Medical Malpractice Victim’s Rights
What constitutes malpractice?
Medical mistakes range from prescribing a drug that is harmful, ignoring warnings on medications, to performing surgery on the wrong patient or on the wrong limb.
Among the examples of medical malpractice are:
- Failure to make timely diagnoses that results in injury or illness
- Failure to properly treat
- Birth injuries
- Improper prescription of drugs
- Anesthesia errors
- Surgical error
- Failure of a nurse to share important information with the physician
- Malpractice occurs whenever a medical professional fails to properly treat a patient and that improper treatment results in additional harm to the patient.
The Michigan Patient Bill of Rights
Because of the Michigan Patient Bill of Rights, every Michigan resident should receive certain information in writing, such as: an estimate of the cost of services; what is included in your medical insurance policy; who to call to make a complaint; how emergencies will be covered; what happens if your family doctor is not a participating physician in the plan; or what happens if you need treatment out of state.
If your health insurance requires that your physician be on an approved list of providers then you have the right to request: information about services that need advance approval; information about the physician’s qualifications; information about how services are paid for; and, information on prescription coverage.
The Patient’s Bill of Rights also prevents a doctor from agreeing not to inform patients of medical rights or choices. And the Bill does guarantee coverage for emergency treatment that is needed, although insurance companies and healthcare providers may disagree about what constitutes an emergency.
When disagreements do occur about coverage an appeal may be made. The law spells out the steps that must be followed in the appeal process.
Victim rights in Michigan
In Michigan the victim of medical malpractice has the right to bring legal action against a doctor or hospital. A patient in Michigan also has the right to obtain a copy of their personal medical records. A medical malpractice claim must be filed within two years of the occurrence or within six months of when the negligent act was discovered. It is important to seek legal help so that claims are filed in a timely manner.
Michigan malpractice law is among the most complex of all personal injury law, especially in regard to the statute of limitations. Sometimes a longer time to file a claim is granted to persons in military service, mentally disabled persons, or minors.
Proving a medical error was caused by negligence can be very complex, in Michigan and elsewhere. Studies have established that persons represented by an attorney recover far more in damages than a person who represents themselves.
Your lawsuit can lead to remedial action, a result that is not being produced by the medical profession or government oversight agencies. Less than one-half of one percent of the nation’s doctors face any serious state sanctions each year. In 1999 all state medical boards in the U.S. recorded a total of 2,696 total serious disciplinary actions – a pittance compared to the volume of injury and death of patients caused by physician negligence.
What victims need to know
What do you need to know about malpractice? Medical malpractice is simply a health care provider not doing what they are supposed to do or doing what they are not supposed to do. The term indicates ordinary negligence – medical negligence by a health care provider that causes an injury.
Good medical care requires a proper response. The standard of care is constantly improving and what was appropriate, acceptable or commonly done in the past may not be so now. When a healthcare provider deviates from the standard of acceptable medical care and acts negligently, any resulting injuries could be the basis for a medical malpractice claim.
For you to win a monetary award, your attorney must prove these elements: a doctor-patient relationship existed; the provider must breach the duty to meet the standard of care; the breach in the standard of care caused the injury; and, there was a significant injury or damage to the patient.
If you decide to hold negligent hospitals and doctors accountable for mistakes made, you have taken a stop to help curb medical malpractice. You certainly have the right to file a lawsuit against any hospital, doctor or other healthcare professional whenever it is believed malpractice may have occurred.
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, let Cochran, Kroll & Associates fight for your rights. There is no obligation for case evaluation and no fee is charged unless a recovery is made.
The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.