When we go to the doctor or hospital in South Carolina, we expect to get treated in a way that does not lead to a worsened medical condition. Yet accidents happen, leading to all sorts of complications — sometimes even death. Often, these mistakes can be grounds for a medical malpractice suit. But how do you know if you have a case?
If you have suffered a personal injury due to doctor error such as a failure to diagnose, wrong-site surgery, or a medication mistake made by a prescribing physician, you may have a right to compensation under South Carolina law. But an injured patient can easily lose this right by not being diligent about pursuing the claim in a timely manner.
Part of the health care reforms that began in 2010 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the mandatory transition of health care record keeping from paper-based to electronic format. While the U.S. Department of health and Human Services claims that this conversion will reduce health care related administrative burdens and costs, as more health care providers and health insurers implement the change we may be seeing the beginning of a new trend in medical malpractice actions as a result: lawsuits alleging harm from errors in electronic records.
Most of the time "medical malpractice" is associated with physical harm to a patient that results from a medical mistake like a surgical error or a misdiagnosis. But medical malpractice can also have an administrative component, which includes injury to patient privacy rights.
A nursing home injury or a personal injury caused by hospital negligence or doctor error might provide the victim with a right to obtain compensation from the party whose negligence caused it to happen. Medical professional negligence or, as it is more commonly referred to, medical malpractice is like any other personal injury claim in that a victim has only a limited amount of time within which to file a claim.
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.
The formula for most medical malpractice lawsuits is fairly straightforward: a patient enters a hospital, a doctor is negligent in treatment of patient while there, the patient's condition gets worse or was misdiagnosed or, in the worst case scenario, the patient dies.
A diagnosis and treatment technique well-known to doctors is to put a patient through multiple forms of tests for various injuries, illnesses and conditions even when the physician is already fairly sure about what ails the patient. This practice is colloquially referred to as "defensive medicine."
When someone makes a mistake that harms you, sometimes an apology is all that is needed. But when it comes to medical malpractice, chances are that while the gesture may be appreciated, it is far from the end of the reparations needed.
When the term medical malpractice is read or heard, the immediate image that may come to mind is of a doctor or nurse harming a patient. We almost always think of medical malpractice in terms of a patient's health made worse because a doctor was careless and made a mistake that could have been avoided. However, medical malpractice is not necessarily as narrow as dealing strictly with your health, and the violations that can be considered to be medical malpractice are broader than many people think.