Most of us are not medical professionals, so we trust the doctors, surgeons, and specialists who treat us for everything from minor illnesses to major injuries. The vast majority of doctors are professional and highly experienced, but that's not always the case. Medical malpractice can occur when a health care professional or provider neglects to provide appropriate treatment, fails to take an appropriate action, or provides inferior treatment that causes harm, injury, or death to a patient.
The negligence involved in a malpractice suit typically involves a medical error. The inappropriate action could occur during the diagnosis phase, medication dosage, treatment, or aftercare of a patient. An experienced Pawleys Island lawyer can help you recover compensation lost due to the harm from negligent or sub-standard care.
South Carolina ranks 32nd in annual per capita malpractice costs. There are approximately 15,000 to 19,000 suits filed against doctors each year in the US. The standards of care vary between states and countries, increasing the importance of obtaining a strong medical malpractice lawyer.
When Is Patient Harm Medical Malpractice?
It's important to note that not all negative patient experiences are classified as medical malpractice. Dissatisfaction with the outcome of treatment does not imply malpractice.
When a doctor or other medical professional makes an error due to negligence because the care provider deviated from a typical standard of care that is delivered in similar circumstances, the provider may be held legally responsible. Generally, medical malpractice suits involve a number of elements, including:
Failure to adhere to legally binding standards of care.
Harm or injury that resulted from negligence. If the patient feels the doctor was negligent, but no injury is documented, malpractice is not likely an option. The patient must be able to prove the provider offered substandard care, and as a result, the patient suffered harm or injury.
The patient must prove they suffered considerable damage as a result of the injury produced from substandard care. That damage can include suffering, enduring hardship, constant pain, considerable loss of income, disability, or permanent disfigurement.
If you claim medical malpractice, you will likely need an expert witness to testify to your injury and also testify that the medical professional made an error that caused your injury. Working with an experienced Pawleys Island lawyer means you're connected with the most trusted and knowledgeable expert witnesses.
Do Medical Malpractice Suits Go To Court?
Many lawyers prefer to deal directly with the patient claiming malpractice to avoid court, but that is not always the case. If a medical malpractice claim makes it to court, it will be heard by a judge or a jury, depending on the situation. The plaintiff and defendant must disclose all evidence before the case goes to court. This is the point when an agreement is often made and court is avoided.
If the case that the medical malpractice suit goes to court and a jury or judge reaches a verdict, the losing party often appeals the ruling, dragging the lawsuit out even longer. Trust a skilled local lawyer to represent your medical case in the best way possible. Contact Hopkins Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.