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South Carolina's Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages

South Carolina's Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages

It is common for people to believe that doctors and other healthcare providers always do excellent work, and while this is true to an extent, we must remember that healthcare providers are human and they too, are prone to making mistakes. And mistakes they make. In the healthcare industry, medical errors are widespread throughout the field.

Hospitals for, example, can be busy and chaotic places. Doctors and nurses are typically on 12-hour shifts, but sometimes they have to work longer, especially for those who are in their residency. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see doctors, surgeons, and nurses taking naps in back rooms and surviving on copious amounts of coffee just so they can stay awake.

What is Medical Malpractice?

When a healthcare provider makes a mistake, unfortunately the consequences can be life-threatening and even fatal. If a surgeon accidentally nicks an organ, or if a nurse gives a patient the wrong drug, or if a doctor fails to refer a patient for further testing, the patient’s life can be at risk.

What if a patient is injured because of a medical error or mistake? In that case, the injured patient may file a medical malpractice claim against their medical provider. Medical malpractice claims arise when healthcare providers are negligent and as a direct result, cause harm to their patients.

Statute of Limitations

Under Section 15-3-545 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, medical malpractice claims must be filed within three years of the injury, or when it reasonably should have been discovered, but no later than six years from the date it occurred. This deadline is referred to as the “statute of limitations.”

Medical Malpractice Damages Cap

Many states have a “cap” on medical malpractice damages and South Carolina does too. South Carolina’s cap on damages only apply to non-economic damages, which are awarded for things like loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

South Carolina has a $350,000 cap on non-economic damages whenever a medical malpractice case is against one provider or institution. If the lawsuit is against more than one defendant, the cap on non-economic damages is $1.05 million.

To file a medical malpractice claim in Columbia, SC, contact our office today!

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