Michigan Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

Michigan Medical Malpractice Statute of LimitationsThe Michigan medical malpractice statute of limitation is the deadline a patient or family member has to file a lawsuit against a negligent medical provider, like a doctor, hospital, or clinic. If you miss the required deadline, your case will be barred forever. 

What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Michigan?

A medical malpractice action may be brought within two years after the act or omission, also referrred to as medical negligence,  that forms the basis for the claim. This could be two years from the date of a medical appointment or surgical procedure.

Can the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations be Extended beyond Two Years?

There are some rare occasions where the two year time period can be extended.  For example, a lawsuit may be brought within six months after the claimant discovers or should have discovered the existence of the claim, so long as it is brought within six years after the act or omission. 

The statute of limitations is also extended in cases involving minors and babies.  This extension is frequently utilized in birth injury and cerebral palsy cases.  If a child is less than eight years old when the malpractice occurs, the child has until the 10th birthday to bring a lawsuit.  If a child is eight years old or older, then the regular two year statute of limitations applies.

If the malpractice claim involves an injury to the child's reproductive system, and the child is less than 13 years old, then the child has until her 15th birthday to bring suit. If the child is older than 13, then the regular two year statute of limitations applies.

The statute of limitations is also extended in cases involving the wrongful death of the patient.  This extension can be up to five years after the malpractice and depends on matters relating to probate court proceedings.  These laws are confusing so it is important that you contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after the patient’s death.

Finally, there are certain claims relating to medical care and treatment that may be considered as general negligence and not professional malpractice.  This would include a non-medical type claim, like a slip and fall in a hospital, or if care was provided by a non-licensed medical provider, like a CNA.  It would also include cases against unlicensed medical facilities or providers.  In those cases, the deadline may be three years to file the lawsuit.

Additionally, state law requires that the victim serve a Notice of Intent to File Lawsuit on all possible negligent medical providers within the two year period.  The failure to serve this notice in timely manner will also restrict your ability to file a case.  However, the timing of the Notice of Intent can extend the statute of limitations period depending on the specific dates of a claim.  These are very stringent legal requirements and the failure to comply with them can destroy your case.

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WARNING: There are strict time deadlines for filing medical malpractice lawsuit claims

Lawrence J. Buckfire
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