When you go to a healthcare professional for medical attention or help with treating a condition, you expect that the doctor will provide you with an appropriate level of care. After all, you are putting your trust into the doctor as his or her patient. So when a doctor acts negligently while providing care, and you are injured as a result, the situation can seem hopeless and devastating. It is important that you understand your rights as a patient. The first thing to do is learn more about the basics of a medical malpractice claim.
Medical Malpractice Claims in South Carolina
A medical malpractice claim is a type of personal injury claim made against a medical professional or a healthcare entity when a mistake was made during the administration of a patient’s care. The claim could be based on the reckless misconduct of the healthcare provider, a mistake made during the administration of care, or negligence. Medical malpractice claims must be filed within three years of the injury occurring or else the patient will lose his or her right to sue, because the statute of limitations will have expired in accordance with South Carolina Code Section 15-3-530. Once this three year period lapses, the patient will lose the right to sue for their medical malpractice injuries.
Establishing A Medical Malpractice Claim
In order to establish a medical malpractice claim, the patient/victim must demonstrate the existence of a doctor-patient relationship between the patient/victim and the doctor at the time the injury occurred. They will need to show that the patient hired the doctor to administer medical care and the doctor agreed to provide the medical care.
Next, the patient/victim must demonstrate that the doctor was negligent in the administration of medical care. This is shown by comparing the actions of the doctor to the actions of a reasonable and careful doctor who has the same level of skill and similar circumstances (e.g., a doctor who practices in a rural area is compared to other doctors with the same level of skill who practice in rural areas). It is important to compare apples to apples in a medical malpractice case. Comparing a rural doctor, who has limited access to advanced medical technology, to a highly-trained specialist in a big city, who has access to high-tech equipment, would be an unfair comparison.
The Negligence Must Cause An Actionable Injury
It is critical to a medical malpractice claim that the doctor’s negligence caused an injury that is actionable. If a doctor makes a mistake, but the patient is not actually injured by the mistake, then there can be no medical malpractice claim. The injury can be physical (i.e., you were physically injured by the doctor), psychological (i.e., mental anguish), or economical (i.e., additional medical bills or lost wages).
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you have been injured as a patient by a medical professional or healthcare system, it is important that you speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
The professionals at Klok Law Firm, LLC can help you recover on your medical malpractice claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.