Charleston Medical Malpractice Attorney
Trusted Lawyer Serving Charleston, Berkley, and Dorchester Victims of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice or medical carelessness is the failure of a medical provider to meet the standard of care in diagnosing or treatment of a patient.
According to a study of 37 million patient records that was released on August 9, 2004, an average of 195,000 people in the United States died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Doctors are not the only people who can fail when giving a patient care. Other people include:
“Nurses, Medical Technicians, Health Care Providers, Hospitals, Clinics, Nursing Homes and their Staff Members”
There is never a guarantee of a cure or a positive outcome during treatment but providers are expected to meet the standards of peers in the medical community. Medical malpractice centers on whether or not the provider failed to meet standard medical care. Abuse or neglect of patients in psychiatric in-patient care, assisted living or nursing homes also is a malpractice concern.
The numbers show it is only a few health care providers that provide care where injury occurs. Yet, those few are the reason for the skyrocketing medical and insurance costs across the United States.
Losing a loved one is never easy, but losing one to the hands of another turns grief into trauma. Sometimes simple questions are shut down or the medical staff claims what you remember is out of order. They are working to protect themselves and their jobs.
This is the time when you need to contact our Charleston medical malpractice attorney. Frank Hartman is just a phone call away anytime you need him.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
Medical professionals are people like anyone else and so it is inevitable that they will make mistakes at some point. If doctors were held accountable for any little error they made, they would live in fear of legal action and may be reluctant to treat certain patients as needed. For this reason, patients do not have the right to bring a medical malpractice claim for every mistake that their doctors make.
Instead, medical malpractice is determined based on standards for medical care in the United States. Each medical professional is expected to act as a similarly trained and reasonable medical professional would act when faced with the same situation. This means that if you visit an eye doctor for a problem with your heart, they would not be expected to act with the same skill as a cardiologist. When a cardiologist is presented with a possible heart problem, however, they are in fact expected to perform the same tests and take the same steps for diagnosis and treatment as another cardiologist would do.
It is when the cardiologist (or another doctor) fails to act in accordance with medical standards that medical malpractice claims may be an option. However, a patient must also suffer harm to have a valid claim. For instance, if the same cardiologist failed to make a diagnosis at the first appointment but then discovered a problem at a later appointment, they may not be held liable if the patient suffered no complications or worsening of a condition in the meantime. However, if a diagnosis was missed and the patient suffered an otherwise preventable heart attack as a result, it would constitute medical malpractice and the patient would have rights to financial recovery.
If you believe you are a victim of medical errors, please contact our experienced, North Charleston medical malpractice lawyer, Frank Hartman, today.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
There are many different forms of medical malpractice involving different medical professionals. The following are some examples of common types of medical malpractice:
- Failure to diagnose – Timely diagnosis can be extremely important for certain medical conditions to avoid complications and stabilize a patient. In addition, delay in the diagnosis of certain medical conditions can lead to such a progression of the condition that a patient will require substantially greater treatment or may no longer be treatable. Some dangerous failed diagnoses include heart attacks, cancer, and meningitis.
- Medication errors – Doctors write numerous prescriptions on a daily basis and hospitals also distribute many types of medications to patients. If mistakes are made in regard to medications, patients can easily suffer injuries. Some common medication errors include failure to recognize drug allergies, failure to recognize adverse drug reactions, overdosing, failure to administer medication, and administering the wrong medication to the wrong patient.
- Surgical mistakes – Surgeons have an intense job to do that often involves minuscule movements with the highest of pressures. While surgeons are highly trained, they can also make negligent errors that can constitute malpractice. Some surgical errors that can cause serious injuries to patients include operating on the incorrect body part or patient, not identifying health risks of the procedure, having untrained surgical assistants, operating when overly fatigued or intoxicated, and leaving objects inside a person’s body. Surgical mistakes can lead to serious infections, the need for prolonged hospitalization, or even the need for additional surgeries.
- Hospital malpractice – Hospitals have a constant rotation of patients coming through with different ailments and needs for assistance. While is is no surprise that mistakes can happen, it is important to realize that hospital errors can cause severe injuries or even death. Some common errors on the part of hospital staff include inadequate supervision, contamination that can lead to infections, negligent supervision, medication errors, and more.
- Birth Injuries – Having a child is a complicated medical event that requires a significant amount of medical oversight. Doctors should perform certain tests and inquiries during pregnancy to identify any possible medical conditions of the mother, birth defects of the fetus, or other factors that will increase the risk of complications during labor or delivery. In addition, doctors should know when to order a c-section and should closely monitor vital signs during labor and delivery to identify when a patient is in distress. Doctors should also always use the appropriate care when using delivery tools such as forceps or vacuums to avoid injury to the child.
The above are only some of the many ways that a doctor or another medical professional can make serious errors and cause significant injury and losses for patients. If you believe that your doctor made a negligent error, please call our medical malpractice attorney at The Hartman Law Firm, LLC today to discuss a possible claim.
How a Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney in North Charleston can Help
Medical malpractice claims are highly technical and proving that a mistake rose to the level of medical negligence and breached the required standard of care can be challenging. These cases require the analysis and opinions of medical experts who can testify to the fact that a doctor strayed from the expected medical standards in a particular situation. A law firm that regularly represents clients in medical malpractice cases will have access to a network of experts and the resources to retain these experts on your behalf.
Resources and experts are only some of the ways that an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can assist you after an injury caused by your doctor. The following are some additional ways our firm can be of assistance:
- Evaluate your situation to determine whether you have a viable claim
- Help you compile the medical records and second opinions necessary to support your claim
- Draft a petition to file your claim in civil court
- Represent you in court hearings
- Engage in the discovery and pretrial process
- Negotiate a favorable settlement agreement
- Represent you at trial if needed
Our North Charleston medical malpractice law firm will help you at no cost upfront and you will not have to pay out of pocket for the expenses of your case. Only if you are able to successfully obtain a settlement or award will The Hartman Law Firm, LLC collect fees from you. For this reason, you have nothing to lose by discussing a possible medical malpractice claim with our experienced attorney.
Contact a South Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawyer to Discuss Your Rights Today
Medical malpractice claims can provide much-needed compensation for injured patients who have suffered serious injuries. Unfortunately, there is only a limited amount of time for victims of medical malpractice to file their claims under South Carolina law. In addition, these cases take time and resources to investigate and prepare and a persuasive petition cannot be drafted overnight. Therefore, you should never wait too long to call a medical malpractice attorney once you suspect you have been unnecessarily injured by your doctor.
The Hartman Law Firm, LLC has represented many injured clients and knows how to take on doctors and their insurance companies in court. Our medical malpractice law firm in North Charleston will fight for your rights to the financial recovery you deserve for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and other losses you incurred due to a doctor’s negligence. You can trust our firm to provide qualified representation throughout the legal process, so please contact our office to schedule your free consultation as soon as possible.