All medical professionals have an obligation to provide competent care to their patients. Not only is this an obligation for a medical provider’s own licensing board, but it is also a legal duty created by South Carolina law. Whenever a doctor, nurse, dentist, or nursing home fails to provide competent care and an injury results, that injured patient may have the right to collect compensation.
A Mount Pleasant medical malpractice lawyer could help injured patients with the complex process of pursuing medical malpractice claims. This includes performing an initial investigation of the claim, working with an expert witness to bolster the allegations, and pursuing damages in both mediation sessions and trials. Do not try to pursue a claim alone, reach out to a compassionate injury attorney who can help.
What is Malpractice and When Does it Occur?
South Carolina’s Code of Laws provides a legal definition of medical malpractice. South Carolina Code §15-79-110 (6) says that medical malpractice is “doing that which the reasonably prudent health care provider or health care institution would not do or not doing that which the reasonably prudent health care provider or health care institution would do in the same or similar circumstances.”
In simpler terms, malpractice occurs when a medical provider does something that another reasonable provider would not do when facing the same facts. A failure to perform up to this standard could be malpractice. Malpractice could occur as a result of:
- Failing to accurately or quickly diagnose a condition
- A botched procedure that results in a new injury
- Leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient
- Birth injuries to either the parent or child
- Improper administration of medication
Malpractice that results in a physical injury could be the source of a personal injury lawsuit. However, the pursuit of a medical malpractice claim is far more complex than that for a typical personal injury.
Special Considerations in Medical Negligence Cases
Physician malpractice cases must always rely upon the analysis and testimony of an expert witness. This is because most of a medical malpractice claim’s evidence is scientific in nature.
Not only must a plaintiff rely on an expert to present evidence at trial, but this same expert must also provide evidence of malpractice for the case to even enter court. South Carolina Code §15-79-125 (A) requires all plaintiffs to provide an affidavit authored by an expert along with the notice to file suit. This affidavit must provide a good faith opinion on the part of the expert that malpractice has occurred.
Mandatory Mediation Sessions
South Carolina law also requires an additional procedural step before a case can go to trial. South Carolina Code §15-79-120 says that both parties are required to participate in a mediation session in an attempt to settle the case out of court. This can be a successful way to obtain compensation with minimal stress. A lawyer in Mount Pleasant could guide an individual through the mediation process after filing a medical negligence claim.
Caps on Compensation
South Carolina law limits compensation in medical negligence cases According to South Carolina Code §15-32-220, a plaintiff cannot recover more than $350,000 in non-economic damages in a medical malpractice case. Non-economic damages include losses such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life. However, there is no limit on economic damages such as lost earnings or medical bills. To maximize the potential for compensation in a physician negligence claim, a dedicated attorney could help a Mount Pleasant resident calculate their physical and subjective losses.
Seeking the Services of a Mount Pleasant Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you suffer an injury following poor medical care, you may be scared or confused. You may suspect that a doctor, dentist, or nurse is responsible for your losses, but may not know how to proceed. Indeed, medical malpractice cases can be very complex and require the help of an expert witness.
A Mount Pleasant medical malpractice lawyer could help you investigate your claims, present the necessary evidence within South Carolina’s laws, and take the lead in mediation sessions and trials. Their goal is to get you the highest possible level of compensation with as little stress as possible. Contact an attorney today to schedule a consultation.