Patients rely on healthcare professionals to provide them with life-saving treatments and exceptional medical care. Unfortunately, in the eyes of overworked and exhausted medical staffers, these patients are just extra cases to cycle through. Due to underfunding, doctors and nurses don’t have the energy, time, or resources to treat patients with a reasonable standard of care. As a result, many patients develop preventable medical complications and exacerbated symptoms. In worse scenarios, this negligence can even lead to patient death. In South Carolina, patients and their families can hold healthcare professionals legally responsible for significant injuries, medical errors, and even wrongful death cases.
Like most personal injury cases, medical malpractice claims in South Carolina must be filed within a certain period of time in order to be admissible in court. This is commonly known as a "statute of limitations."
South Carolina Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice
According to South Carolina Code of Laws section 15-3-545, a plaintiff has “three years from the date of the treatment, omission, or operation giving rise to the cause of action or three years from the date of discovery or when it reasonably ought to have been discovered, not to exceed six years from the date of occurrence.”
In other words, per the South Carolina statute of limitations, a plaintiff has three years to file a medical malpractice claim against a negligent party. This time period can start from the moment you were harmed or by the time you should have reasonably discovered the injury. After six years, your right to pursue compensation is lost, regardless of whether you knew of the injury during this time. Even if you attempt to file a claim, the defendant can legally ask the court to dismiss the case.
There are, however, certain exceptions that you can discuss with our legal team. For example, if a surgeon leaves a foreign object in a patient’s body, a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of discovery. The six-year deadline does not apply in this scenario.
Recognizing Medical Malpractice
Before you file a claim, it’s important to understand what constitutes medical malpractice. A medical professional can be guilty of medical malpractice is a patient is injured their negligent actions, inactions, or omissions.
Examples of medical malpractice include, but are not limited to:
- Pharmaceutical errors
- Failure to treat a condition
- Delayed diagnosis
- Surgery performed on the wrong body part
- Surgery performed on the wrong patient
- Anesthesia injuries
- Directly injuring a patient with equipment or a surgical tool
- Lack of informed consent
Ready to Take Legal Action? Schedule a Consultation Today
At Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC, our Charleston medical malpractice attorneys can investigate your case, consult with renowned medical experts, and develop an effective litigation strategy that proves the defendant breached the standard of care. If your lawsuit is successful, you may be awarded damages that cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and any non-economic damages as determined by the court.