South Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawyer

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Healthcare professionals owe a duty to patients to uphold the standards of care required by their oath and the law. When failure to meet their responsibilities harms a patient, South Carolina law allows that patient to hold medical professionals financially responsible for their actions. At Schiller & Hamilton, our South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers serve the communities of Bluffton, Beaufort, Fort Mill, Gaffney, Hilton Head, Lancaster, Rock Hill and York County. Ask if we can help you build a case for compensation and restore your losses.

Common Types of Cases Our South Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawyer Handles

Our medical malpractice lawyers typically handle various cases involving negligence or error in the medical field. These cases require a deep understanding of both legal and medical complexities:

  • Surgical errors involve mistakes made during surgery, such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving surgical instruments inside the patient.
  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis entails failing to promptly diagnose a condition, leading to worsened outcomes.
  • Birth injuries include negligence during childbirth, resulting in injury to the baby or mother, including cerebral palsy and fractures.
  • Medication errors include incorrect prescription or administration of drugs, leading to adverse effects or failure to treat a condition.
  • Failure to treat refers to neglecting to provide necessary medical treatment, exacerbating the patient’s condition.

Our South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer will work diligently to establish the link between medical negligence and your injury, often consulting medical experts to strengthen the case.

What constitutes medical malpractice in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider negligently breaches the expected standard of care. This standard compares the provider’s actions to what a reasonably competent medical professional would do under similar circumstances. The law requires that the healthcare provider’s actions actively deviate from the accepted norms and practices of the medical community to constitute negligence.

For a claim to qualify as medical malpractice, though, simply proving the healthcare provider’s negligence is insufficient. The patient must actively demonstrate that this negligence directly inflicted an injury. Additionally, the injury must lead to significant harm, including physical pain, suffering, disability or substantial medical costs. These criteria ensure that only cases where a healthcare provider’s negligence directly results in significant harm to the patient fall under medical malpractice, distinguishing them from standard medical errors or unsatisfactory outcomes.

Damages a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in South Carolina Can Recover

South Carolina personal injury law recognizes the losses you incur as compensatory damages. These include economic and non-economic losses. In rare cases, you may receive punitive damages.

What are economic losses?

Economic losses in the context of legal claims refer to quantifiable monetary damages incurred by an individual. These typically include:

  • Medical expenses: Costs for past and future medical treatment related to the injury
  • Lost wages: Income lost due to the inability to work as a result of the injury
  • Loss of earning capacity: Decreased ability to earn income in the future because of the injury
  • Rehabilitation costs: Expenses for physical or occupational therapy and other rehabilitation services

Proving these losses requires collecting extensive documentation, such as medical records, bills, pay stubs and expert testimony.

What are non-economic losses?

Non-economic losses represent an individual’s intangible losses, which are not easily quantifiable in monetary terms. In cases handled by our South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers, these often include:

  • Pain and suffering: Physical and emotional distress caused by the injury
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: Reduced quality of life or inability to partake in activities enjoyed before the injury
  • Emotional distress: Psychological impact of the injury, such as anxiety, depression or trauma
  • Loss of consortium: Negative effects on the relationship with a spouse due to the injury
  • Disfigurement: Permanent physical changes that affect appearance or body function

Our medical malpractice attorney will help you understand the non-economic losses associated with your case and ensure we value them adequately.

Can you receive punitive damages?

Punitive damages aim to punish defendants for particularly egregious or malicious conduct and deter similar actions in the future. In medical malpractice cases, awarding punitive damages requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s actions were willful, reckless or grossly negligent. These damages, not being directly tied to the actual harm suffered by the plaintiff, are distinct from compensatory damages. While punitive damages are less common than compensatory damages in medical malpractice cases, they play a crucial role in instances of severe and deliberate wrongdoing.

Benefits of Having a South Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawyer on Your Side

Our medical malpractice lawyer in South Carolina will help you navigate the complexities of this form of personal injury law. Our South Carolina injury attorneys possess in-depth knowledge of the state’s legal system, medical regulations and procedural rules needed to build a solid case. They have the expertise to accurately assess the merits of your claim, ensuring that the case meets all legal requirements. They use negotiation skills to effectively deal with insurance companies, securing fair compensation for our clients. Their experience in medical terminology, standards of care, and common malpractice issues enables them to communicate and argue the intricacies of the case effectively.

Our medical malpractice lawyers also provide invaluable emotional support and guidance throughout the legal process. They handle the burden of legal procedures, allowing clients to focus on recovery. With their assistance, clients avoid common pitfalls and mistakes that could weaken the case. They also have access to a network of medical experts and resources essential for substantiating claims and proving negligence. Their involvement typically leads to higher compensation amounts, reflecting economic losses and non-economic damages like pain and suffering. A dedicated legal professional protects your rights and increases the chances of reaching a justified outcome.

South Carolina Laws That Can Impact Your Case

Every case has unique circumstances that may require the application of specific laws. However, every medical malpractice claimant should understand two laws: the statute of limitations and the punitive damages cap.

Statute of limitations

In South Carolina, you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within three years from the date of the harm or when you could reasonably have discovered the harm due to the defendant’s medical error. However, with only a few rare exceptions, you lose the right to file a lawsuit six years after the date of the medical mistake, regardless of your knowledge of the harm. This statute enforces timely legal action in medical malpractice cases.

Cap on punitive damages

In South Carolina, the court adjusts the cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases annually for inflation. As of 2022, there is a cap of $512,773 on non-economic damages against a single care provider or institution.

In cases with multiple defendants, the total non-economic damages cannot exceed $1,538,319, with no single care provider or institution liable for more than $512,773 in non-economic compensation. These caps specifically apply to damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life, which are more subjective and not easily quantifiable.

Contact Our South Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

The act of medical negligence can have substantial physical, emotional and financial consequences on the victims and their families. At Schiller & Hamilton, we understand the importance of identifying and valuing all recoverable losses from your case. Our commitment is to protect your rights and hold the at-fault party in your case responsible for their actions. Contact our team at Schiller & Hamilton to speak to a South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer and schedule your free consultation today.

FAQs About Medical Malpractice in South Carolina

How do you prove a medical malpractice claim in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, proving a medical malpractice claim involves two crucial steps. First, you must show that the healthcare professional did not maintain the expected standard of care and skill that a reasonably competent practitioner would in similar situations. Second, you must establish that this lack of proper care directly led to your injury.

Generally, expert testimony is indispensable in these cases to affirm both the healthcare provider’s substandard care and its direct connection to your injury. The exception is instances where the facts of the case are straightforward enough to be understood by the average person.

How much does a medical malpractice lawyer cost in South Carolina?

Our medical malpractice attorneys charge no upfront fees for our services and offer free consultations. We work on contingency, which means we only receive payment if we win a settlement or award for your case. It is therefore in our best interest to ensure you receive fair and adequate compensation for all your economic and non-economic losses.

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