Lawyer Monthly - October 2022

Karen Beach recover most of the damages available under Michigan law, although some limitations have been enacted to curb unreasonable damage awards that can drive up the cost of malpractice insurance. In general, plaintiffs can recover past and future economic damages, including medical expenses and lost wages. Plaintiffs can also recover past and future noneconomic damages, namely pain and suffering but also humiliation and mental anguish. After the jury awards values for these damages on the verdict form, the trial court must adjust the numbers to meet certain statutory requirements. For noneconomic damages, the amounts awarded must be reduced to meet a statutory cap on noneconomic damages in In Michigan, medical malpractice occurs when medical care falls below the standard of care applicable to the treatment at issue and causes injury to the patient. The standard of care is defined in each case by what a reasonable practitioner of the same medical specialty would or would not do under similar circumstances. In a psychiatric malpractice case, therefore, the jury would determine whether the defendant did what a reasonable psychiatrist would have done under similar circumstances, and if not, whether the defendant’s actions caused injury to the patient. Both parties must retain expert witnesses who practise in the same specialty as the defendant, and those experts help the jury determine whether the standard of care was breached and whether any breach caused injury to the patient. Medical malpractice plaintiffs can 18 LAWYERMONTHLY SEPTEMBER 2022 My Legal Life Defending Psychiatric Malpractice Claims Medical malpractice is a highly specialised format of personal injury law, and psychiatric malpractice more specialised yet. Laws and statutes governing aspects such as culpability, investigation and compensation can differ greatly from those involving other types of professional malpractice, requiring different processes to be undertaken during litigation. Karen Beach, principal at TNMD, gives us a clearer look at psychiatric malpractice cases and how they are defended in the US and Michigan. OCTOBER 20 2

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