Columbia Medical Malpractice Lawyers
It’s no exaggeration to say that doctors and hospitals hold our lives in their hands when we go to them for medical care. Thankfully, most doctors, surgeons, nurses and other healthcare workers are qualified, trained, skilled and dedicated professionals who take their jobs seriously and do everything they can to make us better and keep us healthy. For this reason, it’s all the more shocking and hurtful when doctors don’t live up to this standard and injure patients due to negligence, incompetence, or the lack of adequate staffing, equipment, procedures or supervision in a hospital.
The Columbia medical malpractice lawyers at Simmons Law Firm have a long history of representing victims of medical negligence in Columbia and throughout South Carolina. If you believe you were harmed by a medical error or lost a loved one to a medical mistake in a South Carolina hospital, call Simmons Law Firm for a no-cost consultation where we can learn about what happened and let you know how we can help. Our office takes on all manner of medical malpractice claims in Columbia and throughout South Carolina, including:
- Misdiagnosis – Doctors fail to order appropriate tests or conduct a differential diagnosis as required, leading them to misdiagnose a serious or fatal disease such as a heart attack as something benign like indigestion.
- Failure to Diagnose Cancer and other serious illnesses and diseases – Doctors miss a diagnosis or fail to spot it until it is too late, and an otherwise treatable disease has become incurable, terminal or caused other harm.
- Surgical Errors – Operating errors include making a wrong incision, perforating or puncturing an organ, operating on the wrong side of the body or the wrong patient, performing the wrong operation, and leaving surgical instruments behind to be sewn up inside the patient.
- Birth Trauma – Delays and mistakes during labor and delivery can be fatal to the infant or leave the child with lasting or lifelong disabilities, from fractures and nerve damage to cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and severe brain damage.
- Pharmacy Malpractice – Pharmacists can severely damage health by filling a prescription with the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, failing to check for drug allergies or drug interactions, or filling a prescription with the wrong type of medicine.
- Anesthesia Errors & prescription drug errors in hospitals – Delivering too much anesthesia can cause brain damage or death, while too little anesthetic can cause terrible and psychological trauma. Hospital medical errors can render treatment ineffective or create additional injuries.
- Emergency Room Errors – Overworked, overtired, and overly busy doctors and nurses can make serious mistakes such as misreading tests, failing to call for a consult, misdiagnosis or medication errors, or sending a patient home with an emergent condition.
- Post-Operative Care Negligence – Failure to keep a wound site clean can lead to infections and sepsis that can potentially be fatal or require painful, invasive procedures or the amputation of a limb.
Medical Malpractice in South Carolina
South Carolina law defines medical malpractice 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. Health care providers are defined to include doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors and others, and health care institutions include hospitals, health care practices, surgical centers, nursing homes and more.
Before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a South Carolina hospital, doctor or other health care provider or institution, the injury victim (or their family) must first provide a notice of intent to file suit. This notice must name all parties involved and contain a short and plain statement of the facts, signed by the plaintiff or attorney. It must also be accompanied by a signed affidavit of an expert witness who has reviewed the facts and has a reasonable, good faith basis to believe malpractice may have occurred.
The named parties then have a period of time to subpoena medical records and other documents, take depositions and gather evidence whether malpractice did or did not take place. If the parties disagree over the facts, they have a defined period within which to try and resolve the dispute through mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, the plaintiff can then file a civil action (lawsuit) in court for medical malpractice.
Simmons Law Firm Helps With Medical Malpractice Cases in Columbia and South Carolina
Medical malpractice cases are nearly always complicated, complex matters. The practice of medicine is both a science and an art, and a positive outcome is never guaranteed for any surgery, medication or other course of treatment. If you suffer a negative outcome after a visit to the doctor or a hospital stay, how can you know whether a medical error was to blame? Hospital staff members are not likely to tell you, even if they know. That’s why we conduct extensive research and bring in highly qualified experts to help us figure out what went wrong and build a strong case that proves malpractice when it occurred. We work to make sure doctors and hospitals are held appropriately accountable for their mistakes and that injury victims are compensated for the harm done to them by medical negligence.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical mistake in a Columbia or South Carolina hospital or doctor’s office, outpatient clinic or nursing home, call Simmons Law Firm as soon as possible to protect your claim. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case, and once you agree to work with us, we get to work preserving the evidence and start the investigation on your case as soon as possible. Get started today by calling 803-779-4600 in Columbia or toll-free throughout the state at 888-715-8818, or contact us online.