According to research compiled by the Civil Justice Resource Group, every year there are between 65,000 and 200,000 deaths due to medical accidents, and 25,000 to 120,000 of these deaths are due to negligence, e.g., medical malpractice. Put another way, approximately 1% of all hospital patients are victims of medical malpractice. While these numbers are distributing, it’s no surprise given the increased pressures and stress doctors are under in today’s ever-changing healthcare industries. Overwork and heightened expectations add layers of complexity to the already complex realm of modern medicine, which can lead to serious errors of judgment. Unfortunately, it is the patient who suffers because of it. When this occurs it is imperative to seek the counsel of an experienced Ridgeville medical malpractice lawyer. An experienced attorney can assist in building a claim and ensuring you know what to expect at each step of the legal process.
Common Situations That Give Rise to Lawsuits
While it is impossible to list all the scenarios that may give rise to a medical malpractice case, there are some areas where it is more common. Errors that may lead to legal claims include things like:
- Failure to diagnose
- Incorrect diagnosis
- Patient Rights and Informed Consent
- Performing the wrong surgery or operation
- Anesthesia Awareness
- Mix-ups in lab reports and tests
It is important to keep in mind that instances of medical malpractice are not limited to the traditional physician-patient relationship—that you may have also suffered from negligence committed by a psychiatrist.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
In South Carolina, the following elements must be proven to be successful in a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- A significant, persistent bodily injury was suffered
- The healthcare provider administered a level of care below the accepted standard (as measured by what a reasonable healthcare provider in his or her position would have done or not done)
- The injury suffered was a direct result of the healthcare provider’s inadequate care
- The medical error that caused injury was preventable, e.g., it was caused by negligence
An important distinction to make here is that some types of injuries are common or “normal” to certain types of procedures, and you may not be able to recover in a medical malpractice case for them. For example, you may have undergone a surgery and caught a small infection or pneumonia. Depending on the type and nature of the surgery, the risk of infection may have been normal, and even disclosed to you as part of you giving your informed consent. In these situations, you will not likely be able to recover in a medical malpractice case, because the injury was not the result of a healthcare provider’s negligence. However, there may be other facts or circumstances in your case that would otherwise give you grounds for recovery. Because of the factual nature of medical malpractice claims, it’s important that you have your case reviewed by a qualified attorney who can evaluate and assess your situation.
Contact Us Today To Schedule a Free Consultation
The lawyers at Howell & Christmas are available to represent clients in Ridgeville and throughout South Carolina. We offer free consultations to help you better assess your claim. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of medical malpractice, contact us today to speak with a medical malpractice attorney. If you are unable to meet with us in our office, we can even come to your hospital room or home to discuss your case. We look forward to hearing from you.