An Overview of Medical Malpractice Claims Michigan

Malpractice takes many common forms Like people in any other profession, medical practitioners make mistakes. However, while with other professionals the stakes can be lower and the process for remittance simple, in the medical field the situation is rather different.  Doctors’ mistakes can be dangerous, and negligence on their part can have catastrophic results. Meanwhile, the process of filing a medical malpractice claim can be long and confusing, leaving patients with valid claims in the dark.  In fact, many patients either don’t seek compensation due to a misguided belief that accidents happen and they are not entitled to it, or due to waiting too long to file a claim (the statute of limitations in Michigan is two years from the act/omission of injury).

However, medical malpractice can have long lasting physical and emotional consequences, and therefore it is in any victim’s best interest to consult an attorney experienced in the field as soon as possible. The attorney will help you outline a potential case if there is one, though a good way to find out beforehand if you have a valid claim is by observing the six most common errors that lead to medical malpractice settlements.

  1. Misdiagnosis

In one of the most common types of malpractice, a doctor misidentifies an illness in a patient, either by claiming the patient is healthy or by diagnosing a different illness. If the doctor’s mistake is one of negligence (as in, a mistake a majority of other licensed doctors would not make), and the patient is harmed in any way as a result of the misdiagnosis, the patient has a valid malpractice claim.

This is due to the danger of a patient either not being treated or being treated for a condition they do not have.

  1. Delayed Diagnosis

Much like with cases of misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis involves a doctor’s negligence in the diagnostic phase. Specifically, here the doctor misdiagnoses at first, before eventually correcting the diagnosis and treating the condition. If this delay leads to a worsening of the condition, the patient has a case.

As with misdiagnosis, the doctor’s competence is a core aspect of whether a legitimate claim can be filed or not. The doctor’s original misdiagnosis must be based on an error or negligence that another medical practitioner would not have made (i.e. a misread test or failure to adequately examine the patient).

  1. Failure to Treat

In this situation, the diagnosis is correct, but the doctor’s error comes during the treatment phase. Failure to recommend sufficient treatment is another common occurrence in many malpractice cases, and is frequently the result of doctors with numerous patients attempting to cut corners and acting less diligently than they should.

A failure-to-treat can come in the form of a patient’s early release, faulty treatment plan, lack of specialist referral, or the omission of an offer of follow-up care.

  1. Surgical Errors

Frequently, patients tend to believe they are restricted in this domain, due to pre-surgery consent forms that they have signed. However, this does not accurately reflect Michigan law, especially if the doctor’s error is not directly linked to the patient’s condition. Many surgical errors, including but not limited to the ones below, can still lead to legitimate medical malpractice claims:

  • Inadequate post-surgical care
  • Failure to properly sterilize all surgical equipment
  • Performing an incorrect or unnecessary surgery
  • Over-administration or under-administration of anesthesia
  • Damage of the patient’s nerves, organs, or tissues in surgery
  • Failure to extract all medical equipment from the patient’s body
  1. Birth Injury

Cases of medical malpractice relating to birth injury can take many forms. For example, prenatal care, as administered by an obstetrician, can have been inadequate, just as a doctor’s negligence during childbirth or immediately afterwards can lead to lifelong problems for the child, mother, or both.

In extreme cases, a doctor’s error can result in the death of either the mother or infant. If any of the injuries or consequences could have been prevented, then a medical malpractice claim is most likely in order.

  1. Medical Product Liability

In certain cases, however, it is not necessarily the doctor or medical practitioner who was negligent, but rather a medical device or product used in the diagnostic or treatment processes. If a device either fails to work as designed or, even worse, leads to additional problems for the patient, then a medical malpractice suit against the manufacturer of the device is likely legitimate. This is especially the case for any situation in which the manufacturer was already aware of (or should have been aware of) the defect in the device.

From diagnostic errors such as misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, to treatment situations as in surgical errors or failure-to-treat cases, and even including injuries from birth or medical products, the field of medical malpractice is large and complex. Furthermore, this list is far from definitive or comprehensive, and therefore other legitimate cases may not appear to fit in with these scenarios.  However, if any of these descriptions matched the experience of you or a loved one, or if you suspect gross negligence by a prior doctor, consulting an attorney experienced in the medical malpractice laws of Michigan is the best first step, as you can assure that they will outline if you have any rights to compensation.  Reach out to experienced malpractice attorneys today at +1 (517) 347-6900.