Medical malpractice and statute of limitations

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Guest: Good morning.

Brian: Good morning.

Guest: Um, my mother-in-law passed away, it’ll be eight years ago, uh, July 2nd, uh, from, um, uh, her aorta was punctured during, um, a heart catheterization. And at the time my father in law didn’t want to file a lawsuit, so we, we honored his wishes. Um, you know, he is now 88 and he is not in good financial state. And you know, I’m just wondering if we should possibly pursue, um, a lawsuit, Yeah. I don’t know.

Brian: Yeah. Um, did this happen in Michigan?

Guest: Yes.

Brian: Okay. So the statute of limitations in Michigan for a wrongful death is two years on a medical malpractice wrongful death. Okay. But, um, because she died and could no longer bring her own case, you had to open an estate when she died, was estate opened?

Guest: No

Brian: Okay. So under those circumstances, you have five years from the date of death to open an estate to pursue a medical malpractice issue. If you don’t do that, then you’re forever barred. Now that may have changed. Um, and I can take a look at that. But what I’d like you to do is I’d like you to send me an email and can you get a little closer on the dates or is it really truly about eight years.

Guest: It is eight years. Yeah. Yeah.

Brian: I’m sure. Sorry about that. You know. Um, but I understand why he wouldn’t want to do that. I, I remember, uh, many, many years ago when my dad who was a lawyer, he was a very litigious guy, uh, litigated things, even small things all through his entire life. And then this one big thing came up he wanted to litigate. My mother said, absolutely not. I will divorce you if you get involved in this case. So I understand why people don’t want to get involved in litigation. Justin. I’m sure you do too.

Justin: Yeah. You know, we hear this quite a bit, especially in the medical malpractice areas, people are having a hell out, a ton of things going on. And it’s Kinda the last thing you think about and you know that it’s so hard because you’re, you’re going through all that and then you have this limited window of two years to do things. And it really makes it difficult.

Brian: Yep. So if you folks out there dealing with a medical malpractice injury, it’s a very technical area now because the legislature has changed everything. You, you can’t just file a lawsuit, you have two years to file a lawsuit, but before you can file a lawsuit, you have to actually go forward with what’s called a notice of intent to file a claim, which is essentially, uh, making you give your entire case up to the opposition with the, um, uh, thought that they may try to settle. But I’ve, in 30 years, never seen a settlement ever, uh, before suit on a medical malpractice case. I’m sure that they happen, but just not the ones I’ve handled. Uh, and then once that, eh, notice of intent is sent out, you got to wait 182 days and then after 182 days, you gotta you can then file your lawsuit. So it’s very technical. Uh, experts are very expensive and there’s some areas where it’s hard to find an expert, like in orthopedics and orthopedic surgery. Those guys tend to stick together quite a bit. So you want to make sure that if you have a medical malpractice issue, if you have a relative or a friend who’s been killed as a result of medical negligence, and then give us a call at eight five five law show, that’s (855) 529-7469.