Michigan Statute of Limitations on Hospital Negligence Lawsuits
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
The Michigan statute of limitations allows victims of hospital negligence to sue a hospital for negligence and pursue a medical malpractice claim.
An experienced medical malpractice lawyer, like the experienced attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., can help ensure your fillings are done on time and within the medical malpractice time limit.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice?
If you suspect you’ve been the victim of a medical malpractice injury, you may wonder if it’s too late to pursue a case. Qualified hospital negligence lawyers can assess your case and see if it has exceeded the medical negligence statute of limitations or if the medical malpractice time limit has expired.
The Michigan medical negligence statute of limitations states you must do so within two years of the date of the negligent act or omission, or six months time period from the date when a claimant discovered or should have discovered, they could claim, provided that a lawsuit, if filed within six years of the act or omission.
Standards of Medical Negligence Under Michigan Law
You should first engage a lawyer to file a claim against a healthcare provider, hospital, or an independent contractor hired by a medical facility for negligence during your medical treatment. A reasonable attorney will listen carefully to your story, review the details of your case, including medical records, and see if there is enough evidence to move forward.
Your medical attorney will bring your case before a panel of doctors and lawyers who will review your claim and decide whether it meets the essential criteria of medical negligence.
The three criteria of a claim of medical malpractice include:
- The standard of care laid out by the law was violated by the healthcare provider or facility.
- The injury is a direct result of negligence by the healthcare provider or facility.
- The injury resulted in damages, both economic and non-economic.
If the panel finds enough evidence to support these three criteria in your case, you can file a claim against the provider or facility that caused your injury.
Why You Need an Attorney
According to Michigan state law, a medical malpractice claim must be filed within two years of the date of the injury or within six months after the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered the claim’s existence, whichever is later.
Two years to file may seem like an extended timeframe. Still, given the filing deadlines and other complications, unless your lawyer has experience in these sorts of cases, you may exceed the amount of time the statute of limitations on medical malpractice allows.
The sooner you recognize and bring your case to a lawyer specializing in medical malpractice at our law firm, the sooner evidence can be preserved and collected, and your claim can be put before the malpractice panel.
If a healthcare facility was federally-funded or state-operated at the time of a personal injury due to negligence, then different statutes of limitation may apply. In cases involving injury to a claimant who is certified insane before a medical malpractice claim, exceptions to the statute of limitations may apply.
Law of Discovery
Michigan allows for the law of discovery, also known as the statute of repose, in medical malpractice cases where the immediate cause of symptoms or problems is unknown.
If you, in good faith, have sought answers to your medical issues from doctors for more than two years after the injury date and can prove this diligence through witnesses and documentation, you have a good case for the law of discovery.
The law of discovery allows for hospital negligence lawsuits to move forward, under a judge’s discretion, for up to six years after the date of the injury or negligence.
There are two exceptions to the six-year deadline:
- The victim cannot procreate as a result of the negligence
- The provider purposely concealed evidence which led to a delay of the claim.
Under these circumstances, an extended period is granted to resolve a medical malpractice claim in Michigan.
Children and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
One of the medical malpractice statute of limitation exceptions involves children.
The statute of limitations on malpractice can depend on the child’s age.
A child who experiences birth injuries, which may not be diagnosed or discovered until several years later, can file a hospital negligence lawsuit until the age of 15 to file. The suit can be brought forward by a child’s representative or legal guardian in the child’s name.
Common birth injuries with a delayed diagnosis into the teens can include learning difficulties, attention deficits, and emotional problems associated with brain injuries and hypoxia during labor.
A child may also have a claim if their doctor did not perform proper tests in utero, after birth, or into their childhood, affecting their future medical state. Delayed diagnosis of congenital heart defects, for example, is one claim a child could bring forward upon discovery in their early teens.
To avoid missing critical filing deadlines, you should contact a Michigan attorney with experience in medical malpractice cases.
According to a study conducted by patient safety experts from John Hopkins University, approximately 250,000 people die annually in the US due to medical errors. The devastation this often leaves behind is incalculable.
Wrongful death lawsuits fall under the two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice. However, if a death is caused by a medical injury or negligence past the two-year limit, it may qualify under the law of discovery. This will also require strong medical documentation, which links the death to the date of the injury or negligent act.
The Burden of Proof
In any medical malpractice claim, the burden of proof lies with the victim, who must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that any injury suffered while receiving health care resulted from negligence by a hospital doctor or other medical expert. This is where our medical malpractice attorneys can help you build a case.
Under Michigan state law, victims must be able to demonstrate that:
- An injury occurred, causing pain and suffering
- A medical professional(s) failed to administer the recognized standard of care
- Any injury was proximately caused by a healthcare provider’s negligence
Injured patients are also required to prove that the likelihood of their injuries occurring would have been 50% or less if not for the carelessness or negligence of those involved in their healthcare.
If a patient fails to demonstrate these things, it will affect their medical malpractice claim and any compensation owed.
Potential Damages Awarded
Successful medical malpractice claims can lead to compensation for all medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, medical requirements, and more. These are referred to as tangible economic damages, and a compensatory value can be placed on them.
For non-economic damages, such as the pain and suffering caused, mental and emotional anguish, loss of quality of life, and loss of companionship, which are not so tangible, under Michigan state law, compensation is currently capped at $471,800.
However, for cases involving catastrophic injury or death, the compensation cap is currently $842,500.
Eileen Kroll is one of Michigan’s most qualified hospital negligence lawyers because of her unique background as a registered nurse. She will use her medical knowledge and her skills as a trial attorney to handle your case with diligence and determination.
Call Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. at 866-466-9912 for a free consultation and to start your medical practice claim.
Disclaimer: The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel, and no attorney-client relationship is created or intended.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.