Medical Malpractice Rules That May Not Apply to Personal Injury Cases
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Medical Malpractice Rules That May Not Apply to Personal Injury Cases

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

Although medical malpractice is attached to personal injury law, several key factors differentiate medical malpractice cases from personal injury cases. If you suffered from malpractice and are unsure of what policies apply to your case, you can try to seek the help of the best medical malpractice lawyers in your area for professional advice.

What is the Difference Between Personal Injury Cases and Medical Malpractice?

Personal injury cases are generally based on negligence and encompass numerous types of injury scenarios, such as car accidents, product recalls, or slipping and falling at work. They are also tort claims, which means that there are two main components involved: liability and damages. To summarize, personal injury cases are a much broader topic of discussion with a wider scope.

A medical malpractice case is a highly specific type of personal injury with particular elements. For example, you need to first prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed, prove that the doctor did not follow medical standard of procedures, or that negligence occurred in specific ways, and that it resulted in specific injuries.

You need to understand the rules of each matter to help you competently decide which type of claim to file.

Statute of Limitations

Familiarizing yourself with the statute of limitations is necessary because it determines the deadline for filing the type of claim. It also varies from state to state. For instance, the statute of limitations in Michigan is usually two years after the alleged negligence from the victim’s doctor. If the victim fails to file a medical malpractice claim within those two years, the statute of limitations may provide him or her extra time to file a lawsuit from the date you discovered your injury.

Exceptions to Regular Statute of Limitations

In certain circumstances, there are some exceptions to the normal statute of limitations in Michigan. Such examples are if the malpractice victim’s reproductive system was harmed by their medical provider, if the physician attempted to or succeeded in concealing their neglectful act, or if the victim was a minor during the time of the injury.

Unsure if your situation allows for exceptions? Consult with medical attorney, Eileen Kroll at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., to receive professional advice.

Notice of Intent and Affidavit of Merit

The victim will need to notify the state of the claim first, before going forth with filing the medical malpractice case in Michigan and most states. Rather than deciding to file a medical malpractice lawsuit one morning on a whim, the law states that filing a Notice of Intent to File Suit first is a necessary prerequisite before you start your lawsuit.

You must also fill out an affidavit of merit, which is a summary of your allegations to ensure that your malpractice claim is valid. Before your file your clam, the affidavit will go to the medical board who reviews medical practice claims to see if your case meets qualifications.

Damage Caps

There are also financial caps to determine how much an individual can receive in a medical malpractice case. In Michigan, the applicable damage caps are $445,500 for noneconomic damages and $795,500 for certain injuries, including brain and spinal cord injuries.

How Professional Counsel Can Help

Although medical malpractice cases only cover a fraction of all personal injury cases, it amongst the top three leading causes of death–only a step behind heart disease and cancer. Distinguishing the elements of your specific case can be laborious. Do you have a medical malpractice case on your hands, or is it just a personal injury case? Are you fully aware of the rules that cover pertain to the former and not the latter?

Who to Contact

Who to Contact

There are top medical malpractice lawyers and top personal injury lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates in Michigan who can help you unmask the complexities of your case with no obligation or commitment. Eileen Kroll is a registered nurse and a trial attorney. Call Eileen at  1-866-MICH-LAW for a free consultation and case evaluation. Our law firm never charges a fee unless a recovery is made.

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.

Ms. Barry is studying Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. She has won multiple awards both for her persuasive and creative writing and has written extensively on the topics of medical malpractice law, personal and birth injury law, product liability law. When she's not researching and writing about these topics, she edits a literary magazine and tutors students at Penn's writing center.



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