Medical Malpractice Law in Michigan

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Gavel and Scales

The Michigan legislature changed medical malpractice law in Michigan as of April 1, 1994, so information below may not apply to events before that date. You can find the general medical malpractice provisions in Michigan in the table and descriptions below. However, for questions regarding a specific case, it is highly recommended that an attorney be consulted.


Michigan Medical Malpractice at a Glance

Michigan State Tort Law
Statute of Limitations Two years from injury and six months fron discovery. No suit may be brought beyond six years from injury
Damage Award Limits $280,000 for non-economic damages
Joint Defendant Liability Defendants are proportionally liable for percentage of fault determined by court
Expert Witness The expert witness must be licensed and board certified in area of similar specialty 
Attorney Fees Limited to one third of damages awarded

Michigan's Statutes of Limitations

In Michigan, the plaintiff has 2 years from commission of the act or omission that the claim is based on. Otherwise it can be brought within 6 months after the claimant discovers (or could have) the existence of the claim, as long as it is within 6 years of the actual act. There are exceptions, however.

If may have legal questions or need legal help regarding a Medical Malpractice Case, consult with a Medical Malpractice Attorney in your area for a free case review in exploring your legal options.

Contributory or Comparative Negligence in Michigan

Michigan's malpractice laws fall under the doctrine of pure comparative fault, with only one exception. A claimant's negligence does not bar recovery, but can cause damages to be reduced proportionally to the claimant's percent at fault. The exception is that if the claimant's fault is greater than the sum of the fault of all other persons, then he or she cannot recover any non-economic damages.

Joint and Several Liability in Michigan

The liability of each person is distributed in direct proportion to the person's percentage of fault in any action for personal injury or wrongful death in the state of Michigan.When assessing each party's percentage of fault, the trier of fact has to consider the fault of persons who are not parties, including those who have settled. If the claimant   is without fault, the defendants are jointly and severally liable. Contribution. Joint tortfeasors who pay more than their share of a common liability a right of contribution are afforded a right of contribution by the state's laws.

Vicarious Liability in Michigan

Michigan courts recognize the doctrine of ostensible agency, in which a hospital can be found liable for the acts of a physician not actually its agent or employee. The critical factor in determining ostensible agency exists is whether If the patient reasonably looked to the hospital for treatment, the hospital may be vicariously liable, whereas if the patient merely viewed it as the site for treatment by his physician, they are not.

Michigan Law and Expert Testimony

Expert witnesses in medical malpractice cases must be healthcare professionals practicing or teaching the same specialty as the defendant and must have the same board certifications. The malpractice complaint has to be accompanied by an affidavit of merit.

No Sovereign Immunity in Michigan

Michigan has for the most part waived sovereign immunity for negligent medical care.  All medical malpractice actions must be reviewed by a mediation panel.

If may have legal questions or need legal help regarding a Medical Malpractice Case, consult with a Medical Malpractice Attorney in your area for a free case review in exploring your legal options.


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