When you visit a medical professional seeking care for an illness or injury, you expect your doctors to give their full attention to your complaints and to use appropriate care to treat you. Unfortunately, illness and injuries stemming from carelessness, lack of experience, or poor technique by a medical provider may seriously compromise your health.
The law presents some challenges to patients who have suffered because of their medical provider’s inattentiveness, poor decisions, or faulty execution. However, one of our Walterboro medical malpractice lawyers could help you navigate the process. Allow our skilled personal injury attorneys at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda to help you pursue compensation from the at-fault medical provider.
Establishing the Standard of Care
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must establish that the negligent healthcare professional or facility did not meet the applicable standard of care. Additionally, you must prove that the failure to meet the standard was the direct cause of your harm.
It is important to note that meeting the standard of care does not guarantee that the treatment or procedure will have a positive outcome. A medical procedure could have poor results even if the healthcare provider met the standard of care. An experienced attorney in Walterboro could review your medical records and seek an expert opinion to support your medical malpractice case.
Initiating a Medical Negligence Suit in Walterboro
Bringing an action for medical malpractice is different than bringing other personal injury lawsuits. State law imposes some additional requirements on the injured parties in medical malpractice cases.
Notice of Intent to File Suit and Expert Opinion
Most personal injury lawsuits begin with the injured party filing a legal document called a summons and complaint with the court. In a medical malpractice case, you must first submit a notice of intent to file suit. This document must name all the defendants and contain a short, clear statement explaining the legal basis for the action.
Pursuant to South Carolina Code §15-36-100, you must also file an opinion from a medical expert detailing at least one breach of the standard of care by each defendant. You must file the expert opinion with the notice of intent to file suit. Each of the defendants must receive a copy of the documents.
Once you have filed and served the notice of intent and the expert opinion, you must engage in mandatory mediation with the other parties. State law requires that the mediation take place between 90 and 120 days after you submit the notice of intent to file suit.
All parties must meet with a professional mediator in an attempt to settle the case without judicial intervention. If mediation fails to resolve the matter, you could initiate a lawsuit by filing a summons and complaint.
If you were harmed due to an act of medical negligence, it would be wise to consult with an experienced attorney in Walterboro who understands these procedural requirements.
Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases
In a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, you could receive a damages award from the court. Damages compensate injured parties for the losses they suffered because of the malpractice.
Economic damages include the past or future costs of medical care, lost time at work, and lost earning opportunities. You could establish your projected losses through expert opinions.
Non-economic damages are the subjective losses you suffer due to a condition resulting from medical malpractice. Non-economic damages may include disfigurement, lost enjoyment of life, pain, mental anguish, and other aspects of your diminished quality of life. South Carolina caps the amount of non-economic damages a single defendant must pay, but the cap typically increases each year. A determined Walterboro lawyer could work with you to fight for the maximum amount of compensation in your medical malpractice case.
Work with a Seasoned Walterboro Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice cases are challenging to file and win. Understanding relevant medical facts requires specialized knowledge, and there are numerous procedural steps to complete before a case ever reaches court.