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Experienced South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers know that medical malpractice claims are technical, expensive and end up in front of a jury far more often than most other types of injury cases. Tort reform law that has passed our state legislature provides the medical industry with protections that other industries do not enjoy. Our Charleston law firm of medical malpractice attorneys has a network of physicians and other healthcare consultants that allows us to evaluate the evidence quickly, and to get started promptly on the long road to a fair recovery in medical malpractice claims.
THE CAUSES OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
The son of an Internist who honorably served the Mount Pleasant and Charleston communities for nearly thirty years, firm founder Ben Traywick has deep respect for the incredible work medical professionals do here in the Lowcountry.
Nevertheless, it is a fact that, like all human beings, these professionals make errors from time to time – and the consequences can be tragic for patients and their families.
Actionable medical negligence comes in countless forms, but might include the following: a physician’s failure to diagnose an illness that was clearly indicated by the differential diagnosis, prescription of medication which is contraindicated by other medications the patient is already prescribed, or a surgical outcome which is not within the range of acceptable risks for the particular procedure performed.
A medical malpractice claim is a specialized type of negligence claim called “professional negligence.”
All healthcare providers owe their patients the duty to provide service in accordance with the professional “standard of care,” meaning generally that the professional must be as careful and as diligent as a typical professional of his or her discipline (such as an orthopedist, Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, etc) in the community he or she serves.
The Plaintiff must prove that the professional’s delivery of care fell short of the applicable standard of care, and that the plaintiff was injured as a result of the deficient care.
If you are not sure if you have the grounds for a Medical Malpractice claim, please contact our South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers at our Charleston law firm today.
Ask A South Carolina Malpractice Lawyer: Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
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How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice can result in serious injuries, leaving you unsure what the future holds. If filing a claim is your next step, be sure to do the following:
Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Because medical malpractice claims are often complex, it is crucial to consult an attorney with specific experience handling cases like yours. A South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer will determine whether you have a valid claim, then work to achieve the best possible outcome.
Obtain Medical Records
Documentation of the care you received will play a major role in your medical malpractice claim. Request your medical records as soon as possible, then deliver a copy to your South Carolina law firm.
Notify Health Care Providers and Insurers
As a courtesy, let your health care providers and their insurance company know that you intend to pursue legal action. This may prompt them to offer a reasonable offer to avoid an accident lawsuit. Never accept a settlement without first consulting your medical malpractice lawyer.
Meet Pre-Suit Requirements
Many states have specific procedures in place, with requirements that must be met in order to file an accident lawsuit. Your South Carolina law firm can help make sure every box has been checked so that your lawsuit proceeds as smoothly as possible.
File the Medical Malpractice Complaint
This formal document details your complaint against the health care provider, alleging wrongdoing and explaining the injuries that ensued. Once this complaint is issued, your medical malpractice lawsuit truly begins.
How to Maximize Your Chances of Winning a Med Mal Claim
To achieve the best possible results, it is important to follow the litigation process carefully. At Ben Traywick Law, our South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers understand the rules and procedures specific to our state – and we will work diligently to keep your case on track.
Although it can be easy to skip over, a good first step is drafting a demand letter. Failure to do this often leaves injury victims without a settlement offer. Next, your medical malpractice lawyer will start to build your case, using your medical records and expert testimony to hold your health care provider accountable. Your trusted attorney will also likely consider your medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages to determine the compensation you deserve.
All in all, partnering with an experienced attorney boosts your chances of winning a medical malpractice claim. Let Ben Traywick Law handle your case so you can focus on your recovery.
What Is A Medical Malpractice Claim vs What Is NOT A Medical Malpractice Claim
Your South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer can help determine whether you have a valid claim that is worth pursuing. Below we have detailed what makes a strong claim.
A Good Case For Medical Malpractice
In order to proceed with a medical malpractice claim, you must be able to prove that your health care provider fell short of the standard of care. Whether through action or inaction, if the medical professional acted negligently or recklessly, you may be entitled to compensation.
Medical Negligence Explained
A health care professional is considered negligent if the care they provided did not meet the proper standard of care. If they failed to act in a way that an educated, qualified, similarly-skilled provider would have in those circumstances, the medical professional needs to be held accountable for their negligence.
Failure to diagnose a condition, surgical errors, and medication mistakes are common types of negligence. While patients cannot expect their health care providers to achieve perfection, they can demand a certain standard of care. If your care provider acted negligently, contact your South Carolina law firm today.
While recklessness always implies risk, it is particularly dangerous in a health care setting. A medical professional’s reckless behavior could have lethal results, making it incredibly important to ensure they are held accountable for their actions. While these types of medical malpractice claims are much rarer, examples of recklessness include performing surgery while under the influence or giving lethal doses of medication.
What Is Typically NOT Medical Malpractice
These circumstances, when they occur on their own, are not typically considered valid medical malpractice claims.
The patient’s condition worsens.
A medical professional can not be held liable for their failure to cure a patient’s illness or condition. Because there is never a guarantee that a patient will recover, it is unlikely that a health care provider can be charged with medical malpractice in this case – as long as they met the standard of care.
The patient’s condition cannot be treated.
Similar to the situation above, sometimes even the best medical treatment cannot cure a condition. As long as the doctor or medical professional provided an acceptable standard of care, they are not considered liable in a medical malpractice claim.
3 Major Challenges of Winning A Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice cases can be extremely involved, making them difficult to win. You seldom hear about patients receiving compensation – and that’s because, more often than not, their lawsuits are lost.
There are many obstacles to overcome in a medical malpractice claim, but these three are the biggest challenges that injured patients face:
- Proving that the health care provider acted in a medically negligent manner
- Convincing the jury that the medical professional did not meet the standard of care
- Hiring an experienced medical malpractice lawyer
Common South Carolina Medical Malpractice Laws
Here at Ben Traywick Law, our South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers possess a solid understanding of the state laws and procedural requirements involved in your case. Here we have explained a few terms that may come up:
- Notice of Intent to File Suit: This document identifies all the health care providers involved in the lawsuit as well as the proposed legal solution. It is filed with the court as well as the providers being sued, in accordance with South Carolina Code of Laws section 15-79-125.
- Affidavit of Expert: Prepared by a qualified medical expert witness, this will be filed with the court. It will detail at least one medically negligent action, as per South Carolina Code of Laws section 15-36-100.
- Mediation: Within 90 to 120 days of filing these documents, the parties involved must attend a mediation conference. During this meeting, they will strive to reach a resolution before filing an official medical malpractice lawsuit.
Difference Between Medical Negligence vs Medical Malpractice
It is important to distinguish between medical negligence and malpractice, although determining between the two may require the help of a skilled South Carolina law firm. The biggest differentiating factor is intent. Medical negligence means that the health care provider acted carelessly, with no intent to cause any harm to the patient.
Medical malpractice, however, involves a care provider who knew there was a risk of harm, but acted anyway. It does not necessarily imply that they intended to harm the patient, but they were aware that there was the potential for harm.
Here’s a good test for negligence: Did the person act in a way that a prudent professional would have under similar circumstances? If yes, then it is unlikely that you can prove medical negligence.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the South Carolina statute of limitations on medical malpractice?
The short answer is three years, but many patients wonder when the clock starts ticking. According to the South Carolina statute of limitations, a medical malpractice claim must be filed within three years of:
- The treatment, operation, or omission that resulted in legal action
- Or the date of discovery
- Or the date when discovery reasonably should have occurred
If any of these dates come more than six years after the treatment, operation, or omission, you cannot file a claim.
What is the percentage of winning a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Recovering compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit is not common. In fact, doctors win the vast majority (80% to 90%) of jury trials in which weak evidence of negligence is presented, and about 70% of “borderline” cases. They even win about 50% of cases with strong proof of negligence!
Among patients who beat the odds and won their cases, only 5% received compensation for diagnostic or treatment errors. 13% received a payout for procedural/surgical errors and 27% for medication mistakes.
To boost your chances of achieving a positive outcome, make sure you have a qualified South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer on your side!
How long does it take for a medical malpractice settlement?
Because they often require expert testimony, medical malpractice cases may take longer to settle than traditional personal injury claims. While it is impossible to provide an exact timeline, your medical malpractice lawyer may be able to give you a better idea of how long your case will last.
What is medical malpractice negligence?
A health care provider who does not meet the standard of care is considered medically negligent. If this negligence causes a patient’s injury, they may file a medical malpractice claim in pursuit of compensation.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice, as opposed to medical negligence, involves a health care provider who acts in a way that they know could potentially cause harm. Basically, they were aware that their action or inaction could injure their patient, but they proceeded anyway. This does not necessarily mean that they intended harm, though. Medical malpractice is typically categorized as one of the following: failure to diagnose, improper treatment, or failure to warn of known risks.
What kind of lawyer do I need for medical malpractice?
To ensure your case is in the most capable hands, be sure to hire a qualified South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer. With expert testimony and medical records to manage, it is crucial that your attorney has experience handling cases like yours.
Are medical malpractice settlements taxable?
Any compensation for medical care is not taxable. Punitive damages and lost wages, however, may be taxed. Essentially, any compensation that can potentially be considered “income” is taxable. Your South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer can help determine how much of your settlement is taxable.
How do I file for medical malpractice in South Carolina?
- Consult a South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
- Gather copies of your medical records.
- Inform health care providers and their insurers of your intent to file a medical malpractice claim.
- Meet all pre-lawsuit requirements.
- File a formal medical malpractice complaint.
To learn more about the legal process, contact Ben Traywick Law. Our experienced team is standing by to answer any questions you may have.
Ask A South Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawyer:
Medical Malpractice FAQs
Determining if you are eligible for compensation can be difficult – especially without a solid understanding of the care you are entitled to. Ben Traywick Law Firm can help! When searching for medical malpractice lawyer near me, you can schedule a meeting with Ben Traywick and get a free consultation today.
The “standard of care” defines, generally speaking, the quality and level of care and medical services you as a patient are entitled to from your healthcare professionals. Negligence or failure to meet this standard may be considered medical malpractice – and may result in compensation.
The health care professional who failed to provide the standard of care is liable. This includes doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, technicians, etc. After learning more about your legal claim, our South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers will work to hold the liable party accountable and secure the compensation you deserve. We offer expert SC law legal advice and legal representation to manage these often complex legal claims.
Timelines vary greatly from case to case, depending on the complexity of the medical malpractice claim and the parties involved. Rest assured that our South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers will work as efficiently as possible to reach a resolution for your legal claim.
Your Medical Malpractice Claim.
Our Charleston law firm of experienced South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers are here to help.
With skilled SC law legal representation and legal advice, we can truly help your legal claim.We serve trusted legal support for medical malpractice, personal injury, business litigation and construction defect legal cases.
We are eager to learn more about your personal injury claim and partner with you on your road to recovery.
So, contact our South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers today and get your initial free consultation today!