Michigan Medical Malpractice Bills Remain Controversial

Citizens rely on state and federal government to ensure their rights are protected. Medical malpractice cases often arise from doctor, pharmacist or hospital negligence, where damage has been done to a patient while under the care of a health care professional. Malpractice events often leave victims scarred, in great pain and can even cause death in the most unfortunate cases.

Michigan lawmakers in the state Senate passed three of four bills aimed at tort reform and medical malpractice suits in the state, according to Michigan Live. State Bill 1116, which would have restricted or eliminated the ability to sue for malpractice whenever a doctor was acting in good faith and within established medical guidelines, was not passed by the Senate.

What this could mean for patients

The blocking of SB 1116 is a key component in ensuring that patients' rights are protected in Michigan. Under that bill, doctors would have enjoyed a Good Samaritan Law designed to stop medical malpractice claims even if they were negligent as long as they acted in good faith. This would have undermined patients' rights by prohibiting prosecution of negligent actions.

The bills passed may still have a major impact on the rights of patients. SB 1115 limits the awards available during a malpractice proceeding. Specifically, it places limits on damages issued for loss of household services. SB 1117 expands the types of healthcare professional that may be sued for malpractice, but also tightens the requirements for expert witnesses in malpractice cases. SB 1117 bans the accrual of interest on attorneys' fees awarded in a malpractice suit, but also places a time limit on suing for malpractice on behalf of someone whose life was lost while under medical care.

Choose the best personal injury attorney to help with medical malpractice claims

The medical field is constantly changing, and laws are evaluated on a regular basis to ensure they meet the needs of the evolving field. These laws may seem difficult to understand for many victims, especially when a victim is faced with changes that occur while their case is proceeding. Those recently involved in the outbreak of viral meningitis believed linked to allegedly tainted steroid injections may be subject to the new laws if they pass the Michigan House of Representatives, according to the Livingston Daily.

Victims of medical malpractice should seek the assistance of an attorney experienced with current laws regarding such events. The knowledge of current medical malpractice laws and upcoming legal changes can help a patient recover damages and seek compensation for losses due to doctor or hospital negligence.