The Do's and Don’ts of Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims
Under South Carolina laws, a person who suffers an injury or health complication as a result of a medical provider's negligence, omission, or oversight may be eligible to pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim. However, what you do or avoid doing after the incident – or upon discovering the injury or health complication – can affect the outcome of your medical malpractice case.
At Duncan and Nobles LLC, we have the diligence and experience to support, guide, and represent clients in their medical malpractice cases. Our skilled attorneys can investigate every aspect of your unique situation and enlighten you about the do's and don'ts of pursuing medical malpractice claims. In addition, we will help file your claims and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurer. Our firm proudly serves clients throughout Rock Hill, Chester County, and Lancaster County, South Carolina.
Medical Malpractice Claims in South Carolina
According to South Carolina law, medical malpractice can be described as "doing that which the reasonably prudent health care provider or health care institution would not do or not doing that which the reasonably prudent health care provider or health care institution would do in the same or similar circumstances." Hence, if a healthcare provider is negligent in providing adequate treatment, causes an injury, or causes your health condition to deteriorate, you may have a medical malpractice claim.
The Do's and Don'ts When Pursuing a Claim
Being the victim of medical negligence can be an overwhelming experience. However, what you do – or fail to do – can have a substantial effect on the outcome of your medical malpractice claims. Here are some dos and don'ts after an injury or medical complication and when filing a medical malpractice claim:
Do bring the claim as quickly after the injury as possible.
The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim in South Carolina is three years from the date of the treatment or procedure or when the injury was discovered. However, this time passes by quickly. So it's important that you file your claims as quickly as possible. Moreover, if you continue to delay, you may misplace important documentation or forget vital details about your case.
Do know state-specific laws such as notification requirements and whether a medical malpractice review is required.
In addition, you need to know the specific laws addressing medical malpractice claims in your state. Know the time limit to file a claim and the required elements to establish your claims. You must notify the insurer by filing a Notice of Intent to File Suit. Also, understand the requirements for getting testimony from medical experts or having expert witnesses to help prove medical negligence.
Do gather/obtain medical records.
Also, obtain and document all your medical records, treatments received, medical expenses, hospital visits, and other health reports. You will need necessary evidence and documentation to show cause of action for medical malpractice, prove fault, and establish liability. Also, the evidence can help determine the extent of your injuries and medical complications, and estimate your claims value.
Do hire an experienced attorney.
Above all, have an experienced medical malpractice attorney to help file your claims. Your lawyer can investigate the medical provider's conduct and explain how their negligence, omission, or oversight caused your injuries or medical complications. In addition, your legal counsel can gather the necessary evidence, fight for your rights, and help you seek your rightful financial justice.
Don't contact the doctor's insurance company directly.
However, avoid contacting the medical provider's insurance company directly. All communication and negotiations must be through your lawyer. The doctor's insurer may try to undervalue or deny your claims, or offer you an absurd settlement amount, which may not cover your injuries and damages.
Don't sign a release without an attorney.
Also, do not sign a release or any other document without your lawyer. Unknown to many victims, signing a release and accepting an agreement automatically absolves the medical provider and their attorney from potential liability associated with medical negligence. Once signed, you will give up your right to sue the medical provider or insurer. Your attorney can help review the terms of the agreement, negotiate an improved offer, or take further legal action against the defendant.
Don't argue with the doctor about what went wrong.
In addition, avoid arguing with the doctor about what went wrong. They may try to twist the facts of the case or blame you for the injury or medical complication. Rather, carefully document your medical records, treatments received, and everything that happened with the physician.
Don't miss doctor appointments.
Lastly, do not miss any appointments with the doctor. Ensure that you follow your treatment recommendations strictly. If you miss an appointment or fail to follow the treatment plan, the doctor or insurance provider may use this as an excuse to deny or undervalue your medical malpractice claims. They may state that the injury or health complication occurred from your negligence or failure to follow your doctor's orders.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can walk you through the usually complex claims process and help you achieve the most favorable outcome in your medical malpractice claim.
Arm Yourself With Focused Legal Counsel
Knowing what to do or avoid doing can help mitigate potential issues in your medical malpractice claims. At Duncan and Nobles LLC, we're dedicated to offering compassionate representation and trusted guidance to clients in their medical malpractice cases. As your attorneys, we can fight vigorously for your rights, hold the negligent provider accountable, and help you seek the maximum possible compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and other possible damages.
Contact us at Duncan and Nobles LLC today to schedule a simple case evaluation. Our skilled attorneys can examine every aspect of your unique situation thoroughly and represent you intelligently in your claims. We're proud to serve clients throughout Rock Hill, Chester County, and Lancaster County, South Carolina.