How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?

| Feb 18, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

Unfortunately, medical procedures do not always go as planned. However, the mere fact that you experienced unsuccessful results or were misdiagnosed does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice occurred.

So what do you do if you suspect that a medical mistake caused your injury or the death of a loved one? How do you know if a health care provider committed medical malpractice in South Carolina?

Most medical malpractice cases fall under the category of negligence. To have a legitimate medical malpractice lawsuit, you must be able to prove the four elements of negligence: 

  1. Duty
  2. Breach of duty
  3. Injury or damages
  4. Cause

Let’s take each of these elements in turn.

First, you must be able to show that the medical professional owed you a duty of care. For example, once a professional agrees to treat you, such as when a doctor accepts you as a patient, he or she owes you a duty of care.

The second element is breach of that duty. You must be able to show that the medical professional’s conduct fell below the generally accepted standard of medical care.

Under South Carolina law, that standard of care is based on how a reasonably prudent health care provider would have performed under same or similar circumstances. A number of factors are taken into account, including the provider’s experience, training, and knowledge in that particular specialty.

With regard to the third element of injury or damages, you must be able to show that you or your loved one was harmed or injured while in the care of the medical professional.

Finally, you must be able to prove that the medical professional’s breach of the duty was the cause of your injury or harm.  

It is important to remember that each case is different. This post is only intended to give you a general overview of medical malpractice. Ultimately, the strength of your claim depends on the details. The best way to determine if you have a good case is to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

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