Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations: Time Limits for Filing Claims

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Medical malpractice is a healthcare professional’s unskilled, improper, or negligent treatment of a patient. Filing a medical malpractice claim can be challenging; it involves complex laws and procedural rules, including deadlines. Such as the South Carolina medical malpractice statute of limitations.

You can benefit from help from the Law Office of Taylor S. Braithwaite if you’re filing a South Carolina malpractice claim for yourself or a loved one. We know the statute of limitations regarding these lawsuits and will meet the necessary deadlines for your case.

South Carolina’s Medical Malpractice Claim Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a deadline. The law designates a strict limit on the time to start a case in South Carolina’s civil court system.

South Carolina Code Section 15-3-545 states that you must file a medical malpractice case within three years of one of the following:

  1. The treatment, operation, or omission that caused harm
  2. The date of discovery or when it reasonably ought to have been discovered

The date of the filing cannot exceed six years from the date of the actual occurrence. Therefore, even if you or your loved one didn’t know the medical error caused harm, your chance to file a lawsuit ends six years after the event.

Exceptions to the South Carolina Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations in our state.

Foreign objects in the body

A common case is when a medical professional leaves a foreign object in the body, such as forgetting about an instrument or sponge during surgery.

In such cases, you must file a suit within two years of the date you or your loved one discovered the object. The six-year deadline doesn’t apply in this instance.

Minors affected by malpractice

Another exception is for minors. If a person under 18 is a victim of medical malpractice, the time limit may pause for up to seven years or up to one year after the victim turns 18.

Collusion in a minor’s case

If a minor’s parent and insurer collude in failing to bring a claim for an affected minor, the South Carolina medical malpractice statute of limitations changes. The time limit may be suspended indefinitely in this situation.

What Happens if You Don’t File a Lawsuit Within the Allotted Time

Suppose you attempt to file a medical malpractice lawsuit after the statute of limitations passes. In that case, the defendant (the healthcare professional) will likely file a motion asking the court to dismiss the case. The court will probably grant the motion since the statute of limitations has passed.

The importance of starting the process quickly

Unfortunately, waiting too long to file a medical malpractice lawsuit means you will miss your chance for compensation. That’s why you must get in touch with our office as soon as possible following the incident.

Calling TSB Injury Law right away regarding your malpractice case gives us more time to:

  • Gather evidence supporting your case
  • Interview medical experts and witnesses
  • Review your medical records from the incident

Completing these vital tasks takes time and resources. While three years may seem like a long period, the sooner we begin your case, the better prepared we can be.

Suing after the statute of limitations

Determining the exact date the South Carolina medical malpractice statute of limitations begins can be somewhat of a challenge. The exceptions, variables, and chances of discovering an injury later create some fluctuations. However, our staff knows the laws surrounding each circumstance.

If you believe your medical malpractice case is an exception to the statute of limitations, call us. Our team will review your or your loved one’s case, determine liability, and advise you on your next steps.

Notice of Intent Rules for South Carolina Medical Malpractice Claims

Before you file a South Carolina medical malpractice suit, you must file a notice of intent and follow the rules that apply.

You and your attorney must deliver to the court and all affected healthcare providers a Notice of Intent To File Suit. This notice identifies all parties you intend to sue. It also states why you ask the court to remedy your situation and what you require in return.

Expert affidavit

You must also file an expert affidavit with the court. In this document, a qualified medical expert witness clarifies at least one negligent action or inaction taken by the healthcare providers you are suing.

Pausing the statute of limitations

The notice of intent and expert affidavit pause the clock for the South Carolina medical malpractice statute of limitations. The next step is for the parties to meet in a mediation conference 90 to 120 days after you file these documents.

Recoverable Damages if You File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit In South Carolina

Medical malpractice can lead to pain, injury, and life-altering circumstances. In some cases, it can lead to death.

While nothing can erase the past, you may pursue compensation for the expenses the event caused. They include:

  • Medical expenses: You may have already spent money on hospital visits, treatments, or rehabilitation. You may also be having current treatment and anticipate further costs. Your compensation may include money to cover your medical bills.
  • Lost wages: You or your loved one may be unable to work while recovering from malpractice. You can pursue compensation for the wages you miss during this time.
  • Pain and suffering: Your injuries may have caused you physical and mental harm that affects you daily. You may face anxiety, depression, or an inability to enjoy life like you once did.

Losing a loved one to medical malpractice can devastate you and your family. You can pursue compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of domestic contributions, loss of income, and loss of companionship.

File Your Lawsuit on Time With an Aiken, SC, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Don’t hesitate to take action after experiencing medical malpractice in South Carolina. Getting started right away helps you avoid delays and missed deadlines.

The staff at TSB Injury Law has experience with malpractice cases, and we will serve you to the best of our ability.

Call us today for a free consultation. You owe us nothing until we win, so there’s no risk or obligation.


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