After a medical injury, you may find yourself unable to enjoy the life you once loved. Simple pleasures and activities are compromised because of the pain you feel. Chronic pain can seep into every aspect of your life. It can affect your relationships and your ability to work. Unfortunately, pain and suffering are not always considered when seeking damages after a medical injury. As such, it is often necessary for injured patients to sue a doctor for pain and suffering.
However, medical malpractice is more complicated than many patients realize. If a doctor or medical professional’s error caused you harm, then you can file a lawsuit seeking to recover damages. Fortunately, in South Carolina, the law allows injured patients to recover damages for pain and suffering. This includes past, present and future pain and suffering.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?
Pain and suffering are types of noneconomic damages. They are different from economic damages due to their subjectivity. For example, it is difficult to put a price tag on a person’s pain and suffering. Fortunately, an attorney can help you establish a claim and sue a doctor for pain and suffering. However, if your claim involves noneconomic damages, then there are a few limitations in South Carolina.
- Statute of limitations. South Carolina Code of Laws section 15-3-545 says that this kind of case must be filed “within three years from the date of the treatment, omission, or operation giving rise to the cause of action or three years from date of discovery or when it reasonably ought to have been discovered, not to exceed six years from date of occurrence.” If you miss this deadline, then you may not have the option of filing a lawsuit.
- Damage caps. The state imposes damage caps on noneconomic damages like pain and suffering. These caps are $350,000 per injured patient and $1.05 million overall for medical malpractice cases.
How Do I Determine How Much My Pain and Suffering Is Worth?
To determine how much your pain and suffering is worth, a judge will consider many factors. Some of these factors include the nature of the incident, as well as the amount of evidence and the credibility of any witnesses. The judge will also consider your age, as well as the type of injury. How the injury affects your overall quality of life and future is another serious factor the judge will review.
One of the key components, when suing a doctor for pain and suffering, is providing evidence. Evidence of pain and suffering often involves showing the quality of life the patient enjoyed before the injury. For example, was he or she active? Did they have busy weekends? Did they enjoy time with friends and family members? Pictures and testimonies from friends can help paint a good picture of how the medical injury impacted your quality of life.
Contact Our Rock Hill Medical Malpractice Lawyers
If you or someone you love suffered an injury and you believe medical malpractice is to blame, then we can help. At the Law Offices of Wilkerson, Jones & Wilkerson, our Rock Hill medical malpractice lawyers know how to hold negligent physicians and institutions accountable. We believe in helping injured patients put their lives back together after a devastating medical injury. Our lawyers work tirelessly to help injured patients obtain justice after medical malpractice. Call us today at (803) 324-7200 or fill out our confidential contact form for a free initial consultation.