Steps to Take if You Believe You Are a Victim of Medical Malpractice
Finding out that a medical procedure has gone wrong is a traumatic experience. If you suspect that you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice in South Carolina, it’s crucial to take appropriate steps to protect your rights and access the justice you deserve. Here, we break down some crucial actions to consider if you believe you’re facing a case of medical malpractice.
Get Immediate Medical Attention
If you’re experiencing complications or unexpected outcomes following a medical procedure, your first priority should be to get the appropriate medical care needed to address your condition.
Request Your Medical Records
In South Carolina, you have the right to access your medical records. These records can serve as valuable evidence when determining whether medical malpractice has occurred. Make sure to request these as soon as possible.
- Symptoms and Complications: Keep a detailed log of your symptoms, complications, and any communications you have with healthcare providers
- Expenses: Document all the costs associated with your additional medical care, lost work, and any other expenses related to the malpractice.
- Timeline: Maintain a chronological record of events, starting from the first consultation to the most recent interaction with healthcare professionals.
Seek Second and Third Opinions
Consulting other healthcare providers can not only help in improving your medical condition but can also serve as expert opinions if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
Notify the Medical Provider
Formally inform your healthcare provider that you believe you have been subjected to medical malpractice. This could result in an internal investigation and might lead to an out-of-court settlement.
Consult an Attorney Specializing in Medical Malpractice
Before filing a claim, it’s crucial to consult an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases in South Carolina. They can help guide you through the complexities of the state’s legal requirements, which may include an “Affidavit of Expert” to proceed with your case.
File a Complaint
Your attorney can assist you in filing a formal complaint with relevant state medical boards or authorities, although this is generally separate from your legal case.
Initiate Legal Proceedings
Once you have all your evidence, expert opinions, and legal counsel, you can then proceed with filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
South Carolina-specific Considerations
- Statute of Limitations: South Carolina law states that a medical malpractice lawsuit must generally be filed within three years from the date the malpractice occurred or could reasonably have been discovered.
- Damages Cap: South Carolina has a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, set at $350,000 per defendant, although there are some exceptions.
Suspecting that you’re a victim of medical malpractice is emotionally and physically taxing. While every step you take won’t guarantee a favorable outcome, they will fortify your case and help you navigate through the complex waters of medical malpractice claims in South Carolina.
Through due diligence, informed decision-making, and expert advice, you can take control of a disorienting situation and advocate for the justice you deserve.