Fort Mill Medical Malpractice Lawyer
While most doctors in South Carolina are trustworthy professionals who always live up to the standards of care expected of them, mistakes unfortunately still occur sometimes. Furthermore, if you suffer harm from the actions of a reckless or careless healthcare provider, filing suit for damages is often a uniquely complicated prospect.
If you have been severely injured due to a negligent medical professional such as a doctor, nurse, or healthcare facility, you should get in touch with a skilled personal injury attorney. A Fort Mill medical malpractice lawyer could explain the special filing prerequisites for these types of cases, work with you to construct a comprehensive demand for damages, and provide passionate legal representation throughout every stage of your claim.
Filing Requirements Set by State Law
In most civil cases, the plaintiff filing suit does not need to notify their prospective defendant until their claim has actually been filed. Conversely, as per South Carolina Code of Laws §15-79-125, injured patients seeking damages for medical malpractice must provide any medical professional they want to use with a Notice of Intent to File before they officially file their case.
Following this, the plaintiff must meet with all involved defendants for a mediation session and attempt to settle their claim out of court before they can proceed with a civil lawsuit. This conference should occur within 90 days of—and no more than 120 days—the date the Notice of Intent to File was sent out.
Additionally, every Notice of Intent to File must be accompanied by an affidavit of merit, in which a medical expert affirms that the grounds on which the plaintiff intends to file suit are valid. This requirement, which is outlined in SC Code §15-36-100, is meant to reduce the number of frivolous cases that state courts have to deal with, but it can be difficult to obtain without guidance from a Fort Mill medical malpractice attorney.
Finally, all malpractice claims that are not resolved out of court must be filed within three years of when the plaintiff’s injury occurred, was first discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered. The maximum amount of time allowable in the latter two scenarios is six years from the date of injury, and the applicable statutory period is shortened to two years for cases involving a surgical implement being left inside a patient’s body.
Caps on Recoverable Damages in Fort Mill
Another aspect of medical malpractice cases that differentiates them from other kinds of personal injury claims is the implementation of caps on certain types of recoverable damages. According to SC Code §15-32-220, the maximum amount any plaintiff can recover from a single professional or provider for non-economic damages—which cover subjective losses like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life—is $350,000.
The limit for cases involving multiple defendants is higher, but it stays at $1.05 million no matter how many defendants are involved, and each individual defendant can only be liable for a maximum of $350,000 in non-economic damages. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer in Fort Mill could discuss with a plaintiff how these caps may impact their particular case.
Consider Working with a Fort Mill Medical Malpractice Attorney
Successfully pursuing legal action against a negligent healthcare practitioner requires jumping through a lot of procedural hoops, any of which could hinder your ability to recover compensation. Depending on the circumstances, you also may be unable to recover enough compensation to make up for all your quantitative losses.
Fortunately, a Fort Mill medical malpractice lawyer could work with you to maximize your case value and pursue the best outcome possible in your situation. Call the legal team at Schiller & Hamilton today to learn more.