What is the Notice of Intent to File Suit (NOI) in a Hospital Negligence Case?
A medical malpractice case in Michigan starts with a Notice of Intent (NOI) to file a suit. A NOI must be submitted prior to a lawsuit being filed in respect of injury or death of a family member as a result of hospital negligence. A Cochran Kroll & Associates, P.C. medical malpractice lawyer can help you file a NOI.
What is the Notice of Intent to File (NOI)?
Medical malpractice suits in Michigan have extra hoops that plaintiffs have to navigate because the state wants to avoid frivolous and irrelevant lawsuits that waste time for the lawyers and the courts.
In this regard, the state stipulates several rules that either lead to a case dismissal or encourage a settlement out of court. The requirement for a Notice of Intent is one of these benchmarks.
If a patient thinks they have a valid complaint they have to file a Notice of Intent to sue 182 days before the lawsuit is actually started. This encourages the two sides to settle the dispute out of court if the sides can reach an agreement.
In some cases the time limit is 91 days, and that would be in effect if in the process of researching the details of the case it was discovered that there was another person who was included in the complaint who was not discovered initially.
According to the laws in Michigan, the Notice of Intent must include certain pieces of information that must all be present for the suit to move forward.
The required information consists of the claimant’s basis for the claim with related facts, the description of the standard of care that was expected, and how the defendant breached that standard of care by not providing the level of care expected.
The NOI must also describe what the health provider should have done to avoid the problem, and what exactly happened to the plaintiff when this was not done. The document must also provide the names and positions of all the defendants in the case.
What is Needed to File an NOI?
To file a lawsuit for medical malpractice based on emergency room errors that result in personal injury of the wrongful death of a family member, a NOI must be submitted.
Before filing a NOI, you will need to submit an Affidavit of Merit, which needs to be signed by a medical professional who fulfils expert requirements as outlined by MCL 600.2169. The Affidavit of Merit is a written narrative produced by a medical specialist verifying that your healthcare provider breached ‘standard of care’ regulations.
Determining a Breach of the Standard of Care
A patient, or the family of a patient, may file a medical malpractice suit when they feel the hospital has not met a standard level of care that is a reasonable expectation for professionals in a medical institution. This can include failure to diagnose medical conditions, botched surgery, administering incorrect medication and more.
In cases involving malpractice a patient must be able to prove that the hospital was negligent in their care and that this negligence led directly to the injuries and the pain and suffering of the patient.
These are usually very complex cases, and it is in the best interests of the victim to make sure they have representation from one of our medical malpractice attorneys.
In Michigan, there are very strict guidelines on how to file a hospital negligence claim, and these steps must be followed to avoid missing a statute of limitations date or other stage of the filing process.
The law offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. have a great deal of experience and knowledge when working within the Michigan rules, and we are prepared to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Delivering the NOI
Once the NOI has been prepared it must be delivered promptly to the defendant, and there must be a record of it having been received. This is usually handled by the hospital negligence attorney and is usually in the form of a certified letter with a return receipt requested.
Within 154 days of the receipt of the Notice of Intent, the defendant must respond with a written description of the reasons why the claim is not applicable, and why the defendant was not negligent.
If the defendant does not respond within 154 days, or if at any point during the 182-day timeframe a healthcare provider notifies a claimant that they do not intend to settle a claim out of court, then a lawsuit can be filed, provided that they are still within the time limit under the Michigan statute of limitations for filing a malpractice claim.
Michigan Statute of Limitations
Generally, to proceed with a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctors, nurses or healthcare facility responsible for your care, a patient has two years from the date an injury was suffered to file a claim in accordance with the Michigan statute of limitations. If the deadline is missed a case will almost certainly be dismissed.
A claim can also be filed within six months after a malpractice victim discovers or should have discovered the existence of the claim, whichever is later.
However, in cases involving the permanent loss of a reproductive organ or fraud in an attempt to conceal malpractice, the deadline to file a claim is indefinite.
Damages for Hospital Negligence Cases
A successful malpractice claim can lead to damages for economic and non-economic reasons. Economic damages include compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Medical bills
Non-economic damages can be awarded for:
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
Get Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. Involved in Your Case
The Notice of Intent to file is not a requirement in every state. However, in Michigan, it is used to alleviate baseless lawsuits and to encourage settlements before the case gets to trial.
At the law firm of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we are prepared to either help you settle your claim early or take it to trial. Our goal is to get you the best settlement possible. Call us at (866) 868-3779 for a free initial consultation.