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Medical Malpractice

What to Consider Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in South Carolina

— September 23, 2020

Medical malpractice lawsuits are never easy and that is why it’s important to work closely with a good medical malpractice attorney.

Before you can make a case against your healthcare provider for medical malpractice, it’s important to first understand what constitutes as medical malpractice. A medical malpractice occurs where a healthcare practitioner causes damage or injury to a patient. One of the ways that a patient can determine if there was negligence in the part of the doctor is by experiencing the adverse consequences later on. 

But that isn’t the only way. Sometimes a different health practitioner may inform you that something untoward happened. Other times, the doctor who provided the treatment would come forth, state it was their fault, and apologize for their negligence. This is a good way to prevent future litigation. 

While medical malpractice is often difficult to prove, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to consider before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in South Carolina. These are:

  1. Determine if You Have a South Carolina Medical Malpractice Case

One of the factors to keep in mind is that simply being unhappy with the level of care is not enough to have a medical malpractice case. If, however, the healthcare provider failed to ensure responsible care and there were bad consequences on your health, then you may have a case. In this case, an attorney may be able to help you through the process.

The best way to determine if you have a medical malpractice case is to talk to a medical malpractice attorney in South Carolina. They’ll be in the best position to look into your claims and determine the applicable law. They’ll also decide if you have a case, and if it’s worth pursuing. Keep in mind that the attorney may tap into independent healthcare practitioners and experts who will look into the facts surrounding the case, and determine if there is indeed malpractice on the part of the healthcare provider. 

  1. Understand Who Can be Sued

Before you can file a malpractice lawsuit, understand who is liable to be sued. This will help put everything into perspective and allow you to understand the extent of your claims. These are the some of the people and entities you can sue for medical malpractice:

  • Medical professionals such as physicians, dentists, or surgeons
  • The hospital, clinic, or practice
  • The pharmacy
  • The nursing home
  1. Understand the Main Medical Malpractice Claims

The claims on medical malpractice generally fall into 3 main categories. These are:

  • Failing to diagnose a medical condition properly
  • Failing to treat a diagnosed condition properly
  • Failing to get the consent of the patient prior to treatment

Note that by informed consent, the healthcare provider is supposed to disclose all the facts to the patient prior to treatment. This includes the risks and the likely outcomes. 

  1. Accepted Standard of Care

    Image of doctors performing a surgery
    Doctors performing a surgery; image courtesy of
    sasint via Pixabay,

Doctors are human beings and can make mistakes just alike anyone else. However, if the doctor failed to follow the required standard of care then this could make a case for medical malpractice. But what is the accepted standard of care? This is the level of care that a doctor who has a certain level of experience and training is expected to provide within the medical industry. It’s the care that an average doctor in his or her position is expected to provide. 

If the healthcare professional was unable to provide you with the accepted standard of care, talk to your attorney. They’ll evaluate and look into your case to determine if you have a case. 

  1. Damages That You Can Recover from a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

In a case against a medical practitioner who was negligent, you may be entitled the following forms of compensation:

  • Any medical costs needed to correct the injury. This includes ongoing and future costs. 
  • Loss of consortium of the spouse
  • Lost wages or income
  • Punitive damages
  • Any disfigurement, pain or suffering, as well as mental anguish
  1. Duration Of Time to File a Case in South Carolina

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations provides three years from the time of receiving treatment or lack thereof, or even from the time the injury was discovered. 

That said the statute could also be reasonably extended, allowing the patient more time to file a lawsuit. Keep in mind there are also certain procedures you’ll need to observe when filing a lawsuit. 

Final Thoughts

Medical malpractice lawsuits are never easy and that is why it’s important to work closely with a good medical malpractice attorney in South Carolina. They’ll help determine if you have a case, offer expert advice, and guide you when filing a lawsuit. 

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