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Kalamazoo Medical Malpractice Attorneys

We all expect our local hospitals (like Bronson or Borgess) or our family doctors and gynecologists to provide safe and appropriate medical care. However, sometimes errors occur in medicine resulting in an injury. When errors occur in medicine, an attorney must prove medical malpractice occurred. The three elements of a Michigan malpractice claim include:

  1. The medical professional or medical team breached the standard of care (negligence). To be liable, a physician must have been negligent in a patient’s diagnosis or treatment. To bring a successful lawsuit for malpractice, a patient must be able to prove that the physician caused harm to the patient in a manner in which a competent doctor, under the same circumstances, would not have. The physician’s care is not required to be the best possible—just care that is “reasonably skillful and careful.” The question of whether the physician was reasonably skillful and careful usually is the main issue of a medical malpractice claim.
  2. The medical professional’s negligence caused the injury. Because many malpractice cases involve patients who were already sick or injured, there is often a question of if what the physician did—negligent or not—actually caused the harm to the individual. In these situations, the patient must show that it’s “more likely than not” that the physician’s error directly caused the injury. This requires that the patient call a medical expert to testify that the doctor’s negligence in fact caused the injury.
  3. The injury resulted in specific damages. No matter if it’s clear that a medical professional performed below the expected standards in his or her field, a patient is prohibited from suing for malpractice if the patient didn’t suffer any harm. Types of harm that a patient can sue for include physical pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost work and lost earning capacity.

Proving all three elements in a Michigan medical malpractice claim can be difficult and requires support from expert healthcare providers and an experienced team of attorneys to carefully evaluate all the facts to ensure the claim will be successful if pursued. Most medical malpractice attorneys carefully evaluate claims to ensure they are meritorious.  Statistics prove that medical malpractice attorneys reject approximately 80 percent of requests for representation.  While some may be viable claims, Michigan law prohibits attorneys from bringing claims unless the three clear elements are reached: a breach in the standard of care, the breach caused a damage, and the damage resulting from the breach in the standard of care is significant.  Often, the damage because of the breach in the standard of care is insignificant, making the claim difficult to pursue.

Plaintiffs’ medical malpractice attorneys are patient advocates.  They are real people who want to help others.  While it is a business, most medical malpractice firms have core values of helping others first and foremost.  At Buchanan Firm our core value is securing prompt and just compensation for the wrongly injured.  We want to help others who have been wronged in Kalamazoo.

Time Limits for Filing Medical Malpractice Claims in Michigan

Michigan Statute § 600.5805(8) states that a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years of the health care provider’s action (or inaction) that gives rise to the claim. The deadline must be strictly enforced, Michigan courts have said, and ordinarily may not be extended even by a “single day.” However, there are some situations that can extend the time limit in a medical malpractice action:

The Discovery Rule. Michigan Statute § 600.5838(2) provides that an action involving a claim based on malpractice may be commenced within six months after the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered the existence of the claim, whichever is later.

Wrongful Death. Note that where the injuries result in a wrongful death and the two-year period of limitations for a Michigan medical malpractice action has expired, the personal representative of a decedent’s estate is provided additional time in which to file a lawsuit under the Michigan wrongful death saving statute. MCL § 600.5852 says that when a person dies before the period of limitations has run or within 30 days after the period of limitations has run, the personal representative may bring an action at any time within two years after letters of authority are issued, but no later than three years after the period of limitations has run.

Notice of Intent – A Necessary Document to File a Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

In Michigan, medical malpractice law requires that a patient’s attorney give notice of a lawsuit to the responsible physician, surgeon, nurse, clinic, or hospital (the “defendant(s)”). This is a letter that states the issue and the reason the patient is bringing a lawsuit. This notice gives the Defendant the opportunity to prepare their defense before a lawsuit is filed.

The Notice of Intent to File Suit must be in writing and must be served upon all health care providers who will be sued. When you serve the Notice of Intent, it pauses or “tolls” the statute of limitations for 182 days. However, if the Notice of Intent is defective and doesn’t comply with the statutory requirements, the 182-day tolling period is void, and the claim may be dismissed if it’s filed beyond the deadline.

The formal complaint can’t be filed until this waiting period of 182 days has expired.

What are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice in Kalamazoo, Michigan?

There are many circumstances that can lead to a medical malpractice claim. However, the majority of medical malpractice claims in Kalamazoo, Michigan are in one of these categories:

  • Birth Injury
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Emergency Room Error
  • Early or Premature Hospital Discharge
  • Anesthesia Error
  • Wrongful Death
  • Failure to communicate or act on abnormal test results (failure to diagnose)
  • Failure to monitor
  • Surgical errors
  • Missed diagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Medication error
  • Hospital opioid overdose
  • Infectious Disease
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Nursing Home Accident

Contact the Experienced Buchanan Firm Medical Malpractice Attorney Team

If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to an injury or complication you believe was an error by the physician, surgeon, or hospital, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney at Buchanan Firm for a free consultation. We can discuss your situation if you believe you’ve been injured as the result of medical malpractice and determine if you have a meritorious claim. Our firm proudly serves Kalamazoo, Michigan. We have successfully pursued cases against Bronson and Borgess Hospitals and are not afraid to take Kalamazoo healthcare providers to trial.  We work tirelessly on all our cases, and at no additional cost to our clients. We are in it to win it for you, by securing just and fair compensation.