How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in South Carolina
While medical treatments and procedures tend to increase stress levels regarding surgery in patients, people feel comforted when doctors reassure them that they are receiving the best level of care. To often, however, medical professionals fail to meet their duty of care and cause injury to patients. When that happens doctors and hospitals can face medical malpractice accusations.
Examples of medical malpractice
Many, if not most, medical errors are preventable. Medical malpractice often occurs due to negligence by health care workers in diagnoses, treatment or health management. Types of medical malpractice can include:
- Surgical errors
- Wrong drug, dosage, or combination of drugs
- Failure to get patient consent for medical treatment or procedure
- Healthcare employee fatigue
What can happen to patients as result of medical malpractice?
The most severe result of medical malpractice is death. In 2019, more than 250,000 people in the United States died to medical errors. Although some medical malpractice injuries are not fatal, they can still drastically change and affect the physical, mental and emotional health of patients. In most cases, these injuries diminish the patient’s quality of life. Examples of injuries due to medical malpractice are:
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
- Mental disability
What to do after a medical malpractice
You may be distraught or even in pain as a result of the medical malpractice negligence you have experienced. You may feel overwhelmed trying to find answers and cope with your pain. You may not know what do after suffering an injury due to medical malpractice. Here are some steps you can take to document your case:
- Get a copy of your medical records;
- Write down and keep a record of the incident, your injuries, any subsequent medical care;
- Take a picture of your injuries, if it applicable, and;
- Contact an experienced Steinberg Law firm attorney to discuss your legal issues or to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Filing a medical malpractice claim
It is very important be aware of the statute of limitations on medical malpractice. Statute of limitations is a law that sets the length of time a victim has to bring legal action against the wrong doer. If you file a lawsuit after the statute of the limitations has passed, you may lose your right to bring your claim to court.
South Carolina law provides regulations specifically for medical malpractice civil actions. Under these rules, you must bring your medical malpractice lawsuit within three years from the date you discovered the injury or should have discovered the injury.
Adhering to the statute of limitations may become more complicated to calculate if the victim of medical malpractice is a minor (child under age 18). When a person with a civil action, such as a medical malpractice lawsuit, is a minor, the statute of limitations may toll (stop) and the clock starts when they reach the age of majority (18 years old).
Filing a medical malpractice claim in South Carolina takes time and an understanding of state law. When you decide to file a medical malpractice claim, you should immediately consult with a knowledgeable Steinberg Law Firm attorney who can help you get started with your case. This includes handling all prerequisites required prior to filing the lawsuit.
Before you can file a lawsuit for medical malpractice, you must file a Notice of Intent to File Suit and other supporting documents required by South Carolina law. To file a lawsuit, you typically pay a filing fee to start the case. Additional fees may be required during the duration of the lawsuit. Most counties in South Carolina use an online filing system to file documents with the court. However, it is better to hire an experienced attorney to handle your case.
After filing your medical malpractice case, you and the opposing party must have a mediation conference to discuss settling the case. The meeting, which is required by state law, has to occur between 90 days and 120 days from filing. As with most laws, certain exceptions to rules may apply
Hiring an attorney for your medical malpractice claim
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be time-consuming, complex and overwhelming when you do not have the legal education and experience to handle the case. Contact an attorney to handle your medical malpractice claim and protect your rights. Call Steinberg Law Firm at (843) 720-2800 and hire a seasoned personal injury attorney.
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