Most medical malpractice lawsuits in Rock Hill, if you look at the universe of lawsuits, will go to trial more often than not as opposed to auto accidents or other kinds of personal injury cases. There is a variety of reasons for that. One reason is the doctor is reluctant to admit that he made a mistake, and there are certain provisions in malpractice policies that provide that the doctor has to consent to any settlement, and some doctors don’t like to do that. Every state has a different component to that, but some states require that if a doctor settles the case, it has to be reported to the medical board, so it goes on their permanent record.
However, with that said, some doctors are reluctant to settle. The cases tend to be more grey than black and white, so they get pretty complicated. As a whole, the majority of med-mal cases tend to go to trial although a lot of them do settle, but that depends on the nature of each case. On average, they go to trial more often than any other lawsuit that you may have.
Caps On Damages in Malpractice Cases
There are caps: in South Carolina, the cap is only for non-economic damages; there is no cap for economic damages. So whatever your medical expenses are or things related to medical expenses, there is no cap. It is what it is. It’s an exact number. Non-economic damages tend to be subjective in terms of what a jury might award. In South Carolina, the limit on that is $350,000 per defendant. In North Carolina, the limit is $500,000 per defendant, and that’s adjusted every year. It’s a moving number.
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Steps to Take When Filing a Claim Against a Medical Professional
If a person feels that they have been injured in some way in an action by their healthcare provider that they didn’t think was right, obviously, the very first thing you need to do is contact a Rock Hill medical malpractice lawyer. These cases are extremely complicated. I have been doing this for almost 30 years, and there really is no way an individual can ever handle one of these claims themselves. So that’s the first thing. We would then need to get the entirety of their medical records associated with the care that they received.
We have to get all of the medical records and sometimes even some medical history, depending on the nature of the claim. Once I have that information, our next step is to have the legal nurse consultant organize all of those records, go through everything, determine for me what happened and where the injury may have occurred and why the injury occurred. Then the next step from that would be getting an expert witness in the same specialty to confirm that the healthcare provider acted under the standard of care. Once we have that, we can make a formal claim against the healthcare provider.
What normally would happen at that point is the healthcare provider would send the claim over to their insurance carrier, and then we get into negotiations to see if it can be resolved. If it cannot be resolved, then we file a formal lawsuit. Every state has specific procedures; medical malpractice cases are handled differently than any other type of lawsuit, so we have to follow the state procedures for filing the medical malpractice claim and get into the litigation, go through discovery and perhaps go to trial. Now, it’s a long process, and it takes a lot of time and effort.
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Claim Length in Rock Hill
It all depends on the complexity of the case. It’s not unusual for these kinds of cases to take years to resolve. They can be shorter. It depends on the complexity of the case. On average, if we have to file a lawsuit, from the day you file until the case comes to trial, it’s going to be a year and a half to two years right there, and that’s more to do with the court system than anything else. Depending on the complexity of the case and how much discovery is involved, sometimes these cases get elongated. So the earlier we can get involved with the situation, the better it is because as time goes on, memories and witnesses fade, so we like to get things going as quickly as possible, but it’s a process and not a short process at all.
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