August 31, 2019

What is the Notice of Intent to File in a Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

There are many complicated steps to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Michigan, and it’s usually a good idea to hire a skilled lawyer from the start. A malpractice attorney not only has the ability to explain all the steps of a medical malpractice lawsuit in Michigan, but they can also help write and file necessary forms and letters as you focus on your own most important task: recovery and reclaiming your health.

However, even with the help of a skilled malpractice attorney or a top personal injury lawyer, it’s still useful to be aware of the steps of the process for yourself. Michigan, for example, requires all patients-turned-plaintiffs to send the potential defendant (the doctor or medical professional who might have caused all these problems) a Notice of Intent to File. What is that, and how does that work?

What is a Notice of Intent to File?

Boiled down, it’s pretty much a 182-day notice to the people you intend to sue that you do, indeed, intend to sue them. It’s letter detailing the problem, explaining why you’re filing, and giving them a chance to prepare themselves to show up in court.

What’s the letter of the law?

Here’s an excerpt of the letter of the law concerning Notice of Intent to File when taking action against medical malpractice:

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall not commence an action alleging medical malpractice against a health professional or health facility unless the person has given the health professional or health facility written notice under this section not less than 182 days before the action is commenced.
(3) The 182-day notice period required in subsection (1) is shortened to 91 days if all of the following conditions exist:
(a) The claimant has previously filed the 182-day notice required in subsection (1) against other health professionals or health facilities involved in the claim.
(b) The 182-day notice period has expired as to the health professionals or health facilities described in subdivision (a).
(4) The notice given to a health professional or health facility under this section shall contain a statement of at least all of the following:
(a) The factual basis for the claim.
(b) The applicable standard of practice or care alleged by the claimant.
(c) The manner in which it is claimed that the applicable standard of practice or care was breached by the health professional or health facility.
(d) The alleged action that should have been taken to achieve compliance with the alleged standard of practice or care.
(e) The manner in which it is alleged the breach of the standard of practice or care was the proximate cause of the injury claimed in the notice.
(f) The names of all health professionals and health facilities the claimant is notifying under this section in relation to the claim.

That’s a lot of detail, and clearly, there are a lot of requirements for a Notice of Intent to File.

A few checklists for your Notice of Intent to File

Let’s go back over the legalities and pull out a checklist as you prepare for your medical malpractice. A malpractice lawyer can help explain each of these checklist items in greater detail.

Under Michigan law, here are some of the things you need to put in your Notice of Intent to File:

  • A factual basis for your claim of medical malpractice
  • The standard of care you should have received
  • How the medical practice or professional you initially trusted failed to measure up to standards of care
  • How the medical practice or professional should have behaved instead
  • How the medical practice’s or professional’s behavior resulted in your injury
  • The name or names of everyone you, the plaintiff, intend to file against

Additionally, there are some time constraints and logistical requirements attached to a Notice of Intent to File. Here are a few of them:

  • You have to give the health practice, health practices, or health professionals at least a 182-day warning
  • If the warning was ignored, or if you filed your notice already, then you are allowed to give a final 91-day warning
  • You must send your Notice of Intent to file to all the relevant parties

There’s a little more to it

Unfortunately, these checklists are not exhaustive. The law is fairly exacting when it comes to medical malpractice claims, which is why a malpractice attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can be extremely helpful in guiding you through the legal requirements. It’s important to put your energy where you most need it—towards your health and recovery. Call Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. today to receive a free case evaluation at 1-866-642-4529.

Emma Reed has a background in Psychology (B.A.) and Medical Anthropology (M.S.) and writes for a variety of medical publications. Her passion is making cutting-edge medical information accessible to a broader audience, and her work often examines the intersections of sociology, anthropology, and medicine.

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