August 30, 2019

What is the Affidavit of Merit in a Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

There are a lot of steps in a Michigan Medical Malpractice claim, and many legal terms and definitions. Malpractice lawsuit is a scary topic and often is undergirded by strong emotions. If you or your loved one is wading through a medical malpractice lawsuit, seek the guidance of a team of skilled malpractice lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. today.

However, in the meantime, it is worth becoming familiar with the Michigan Affadavit of Merit law. Hopefully, this knowledge will aid you in understanding your rights as well as help you along the path to the compensation, justice, and fair treatment that you deserve.

What are the basics of an Affidavit of Merit?

According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, an affidavit is a legal term that refers to a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court. Merit, on the other hand, indicates quality or worthiness.

Logically, an Affidavit of Merit basically just means a written statement confirming that the plaintiff has a legitimate medical malpractice complaint in Michigan. It’s a piece of paper that indicates to the courts that a former patient and present plaintiff have a legitimate claim that deserves attention.

What are the particulars of an Affidavit of Merit?

Here is some of the legislation surrounding Affidavits of Merit in Michigan.

(2) the plaintiff in an action alleging medical malpractice or, if the plaintiff is represented by an attorney, the plaintiff’s attorney shall file with the complaint an affidavit of merit signed by a health professional who the plaintiff’s attorney reasonably believes meets the requirements for an expert witness under section 2169. The affidavit of merit shall certify that the health professional has reviewed the notice and all medical records supplied to him or her by the plaintiff’s attorney concerning the allegations contained in the notice and shall contain a statement of each of the following:
(a) The applicable standard of practice or care.
(b) The health professional’s opinion that the applicable standard of practice or care was breached by the health professional or health facility receiving the notice.
(c) The actions that should have been taken or omitted by the health professional or health facility in order to have complied with the applicable standard of practice or care.
(d) The manner in which the breach of the standard of practice or care was the proximate cause of the injury alleged in the notice.
(2) Upon motion of a party for good cause shown, the court in which the complaint is filed may grant the plaintiff or, if the plaintiff is represented by an attorney, the plaintiff’s attorney an additional 28 days in which to file the affidavit required under subsection (1).
(3) If the defendant in an action alleging medical malpractice fails to allow access to medical records within the time period set forth in section 2912b(6), the affidavit required under subsection (1) may be filed within 91 days after the filing of the complaint.

Remember, this can be accomplished easily the help of a top personal injury lawyer or a medical malpractice attorney at our law firm.

The bullet points

What is an Affidavit of Merit?

An Affidavit of Merit must check all the following boxes:

  • It’s a statement that certifies that a health professional agrees with the plaintiff’s complaint.
  • The health professional in question must have the same medical specialty as the defendant or the medical professional accused of harming the plaintiff.
  • The Affidavit must include:
    • What the standard of patient care should have been
    • A health professional’s statement that this standard of care was breached
    • What the defendant should have done instead
    • How the malpractice caused harm or injury to the plaintiff
  • Finally, the Affidavit must be appropriately filed with the malpractice lawsuit

What it isn’t

Here are some things an Affidavit of Merit cannot do.

  • It doesn’t ensure a case outcome
  • It doesn’t eliminate the need for a qualified attorney or malpractice lawyers

How to get an Affidavit of Merit

Here are some simple steps to getting an Affidavit of Merit.

  • Approach a qualified medical professional
  • Remember to approach a professional with the same specialty as the potential defendant
  • Give them access to your medical records
  • The Statute of Limitations applies to Affidavits of Merit and Michigan medical malpractice lawsuits, so the quicker, the better, and
    don’t wait more than two years.

How can a legal professional help me?

A legal professional or a team of malpractice lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you in a number of ways.

First, we can help guide you through the steps of attaining an Affidavit of Merit. It’s a confusing topic, and there’s no need to add legal hoops if you’re also dealing with the aftermath of medical malpractice. Additionally, we can guide you through the rest of the legal system and ensure you get the compensation, fair treatment, and justice you need and deserve.

For a free case evaluation, call Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. on our toll-free, 24-hour line at 1-866-642-4529 or fill out our online contact form.

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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