South Carolina Medical Malpractice: Laws, Claims and Damages
UPDATED: July 11, 2018
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
SOUTH CAROLINA MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
When a South Carolina health care provider injures a patient through medical negligence, the patient can sue in court for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is an avenue for injured patients to obtain relief for the negligence of health care providers. A health care provider is deemed negligent when they treat a patient using a standard of care below which other professionals in their industry would use, resulting in injury to the patient. Examples of actions or omissions that can lead to a South Carolina medical malpractice suit are:
- Errors in filling prescriptions;
- Misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose;
- Unreasonable or delayed treatment, or a failure to treat when necessary;
- Birth injuries.
If a South Carolina health care provider has injured you, contact an experienced South Carolina medical malpractice attorney today to discuss your options.
Who Can Be Sued in a South Carolina Medical Malpractice Case?
Any health care provider can be held liable for medical malpractice in South Carolina. This includes doctors, nurses, dentists, surgeons, or any other individual licensed to perform health care services. A health care provider can also include entities such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and medical day care centers. If you believe that you have been injured by the negligent treatment of a health care provider, but are unsure whether the individual or entity qualifies as a health care provider, contact a South Carolina medical malpractice attorney for further assistance.
South Carolina Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
When a patient believes that they have been injured by the negligent acts of a South Carolina health care provider, they should act quickly to make sure they bring their claim within the state’s medical malpractice statute of limitations (the time limit allowed for filing such claims). The South Carolina statute of limitations is either three years after the negligent act, or three years after the injury was, or should have been, discovered – whichever date comes earlier.
However, a patient may not bring a claim more than six years after the negligent act, even if they discover their injury after this time. There is an exception for minors in South Carolina – if the injured party is a minor, they must file their claim either one year after the minor’s eighteenth birthday, or within seven years after the negligent act, whichever comes earlier.
If a patient fails to file their claim within the South Carolina medical malpractice statute of limitations, they will lose their claim, and possibly the only means of recovery for their injuries. For this reason, it is vital to contact a South Carolina medical malpractice attorney as soon as you believe you have been negligently injured by a South Carolina health care provider.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims in South Carolina
South Carolina does not place a cap on the potential damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice actions. As in some other states, economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages are all available to a claimant, depending on the facts of the case. If a health care provider has intentionally or maliciously harmed a patient, then the court will award punitive damages, which are meant to punish the health care provider for their acts. Meanwhile, noneconomic damages are aimed at compensating a claimant for their pain and suffering and other types of losses aside from financial ones.
Filing a South Carolina Medical Malpractice Claim
If a South Carolina health care provider has injured you, contact a medical malpractice attorney prior to filing a claim. Medical malpractice actions can get very complex, very quickly, and it’s important to have someone on your side with expert knowledge of the law. In most cases, depositions and expert testimony must be taken. Furthermore, the health care provider will have knowledgeable defense attorneys working for them, ready to build a strong case on the other side. If there is more than one defendant in your case (for instance another doctor, nurse, the hospital, or the manufacturer of medical equipment), there may even be multiple defense attorneys on the opposing side. Hiring an experienced South Carolina medical malpractice attorney will greatly improve your chances of recovering for your losses. An attorney will also help you avoid making any detrimental mistakes along the procedurally complex road of a South Carolina medical malpractice lawsuit.
South Carolina Medical Malpractice Laws
- Insurance: Medical malpractice insurance: Licensed healthcare providers defined: Title 38, Chp. 79, §410.
- Civil Remedies and Procedures: Limitations of civil actions: Actions for medical malpractice: Title 15, Chp. 3, §545.
- Civil Remedies and Proceedings: Noneconomic damages awards: Limits; exceptions: Title 15, Chp. 32, §220.