Why do we need medical malpractice law in SC?
Doctors told three patients they had cancer. Terrified, they quickly started treatment. There was just one problem - none of the patients had cancer.
Another three patients were told they did not have cancer. Except, they did. Their treatment was delayed, significantly increasing their chances of further complications and even death.
These botched diagnoses did not happen in a small-town hospital or an inexperienced doctor's office. This happened at Wake Forest Medical Center, which is consistently ranked among the top health-care providers in the nation.
Medical malpractice lawsuits in SC create a necessary incentive for medical professionals to constantly improve their methods so that dangerous mistakes are not repeated. They also hold the responsible parties financially accountable, so the injured patient isn't crushed by excessive medical costs caused by their doctor's negligence.
What Is Medical Malpractice in SC?
Medical malpractice happens when a health care professional causes a significant injury to a patient because they failed to provide a level of skill and care that an ordinary professional in the same specialty would have used.
Medically negligent acts that can lead to a lawsuit include:
- Performance of unnecessary surgery;
- Surgical errors;
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose;
- Failure to identify symptoms;
- Inaccurate interpretation of laboratory test results;
- Improper medication prescriptions or dosages; and
- Inadequate follow-up care.
How Does A SC Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Work?
If you have been injured by a health-care professional's negligence, you are entitled to damages. Your SC medical malpractice attorney will begin helping you by:
- Getting your medical records: This often involves collecting hundreds of pages of reports from multiple doctors or medical facilities.
- Getting your records reviewed by other medical professionals. Specialists in the same field will look at your records to determine if your provider was negligent, failed to provide a reasonable level of care, or made an avoidable error.
- Getting an affidavit of merit. Under SC law, a medical malpractice lawsuit cannot move forward until an expert medical witness signs a statement identifying at least one negligent act that caused injury to the plaintiff.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits are an Uphill Battle in SC
The SC legislature has made it extremely difficult and, in some cases, impossible to find justice when a doctor or hospital's negligence has hurt you.
Consider the requirements - designed to protect doctors, and none of which are required in other types of injury cases:
- Your attorney must first file a notice of intent to file suit, along with the expert witness's affidavit, putting the defendant on notice and giving them time to prepare their defense before you even file the lawsuit;
- Before the lawsuit can be filed, a mediation must be scheduled. In most cases, this mediation will be useless - if the defendant offers you anything at all, it will be "go away" money that does not fully compensate you for the injuries that the defendant caused;
- Then, the lawsuit can be filed within 60 days.
After this pre-lawsuit process is completed (and the defendant has had time to sanitize their records and prepare their defense), we are able to file suit and begin the regular process of personal injury litigation.
If you've been injured by a doctor or hospital's negligence, we are prepared to fight this uphill battle for you. Your Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer will gather the evidence and help you to retain the right experts to establish liability and damages in your lawsuit.