A salient characteristic of medical malpractice awards is that they can amount to many thousands or even millions of dollars, depending upon the harm suffered by the patient. So it is no surprise that healthcare professionals and healthcare providers (and their insurers) will seek to avoid medical malpractice claims; one of the ways that many physicians use to try to avoid medical malpractice claims is known as "defensive medicine."
Millions of American, including some who are living in the state of South Carolina, have been subjected to consequences when their doctor made an error in diagnosis. Medical mistakes of this magnitude can have dire consequences that range from prolonged suffering to a worsened medical condition. Some patients have even died as a result of this kind of doctor negligence.
South Carolina law governing medical malpractice lawsuits requires that the prospective plaintiff comply with certain prerequisites before the matter can go to litigation. One of these is to submit the dispute to a mediation conference. Another is to have the affidavit of an expert witness to go with the notice of intent to file a lawsuit. This expert witness requirement does not exist in lawsuits for ordinary negligence; the question this post covers is why it exists for medical malpractice.
A plaintiff's personal injury attorney who practices in the area of South Carolina medical malpractice law can tell you what the process is to initiate a legal claim against a doctor or other medical professional who has committed medical malpractice. But the legal process itself comes toward the tail end of the overall considerations that underlie a medical malpractice claim.