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    Doctor in scrubs with his head in his hands after making a medical error in a South Carolina hospital

    People go to the hospital, urgent care clinic, doctor’s office, or another healthcare facility in hopes of getting better. Unfortunately, too many people in South Carolina end up getting worse due to medical errors and other forms of medical malpractice, forcing them to seek a medical negligence law firm.

    In fact, preventable cases of medical negligence take the lives of nearly 100,000 Americans each year, according to several studies, and roughly one million people suffer some form of injury due to medical malpractice. Many more cases go unreported. To put those figures in context, about 34,000 people die in car crashes each year. That is why a medical injury lawyer is needed.

    If you believe that you or a loved one was injured because of medical malpractice, it is important that you talk to a South Carolina medical malpractice attorney. These cases are usually very technical. A successful medical malpractice case requires sophisticated analysis and review of thousands of pages of medical records.

    Contact Experienced South Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

    Our South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys can help you through the stress and confusion that follow an injury caused by medical negligence. Respect, compassion, and care are what you can expect from our medical negligence law firm and staff. Since 1968 we have helped injured people recover not just the money they are entitled to but also their lives. Let us help you, too. Call Joye Law Firm. You can reach us at (888) 324-3100 or fill out an online form for a free case review.

    Joye Law Firm has offices in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Clinton, Summerville, and Columbia, but our lawyers are ready to take care of your case anywhere in South Carolina. We represent clients all over the state, including Florence, Richland County, Orangeburg, Columbia, Horry County (including Conway and North Myrtle Beach), North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and Summerville. Virtual, in-home, and in-hospital visits are also available.

    Experience Counts

    The attorneys at Joye Law Firm have over  300 years of combined experience helping victims of life-changing injuries in South Carolina. Our lawyers have received an AV rating from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell, and several have been recognized as Super Lawyers. Rest assured that your case will receive the attention it deserves, we work closely with a network of attorneys with extensive experience in cases of medical malpractice and negligence.

    While every case is different, and past results are in no way intended to imply that a similar result can be obtained in a particular case, verdicts and settlements previously obtained by a law firm are an indication of the firm’s experience when it comes to serious injury cases.

    Medical Malpractice in South Carolina 

    Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional falls short of the standard of care in the treatment of a patient. Medical malpartice may occur because the medical professional acts or fails to act, resulting in an injury to the patient. Medical professionals can include doctors, nurses, chiropractors, dentists, surgeons, physician’s assistants, pharmacists, and more.

    In addition to the individual who made the mistake, injured patients may be able to bring a lawsuit against the hospital, medical practice, clinic, nursing home, or other medical institution that employed the at-fault professional. The hospital or healthcare facility may be responsible for damages if their staff member was acting within the scope of their employment when the malpractice occurred.

    In order to prove a medical malpractice claim, the injured patient must show that:

    • There was a relationship between the medical professional and the patient, giving rise to a duty of care.
    • The medical professional breached the duty of reasonable care.
    • The patient was injured as a result of the breach of the medical professional’s duty of care.
    • That means that it is crucial that the patient suffered some sort of injury. If there was a mistake but no harm, there is no compensable claim. However, in many instances, medical malpractice causes serious, life-changing injuries, or even death.

    Some of the medical malpractice damages that an injured patient might be able to recover include:

    • Medical costs to repair the damage caused by the negligent act, including future and ongoing medical costs
    • Lost income
    • Pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, and other non-economic damages
    • A spouse’s loss of consortium
    • Punitive damages (in exceptional cases)

    In South Carolina, like in many states, there are caps on the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases. In South Carolina, the cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice claims is generally limited to $350,000 per defendant and $1.05 million in total, regardless of the number of defendants. However, it’s important to note that these caps do not apply to economic damages, which cover quantifiable losses like medical expenses, lost income, and future care costs.

    The Medical Standard of Care

    One of the most difficult aspects to prove in a South Carolina medical malpractice claim is that the physician or healthcare provider failed to act within the standard of care expected of such a professional in similar circumstances. This can be difficult in some circumstances because every healthcare provider has their own unique way of dealing with patients. In order to prove that the medical standard of care was not met in your case, your South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys must do the following:

    • Establish what the appropriate standard of care should have been; and
    • Explain in detail exactly how the defendant (the doctor or healthcare provider) failed to meet that standard of care.

    Usually, medical malpractice lawyers will hire medical experts on your behalf to testify as to what the typical standard of care should have been. The medical experts will provide the judge and jury with a brief education on the type and amount of skill that a similarly trained healthcare professional in the same field and under similar circumstances would have applied.

    The South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm help clients throughout South Carolina, and we have offices in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Clinton, Summerville, and Columbia. If you need legal help after suffering harm at the hands of a negligent medical provider, contact us today for a free consultation.

    Proving Medical Negligence in a South Carolina Medical Malpractice Claim 

    Once the medical standard of care for your particular case is established, your South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers will set out to show the court exactly how the standard of care was breached—or, in other words, how the doctor failed to meet the established standard of care when treating you. This is usually where the medical experts shine, as it is their ultimate duty to prove malpractice by walking the jury through your condition, the appropriate course of treatment, and what exactly your doctor did or did not do at each stage of care.

    It is important to keep in mind that an error in treatment can occur despite the medical provider’s best efforts to meet the reasonable standard of care. For instance, the procedure that they were charged with performing may have been incredibly complex, with several known risks that were properly disclosed to you ahead of time. In an instance such as this, the medical provider cannot be charged with medical malpractice, as the occurrence of the error that caused your injury may have been greater than the likelihood of success.

    Finally, it is not enough to prove that your doctor “made a mistake.” You will need to show the link between the mistake that your provider made and the injuries you sustained. Your South Carolina medical malpractice lawyers must evaluate the evidence surrounding your case, including your medical records and the doctor’s notes from each of your visits, to show that if it were not for the doctor’s error, you would not have suffered a worsening of your condition or any decline in health.

    In some cases, the doctor’s error is directly responsible for additional health problems that require further attention and treatment. If this applies in your case, your medical malpractice attorney will also work to show the courts the link between the error and your declining health.

    In other instances, the healthcare provider’s error comes in the form of a failure to diagnose. This could be anything from exactly that – a failure to diagnose your condition – to a misdiagnosis. A failure to diagnose can lead to a missed window of opportunity for treatment, prescribing the wrong treatment, or failure to treat entirely.

    In any of these instances, if your doctor’s negligence caused a worsening in your health, you are entitled to damages, which you can pursue via a medical malpractice claim. Get help today from an experienced team of South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys.

    Common Types of Medical Malpractice 

    Injuries due to medical malpractice can take many forms and can happen in almost any setting or context, including emergency rooms, operating rooms, doctor’s offices, and more.

    Some of the more common types of medical malpractice include: 

    • Surgical Injuries: Some patients suffer injuries when a surgeon performs an operation on the wrong body part or even on the wrong patient. A recent report in the Archives of Surgery revealed that wrong-site or wrong-patient surgeries occur about 2,700 times per year. Surgical errors are still common even when the surgeon operates on the correct patient in the right place, particularly with laparoscopic and bariatric operations. Another common type of surgical error happens when sponges or other instruments are left inside the patient. Malpractice can also occur after surgery when medical personnel fail to properly monitor the patient and provide proper post-operative care.
    • Anesthesia Errors: Anesthesia is administered so that lifesaving procedures can be performed on patients about 40 million times per year. An anesthesiologist must carefully administer the anesthesia and monitor the patient’s vital signs throughout the operation. Brain injury, suffocation, paralysis, heart attack, coma, and even death can result from mistakes in dosage and monitoring. In some instances, improper dosage can allow a patient to “wake up” during an operation, experiencing pain and distress.
    • Medication Errors: One of the most common forms of medical mistakes, medication errors cause a significant number of injuries and deaths each year. Illegible handwriting and confusing abbreviations sometimes result in medication errors, as can medical professionals’ failure to properly communicate with each other. Another issue is drugs that have similar sounding or appearing names.
    • Failure to Diagnose and Treat in a Timely Manner: Failure to properly diagnose a serious condition early when the condition is still treatable leads to many preventable deaths each year. Commonly misdiagnosed illnesses include cancer, heart attacks, appendicitis, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms. Sometimes diagnostic errors happen because doctors fail to spend enough time talking to patients about their symptoms. Other times, they are the result of bad communication among the medical personnel themselves.
    • Labor and Delivery: The birthing process is a dangerous time for both the baby and the mother, and medical mistakes can result in injuries or death for both. Medical personnel present at a birth have a duty to monitor the status of mother and child, and to act quickly when problems develop. If they are negligent, permanent injuries can occur that will affect the child’s life.
    • Emergency Room Malpractice: South Carolina emergency room staff can sometimes be overwhelmed with patients and become chaotic, inefficient, and mistake-prone.  Several studies have highlighted the frequency of medical errors in emergency rooms. A study published by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that almost 6% of the estimated 130 million people who go to US emergency rooms each year are misdiagnosed, which means that around one in 18 patients receive an incorrect diagnosis.
    • Telehealth Negligence: Telehealth negligence can arise when there is a failure to diagnose or delay treatment due to the limitations of remote consultations. Without physical examinations, some symptoms may be overlooked, leading to misdiagnosis or inadequate treatment plans. Additionally, technical issues such as poor video quality or connectivity problems can impede effective communication between healthcare providers and patients, potentially resulting in substandard care.
    • Pediatric Malpractice: Errors in pediatric care can range from misdiagnoses of common childhood illnesses to more severe cases, such as negligence during labor and delivery that leads to birth injuries. For instance, failing to properly monitor and respond to a baby’s condition during birth can result in lifelong disabilities. Other examples include incorrect medication dosage, misinterpretation of pediatric lab results, or delays in treatment for acute conditions.

    Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Help Clients Across South Carolina

    Joye Law Firm has offices in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Clinton, Summerville, and Columbia, but our attorneys are ready to take care of your case anywhere in South Carolina.

    This includes but is not limited to:

    • Lowcountry: Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Colleton, Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, Allendale, Bamberg, Orangeburg, and Calhoun counties.
    • Midlands: Barnwell, Aiken, Edgefield, Lexington, Saluda, Richland, Kershaw, Fairfield, Newberry, Lancaster, Chester, and York counties.
    • Upstate: Cherokee, Spartanburg, Greenville, Union, Laurens, Abbeville, Greenwood, McCormick, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties.
    • Pee Dee: Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg counties.
    • Grand Strand: Horry and Georgetown counties.

    Additional resources:


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    Contact A South Carolina Medical Negligence Lawyer Today

    If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by medical malpractice in South Carolina, you can trust our attorneys to work to get you the money and benefits you are entitled to under the law.

    Call Joye Law Firm at (888) 324-3100 or fill out our free online case evaluation form.

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