Doctors and other health care professionals have a duty to their patients to do no harm. Doctors must accurately diagnose patients in a reasonable timeframe and develop treatment plans using scientifically supported methods. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers injury due to the actions of a doctor or other medical professional. Medical malpractice takes many forms, and it’s vital for victims to know their options for legal recourse and what to expect from a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medicine is uncertain by nature. Many diseases and conditions have symptoms that mirror those of other conditions, making correct diagnoses difficult in many situations. Doctors must use a process of elimination to determine the most likely causes of patients’ issues. Some patients are extremely difficult to diagnose, and many are even more difficult to properly treat, but doctors must make every effort to do so in good faith using treatments approved by the medical community.
Proving malpractice is similar to the process of proving negligence in other personal injury lawsuits. If you find yourself in a medical malpractice lawsuit, a reputable Charleston medical malpractice attorney can help guide you to a satisfactory result. First, your attorney must prove that you and the defendant had an official patient-doctor relationship. This is typically the least difficult factor to establish. Next, your attorney must prove the defendant was negligent in some way. Some examples of doctor and health care professional negligence include:
Medical malpractice cases differ from other personal injury lawsuits in several ways. Most states have specific rules for filing medical malpractice lawsuits, and these cases typically hold to a shorter statute of limitations than other personal injury claims. The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is usually two years from the date of the incident or the date an injury or illness manifested (also known as the “date of discovery”). For medical malpractice claims, the statute of limitations may be as little as six months.
Medical malpractice claims must also often pass through special malpractice review panels before a lawsuit can proceed. These panels basically review the evidence of a case and any associated testimony from expert witnesses to determine whether or not malpractice occurred. Finally, medical malpractice claims must adhere to special notice requirements, and the plaintiff’s attorney must retain expert witnesses to testify in the case. Expert witnesses in medical malpractice cases generally testify as to whether or not the defendant’s actions were reasonable or ethical given the circumstances.
A Charleston medical malpractice lawyer can help you meet these special requirements and navigate your case to a successful conclusion. Medical malpractice often causes pain and suffering, additional medical procedures, and may even lead to permanent complications or disabilities. Health care professionals who harm their patients must take responsibility for their actions, and the HawkLaw Firm is proud to help injured patients secure compensation from negligent medical professionals. Reach out to our team to schedule a consultation about your medical malpractice case. Call us in Mt. Pleasant, SC today! (843) 737-9356