Medical malpractice cases vary by state. The laws that specify whether or not an individual can sue a physician for malpractice are different depending on your location. In Charleston, for example, laws that oversee medical malpractice place a cap on the damages, whereas other states have no caps at all. For National Safety Month, we have assembled the requirements for filing a medical malpractice case.
Statute of Limitations
In order to file a medical malpractice case, you must do so before 2 years after the date of the injury. This means you have 2 years to go to court and get a case started. In cases involving a child under the age of 10, the claimant has 2 years prior to the child’s 12th birthday or 2 years, whichever period is longer.
Medical Expert Requirements
In a medical malpractice case, expert testimony is required to establish and prove the medical standard of care. Expert testimony can be used to set a bar for the standard of care; if the physician fell beneath this bar, he or she is guilty of breaching his or her duty of care to the patient. The expert is typically in the same field as the defendant, meaning if a brain surgeon is being sued, a different brain surgeon will act as a medical expert. If a medical expert indicates your physician didn’t perform below the standard duty of care, you will likely not get compensation for your injury.
Standard of Care
In order to sue for medical malpractice, you need to know whether or not your doctor violated your “standard of care.” Standard of care is the treatment any competent medical provider would and should have given you under similar circumstances. The medical expert will testify to the standard of care required in your situation; if your health care provider gave you care below that standard, then your physician likely committed medical malpractice. You must also be able to prove the following two elements are true:
- Your health care provider failed to exercise the degree of care, skill, and learning required or expected of a reasonable, prudent health care provider in the profession to which he or she belongs
- Such failure was the proximate cause of the injury or death experienced by you or a loved one
If you think your case meets the minimum standards for a medical malpractice case, discuss your situation with one of our skilled Charleston medical malpractice attorneys. Berthold Law Firm, PLLC can offer you and your family more than 40 years of experience in personal injury law. If you’re seeking compensation for the harm done to you or a loved one, let us help. Our highly rated lawyers are known for their exceptional track record of success.
Talk to us about your case in a free consultation. Call us at (304) 605-2040 or fill out our online form to schedule a conversation with us today.