merit

You must also submit an affidavit of merit from licensed medical professional teaching or practicing in the same specialty area as the doctor who allegedly committed malpractice. The affidavit must provide the standard of care which applies to your case, the way in which the medical professional breached that standard, actions the defendant should have taken to prevent the breach, and the how the breach of duty led to your injuries.

Recovering Damages for Medical Malpractice in Michigan

In the event you file a lawsuit and the court rules in your favor, you might recover the following economic and non-economic damages:

  • Medical costs including hospitalization, diagnostic testing, surgeries, and medication
  • Future medical treatment when malpractice causes a permanent disability or lifelong condition
  • Lost wages from missing work due to injury and hospitalization
  • Lost future wages when permanent disability prohibits a victim from returning to work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Loss of consortium

Michigan law caps damages in medical malpractice lawsuits with increases for inflation each year. The cap can increase in the following scenarios:

  • The plaintiff suffered paralysis resulting in the loss of function in one or more limbs because of injury to the brain or spinal cord.
  • The malpractice caused permanent cognitive damage so the plaintiff cannot make decisions or perform normal daily activities.
  • The plaintiff suffered permanent loss or damage to their reproductive system and can no longer have children.

Comparative Fault in Michigan Malpractice Cases

Those named in a medical malpractice lawsuit will go the extra mile to avoid paying claims and damages. One common defense tactic is to argue the plaintiff was responsible for his or her own injuries. Michigan applies “comparative fault” to malpractice cases to assess the extent to which a plaintiff might be at fault for injuries. The court or jury assigns a percentage portion of fault to each party in a lawsuit. If the court or jury rules in favor of the plaintiff, it will reduce any award by the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff.

Michigan law bars plaintiffs from collecting damages if they are 50 percent or more at fault for their injury. This motivates the defense to shift the blame to the victim. An experienced Michigan medical malpractice lawyer can anticipate these tactics and aggressively pursue the best outcome for your case.

How Michigan Medical Malpractice Cases Actually Work

It is the responsibility of medical providers to do everything in their power to keep us healthy. The actions of medical professionals, such as emergency room surgeons, pediatric doctors, and baby delivery doctors, are designed around the well-being of the patient. Most medical professionals are well-trained and prepared and do their best to care for patients. They strive to avoid mistakes that might jeopardize safety or health of those in their care.

Unfortunately, there are exceptions. Some medical professionals – doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and others – make negligent decisions or errors that have long-lasting and damaging effects. Such errors constitute medical malpractice.

Any one of these above examples, among others, can lead to devastating consequences for you and your family. You have the legal right to recover damages from medical malpractice. You deserve to receive fair financial compensation for your additional injuries or losses.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed by a negligent medical professional, call a Michigan medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Your ability to collect is dependent on how quickly you act.

Seeking Compensation for Your Losses and Injuries

Every medical provider should have adequate professional malpractice insurance. Injured patients can file a claim with the insurer, though the claims process can be challenging. Insurance companies will fight against liability for doctors whenever possible. You should have an experienced malpractice attorney handling your insurance claim.

If an insurance claim does not result in a favorable settlement offer, Michigan law allows patients or their family members to file a malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice claims are complicated in Michigan, and there are requirements that do not apply to other types of injury claims. For example:

  • You must provide proper notice of your intention to file a claim
  • You must provide all relevant medical records to the doctor for review
  • You must wait for the doctor to respond to the notice with any defenses and facts to support the defenses
  • If the doctor informs you they do not plan to settle the claim, you can file a lawsuit within a specified period of time

If you fail to follow any of these requirements, you might be unable to file a lawsuit or your case may end in dismissal.

The losses from medical errors can be substantial, and often include:

  • Costs of medical treatment you otherwise would not have needed
  • Income you lost from missing work due to your malpractice-related injuries
  • Physical and mental pain and suffering
  • Permanent injuries or impairments resulting from the malpractice
  • Damages to family members for wrongful death stemming from malpractice

An experienced medical errors lawyer will know how to calculate your damages and prove how much compensation you deserve.

A claim requires you to prove liability for malpractice as well as the amount of damages. Some evidence involved in a medical malpractice case includes:

  • Testimony from others in the emergency room, doctor’s office, hospital, or operating room about what happened. Your lawyer can often take this testimony in a deposition, where the witness answers questions under oath.
  • Information about your doctor’s training and medical experience, including educational records or performance reviews. Your lawyer has tools to obtain this information when necessary.
  • Expert analysis about what caused your injury and whether the provider fell below the requisite standard of care.

While you are dealing with serious injuries and mental distress, the last thing you need to worry about is the legal process and gathering the necessary evidence. Let our skilled legal team handle the process for you, while you focus on your recovery.

For more information about your legal rights in a medical malpractice case, call Thurswell Law today at (866) 354-5544. Our experienced and aggressive Michigan medical malpractice attorneys will help you obtain the maximum compensation that you deserve.

Wrong Side Surgery: A Medical Malpractice Example

When you go into the hospital for a surgery, be it minor or serious, you trust in the experience and expertise of the doctors and nurses performing the procedure. Most of the time, this trust is well-placed, and the medical professionals do an exemplary job of helping you heal or recover from an injury or illness.

However, certain medical professionals betray this trust, committing seriously negligent acts that result in severe injuries or even loss of life. One type of blatant Michigan medical malpractice is wrong side surgery.

Michigan wrong side surgery occurs when a medical professional operates on the wrong side of the patient’s body, making a crucial mistake that creates many additional problems. An example of wrong side surgery would be if you went in for a left hip joint replacement and instead got a new right hip joint.

Surprisingly, wrong side surgery is fairly common, causing hundreds of injuries and deaths each year. This major mistake can happen when:

  • doctors misunderstand patient’s symptoms
  • nurses mislabel surgery diagrams or body parts
  • surgeons are not paying attention

These mistakes can lead to serious injury or even death. In some instances, the failure of doctors to fix the original problem can be serious or fatal. At the least, surgeons have to go back in to correct the error and fix the original problem, which results in more medical bills and recovery time for the patient.

Wrong side surgery is almost always the fault of the medical professionals in charge of the procedure. As with similar instances of medical malpractice, the victim may be eligible to recover damages, including financial compensation for medical bills, ongoing care, missed time at work, and more.

To learn more about your legal rights in these cases, call the Michigan medical malpractice lawyers at Thurswell Law today at (866) 354-5544. You can schedule a free consultation with one of our Michigan medical malpractice attorneys at a time that is convenient for you.


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