At the time of this writing, medical malpractice cases in Michigan have a cap on the amount of allowable damages. Unfortunately, Michigan legislators believe they alone, instead of the jury, should determine the amount of damages plaintiffs are allowed to obtain as compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of medical professionals.
As in all states, damages in Michigan medical malpractice cases are divided into three categories. These categories are
- Compensatory economic damages
- Compensatory non-economic damages, and
Compensatory economic damages: Compensatory economic damages consist of those damages that reflect such items as the cost of medical bills or lost wages. They are financial losses which can be proven through the production of financial records. As in both Indiana and Ohio, the amount of economic damages in Michigan are unlimited.
Compensatory non-economic damages: Compensatory non-economic damages include but is not limited to things such as pain and suffering and mental anguish. Michigan places a limit of around $440,000 on such damages. The precise number is not provided in this post because the allowable amount of compensatory non-economic damages is slightly increased each year to compensate for the effect of inflation.
Punitive damages: Punitive damages are awarded by juries as a punishment for behavior society deems unacceptable. The goal behind punitive damages in other states is to encourage medical institutions to change their behavior and guard against future acts of negligence. Like all corporate entities, medical institutions are primarily motivated by profits and losses.
Unfortunately, Michigan legislators have decided to disallow punitive damages from being awarded in ALL medical malpractice cases.
Despite the limitations on allowable damages, parties believing they have been injured by the negligence of medical professionals should consult with legal counsel immediately. Injured parties only have two years from the date of the negligence to file a lawsuit. There are other time limitations which greatly reduce this period of time as well.
If you feel you might have been harmed by the negligence of a medical professional, contact us right away.