Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers have an obligation to meet their profession’s standard of care when treating patients. Unfortunately, medical mistakes happen and can have severe effects. When these mistakes are the result of a health care professional’s negligence, injured patients have rights. If you are injured due to the negligence of a health care provider, you may be entitled to recover economic and noneconomic damages. A South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer can help you evaluate your claim to better understand your rights. With the help of a compassionate injury lawyer, you can get the compensation you need and deserve.
Economic Damages in Medical Malpractice Actions
An individual who was severely injured due to the negligence of a health care provider or institution may be entitled to economic damages. Economic damages are tangible, quantifiable and could easily be calculated. This class of damages includes items such as medical bills, rehabilitation bills, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, and loss of employment.
How Can Economic Damages Help Following an Injury?
In short, these damages can help make up for the financial hardships associated with the injury. There also is not a cap on these damages, they can cover the projected losses a person endured. A South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer could help injured individuals properly document their economic losses to help recover the appropriate compensation.
Compensation for Noneconomic Losses in South Carolina
A person injured as a result of medical malpractice may also recover compensation for their noneconomic losses. However, in South Carolina, there are limits on the amount of noneconomic damages that may be recovered from a medical malpractice action. According to South Carolina Code § 15-32-220, in a medical malpractice action against just one health care provider or one health care institution, noneconomic damages may not exceed $350,000 per claimant.
In medical malpractice claims involving more than one health care provider or more than one health care institution or a combination of both, the limit on noneconomic damages for all the health care defendants rises to $1.05 million.
There is an exception to these caps on noneconomic damages, however. Any of the following occurrences renders the cap on noneconomic damages inapplicable:
- A defendant’s conduct rose to a higher level of culpability than mere negligence
- A medical professional committed fraud
- A defendant modified or got rid of medical records with the intent to avoid the claim
Do Punitive Damages Apply in Medical Malpractice Claims?
When the caps do not apply, the injured party may also be awarded punitive damages that are meant to punish the at-fault party. The limitation on noneconomic damages does not include any limitation on the amount of punitive damages that an injured party may receive in a medical malpractice action. A South Carolina medical malpractice attorney may help injured parties identify the damages which apply to their case.
A South Carolina Medical Malpractice Attorney Could Be an Advocate
Medical malpractice actions in South Carolina may be complicated. Especially because they involve understanding medical jargon, legal standards, and rules limiting certain damages. There is no need to wade through the legal provisions of medical malpractice claims alone.
A dedicated South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer could help you during negotiations, court hearings, and trial. Speak with a qualified malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about seeking compensation for your injuries.