In addition to our Clinton office, Joye Law Firm has a statewide presence with offices in Columbia, North Charleston, and Myrtle Beach. Joye Law Firm’s office in Clinton is located on Broad Street. Contact a Clinton medical malpractice lawyer at Joye Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation with no obligation or fill out an online contact form.
What Is a Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when doctors, hospitals and other health care providers fail to follow the recognized standard of care in delivering treatment and a patient suffers significant harm as a result. The harm may be committed by errors in diagnosis, treatment or follow-up care.
In some instances, the harm is committed by an individual health care provider’s action or failure to act. In other cases, the harm was caused by a systemic problem resulting from a hospital’s policies such as the way medicine is stored, which can contribute to mix-ups when administering medication. In many instances, the harm suffered is life changing.
The types of health care providers that may be held liable for medical malpractice in South Carolina include doctors, physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, LPNs, chiropractors, dentists, dental hygienists, oral surgeons, and pharmacists.
A Clinton medical malpractice lawsuit also may be filed against a hospital, outpatient surgical center or birthing center in their capacity as a health care provider. The victim must file a claim within three years after the medical malpractice occurs.
It is important to recognize that not every medical error is medical negligence. For example, a medical procedure may be extremely complicated, with well-known risks that were disclosed before the procedure. In such a situation, the health care provider may not have acted negligently. However, you may be entitled to compensation if the medical malpractice falls under one of these categories.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
Claims of medical malpractice are often based on the following types of preventable medical errors:
- Delayed Diagnosis—A physician’s initial diagnosis of a medical condition may be inaccurate because the doctor did not order the standard diagnostic tests, misread the results or failed to communicate the results. Delays caused by a diagnostic error can allow cancer to advance and make it more difficult to treat.
- Misdiagnosis—When a doctor’s misdiagnosis of a condition leads to incorrect treatment or lack of treatment, it can allow a potentially treatable disease or condition to advance and become untreatable. Not all diagnostic errors amount to medical negligence. It must be shown that the doctor did not take the steps that another reasonably prudent doctor would have taken in a similar situation to reach a proper diagnosis, and the patient was harmed as a result.
- Birth Injury— Medical negligence related to labor and delivery may involve preventable injuries to the newborn during delivery caused by a doctor’s failure to respond in a timely fashion to complications due to a high-risk pregnancy. The delivery team has a duty to monitor the health of the mother and baby and to respond quickly when needed. Birth injuries can cause permanent disabilities and require ongoing treatment.
- Surgical Errors—Every year, patients undergoing surgical procedures at hospitals and ambulatory care centers in Clinton suffer preventable injuries caused by surgical negligence. Surgery may be performed on the wrong part of the body or a surgical tool may be left inside a patient. Procedures on the wrong body part or wrong patient still occur surprisingly often. Certain surgical errors are referred to as “never events” because they should never happen to a patient. But they still do. A patient may have to undergo follow-up surgery to address a serious issue. A Clinton surgical errors lawyer at Joye Law Firm can help you determine whether you have been the victim of a medical error that was preventable.
- Anesthesia Errors—An error in the dosage of anesthesia or a lack of adequate monitoring of a sedated patient can cause serious injuries. If an anesthesiologist fails to take a proper medical history or monitor a patient properly, the patient may suffer a brain injury, heart attack or other adverse reaction.
- Emergency Room Errors—Emergency rooms are often chaotic places where doctors and nurses are overwhelmed with patients. Emergency room errors are one of the leading causes of Clinton medical malpractice cases. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that emergency room errors account for nearly half of malpractice-related patient deaths.