When you visit a healthcare provider, whether it’s at a hospital, your doctor’s office, or any other healthcare facility, you trust that whoever is treating you will uphold a certain standard of care. Unfortunately, though healthcare professionals do owe you a duty of care, there are times when that duty is breached due to negligence.
If you or a loved one are harmed due to a medical professional’s negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our Detroit medical malpractice attorney can guide you through your case and ensure the best possible outcome.
Medical malpractice is when a healthcare professional or facility fails to provide you with an acceptable level of care, thus acting negligently and causing harm. When this occurs, you have the right to take legal action against the provider or facility that breached their duty of care.
However, to win your case, you will have to provide a sufficient amount of evidence to prove the healthcare provider or facility did, in fact, breach their duty. Further you must show their negligence was the direct cause of your harm.
This can be challenging to prove, which is why it is often necessary to work with an experienced Detroit medical malpractice law firm.
At The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we care about our clients and understand how devastating a medical malpractice situation can be.
Where Medical Malpractice in Detroit Occurs
Medical negligence or medical errors can occur in any healthcare facility. While medical malpractice lawsuits are often spoken as mistakes made at hospitals, medical errors are not limited to hospitals or the healthcare professionals that work there.
Here is a list of some of the many places where medical malpractice can occur in Detroit:
- Doctor’s offices
- Birthing centers
- Nursing homes
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Assisted living facilities
- Rehabilitation centers
- Physical therapy offices
- Chiropractor’s office
- Medical labs
- Medical house calls
Healthcare professionals have an ethical and legal responsibility to provide their patients with a high standard of care. If that care falls below the standard due to negligence, the healthcare facility or provider can be held liable.
In Michigan, patients are protected by legislation known as the patient’s bill of rights. This bill essentially states that healthcare facilities and professionals must treat all patients with an appropriate level of care and may not discriminate, harass, or retaliate against the patient. The bill also states that patients must have access to all policies and medical records upon request.
Michigan legislation also has specific laws governing what must happen if a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed. This includes what must take place before the lawsuit, such as notifying the facility or provider of the action being taken against them. There are also rules about what must happen when the lawsuit is officially filed, such as providing an affidavit of merit.
According to a study by Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Experts have estimated that over 250,000 deaths occur each year as a result of medical malpractice.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also states that adverse events due to unsafe patient care are one of the 10 leading causes of death and disability in the world.
Furthermore, in high-income countries, 1 in every 10 patients is harmed while receiving care at a hospital, with around 50% of cases being preventable. In low-income countries, 134 million medical errors occur due to unsafe care, resulting in 2.6 million deaths.
The WHO also states that 4 in 10 patients globally are harmed during outpatient care, with 80% of cases being preventable.
Very rarely will doctors or medical facilities willingly admit they are guilty of an error. As such, it is typically up to the patient or their family to file a complaint.
So, what constitutes a medical malpractice lawsuit? In other words, how do you know if you have a valid medical malpractice case?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. You may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit if a healthcare professional or facility failed to provide reasonable care and a very bad injuries resulted. However, medical records, expert opinions and other information will need to be thoroughly evaluated to determine if negligence was the actual and direct cause of your harm.
This means that once you file a lawsuit, you will need to hire a Detroit medical malpractice lawyer to help you. You will likely not be able to stand your ground against a medical provider and their medical malpractice insurance team and legal team on your own.
Medical standard of care refers to the level or type of care provided by a professional medical provider or facility in a given geographical location. Doctors and nurses are expected to have a certain level of skill and competency that enables them to provide the highest level of care possible.
When discussing medical malpractice, the standard of care is used to determine if a provider or facility acted negligently.
Essentially, the burden of proof is whether the medical professional or facility failed to provide the acceptable standard of care in the community, and that as a proximate result of the defendant failing to provide that standard, the plaintiff suffered injury.
Filing a medical malpractice claim can be challenging. You will need to provide sufficient evidence that proves that a medical professional or facility did act negligently and that their negligence was the direct cause of the harm done to you.
Before arguing your case, however, Michigan law requires the patient or their family to provide two important things to get the process started:
- Notice of Intent (NOI): This is a written notice of your intent to file a medical malpractice claim that must be provided to the healthcare professional or facility not less than 182 days before legal action is taken. See MCL 600.2912b.
- Affidavit of Merit: This is a certificate of merit that must be submitted to prove that there are solid grounds for a medical malpractice case. The affidavit must be signed by another medical professional, and it must outline what medical records were reviewed by the medical expert. It is essentially a sworn statement by the medical expert that, in their professional opinion, a medical error or negligence did occur. See MCL 600.2912d.
When filing a medical malpractice claim in Detroit, victims are eligible for two different types of damages:
- Economic damages: These are the types of damages victims can recover for their losses that have a defined financial value. This includes past medical expenses, future medical costs, past lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, caregiving expenses, therapy expenses, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
- Non-economic damages: These types of damages are those that are difficult to assign a set value but that victims still deserve to be compensated for. They include things like physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, mental trauma, scarring and disfigurement, loss of quality of life, and loss of consortium.
However, Michigan does have a cap on non-economic damages. Under MCL 600.1483, there are two different caps depending on the severity of the injury. The cap was originally set at $250,000 but adjusts upward each year for inflation and cost of living adjustments.
Your Detroit medical malpractice attorney can help you build a compelling case. In general, medical malpractice cases must prove a few things to result in an award of compensation:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship
- There was a deviation from the acceptable standard of medical care
- The mistake led to serious injury or death
- There is sufficient evidence proving the medical professional caused the damage
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient sustains an injury due to an improper action or failure to act by a member of the medical profession. When a doctor fails to meet the standard of care for the profession or the level of professional medicine that is relevant to a specific medication situation, then that doctor can be held civilly responsible for the injuries caused.
There are multiple examples of medical malpractice. Some of the most common examples include:
- Missed diagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Childbirth injuries – oxygen deprivation, shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus injuries
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication mistakes
Although there are exceptions, in general, the statute of limitations for a Detroit medical malpractice case is two years. This means the malpractice victim has two years from the date of the malpractice to file a lawsuit against the correct defendants or the victim forever loses his or her right to recover compensation for their injuries.
The Best Detroit Medical Malpractice Law Firm
For over 40 years, The Lee Steinberg Law Firm has helped Detroit injury victims win their cases to collect the compensation they need and deserve.
We care about the health and well-being of our clients. The results of a Detroit medical malpractice can be traumatic. Let us help you get the compensation you need to recover and move on as comfortably as possible.
Please call Lee Steinberg and the Detroit medical malpractice attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have about your situation. You pay nothing until we settle your Detroit medical malpractice case.