How the Statute of Limitations Can Affect Your Case
Statute of Limitations is defined as the period during which a person has the right to bring forward their cause of action. The period varies drastically from state to state and between the cause of action. In Michigan, generally the statutory period to commence a medical malpractice is two (2) years from the date of the alleged negligence (MCL 600.5805(8).)
The date of the alleged negligence is calculated from the date of the injury causing event occurred, not the day the injury manifested. For example, a person is injured on Jan. 1, 2020 but the injury does not manifest itself until June 1, 2021. The individual has until January 1, 2022 to commence an action against the negligent physician.
In certain cases, this time frame may be modified to allow an aggrieved party additional time. For instance, the statute allows for a claimant to bring a claim “within 6 months after the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered the existence of the claim, whichever is later” (MCL 600.5838a (2).) Thus, a claimant that discover alleged a medical professional was negligent after the two (2) year limitation, may still have ability to proceed with a claim. Going back to our original example, if the claimant did not discover that the professional was negligent until June 1, 2022, the claimant would have until December 1, 2022 to commence the action. However, no action may be commenced more than six (6) years after the date of injury causing event.
Often, potential clients call regarding malpractice that resulted in the death of a loved one. In such cases, the timeframe to proceed with a claim is still the typical two (2) years. But unlike the typical medical malpractice, the date the limitation starts to run is from the date the letters of authority are issued to the first personal representative estate. MCL 600.5852. Pursuant to Waltz v Wyse, 469 Mich 642, the estate must commence the action within the two-year limitation, including timely providing the required 2912b notice to Defendants. Accordingly, it is important to talk to an attorney prior to opening an estate for a loved one when contemplating a potential medical malpractice claim.
Time is of the utmost importance when proceeding with a medical malpractice claim. Prospective clients that have gathered their medical records from the alleged negligent medical professional often are best positioned to timely and accurately receive legal help and maximum recovery for their injuries.
Our team at Grewal Law PLLC is here to help you navigate a complex medical malpractice claim. If you are ready to talk with an attorney about your case, contact us at (888) 211-5798 today!