Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Columbia Are on Your Side
Medical malpractice is a serious concern, and it’s something that thousands of people in the country and throughout the state of South Carolina deal with. When medical malpractice occurs, it’s important to understand your care provider’s duty to you and whether they failed in that duty through medical negligence or another error. Medical malpractice cases can be complicated, and there are specific things you have to prove, such as that the person had a duty to provide care, that they failed in that duty, and that you sustained an injury or other harm because of that action.
Many attorneys, like the ones here at Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC, who practice personal injury lawyers, handle medical malpractice and medical negligence cases. In this article, we’ve provided information regarding common questions that people often have about medical malpractice cases, including common injuries, what’s involved in medical malpractice cases, and how you can start taking steps to find a medical malpractice attorney and file a claim.
If you’re looking for a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case, reach out to the law firm of Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC. We offer a free consultation where you can find out more about our experience with medical malpractice cases and get information on whether you may be able to seek compensation from the courts.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is an area of personal injury law. It includes all types of cases where someone has been injured or otherwise impacted due to a medical error on the part of some healthcare professional. In some cases, medical malpractice lawsuits may also be brought against larger healthcare systems, such as hospitals or pharmacies.
The first rule of medical care is “do no harm,” but the truth is that medical professionals are human beings, and that means mistakes and errors happen. In some instances, charts can be switched up, someone can be given the wrong medication, or doctors fail to properly diagnose someone — all of which can lead to dire consequences.
Medical malpractice law is about holding those professionals and organizations accountable and ensuring that they are providing proper care.
What Are Some Examples of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice cases can come from a variety of situations, and no two cases are exactly alike. However, it can be helpful to be familiar with some of the main types of medical malpractice situations so you know how other similar cases have worked out. Here are some examples of common types of cases.
Failure to Diagnose or Treat
When you go to the doctor, you expect them to be able to tell you what’s wrong with you and what you can do to get better. And this is how it should work. However, in our current medical system — which often prioritizes how many patients a doctor can see in an hour instead of how well and how thoroughly those patients are treated — this doesn’t always happen.
Failure to diagnose and treat cases stems from the premise that a doctor failed to recognize and treat an issue in a patient through negligence or willful neglect. For example, if you are told you have a cold and sent home, but really you have a case of pneumonia that needs medical treatment, this could be considered a failure to diagnose. It’s important to note that in these types of cases, the medical professional has to have not followed the usual standard of care for it to fall into the category of medical errors. If so, the injured patient may be able to file for medical malpractice.
Birth is a natural process, but that doesn’t mean it always goes according to plan. If a health care professional makes a mistake or doesn’t catch an issue with the baby or the mother, it can lead to serious injury. These could include extreme blood loss for the mother or brain damage from lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain. In medical malpractice, birth injuries can be some of the most devastating. If you believe that you or your children were injured due to negligence or poor care at your birth, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the medical professionals responsible.
Some medical malpractice occurs because a health care provider took action that resulted in an injured patient. However, it’s also possible to file a lawsuit based on medical negligence. In these types of cases, it is the medical professional’s negligence — or lack of action — that causes the problem. It’s common in these types of cases for medical facilities to be named the defendants in the lawsuit instead of just one care provider.
Surgical errors are the kind of medical errors that make it into many TV shows, but unfortunately, these types of errors also happen in real life. Surgical errors can include issues with anesthetic not being properly administered, sponges or other surgical equipment being left in the patient’s body, and even the wrong body part being operated on. When medical professionals make these types of errors, it can lead to very serious injury and even death. Those who have lost loved ones due to surgical errors may be able to talk to an attorney about filing wrongful death claims.
Improper Drug Administration
Medications are extremely important and even life-giving for many people. Those with Type 1 diabetes need insulin to survive, and the right antibiotic can save your life when you’re faced with an infection. But what happens when a medical professional makes a mistake when administering a medication? Whether it’s giving the wrong dose, not providing a prescribed medication, or giving the entirely wrong drug, these scenarios can and often do cause serious injury. Every day, people trust their healthcare providers to give them the medication they need in the proper form and dose, and when this doesn’t happen, it can be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Is Involved in Medical Malpractice Cases?
A medical malpractice claim can be complex. It takes time to determine whether a medical provider can be sued and whether there are grounds to prove medical malpractice. Talking with a personal injury attorney at a medical malpractice law firm like Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC, can help you understand whether you have a case and can sue for medical expenses and other damages. Below, we’ve provided an overview of what’s involved in a medical malpractice claim.
Find a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you are considering filing a medical malpractice case, the first step is always to talk to an attorney at a law firm who deals with these types of cases. You will want to ensure that the lawyer has plenty of experience with similar medical malpractice cases, and they should be able to discuss with you the kinds of cases they have been involved in and their litigation strategy.
A medical malpractice lawsuit is often settled out of court, so it’s a good idea to look for an attorney who has experience with mediation as well as trials. When you meet with the attorney for the first time, you may want to bring your medical records and any documentation you have to be able to give them a clear overview of your case.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
After you’ve talked with a medical malpractice lawyer and retained them as your representation, they will get to work on filing your medical malpractice claim. In the state of South Carolina, you generally have three years from the date of the incident to file a claim. However, if you were not aware of the issue until a later date, the 3-year timer may start on the date you became aware of the injury. Your attorney can also help you decide how much to file the claim for. You will want to attempt to cover past and current medical bills, but you may also be able to seek compensation for loss of function, quality of life deficits, and pain and suffering.
How Do I Find a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Finding a good medical malpractice lawyer is a key step in any malpractice claim, but it’s not always easy. You don’t want to go with just any name out of the phone book. When it comes to medical malpractice claims, Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC, has the experience you need to advocate for your rights and represent your interests in court. Our law firm has a team of attorneys experienced in personal injury, including cases where the plaintiff is trying to seek compensation from a medical provider for an error or negligence.
If you’ve experienced physical or emotional distress because the health care system failed you, contact a medical malpractice attorney today. Call our law firm at (803) 888-2200 to schedule a free consultation about your medical malpractice case. We can take your information, talk about the details of your case, and let you know your options for the next steps.