In this day and age, more and more people want to hold someone accountable for everything that goes wrong in their lives. As a result, physicians and other medical professionals are often the target of lawsuits and other legal actions when medical treatments do not end with favorable results. South Carolina adheres to the rule of “comparative negligence” when it determines how to distribute fault in the case of a plaintiff seeking to collect damages from one’s doctor. The rules of comparative negligence state that the amount of damages one can receive can decrease by the amount of fault attributed to a person. This puts many physicians and medical personnel in jeopardy as one’s work is under constant scrutiny and review. When this happens, a professional license defense is necessary to be able to continue to work and practice in one’s chosen field with a medical license.
Let’s face it, doctors and medical professionals have a difficult job. There are some cases that are more difficult than others, and in many cases, not everyone will be satisfied with the results of the treatments they receive at a local hospital or healthcare facility. Medical professionals often hold the fate of a patient’s life in their hands, and the responsibility is tremendous. Doctors are extremely busy, and an emergency room physician can often see hundreds of patients in a few days’ time. But most importantly, doctors are human, and no matter how experienced and skilled, mistakes can and do happen. There are times when a Columbia emergency room can be so full of patients that a doctor may not have a chance to collect their thoughts between patients and an error can take place. What can you do if your professional license is on the line for a mistake you made during your shift?
You should also know that it is not just doctors and physicians that can face the dilemma of possibly losing their professional license. Other professionals that can potentially lose their license include:
- Mental health providers
How Can a Negligence Accusation Cost Me My South Carolina Medical License?
If a patient accuses you of negligence, you will have to prove that you did not fail in your duty to provide the patient with appropriate care for the medical issue the patient is experiencing. You, as the defendant, have a duty to carry yourself and perform medical treatment in a manner that any other medical professional with the same education and experience would perform. A negligence case against you to defend your South Carolina professional license will contain the following elements:
- You, as a physician or medical professional, have a duty to provide care your patient
- You did not perform your duty appropriately and therefore failed to provide the patient the correct care
- Your conduct (or lack of conduct) is the reason harm came to the patient
- Your failure to act appropriately caused the patient to be subjected to harm and you should have been able to foresee the possible harm that would come to the patient
- Due to your conduct (or lack of it), the patient experienced unnecessary harm
Medicine is not an exact science and not every case a physician treats will have a favorable outcome. In South Carolina, any complaint brought against you will require you to go before the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners for a review of the circumstances. As a medical professional, you know that you have provided the best possible treatment possible for your patient, but since the law is not your specialty, you should consult an attorney to help you with your professional license defense.
You should not attempt to go before the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners without first seeking the advice and guidance of a lawyer. If you do not have legal experience and attempt to defend yourself, you can lose your license while trying to navigate the legal process during your discipline hearing. You need to be proactive to prevent any further damage from being done to your reputation. Take the time to consult with an attorney that can advise you on your professional license defense.
What Can a Columbia, South Carolina Attorney Do to Help Me Keep My Professional Medical License?
If you are a physician or medical professional in Columbia, South Carolina facing discipline charges and have to go before the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners, an attorney can assist you with building a defense and protecting your medical license. The board investigates all complaints they receive, and as a defendant, you will have the opportunity to defend yourself against the accusations and fight to protect and maintain your license. As a doctor, you should not speak with the board without the benefit of counsel. Even if you decide not to hire an attorney, consulting with one prior to your hearing is always a good idea. Since your professional license is on the line, you want to make sure you take every possible precaution to ensure you protect it appropriately.
Facing a hearing to determine if you made an error and could lose your South Carolina professional license can be a source of turmoil and uncertainty in your life. Your concern is for yourself, your family, and all of your patients. You do not want to lose your ability to earn an income in your chosen profession and do not want to lose the respect of your patients.
Contact Our Office to Help You Defend Your South Carolina Professional Medical License
If you need assistance defending your medical license in Columbia, call us at the Michael Jeffcoat Firm today. We can help you protect your professional license and help you build a defense against the accusations. You do not want to face the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners on your own, so let us work with you to keep what you have worked so hard to build. Call our office today to schedule a no-obligation consultation so we can discuss your case and how we can provide assistance. We are here to help you in every way possible.
Mr. Jeffcoat, a native of the Columbia area, founded the law firm in 1999. Mr. Jeffcoat got his undergraduate degree at Wofford College in 1994, majoring in Political Economy and Philosophy, and then went to the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he received his J.D. in 1997. After working in two law firms following his graduation from law school, Jeffcoat ventured out on his own to launch The Jeffcoat Firm in March of 1999.