Columbia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

You trust your physician and other healthcare professionals to competently care for you or your loved ones if you become ill, are in an accident, or if you need specific medication for a diagnosed condition. Over decades, life expectancy has risen because of medical innovation.

Sometimes, if a doctor, hospital personnel, or others tasked with medical care are negligent, you may be harmed, or a loved one could die because of it. If you or a family member received substandard medical care that harmed you, a Columbia medical malpractice lawyer might be able to recover financial compensation for your loss. Working with a dedicated attorney could make the process of filing a personal injury claim easier.

Medical Errors and Malpractice

Healthcare errors may or may not be precursors to medical malpractice lawsuits. The exact circumstances of each case will help determine if an error is reasonable under the circumstances. Remember, the parties committing the error must breach the duty to treat a patient with knowledge and care given by a like party in a similar circumstance. A well-versed attorney in Columbia could discuss whether an injured party suffered a medical error that amounts to malpractice.

Common Medical Errors

New staff who are unfamiliar with a procedure are more likely to commit malpractice. However, a hospital could be liable for malpractice for assigning patients to staff that lack training. Sometimes, a procedure is an emergency to save a patient’s life, and there is not enough time to administer extensive testing.

Occasionally, a rare illness mimics the symptoms of a more common one, causing an initial misdiagnosis. Babies and significantly older adults often cannot communicate with medical personnel about their symptoms, which can hamper proper diagnoses.

Columbia Medical Malpractice Claims

Some medical errors are more often categorized as malpractice than others. For instance, although incorrect billing is considered a medical error, it is not malpractice because the error does not physically harm the patient.

Common errors that can be considered malpractice include:

  • Birth injuries, which could include improper use of forceps or waiting too long to perform a Cesarean  Section
  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, especially if the patient is a long-term patient of the physician who fails to order proper testing or fails to interpret testing correctly
  • Surgery errors, such as removing an organ that is not diseased because the patient has been misidentified or leaving instruments inside a patient
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Medication errors, prescribing an incorrect dose, failing to check for allergic reactions, failure to fill a prescription correctly

A knowledgeable attorney could assess whether other medical professionals, hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes, or walk-in clinics can be held accountable for negligent care.

Compensation for Columbia Medical Malpractice Claims

Plaintiffs who win medical malpractice lawsuits can be awarded compensatory damages and, in rare cases, punitive damages. Compensatory damages are economic when the court can calculate what it cost the patient, such as medical and rehabilitative care and lost wages. Non-economic damages compensate a patient for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, future lost wages, and emotional trauma.

Punitive damages punish an egregious defendant and are rarely granted. However, there are cases where a compassionate lawyer representing someone harmed through negligent healthcare should plead for them, such as if a surgeon operates while intoxicated and causes harm.

When Should a Patient File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

The South Carolina Statute of Limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim is generally three years from the date the harm occurred but can be extended up to six years in some cases. Extensions include for insane or underage patients at the time of the harm or if the damage is not discovered immediately. Because the statute and extensions are complicated, consult an experienced attorney to file a timely case.

Contact a Columbia Medical Malpractice Attorney Now

Although not every medical error is enough to sustain a malpractice lawsuit, you should explore whether what happened to you is malpractice. You should be compensated for the harm done to you if the harm was unreasonable.

You also could be helping keep others safe from reckless medical professionals who can lose their licenses for repeated offenses. Call today to schedule your initial consultation with a Columbia medical malpractice lawyer.