Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury claim where a patient is harmed by a doctor or health care professional during the administration of medical care and treatment. This area of law, unlike other personal injury cases, has its own special rules regarding recoverable damages.
To discuss your medical malpractice claim in South Carolina, contact a North Charleston medical malpractice lawyer to review the facts of your case. An experienced injury attorney in North Charleston can help build your claim and fight for your right to compensation.
Types of Malpractice Claims
While a vast majority of medical malpractice claims are against doctors, other medical professionals such as nurses, phlebotomists, medical imaging technicians, and physical therapists can also commit medical malpractice.
Like in other personal injury cases, the legal standard of care is what a reasonable member of their profession would do when faced with care decisions. Common medical malpractice claims include:
- Misdiagnosis – Medical conditions, diseases, or infections, like blood clots, tumors, heart attack, and heart disease are commonly misdiagnosed.
- Birth Negligence – Medical conditions like mother’s gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, hemorrhage, surgical negligence could occur during a Caesarian section.
- Prescribing and administrating prescription drugs – Mistakes include administering wrong medication or dosage, prescribing the drug that interacts with existing medications.
- Surgical Errors – Common errors that a North Charleson medical malpractice attorney can recover damages for include leaving a foreign body inside a patient, nerve damage or uncontrollable bleeding.
Statute of Limitations
An injured person or a North Charleston medical malpractice lawyer on their behalf has three years to file a lawsuit against a medical professional for medical malpractice claims. There is a two-year statute of limitations when suing a government hospital over the Tort Fort Act.
The date of injury or date of discovery of the injury triggers the three-year time period to file. Failure to file within the requisite period, precludes a lawsuit against the negligent medical professionals.
Cap on Medical Malpractice Injury Damages
Certain types of damages are capped in medical malpractice cases limiting the recovery available to the injured patient. They are:
Shared Fault Rules
If the injured patient is partly to blame for their own injuries, then the injured victim shares legal liability with the other negligent party or parties, affecting the compensation the injured patient receives from the other at fault parties. This is called modified comparative negligence.
Under the modified comparative negligence rules of South Carolina, the amount received in a personal injury case is reduced by an amount that is equal to the percentage at fault of the injured patient. If the injured patient is found to be more than 50% responsible for their injuries, then the injured victim will be found legally liable or at fault and recover nothing for damages.
Noneconomic Damages Cap
Noneconomic damages, like pain and suffering, loss or consortium, or mental anguish, are capped at $350,000 per negligent party with a $1.05 million overall cap.
Punitive Damages Cap
Punitive damages, meant to punish wrongdoers, are capped at three times the actual damages or $500,000. This is also true in pure personal injury cases as well. There are several exceptions to the caps that exist in certain cases.
Contacting a North Charleston Medical Malpractice Attorney
Recovery from medical malpractice cases can be time-consuming and painful. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed following a misdiagnosis, negligence, mistake, or medical error by a doctor or medical professional, then contact a North Charleston medical malpractice lawyer today to schedule a consultation.