Our South Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawyers Answer Your Questions
Medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, a 2016 study published by British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggested medical errors are the third leading cause of death, only behind heart disease and cancer. Medical errors like misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes and diagnostic mistakes may kill as many as 251,000 U.S. patients each year. Injuries are another possible outcome of medical mistakes.
Survivors of medical errors may suffer permanent injuries that leave them disabled and unable to work. However, it may be possible for victims of medical malpractice or their loved ones to hold the hospital or care provider accountable.
Our South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers can help victims of medical malpractice, including grieving family members, review potential legal options for recovering damages. You can contact our personal injury law firm for a free consultation. Continue reading to learn more about medical malpractice in South Carolina.
- What Is Medical Malpractice?
- Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice?
- Who Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice?
- What Are Common Medical Mistakes in Malpractice Cases?
- What Compensation Can I Recover from a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Licensed medical practitioners must provide services within the accepted standard of care. When a medical practitioner falls short of this standard, and a patient suffers harm as a result, then it is medical malpractice. Medical malpractice may entail certain actions or inaction. Whether a healthcare provider’s mistake qualifies as medical malpractice depends on the circumstances.
Doctors, nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists are examples of parties who may commit medical malpractice in South Carolina.
Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice?
You must be within the statute of limitations to sue for medical malpractice. The statute of limitations is how long you have to file a lawsuit.
In many cases, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is three years from the date of the action that caused the patient harm. However, the statute of limitations may begin when you discover the injury or illness.
Specifically, South Carolina Code of Laws section 15-3-545 states 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.” There are also exceptions where you can toll the statute of limitations.
Cases involving wrongful death have certain requirements. You would need to be an eligible person to file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for your loss. For instance, you would need to be the spouse, child, or in some cases parents of the decedent (deceased person). Heirs of the decedent may also be eligible under the right circumstances.
Due to the complexity of medical malpractice lawsuits in South Carolina, you should speak with an attorney at our firm for more information.
Who Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice lawsuits may involve various types of healthcare providers. Possible defendants in a medical malpractice lawsuit include:
- Nursing homes
- Doctors offices
You can contact us for a free consultation to learn more about your options for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in South Carolina.
What Are Common Medical Mistakes in Malpractice Cases?
There are many different types of medical mistakes, including some that are so egregious they are called never events. Patients or their family members may file medical malpractice lawsuits for mistakes that include:
- Birth injuries
- Medical errors in emergency rooms
- Retained surgical items (leaving items behind after a surgical procedure)
- Medication errors
- Surgical errors
- Diagnostic mistakes (misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis)
Depending on the type of mistake, patients can die or suffer permanent injuries. Patients affected by retained surgical items may suffer from intense, consistent pain as well as infections. Certain types of birth injuries may lead to permanent brain damage and millions of dollars in damages.
What Compensation Can I Recover from a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Compensation from a medical malpractice lawsuit may help cover damages caused by your injury, illness or loss. A settlement or jury verdict may help you pay for:
- Lost income
- Loss of future earnings
- Home modifications
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses
- Transportation expenses
- Pain and suffering (capped)
How much compensation you can recover depends on the unique circumstances of your case. For more serious injuries, chances are the patient suffered more extensive damages and may be able to recover more as a result. However, you should speak with a medical malpractice attorney at our firm if you want more information about compensation.
Contact Our South Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Law Offices of Wilkerson, Jones and Wilkerson can help you determine if it is possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in South Carolina. If you have additional questions, then we encourage you to contact our medical malpractice law firm. You can reach us for a free consultation by dialing (803) 324-7200 or using the confidential contact form on our site.