One of the elements in a malpractice claim is that the individual has damages that—and I hate to say this—make the case “worthwhile.” Medical malpractice cases are very expensive to bring because they rely upon expert witnesses who will charge anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per hour, depending on their expertise and the specialty. Unless there is economic value to the claim, it doesn’t pay to bring it because the cost would outweigh the ultimate outcome.
If I Can Prove That The Defendant Violated The Standard Of Care, Does That Mean I Will Win My Case?
Just because someone can prove that the defendant violated the standard of care doesn’t mean they will win their case, as causation is only one element. In addition to causation, the claimant must prove that the damages are related directly to the negligence. For example, if someone had other problems going on and the treatment for the other problems would have been similar to what was caused by the negligence, then there would be no element of damages in the case, and that’s the problem.
In Michigan, part of the problem in these cases is that there’s a cap, which some states don’t have. For instance, I also practice law in Florida, where there is no cap on medical malpractice. In Michigan, there’s a cap on pain and suffering of $445,000, and although that seems like a lot, it might not be for someone who is young and has become disabled. Economic loss is not capped, but these losses are hard to prove because they have to do with future losses.
Can I File A Medical Malpractice Claim Against A Healthcare Provider Even If The Injury Or Damage Caused Did Not Involve Any Sort Of Surgery?
Surgery is just one type of malpractice. Often, these cases involve a failure to diagnose a condition that is otherwise treatable, so needing surgery is not a requirement.
Is A Medical Malpractice Claim Going To Be More Complicated If The Injury Resulted From An Elective Surgery That I Chose To Have?
One of the other defenses in medical malpractice cases is that the injury that was sustained was a known complication of the procedure, which can be the case regardless of whether the procedure was elective or non-elective. For example, many dental malpractice cases involving tooth extraction have to do with injury to the lingual nerve, which is the nerve that runs along the jaw and is involved with sensation and control of the tongue. However, since injury to this nerve is a known complication of tooth extraction, it may be difficult for a person to bring a claim.
If A Consent Form Was Signed Prior To A Procedure, Can I Still Attempt To Recover Damages In A Medical Malpractice Claim?
An individual who signed a consent form is still able to pursue damages in a medical malpractice claim because signing this form does not mean giving consent for the doctor to commit negligence; it means giving consent for the doctor to perform the procedure. If the doctor does the procedure wrong and causes damages, then the individual can sue. In every malpractice case, this issue is brought up because the defendants will claim that the plaintiff provided informed consent. They will often say something like, “If you knew that this problem was going to arise, would you have had the operation anyhow?” If the answer is “Yes,” then the consent form wouldn’t really matter. The consent form helps the doctor but certainly doesn’t help the patient because it lists just about everything that could humanly happen during the procedure.
Are Medical Malpractice Cases Filed Only Against Medical Doctors?
A medical malpractice case can be brought against any type of healthcare professional who is licensed under the statutes. A case can also be brought against a facility. For example, if someone was dropped while being transferred from a bed to a wheelchair, then that could be considered negligence and may warrant a malpractice claim. Dentists, podiatrists, physical therapists, etc., as well as medical services and facilities like hospitals, urgent care facilities, and doctors’ offices can be sued for malpractice, assuming that they caused an injury and were negligent.
For more information on Medical Malpractice in Michigan, Call Medical Malpractice Law Attorney Robert Spector to schedule an initial consultation: (248) 266-7600.