Medical Malpractice Claims: Do You Have to Notify Your Medical Provider Before Filing a Lawsuit?

Doctors and other medical providers have a duty to provide care that does not intentionally harm their patients. Yet, studies show that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, mistakes made by medical providers cause about 250,000 deaths every year. Also, many others suffer needless pain, suffering, and long-term disability because of bad medical care. Has a doctor’s mistake harmed you? If so, you might be entitled to compensation for your pain. Let’s look a little more closely at some of the rules and requirements you need to follow when filing medical malpractice claims, including the requirement to notify your medical provider.

Elements of Medical Malpractice

First, your medical provider has to provide a certain standard of care. It’s not enough to think of health care as one-size-fits-all. Doctors need to consider each patient’s individual needs. What works for a 20-year old athlete may not work for a 75-year old with serious medical conditions.

Next, there must be a breach of the standard of care. This means that a medical provider did something or failed to do something that a reasonable provider would have done. You, as the patient, did not receive the level of care you needed.

This failure on the doctor’s part must have injured the patient in some way. For example, a patient whose doctor failed to diagnose lung cancer may find out about the cancer only when it’s too late for meaningful treatment. There must be a direct connection between the doctor’s alleged negligence or misconduct and the patient’s injury.

Finally, the patient must have suffered some form of damages. This element may contribute to the amount of damages you receive in a settlement or at trial.

If you feel you have been harmed by a medical provider, it’s important to hire an attorney who understands medical malpractice.

Medical Malpractice Laws and the “Notify Your Medical Provider” Requirement

Each state has its own laws, although some laws are similar. The following common laws may apply to your medical malpractice claim:

  • Statute of Limitations. You must file your claim within a certain timeline.
  • Damage Caps: Laws sometimes limit how much you can receive for compensation, including for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

But here’s the main purpose of this article. People filing medical malpractice claims in Michigan have to comply with some very specific laws, including:

  • Notice of Intent to File Suit. In Michigan, you must serve a written notice on medical providers at least 182 before filing a lawsuit. This also has the effect of hitting the pause button on the statute of limitations. However – and this is important – if the Notice of Intent is determined to be invalid, the pause is voided. Your claim could be dismissed
  • Affidavit of Merit from Health Care Professionals. With your lawsuit, you must file an affidavit signed by a health care professional who practices in the same specialty as the person you want to sue. For example, if you sue a cardiologist, your affidavit of merit should be completed by a cardiologist.

Certain laws apply to anyone who plans to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a healthcare provider. Your medical malpractice attorney can let you know these laws – and others – apply to your potential medical malpractice claims.

Call Us for More Information About Medical Malpractice Claims.

If you are interested in the matters discussed in this blog, be sure to call us for a free consultation or leave a comment.

At the Dailey Law Firm, P.C., our team of skilled lawyers and professionals provide sound and current legal representation that you need. Call us at 844-342-5353 to set up a free consultation or use the Contact Form on our website. There’s no fee for personal injury cases unless we win.

We represent clients throughout the entire United States. You can reach us online at or visit one of our offices in Detroit, MI, Chicago, Illinois or Valparaiso, IN.

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