Caps on Medical Malpractice and Michigan Law
If you are a victim of medical malpractice, you may be wondering what your options are for compensation. The best medical malpractice lawyers in Michigan can help you look over your case and prepare the best case for the most compensation. If you have undergone unnecessary medical procedures, pain and suffering, or had your life turned upside down because of medical malpractice, it’s time to hold those healthcare professionals responsible accountable.
In Michigan, there are limits to the amount of non-economic damages you can receive; however, if you meet the criteria of some kinds of injuries, your award can be significantly higher. Medical malpractice cases aren’t always easy to prove, and they can take several years to be resolved with the help of a personal injury lawyer. Getting legal advice from an experienced medical malpractice attorney, like Eileen Kroll on your side as soon as possible can get your case moving forward.
State by state medical malpractice damages cap
In the U.S. there are currently 30 states that have caps on malpractice damages.
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Differing from state to state, the caps can range from $250,000 to $2,300,000 in total damages.
How caps work in medical malpractice damages
In an effort to protect the medical community at large, most states have instituted a cap on damages that can be awarded in a medical malpractice claim. Caps can be broad and cover total damages or more specific and cover what is typically referred to as non-economic damages. Some caps also take your insurance company’s compensation into account as well. Limits detailing how much an attorney can charge to bring a case may also be in place.
Medical malpractice laws in Michigan
There are a few aspects of medical malpractice claims in Michigan that you need to be aware of before you decide to pursue a lawsuit. First, your injury must meet the three standard criteria of Michigan medical malpractice before it will be considered a viable claim. These criteria are:
- The injury is the result of a violation of the standard of care under the law
- The injury was caused by a negligent act or medical errors on the part of the healthcare provider
- The injury resulted in damages, either economic, non-economic, or both
When you first take your case to a medical malpractice lawyer, he or she will review your account of what happened with the medical professional, along with any accompanying medical records and bills you can provide. The more evidence you bring to your first meeting with your lawyer, the better idea they will have of the strength of your case.
Your lawyer can then gather more medical records, including doctor and nurse notations and test results, and compile them to get a broader understanding of the circumstances of your personal injury. Under Michigan law, they must then bring your case and evidence before a doctor or team of doctors to assess whether or not your case meets the criteria of medical malpractice.
Under Michigan law, your claim must be filed within two years of the injury, or you risk not meeting the statute of limitations. There are some exceptions to this law, known as discovery if reasonable steps have been made to determine the cause of the injury but the true source was not found until after the two-year limit. You must be able to provide documentation of these reasonable steps.
A child’s representative can file a claim at any time before the child turns 15. Wrongful death lawsuits generally also fall under the two-year statute of limitations.
Types of medical malpractice damages
You can pursue two types of damages for medical malpractice in Michigan: economic and non-economic. Most cases pursue both kinds of damages because the economic toll is often intertwined with mental and physical suffering. Economic damages include:
- Medical treatment bills, transportation, and other expenses
- The cost of medical care, including in-home care and other therapies
- Lost wages
Economic damages are quantifiable and meant to restore you to the economic state you would have been in had the injury or disfigurement not occurred. There are currently no economic caps to the damages you can seek for a medical malpractice case in Michigan.
Non-economic damages are the non-quantifiable damages you have suffered as a result of your injury. This includes pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, stress, and other tolls the injury has taken on you.
Estimating the effect of damage caps in medical malpractice
There is a limit to non-economic damages injured patients can be awarded in the state of Michigan. The total amount of damages a plaintiff can pursue against a defendant for a medical malpractice lawsuit has a cap of $489,000. However, if medical negligence resulted in one of the following three criteria, the settlement cannot exceed $832,000:
- If the victim becomes paralyzed in any or all their limbs as a result of injury to their brain or spinal cord
- The victim becomes cognitively impaired and unable to live or make decisions independently
- The victim suffered damage to a reproductive organ that left them unable to procreate
Eileen Kroll is not only one of the best medical malpractice lawyers in Michigan, but she is also a registered nurse. Eileen’s medical background allows her to assess your case in a meaningful way that will help you or your loved one get the most compensation for your injury. Contact our law firm today for your free consultation at our phone number: 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-308-6261) and let us get started on your medical malpractice case.