How do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in South Carolina?

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Every medical injury does not constitute medical malpractice. You could have a medical malpractice lawsuit in South Carolina if a medical error or mishap rises to the level of negligence. To file a malpractice insurance claim or lawsuit, you must prove the care you received did not meet the accepted standard of medical care.

A lawyer near you can review your case, obtain your medical records, and consult qualified experts to determine whether your case has merit. Your lawyer will obtain a certificate of merit that validates your case. They will also help you build a strong case and fight hard to obtain appropriate financial recovery.

How do I Prove Medical Malpractice?

It can be hard to prove the current state of your health is the result of medical malpractice. According to Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, you and your lawyer must prove the following elements of negligence:

  • A medical professional owed you a duty of care.
  • They breached their responsibility to provide it.
  • The injury you sustained was caused by the breach.
  • Your medical injuries had financial consequences.

A personal injury lawyer in your area who handles medical malpractice cases will prove your right to compensation with the following evidence:

  • Your medical records and bills
  • The healthcare provider’s history
  • Photos and videos of your injuries
  • Lay and expert witness statements
  • Pharmacy and prescription records
  • Laboratory and imaging test results

Let your lawyer handle this trying and complex part of your case while you focus on getting better. They will compile evidence, assign an accurate value to your case, and negotiate a favorable financial settlement on your behalf.

Who Can Be Liable for Medical Malpractice in South Carolina?

You may already know you can file a medical malpractice case against a physician, surgeon, or other healthcare provider. These are not the only medical professionals who can be held accountable for providing you with substandard care. You could also pursue damages from:

  • Dentist or orthodontist
  • Eye doctor
  • Mental health professional
  • Nurse
  • Physical therapist
  • Testing facility

No two medical malpractice cases are exactly alike, so the lawyer who handles your case will delve into your specific details. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might also have a case against a hospital, nursing home, or other medical care facility.

Do I Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer, or Can I Settle My Case on My Own?

While you are not required to have a lawyer when suing for medical malpractice, your case can benefit from working with one in many ways. To strengthen your case, the law firm that represents you will take the following steps on your behalf:

  • Handle all communication related to your case
  • Complete and submit insurance claim forms
  • Assess the recoverable damages you can obtain
  • Fight hard for a settlement versus going to court
  • Consult a medical expert to validate your case

The lawyer who represents you will have an entire team and resources that help investigate your case and may have easier access to certain types of evidence. They will also keep you updated on any progress or developments in your case.

What Compensation Can I Recover After Proving My Case?

You can recover fixed or tangible economic damages. These are usually supported with bills, receipts, and estimates and include all case-related medical care. It also includes recovery of the income you lose throughout your recovery.

You can also recover many types of non-economic damages. These are more difficult to prove but can be supported with your medical records and written prognosis. Non-economic damages include impairment, disability, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and mental and emotional anxiety.

The loss of a loved one could entitle your family to wrongful death damages. Rarely, you could also be entitled to punitive damages. These are typically awarded when the at-fault party’s actions were willful or egregious.

How Long do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in South Carolina?

In general, you have three years from the date of your injury or three years from the date of its discovery to file your lawsuit, according to S.C. Code of Laws § 15-3-545. It can pass more quickly than you think, especially if your injury is not discovered right away.

If your lawsuit is not filed on time:

  • You could be barred from filing it at all
  • It will be dismissed without being heard

Complying with the statute of limitations is mandatory but can also be difficult. When a lawyer handles your case, they can explain the appropriate filing deadline. Your lawyer will also work hard to file your lawsuit on time and avoid the costly consequences of filing too late.

Why do I Need an Expert to Validate My Medical Malpractice Case?

According to S.C. Code of Laws § 15-36-100, a qualified expert must sign an affidavit stating your case has merit. This document must detail the injuries you suffered and attest that the care you received did not meet the required medical standard of care.

The medical expert who completes this form must be duly licensed and qualified, board-certified, and have actual professional knowledge and experience in line with the area of medicine involved in your case.

Your lawyer will consult a medical expert and obtain this document for you. They can also file the required notice of intent within the allotted time. Each party named in your lawsuit must receive this notification.

Get Help Understanding Your Potential Medical Malpractice Case

If you or someone you love received medical care in South Carolina that you believe was inadequate or harmful, you could have a medical malpractice lawsuit. On your own, it can be hard to know if your case meets the legal requirements for compensation. We can help.

At Schiller & Hamilton, a member of our legal team will review your case at no cost or obligation. Call today to learn more about pursuing compensation and how hard our law firm will go to bat for you.

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