Being harmed by the very people you look to for healing care is a difficult situation, and the losses you experience as a result can be overwhelming.
If you or someone you love is the victim of medical malpractice, it’s a complicated matter, and it’s in your best interest to work closely with an experienced Moncks Corner medical malpractice attorney.
Common Categories of Medical Malpractice
While every medical malpractice case is unique to the circumstances involved, most fall into one of the following basic categories:
- Birth injuries
- Prescription errors, including overdoses and dangerous drug interactions
- Delayed diagnosis or outright misdiagnosis
- Errors made in the emergency room
- Surgical errors
There is also the matter of failing to obtain the patient’s informed consent prior to treatment to consider. Informed consent in this context means that the medical professional caring for you must fully disclose all the relevant facts, likely outcomes, and risks associated with the treatment in question.
After you’ve been advised about a potential treatment, you’ll need to make the right decisions before proceeding with treatment.
The Healthcare Provider’s Breached Standard of Care
To bring a successful medical malpractice claim, you’ll need to prove that the actions of the healthcare provider who cared for you failed to live up to the prevailing standard of medical care. This demonstrates that the medical provider failed to implement the necessary standard of caretaking all the relevant circumstances into consideration — that is accepted as appropriate in similar situations by reasonably prudent healthcare professionals of similar rank.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in South Carolina
South Carolina imposes a strict time limit on medical malpractice lawsuits that is called the statute of limitations. In South Carolina, you have only three years from the date you were harmed by the medical care you received or three years from the date that you reasonably should have known that you were harmed by the medical care you received — with a six-year cap.
There are only rare exceptions to this three-year time limit, which makes reaching out to a dedicated medical malpractice attorney as early in the process as possible to your advantage.
Losses You Suffer From Malpractice
You can seek compensation for all the following forms of loss you experience as a result of medical malpractice:
- The current and ongoing medical bills you incur
- The lost earnings and lost earning potential you experience
- Your physical and emotional pain and suffering you endure, which includes your loss of enjoyment in life and your emotional anguish
The first two categories are called economic damages, and they are far more straightforward when it comes to applying a price tag. Your pain and suffering, on the other hand, is considered a noneconomic damage. While South Carolina employs the following caps for noneconomic losses as they relate to medical malpractice claims, the same is not true of economic losses:
- The cap for noneconomic damages in a medical malpractice case against a single provider or medical facility is $512,773 in 2022. The amount is adjusted for inflation on January 1 of each year.
- The cap for total noneconomic damages in a medical malpractice case against a single provider or medical facility for more than one defendant is $1,538,319.
When you think about medical malpractice, you may think about negligence on the part of the doctor who is treating you. Still, liability can be shared or can attach solely to other parties, including all the following:
- The medical facility or healthcare clinic
- The pharmacy or pharmacist
- The medical practice
- A member of the nursing staff
- The anesthetist or another member of the surgical team
A Doctor’s Mistake Isn’t Necessarily Medical Malpractice
Everyone makes mistakes, including doctors. Whether or not such mistakes venture into the realm of medical malpractice is determined by whether or not the doctor’s error deviated from the accepted standard of care in relation to the case at hand. This standard refers to applying the same degree of care and skill that other reasonable doctors with the same qualifications would apply in similar situations.
Medical malpractice is not a mechanism for addressing results you aren’t happy with but is, instead, a means of addressing a doctor or facility’s verifiable negligence.
Consult With an Experienced Moncks Corner Medical Malpractice Attorney
West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, is proud to be a long-standing family firm in the community. Our skilled medical malpractice attorney, E. Mason West, brings his experience and legal knowledge to every claim he takes on and has an enviable track record of effectively and efficiently guiding challenging claims toward beneficial outcomes.
Medical Malpractice Case FAQs
How do I know if my claim qualifies as medical malpractice?
The surest means of determining if you have a viable medical malpractice claim is consulting with a seasoned medical malpractice attorney early in the process.
How much is my claim worth?
Your claim will be specific to the circumstances that apply, and its worth will be based on the specific losses you experience, including your medical expenses and lost earnings as well as your noneconomic damages such as your emotional pain and suffering. A savvy medical malpractice attorney can help you better understand the likely value of your claim.
What happens if I can’t afford an attorney?
The good news is that you can afford a seasoned medical malpractice attorney because most work on contingency, which means they don’t get paid a prearranged percentage until the claim in question is finalized and the client receives a settlement or court award.