A medical malpractice claim in Rock Hill basically is a claim against a healthcare provider for an act that has caused harm to the patient and is outside the normal standard of care. A healthcare provider can be anybody as defined by statute but is usually any healthcare provider that’s either licensed or certified by the state to perform their services, and the negligent act or omission has to occur during the course of the individual providing healthcare services to the patient.
It’s basically when something goes wrong. You can think of it as similar to a car accident. When somebody speeds or goes through a red light, it’s like when a doctor maybe prescribes the wrong medicine to you. It’s negligence, but it’s specific to a healthcare provider.
Legally Filing a Claim for a Doctor’s Errors
Anybody who has been injured in Rock Hill, the injured patient per se, and in cases of wrongful death, which unfortunately happen far too often, the estate would bring the case. It’s anybody who is injured; or if it’s a death case, it would be the estate of the deceased that would bring the claim.
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Common Misconceptions About Malpractice Claims
There are a lot of actions for massive claims against drug companies, and some people just don’t understand the nature of these claims. A lot of people put so much faith and trust in their doctors that sometimes they don’t even realize the doctor or healthcare provider may have done something wrong. So we see instances where a lot of time may go by before a client even realizes that their condition may be due to negligence and not just to their medical condition.
In terms of misconceptions from the general public, they tend to see doctors as not making many mistakes, but you have to realize that doctors, like any other person or professional, have those times where they just don’t do it the right way.
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How Liability is Determined
Any healthcare provider who is licensed or certified by the state, can be held liable in a medical malpractice claim. Obviously, doctors would fall into that category, as well as nurses, certified nursing assistants, physician assistants, EMS people or anybody who is providing medical care. It also would apply to chiropractors, physical therapists, radiologists and anybody who is in the process of providing medical care and if their license is regulated by the state.
These things are spelled out in each state in terms of who would specifically qualify as a healthcare provider, but it is a pretty broad range of people that would fall under that umbrella, and it also applies to facilities. It could be a hospital, a clinic or a pharmacy for that matter.
Civil and Criminal Cases for a Medical Professional’s Mistakes
No, these are civil cases. It’s a negligent action under the law. It’s a tort action in that it’s an individual action of the patient against the doctor. There is such a thing as criminal negligence. To use the example of the auto accident again: If somebody were in an accident and were driving under the influence that would constitute criminal negligence. The same thing would apply in healthcare: if a doctor were doing surgery under the influence, they could be held criminally liable for their actions, as well as civilly.
There is always a civil action. But in order for it to be criminal, there has to be some really egregious conduct by the healthcare provider, and that would usually apply to them performing their services under the influence or if, during the course of providing healthcare, they physically assault the patient. They can be held criminally liable, but 99% of these cases are civil.