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Medical malpractice lawsuits can be extremely complicated in Michigan. Consider the simplest question of all:
Can I still sue?
This should be easy to answer. For most personal injury cases, you have three years to take action after the accident. But even this very simple question about medical malpractice can become a tangled mess under Michigan law.
If a healthcare provider causes you harm (either through their actions, or by failing to act) you have two years from that moment to pursue legal action—unless the harm is not discovered before two years have passed. Then you have six months from the discovery of the harm. But it still has to be within six years of the date the healthcare provider caused you harm, regardless of when that harm was discovered. That is unless: 1) the healthcare provider fraudulently concealed their mistake, 2) the injury resulted in permanent damage to the patient’s reproductive system, or 3) the injured party was under 18 or deemed legally incompetent at the time of the incident.
And that’s the tip of the iceberg. Michigan also requires special filings in medical malpractice cases (like a “Notice of Intent” and affidavit of merit). These must be signed by another medical professional with certain specific qualifications. On top of that, Michigan limits the non-economic damages (commonly called “pain and suffering compensation”) an injured party can be awarded and has sometimes confusing rules about how fault and damages may be apportioned if a case is decided in the injured party’s favor.
It is a lot to take in—especially if you’re already dealing with the life-altering results of a doctor’s mistake.