Medicine is a complex field. Even a small mistake can have devastating consequences. Depending on the circumstances, a patient could be left with serious injuries, additional medical bills to correct the damage, lost income from time away from work, and lingering pain and discomfort that makes it impossible for them to enjoy the activities they once did.
Have you been the victim of a preventable medical error committed by a doctor or other healthcare professional? If so, the Greenville, SC medmal lawyers at The Melonakos Law Firm want to help demand accountability and compensation. Our lead attorney, Michael Melonakos, is a former insurance defense attorney who knows how the other side operates and is ready to put this experience to work for you. That, combined with our commitment to treating everyone who comes through our doors with the respect and compassion they deserve, is why we’ve recovered more than $30 million in compensation for our clients to date.
If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you deserve to be compensated for what you’ve suffered. Contact The Melonakos Law Firm today to speak with an experienced South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer to learn about your legal options during a free case consultation.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice cases in South Carolina take many different forms, including:
Medication errors – Doctors, pharmacists, and nurses need to be extremely careful when prescribing and dispensing medications to patients. When they’re careless, patients may be given incorrect drugs, get the wrong dosage, or experience harmful and avoidable side effects. Additionally, patients who are given the wrong drugs or the wrong dosage of a drug may see their condition worsen because it is not being treated correctly.
Surgical errors – Surgical mistakes like wrong-side surgeries, wrong-site surgeries, and procedures being performed on the wrong patients are sadly far too common despite these glaring mistakes being considered “never events” by medical experts.
Foreign objects left in patient – Another surgical mistake is leaving scissors, clamps, sponges, or gauze in a patient after surgery. We are currently representing two women who underwent surgery and the same surgeon left scissors in their bodies. The scissors remained in their bodies for multiple months before it was discovered that the complications they were having post-surgery were from the foreign object left in them.
Anesthesia errors – Putting surgical patients under anesthesia makes procedures easier on both them and doctors. However, patients need to be closely monitored under anesthesia or the consequences can be disastrous. A patient who is not fully under may experience agonizing pain without being able to communicate it, while a patient who is too far under may have trouble waking up or may slip into a coma.
Emergency room malpractice – There are many different ways in which emergency room doctors and nurses can make potentially fatal mistakes. These include delayed diagnoses, missed diagnoses, failing to order the right tests, and failing to monitor patients after surgery.
Hospital malpractice – Hospitals and other medical facilities can potentially be held liable for errors made by their doctors, nurses, and other employees. However, proving liability can sometimes be a challenge, especially because doctors are often independent contractors. A few examples of hospital malpractice include failing to properly monitor patients (especially after surgical procedures), medication errors, surgical mistakes, ordering unnecessary or incorrect tests, and lab errors. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can review your medical records to find out what caused your injury and who is responsible for it.
Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis – Delaying a diagnosis in a patient or misdiagnosing them with another condition can be doubly harmful to patients because they may receive care that is harmful to them while also preventing them from getting the necessary care they required in the first place. Such errors can have catastrophic consequences and prove fatal in many cases.
Birth injuries – Babies in the womb and newborns are particularly susceptible to injuries, which means healthcare providers need to be especially cautious when delivering and caring for babies. Some errors that can lead to a birth injury include doctors not being careful enough with forceps or other birthing tools, failing to order a C-section in time, failing to adequately monitor a mother and child during labor, and being too rough with a mother during labor and delivery.
Proving Medical Malpractice
One of the challenges with medical malpractice cases in South Carolina is the higher standard of proof compared with other personal injury claims. To recover compensation from a negligent doctor or other healthcare professional, you must prove their actions did not meet the medical standard of care, which is defined as the care that a similarly competent and experienced healthcare professional would provide under the same circumstances. Essentially, you have to show that the healthcare professional’s actions did not line up with those that a hypothetical alternative professional would have taken. This can be a challenging standard to meet, which is one of the most important reasons to hire a South Carolina medical injury lawyer.
How Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help
If you have been hurt because of medical malpractice and are seeking compensation for your injuries, it is essential to work with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. A study from the medical journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research found that doctors still win about half of all cases in which the injured patient has strong evidence of negligence. This means that, without help from an experienced medical lawsuit lawyer, you could struggle to recover compensation even if you have a strong underlying case.
An experienced medical injury lawyer can help you by:
Reviewing your medical records to find evidence of negligence
Consulting with medical experts to build a strong malpractice case
Handling the necessary paperwork and filing a claim while you focus on getting the treatment you need
Negotiating with doctors, healthcare facilities, and their insurance companies to help you obtain a reasonable settlement
Bringing your case to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached
What to Look for in Medical Malpractice Lawyers Near Me
While there are many South Carolina medmal attorneys who could represent you, the right lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Some of the key traits to look for in a malpractice lawyer are:
Direct experience with medical malpractice cases
A track record of successful outcomes in similar cases
Kindness and empathy when working with clients
A strong network of medical professionals to call on
A well-organized practice
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today for a Free Case Evaluation
Medical malpractice can leave a victim with lifelong scars, both physically and emotionally. If you have been injured by a negligent doctor or other healthcare professional in South Carolina, contact The Melonakos Law Firm today for a free consultation. We look forward to meeting you, hearing your story, and finding out how we can help.