Compensation for Grand Rapids Medical Malpractice Claims: What to Expect
Claims for medical malpractice are extremely complicated. Not only must you clearly establish the care provider’s negligence, but you also need to find an expert witness who will testify on your behalf. Working with a lawyer can make it easier to clearly establish who committed the act of medical malpractice that led to your injuries, what injuries you sustained, and what compensation you may deserve.
Several elements may impact the compensation you can recover as part of a medical malpractice claim. The most important elements are what injuries you suffered because of your care provider’s negligence and what additional medical treatment and expenses you will need because of your injuries.
A lawyer can help you understand your full right to compensation, including the care provider’s medical malpractice insurance policy and how it may impact you.
Compensation for Any Further Injuries and Medical Expenses
Frequently, medical malpractice will lead to substantially increased medical costs. Your actual cost increases may depend on the type of medical malpractice you suffered and what limitations you experience because of your injuries.
Most medical malpractice injuries require additional medical care that you would not have needed but for the malpractice. But if you sustain a permanent injury, you may need medical care, adaptive equipment, alternative transportation, and other costly accommodations for the rest of your life.
If you have been subjected to medical malpractice, talk to your lawyer about the medical costs you may have sustained and will sustain in the future:
- Did you go through unnecessary medical treatments?
- Did you have to go through additional treatments because of the act of malpractice?
- Do you have long-term health limitations that will stick with you because of the care provider’s negligent actions?
You may have the right to include compensation for all those elements as part of a medical malpractice claim.
Compensation for Wage Losses
Sometimes, medical malpractice may keep you out of work for some time and lead to substantial income losses. You may even permanently lose the ability to work in your chosen field due to the act of negligence. If you are unable to work due to malpractice, you are entitled to compensation.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
In addition to your financial losses, your medical malpractice claim may include compensation for the pain and suffering you faced due to your injuries and the emotional losses that went along with it. Life-changing injuries can lead to depression, anxiety, PTSD, or loss of enjoyment of life. Talk to your lawyer about how the medical malpractice impacted you personally.
At Gruel Mills, we help our clients look into all the losses and emotional challenges they suffered because of medical malpractice Unfortunately, Michigan law limits the amount of damages medical malpractice victims can recover for their pain and suffering. However, we know how to help maximize the results of these claims despite the damage limits.
Medical Malpractice in Grand Rapids
Under Michigan law, you must file a medical malpractice claim before the statute of limitations runs out. A statute of limitations is the deadline for when you must file a claim. In Michigan, you must file a claim within two years of the medical malpractice event itself. There is a limited exception that applies if you did not discover the malpractice until a while later, but no claims can be brought beyond six years after the malpractice.
For example, if you suffer a misdiagnosis but do not discover it until three years later, you might have an additional six months to file a medical malpractice claim after you realize the doctor’s mistake. However, the clock starts to run as soon as you suspect or should know that you have a medical malpractice claim.
Although two years may seem like a long time, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after you experience medical malpractice. Your lawyer must obtain all of your medical records, hire an expert, and prepare a notice to the medical providers before a lawsuit can be filed; all of this has to happen before the statute of limitations runs out.
At Gruel Mills, we have extensive experience working on medical malpractice claims, particularly in Grand Rapids and West Michigan. We know the local court system, we know many of the local medical providers, and we know how to negotiate with medical malpractice insurance providers to help our clients maximize the results of their claims.
Types of Medical Malpractice in Grand Rapids
Medical malpractice occurs any time a physician or care provider fails to offer the high standard of care expected in a medical situation. Generally, the care provider commits malpractice if he or she deviates from the standard of care that any other reasonable provider would have offered under the same circumstances.
Types of medical malpractice may vary depending on the care provided and the patient’s needs. Common types of malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis: Failing to diagnose an illness or diagnosing the patient with the wrong condition when presented with obvious signs and symptoms of a specific ailment.
- Failure to treat: Not providing the proper treatment associated with a specific ailment, despite diagnosing the condition.
- Prescription drug errors: Prescribing or giving a patient the wrong dose of a medication or a medication that has a dangerous interaction for the patient, despite knowing about the potential for that reaction.
- Birth injuries: Injuries that occur during the birthing process.
- Surgical errors: Operating on the wrong body part, cutting the wrong structure, and other errors that occur during surgery.
- Failure to inform: Failure to fully inform a patient about the risks and hazards of a certain procedure.
Dealing with the aftermath of medical malpractice can prove incredibly difficult, especially if you try to handle it on your own. At Gruel Mills, we help identify the care the patient should have received and how the care provider erred in adhering to that standard of treatment.
Fighting for Compensation Following Medical Malpractice in Grand Rapids
To file a medical malpractice claim, you will usually find yourself dealing with the care provider or hospital’s medical malpractice insurance. The insurance company may not make it easy to get the compensation you deserve. You may find yourself fighting to prove that medical malpractice took place and that you deserved a higher overall standard of care than you received.
At Gruel Mills, we help our clients navigate any challenges the insurance company may throw their way. We start with a thorough case evaluation, including working with medical specialists who can help identify the standard of care you should have received and how the medical care provider deviated from it. Then, we offer you support as we negotiate and fight for the compensation you deserve.
What to Do After Medical Malpractice in Grand Rapids?
If you suspect your medical provider has committed malpractice, you may need to protect yourself.
- Seek a second opinion or diagnosis for any condition you think your care provider may have diagnosed unfairly.
- Keep up with medical records related to your case. Your own copies can clearly establish medical malpractice.
- Contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
At Gruel Mills, we can help you from the earliest days of your medical malpractice claim. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start working on your behalf.
Who bears liability for medical malpractice in Grand Rapids: the doctor or the hospital?
The party that bears liability for medical malpractice depends on many factors. In many cases, the doctor and the hospital will share responsibility for your injuries. A hospital is always liable for the negligence of its own employees, and it may be liable even for doctors who have permission to practice at the hospital but are not direct employees. If a health care provider you already know simply treats you at the hospital, you may need to seek compensation only through the doctor’s own medical malpractice insurance.
How do I know if I have the right to file a medical malpractice claim in Grand Rapids?
To file a medical malpractice claim, you will need to establish that:
- A doctor/patient relationship existed between you and the care provider that committed the act of malpractice.
- The doctor or care provider breached the duty of care owed to you as a patient through an act of negligence.
- You suffered injuries and damages due to that breach of care.
Sometimes, a doctor will make an obvious mistake but you will not suffer any significant injury, damages, or complications because of the breach of care. In that case, it may not be worth filing a medical malpractice claim; these lawsuits are very expensive and stressful, and you may not end up with any monetary recovery. Your lawyer can help you determine if your claim is worth pursuing.
If the three elements above are met, working with a lawyer can make it easier to prove medical malpractice and clearly show that you suffered at the hands of your care provider. At Gruel Mills, we have extensive experience helping our clients establish these claims and get a fair recovery.
Will I have to go to court over my medical malpractice claim?
Most of the time, medical malpractice claims settle before trial. At Gruel Mills, we help our clients pursue the best possible results for their medical malpractice claims, whether that means reaching an agreement with the insurance company out of court or taking a claim to trial to fight for full compensation.
Did you suffer medical malpractice at the hands of a Grand Rapids or West Michigan medical care provider? Gruel Mills can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Reach out to a Grand Rapids personal injury lawyer.
Contact Gruel Mills at (616) 235-5500 for your free consultation.
Gruel Mills – Grand Rapids Office
Campau Square Plaza Building
99 Monroe Ave NW #800
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 235-5500
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