As medical expenses rise, the costs of a botched operation or treatment make it all the more expensive to be a victim of medical malpractice. Lawsuits for malpractice are traditionally designed to help you recover these expenses. However, the state of South Carolina puts a cap on the amount of money you can receive from a medical malpractice lawsuit.
You can sue for a variety of damages in a medical malpractice case, including:
- The cost of extra medical procedures.
- Wages lost while recovering.
- Physical and mental anguish suffered.
- Punitive damages in especially egregious cases.
- Loss of companionship as a spouse.
- Future earnings that were reduced by the injury.
Provided you can show that the injury occurred and was the fault of a doctor tasked with caring for you, you may be eligible for some or all of these damages. Unfortunately, South Carolina state law may prevent you from collecting all of them. To understand which damages these laws affect, it’s important to note that damages fall into two categories:
- Economic damages are payments that can be clearly quantified, and generally refer to medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, and other losses directly attributable to the medical professionals in question.
- Non-economic damages consist of less specific compensation, like pain and suffering, quality of life, and punitive damages, and are generally harder to quantify because they are partly subjective.
Fortunately, there is no cap on economic damages. But any non-economic damages you are eligible to receive are capped at either $350,000 (if you are suing a single defendant) or $1.05 million (if you are suing multiple defendants. This makes it important that your lawyer be able to secure as much of that maximum amount as possible.
To schedule a free consultation with a South Carolina medical malpractice attorney, contact the law firm of McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates at 888-353-5513. We serve clients in Columbia, Lexington, Camden, Newberry, Orangeburg, Aiken, and the surrounding areas.
This post was written by Geoff Coston