A survey conducted by the University of Utah found that patients fail to report almost 90% of all hospital mistakes. Whether patients do not report issues due to feeling traumatized or embarrassed or simply because they misunderstand the system, if they do not file a claim, they are not holding the medical professionals responsible for their misdeeds.
If you are considering filing a medical malpractice claim, you might be hesitant to do so because of misconceptions you may have regarding medical malpractice. This misinformation can sometimes prevent people from pursuing rightful compensation or cause unnecessary stress and worry, so it is important to understand what is the truth and what is not.
Myth 1: Every bad outcome constitutes medical malpractice
In reality, not every unfavorable medical result constitutes medical malpractice. Medicine is not an exact science, and some procedures inherently carry risk, even when performed correctly. For an incident to qualify as malpractice, you need to prove that the healthcare professional failed to provide care that meets the accepted standards and that this failure resulted in harm.
Myth 2: Medical malpractice claims cause skyrocketing healthcare costs
While it is true that medical malpractice claims can lead to significant payouts, they do not directly cause a surge in healthcare costs. Many factors influence the cost of healthcare, including drug prices, administrative expenses and the cost of medical equipment.
Myth 3: Filing a medical malpractice claim is simple
Filing a medical malpractice claim is often a complex process. In South Carolina, you must provide an affidavit of an expert witness stating that the healthcare provider was likely negligent, even before filing the lawsuit. The process requires gathering detailed medical records, identifying expert witnesses and proving the negligence resulted in harm.
Myth 4: You have unlimited time to file a claim
South Carolina law imposes a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, for filing a medical malpractice claim. Typically, you have three years from the date of the injury, or from the time you should have reasonably discovered the injury. There are exceptions to this rule in certain circumstances, but it is not accurate to assume you can file a claim at any time.
Understanding the realities of filing a medical malpractice claim can empower you to take the necessary steps should you find yourself in such a situation. It is essential to distinguish fact from fiction, allowing you to make informed decisions and take action to pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.