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How soon must South Carolina medical malpractice claims be filed?

Undergoing a major medical procedure is a stressful experience, no matter the situation. However, people trust that their doctors and nurses will provide the best possible care. This is what happens most of the time, but is not always the case. Due to a lack of caution or care, medical professionals can make mistakes that have lasting repercussions.

Medical errors might not always be apparent right away. Injuries sustained during surgery, for example, might not present problems for months -- or even years -- after the procedure. Regardless of when a person uncovers the extent of a medical mistake, he or she might be wondering what steps can be taken.

Right off the bat, people might consider the possibility of moving forward with a medical malpractice claim in order to recover losses and rectify the situation. However, it's obviously helpful to know if state law would even allow a suit to move forward.

In South Carolina, there is a statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. This means that victims must file within a certain time, or legal options for compensation may no longer be available. Generally speaking, the following time limitations are applied:

  • Legal action must be taken by the victim within three years of the medical treatment or operation.
  • If underlying issues aren't immediately apparent, action must be taken within three years of the discovery or when the issue reasonably should have been discovered.
  • Malpractice claims can be initiated no more than six years after the treatment in question.

These rules apply to most every malpractice case in South Carolina. However, if a surgical instrument or tool was left inside a patient during an operation, then legal action must begin within two years of discovering the error. Furthermore, if a suit is brought forward within three years of the object being left behind, then there can be no dispute about timeliness.

Above all, this post serves to point out that victims of medical practice might have the ability to move forward with a claim, but they must do so within a certain period of time. Failing to act within a reasonable timeframe could prove to be costly.

Whatever the case, personal injury claims can be complex, so this post shouldn't be considered legal advice. Rather, a legal professional can provide insight into the details of specific cases.

Source: WestLaw, S.C. Code § 15-3-545

Philpot Law Firm, PA
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Phone: 864-990-0226
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