A transfusion can be used to replace blood lost as a result of an injury, during surgery, or because of a disease like anemia or hemophilia. During this process, blood passes from a bag through a tube and into a patient’s vein. Unfortunately, mistakes can be made during transfusions, including improper storage of blood, incorrect labeling, and inadequate training of health care workers. Since the stakes often are high in these situations, serious injury or even death can result from the carelessness of a doctor, nurse, or other hospital staff member. If you or a loved one has been harmed in South Carolina by a blood transfusion error, our dedicated team of medical malpractice attorneys at Lofton & Lofton is here to help. We will fight tenaciously to protect your rights throughout the legal process.Hold Doctors and Health Care Providers Accountable for Your Injuries
A negligence lawsuit typically starts by deciding whether the defendant owed the victim a certain duty of care. In a medical malpractice case, this obligation is not defined by the reasonable-person standard that applies in ordinary injury claims. Instead, a professional standard of care is used to assess the conduct of health care providers. This means that the defendant is expected to be at least as careful as a similarly situated physician with comparable training and expertise.
Establishing the proper standard of care usually requires the testimony of an expert who is familiar with the specific specialty at issue. This witness might be a board-certified doctor who has practiced in the same area as the defendant, or someone who is employed as a professor in the area.
Once the proper standard of care has been established, the victim also must show that the duty was breached, that he or she suffered harm as a result, and that the injuries led to quantifiable damages. If each of these elements is shown, he or she can potentially receive compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. South Carolina law places a statutory cap on the amount of noneconomic damages that may be awarded in a medical malpractice claim. These are forms of compensation that are relatively intangible and subjective, such as pain and suffering. Unless there was gross negligence, willfulness, wantonness, or recklessness, the maximum amount of noneconomic damages available from a single defendant is $350,000.
In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded in addition to the compensatory damages above. The victim would need to prove by clear and convincing evidence that his or her injury was the result of the defendant's willful, wanton, or reckless conduct.
When a tragic loss of life results from a blood transfusion error, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by the executor or administrator of the person's estate for the benefit of the spouse, children, or other heirs of the deceased. Both wrongful death claims and ordinary malpractice actions are subject to a statute of limitations. Therefore, an injured party or his or her family should take immediate action to preserve the legal rights of the injured party.Discuss Your Medical Negligence Claim with a South Carolina Attorney
At Lofton & Lofton, P.C., we have devoted our careers to the representation of ordinary people who have been hurt by the carelessness of others, such as the medical negligence of health care professionals. Our team of knowledgeable South Carolina lawyers will take the time to learn about the details of your situation. If you have a viable claim, we will help you seek the maximum compensation appropriate in your case. Call us at (843) 722-6319 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.