Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Charlotte
When our physical bodies fail us, we are willing to do whatever it takes to restore ourselves to optimal health. It might mean taking a medication you’ve never used before, having your first surgery, or consulting with a medical professional about your condition. Doing the best we can to follow the instruction of a doctor is all we can do. From there, we trust the professionals.
But what if the professional made a mistake? It’s a frightful thing to think about, and we often forget that it is possible. When your health or the health of your loved one is at stake, there is simply no room for doubt. Even the smallest error could have grave consequences, so we are left with the only option: to trust. Doctors, nurses, surgeons, pharmacy technicians – each one holds an invaluable responsibility to handle your life with the utmost care.
But do they?
A recent study revealed that 200,000 to 400,000 deaths a year are caused by preventable medical errors in hospitals.
Clearly, even professionals are prone to mistakes – a lot of them.
If you think you or a loved one has suffered an injury or harm at the hands of a doctor, nurse, pharmacy or hospital by neglect, you are not alone. You likely have many questions, and that is completely normal and okay.
However, if you feel you would rather speak with an experienced advocate for people like you who have suffered at the hands of a medical professional, the caring staff at Charles G. Monnett III & Associates are ready for your call. Contact us at (800) 977-3077 for a no-cost, no obligation consultation. We are deeply sorry for what you have been through, and want to hear your story.
Medical Errors, An Alarming Trend
Not only is it possible, it is now considered common for doctors to make mistakes. Deaths caused by medical errors are now believed to be the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, above stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory disease and accidents (British Medical Journal).
States with the most medical malpractice suits per capita
Even worse, the lack of transparency surrounding incidents of medically induced harm is almost as disturbing as the incidents themselves. You are hard-pressed to find a hospital that will disclose information about cases of harm from doctor negligence. While the map above indicates a lower percentage of lawsuits for medical malpractice in North Carolina per capita compared to other states, death and injury by doctors continues to occur with little to no open discussion about it.
Charlotte Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical malpractice refers to the substandard treatment or negligence on behalf of a doctor or healthcare professional that causes harm, injury or death to a patient. If you are thinking about filing a claim for what has happened to you or your loved one, there are a few things you should know about the laws surrounding these types of cases, particularly if you live in North Carolina.
Having an attorney on your side who not only has the experience but who also sincerely cares for your well-being can make all the difference in your journey to recovery. The medical malpractice lawyers at Charles G. Monnett III & Associates are ready to be your advocates.
Proving a Medical Malpractice Case
It can feel overwhelming to think about filing a medical malpractice claim against your doctor. If you’re not sure where to begin, it’s helpful to start with which components are necessary for a claim.
Proving a Breach in the Standard of Care
First, you must prove a breach of the standard of care. This must be supported by evidence of the following factors:
- Proof that a doctor-patient relationship existed
- Proof the physician violated the standard of care or was negligent
- Proof that the injury was a result of the negligence
- Proof that the injury led to specific damages or harm
As well, there are special requirements for any medical malpractice case in the U.S.:
- The claim must be brought soon after the injury
- The claim will be evaluated by special medical malpractice review panels
- Special notice requirements must be given
- Expert testimonies are required
- There is a limit on damages
In an article by North Carolina Lawyer’s Weekly, attorney Charles G. Monnett III addressed the difficulty in winning medical malpractice cases.
“It’s definitely not a level playing field. The truth is that they [doctors] have the advantage pretty much every step of the way. The crisis in medical malpractice litigation is that too many legitimate claims now go uncompensated.”
Read the full article here: Latest Data Show State’s Tort Reform Act Delivered A Knock-Down Blow
Requirements in North Carolina
It’s imperative, too, to be mindful of the statute of limitations regarding a medical malpractice claim. For example, in the State of North Carolina, the following statute of limitations applies:
- You have three years from the date of the injury or death to file a claim
- You have one year after the date the injury is discovered to file a claim, but only if the injury could not have been discovered when it occurred
- If an object is left inside a person, he or she has one year after the date of discovery to file a claim (i.e. a sponge is left inside someone following surgery)
Like other states, North Carolina sets caps, or limits, on the amount of damages that can be collected in successful cases.
In 2011, North Carolina passed a law that limited noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases to $500,000. Non-economic damages include compensation for nonmonetary losses, such as pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. As of 2014, this amount will grow each year based on inflation. However, this cap does not apply to cases where the patient suffered from disfiguration or permanent injury, and when the defendant’s conduct was proven to be reckless, grossly negligent, malicious or intentional.
In North Carolina, there is no limit on economic damages that can be awarded, such as medical expenses or lost wages. Yet, if the amount of damages claimed is more than $150,000, the state requires two separate trials to be held: one to focus on liability, and the other to focus on the amount of damages. The judge and jury will remain the same for both.
Requirements in South Carolina
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations is:
- You have three years from the date of the injury file a claim
- You have three years after the injury was, or should have been discovered to file a claim – whichever comes first
- You may not pursue a claim more than six years after the negligent act, unless the injured party is a minor
- If the injured party is a minor, you have until one year after the minor’s eighteenth birthday to file the claim, or within seven years following the negligent act – whichever comes first
South Carolina does not have a cap or limit on damages that can be awarded in a medical malpractice claim.
Common Medical Malpractice Cases
Across the board, there are certain cases that are always most common in medical malpractice. These include:
- Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnose
- Improper Treatment
- Failure to Warn of Risks
- Retained Objects from Surgery
- Anesthesia Errors and Complications
- Birth Injuries and Errors
- Surgical Errors and Complications
- Medication and Pharmacy Errors
- Emergency Room Errors
Even war veterans see medical malpractice cases as often as civilians.
Records show that the Department of Treasury has paid 29 settlements in North and South Carolina between 2012 and 2016, including 2,483 payments made to medical malpractice claims – a total $554.19 million.
Everyone makes mistakes, though in the medical field, a single mistake can be deadly. When a mistake can be prevented, it isn’t a “mistake” at all; it’s negligence and medical malpractice, and the person(s) responsible should be held accountable for his or her actions.
If you think you’ve suffered as a result of a hospital’s, doctor’s or other medical professional’s negligence, the attorneys at Charles G. Monnett III & Associates want to hear from you. Call us toll free today for a free, confidential consultation at (800) 977-3077. You have no obligation to hire us for your case.
Choosing the Right Medical Negligence Lawyer for You
Perhaps you are wondering if you need a lawyer. The quest to find one you trust who is also experienced with cases like yours can seem daunting.
At Charles G. Monnett III & Associates, we believe our track record speaks for itself. Our clients are like family to us and they are glad to share their experiences. Take a look at just a few testimonies from other victims of medical malpractice we have advocated for and how their lives have changed for the better since seeking our help:
Click below to view a testimonial from a former client:
Over the past 30+ years, we have helped thousands of people who are just like you. Your best interest is our highest goal, and each client is unique and significant to us. We take a personal approach to all new cases, and make sure all of our clients get the individual support they need and deserve.
Why Choose Charles G. Monnett III & Associates
We have a long history of successfully representing clients with medical malpractice claims. Because these cases are highly complicated and expensive to pursue, we won’t be able to accept every case.
As part of our extensive investigation into your claim, our firm will review your case and source a team of qualified experts in the area of medicine when appropriate. We work hard to ensure cases are supported by qualified physicians and nursing experts before they are brought to court.
We staff the following experts to help with your claim:
- A registered nurse (RN) on staff who may assist with your case and help explain the medical complexities of your case specifically
- Developed contacts in most medical specialties, including obstetrics, oncology, anesthesiology, and orthopedics to name a few.
As we work with these specialists and gather evidence to help obtain a fair settlement or verdict for your claim, you can better focus on what is most important — taking care of yourself, your family, healing, and enjoying life again.
Your family deserves an advocate who cares about their rights and has real, successful experience in a courtroom. We are trial lawyers, and while we do all we can to effectively resolve your case without taking it to trial, you can rest assured that we are ready and prepared to. We will fight for you, so that you may focus on yourself and your healing.
Medical Malpractice FAQ’s
There are a lot of questions surrounding a medical malpractice case, though to help provide answers for some of the most pressing ones, the following are our most frequently asked questions:
Q: How do I know if I have a case?
A: We will help you determine if you have a case. A negative experience or outcome with a medical professional does not mean medical malpractice has occurred. Mistakes do happen, and if you or a loved one are unharmed, you may not have a case and should consider yourself fortunate. If you were harmed, it will need to be proven that the doctor, nurse or hospital strayed from the standard practices of care, resulting in the injury or harm. We can help you with this.
Q: Who is responsible for my medical malpractice injury?
A: Any doctor, nurse or hospital employee can be held accountable for medical malpractice. What often happens is the hospital staff may be overworked if the organization is attempting to cut hours and save money, and this is known as hospital negligence.
Q: How long do I have to pursue a medical malpractice claim?
A: In both North and South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years, meaning you have three years from when the injury occurred to pursue legal action. Please, do not wait until the last minute to call us and file a claim. If you believe you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, take the first responsible step and learn about your rights. You can decide later if you wish to pursue a lawsuit, though a consultation with a lawyer is always free and without obligation. It’s in your best interest.
Q: Can I pursue a claim on my own?
A: You may pursue a claim on your own, but seeking the help of a medical malpractice attorney who understands the legal arena and the medical field is highly recommended. Medical malpractice cases can be expensive, time-consuming and difficult for those without experience. A skilled attorney knows both fields in all their complexity.
Q: How much does it cost to hire you?
A: We work on contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if your claim is settled successfully. There are no out-of-pocket costs for you.
Three Ways We Can Help You Today
- Help you understand your rights as they apply to your unique case
- Help you to know which medical treatments may be needed
- Help take calls and handle the paper work from insurance companies
I was involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, so I contacted the attorney that I had used in a previous case. I explained to them the situation and they advised me that there was no way that I would be able to recover anything so they would not take my case. I then contacted Charles Monnett & Associates and they accepted my case and I am happy to say that their expert staff was able to settle my case with the insurance companies for $128,000.
In October 2010, my pregnant wife and I were in a horrendous accident in Charlotte, NC, caused by a drunk driver. We were struck head on by the driver traveling at nearly 100mph and sustained many life threatening injuries. We lost our unborn baby and were fighting to stay alive ourselves. This is not a time we could even think about an attorney, but fortunately, people we care about found Mr. Monnett! This incredible man visited us in the hospital at our request and made everything so easy for us during such a trying time. There's not another person on earth with whom I would trust such an important endeavor. His experience and knowledge overshadowed the defense by leaps and bounds. Mr. Monnett remained steadfast and confident throughout the process, while ultimately prevailing, it was amazing. I offer my highest recommendation to this great man and his top notch firm.
Charles Monnett was very helpful and lead me through the whole legality of my case. Charles was always available and informative on this process.