Hospital Negligence Attorneys in Detroit, Michigan
Hospitals care for the most vulnerable people, from newborns to the elderly. Patients place their lives in the hands of those who care for them. If that trust is violated because a hospital and its providers are negligent, the results can be devastating. You may not think about how often emergency room accidents, surgical and medication errors, inattention, and incompetence occur in hospitals until it happens to you.
If you suffered damages as the result of hospital negligence, or if your loved one was incapacitated or died because someone failed to uphold the duty of care owed to them, you should hold the hospital accountable. If you do, someone else may not have to endure what you have experienced. If you do not, it is likely that such negligence will occur with other patients and their families.
At Ratton Law Group PC, we represent patients and their families injured by medical negligence and medical malpractice in Detroit, Michigan. Hospitals and physicians have big liability insurance policies, and their attorneys will do everything they can to avoid paying claims. We are dedicated to leveling the field by fighting for you with everything we have. Because we are fighting for people, not for profits, we have far better motivation.
What Qualifies as Hospital
Negligence in Michigan?
Hospital negligence is when a doctor, nurse, therapist, or other person serving in the agency of the hospital fails their duty of care to the patient and causes the patient harm. Healthcare providers should reasonably diagnose and treat patients with competency. When they fail, they commit negligence.
Being unhappy with a medical outcome does not, in and of itself, constitute negligence. For example, you may expect that after undergoing a discectomy, you will no longer suffer from back pain. However, even when the procedure was flawless, it may not result in a pain-free outcome.
Negligence is when the surgeon fails to do what any competent surgeon would do under the same circumstances. Addressing the wrong disc, dropping the scalpel and severing nerves, or using unsanitary instruments resulting in sepsis are a few examples. Prescribing the wrong medication, improperly administering anesthesia, missing something on imaging like an X-ray or MRI, or dropping a patient during a transfer are others. Such negligence could result in the patient requiring more treatment, disabling the patient, or even in the death of the patient.
How Long Do I Have to File a
Negligence Claim in Michigan?
There is a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Michigan. This means you have two years from the date of the incident to settle a claim with the liability insurer or to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit which stops the clock.
It stands to reason that not all evidence of negligence will occur at the time of the incident that caused the harm. For example, a surgical sponge left in a patient’s abdomen may not cause symptoms for weeks or even months before it is discovered. Michigan law provides that claims may be filed within six months of when the harm is discovered or should have been discovered, even if the two years have expired. However, malpractice claims under any circumstances must be filed within six years of the negligence incident.
Who May Be Liable in a
Hospital Negligence Claim?
The hospital is legally responsible for negligence committed by those it employs. In most cases, that would be nurses, technicians, dieticians, therapists, and others. If any one of them is negligent, the hospital would be liable.
Doctors are another issue. Some physicians are hospital employees which makes the hospital liable for their actions. Most are independent and have their own malpractice insurance coverage. If the surgeon was the only negligent actor, for example, you could sue the physician but not the hospital. The hospital could be also liable if it has continued to grant an incompetent physician admitting privileges.
What Are the Elements
of a Negligence Claim?
In any case, you must prove that negligence actually occurred to pursue a claim. Following are the five elements of a negligence claim:
There existed a relationship between the patient and the provider;
The provider owed a duty of care to the patient;
The provider did or did not do something that any competent provider would have done;
This action or inaction injured the patient; and,
As a result, the patient incurred damages.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are complicated. Your personal injury attorney cannot just file a petition for damages. Your attorney must have a qualified medical professional review the evidence and provide a letter of merit to accompany the petition. The intent of this requirement is to discourage the filing of medical negligence lawsuits without sufficient evidence or merit.
What Damages Can I Recover?
You can recover economic damages such as past and future medical expenses and lost income. If your loved one died from a doctor’s negligence, you can recover funeral and burial expenses as well.
You can also recover for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium or companionship. However, Michigan law caps the amount of compensation you can receive for noneconomic damages.
Hospital Negligence Attorneys Serving
Not all personal injury attorneys are medical malpractice attorneys. The complexities of medical negligence cases require experience and special expertise. At Ratton Law Group PC, we provide that expertise to clients throughout Detroit, Michigan. If your case has merit, we will aggressively pursue it. If you have been injured, or if a loved one has been incapacitated or died due to medical negligence, call Ratton Law Group PC now to schedule a free case consultation.