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What Defines a Medical Malpractice Case?

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Rock Hill Medical Attorney Perspective

Needing a medical malpractice attorney is a situation far away from our mind when we see a doctor. Usually, we trust in our doctor’s medical expertise and rely on his or her knowledge and experience for our own healing. Sometimes, a serious mistake can occur by the doctor or medical professional — whether it’s a diagnosis, surgery or even a routine examination. Medical damages can often be catastrophic and the trust and confidence you initially had in that doctor has quickly eroded. What are your options? Should your healthcare provider be held responsible for his or her mistake? That1s a question for a medical malpractice lawyer.

Elrod Pope Law Firm in Rock Hill, South Carolina has over 30 years experience in handling medical malpractice cases. If you or a loved one has suffered damages from a medical-related incident, it is critical for you to meet with an attorney and let him or her determine if your situation meets the specific criteria for medical malpractice. These cases can often be very challenging to prove fault or neglect, so it-s important that your situation qualifies.

South Carolina code 15-32-220(a) stipulates that claimants are subject to a non-economic damage cap of $350,000 from the healthcare provider. To clarify, this cap is per claimant named in the lawsuit. This means the injured person or in the matter of wrongful death, the beneficiaries. In addition, the limitation on liability can be stacked up to three healthcare providers/entities for one claimant for a maximum award of $1,050,000. The non-economic damage cap of $350,000 per medical provider does not apply to economic damages or punitive damages.

The burden of proof lies with the claimant and not with the doctor or medical professional. There are four criteria that must exist in order to prove medical malpractice or negligence:

  1. That a duty was owed — this means that the doctor, being the medical provider, owed to treat you or your loved one in the manner of what would be considered as “reasonable professional” care.
  2. That the duty was breached — this means proving that the care your doctor provided fell below the reasonable professional standard. In other words, the mistake/misdiagnosis would not have occurred by another medical professional practicing within the accepted, reasonable standard.
  3. That the breach caused injury — this means that whatever your doctor did or did not do in your treatment must have harmed you in some way. This can be either very easy or very difficult to prove depending on the situation. Again, consult with an experienced medical malpractice law firm to let them review the full medical chart.
  4. That the breach resulted in damages — this means if the doctor’s actions caused you any unplanned expenses, to miss work, suffer pain or experience distress, you will need to prove that the injury resulted in those things (and how it resulted) in order to successfully prove your case.


While the above provides a brief overview of what is essential in building a viable medical malpractice case, proving negligence is highly complex and time-consuming. You must have a qualified attorney if you hope to maximize the recovery for your claim by getting experts to testify on your behalf, evaluate your damages, and otherwise make a strong argument against the doctor who hurt you. Elrod Pope Law Firm has successful, proven experience in medical malpractice cases. Call 803.250.2359 today to schedule up a free consultation.

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