When a person is injured because of the failure of a professional (such as a doctor or nurse, or a hospital) to follow the standard of care, it’s called professional negligence or malpractice. In some situations, the negligence is so severe that the person injured may be entitled to recover damages for his or her injuries.
Negligence does not occur every time treatment is unsuccessful or a diagnosis is incorrect, but rather when the professional fails to follow the recognized standard of care or proper protocol (such as a doctor failing to order appropriate tests or failing to diagnose a serious condition that a prudent doctor would recognize). Generally, another professional must give sworn testimony that the standard of care has been breached.
The lawyers at Callison Tighe do not take professional negligence or medical malpractice cases lightly. For every case taken, more than 100 are turned away. We believe that all professionals must have the room necessary to exercise their best judgment and that sometimes their judgment is just incorrect, not negligent. However, there are other times when a professional has not kept up with developments and education in their field, or is too busy, lazy or arrogant, or is impaired. These situations lead to mistakes that could have and should have been prevented – circumstances where an injured party could be entitled to compensation for injuries caused by the mistake.
Callison Tighe’s professional negligence team includes one of the most experienced trial lawyers in South Carolina, D. Reece Williams III. Reece is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a by-invitation organization that required lawyers to have completed at least 50 jury trials when Reece was admitted 20 years ago. He served as ABOTA’s national president in 2000. In 2006, Reece was named South Carolina Trial Lawyer of the Year.
Callison Tighe partner Rick Detwiler, another member of the team, recently successfully represented a husband who lost his wife as a result of a doctor’s failure to diagnose adrenal insufficiency, leading to her death from malnutrition. The case settled for a confidential amount on the second day of trial.
In another recent case, Rick represented a young man who was rendered a “locked-in” quadriplegic, unable to speak but entirely aware of his surroundings. It happened after a doctor at a local hospital raised the patient’s serum saline too quickly, causing a condition known as central pontine myelinolysis. This case was settled in mediation prior to trial for a confidential amount.
In both cases, evidence was developed through expert testimony that the physician did not meet the requisite standard of care.
At Callison Tighe, all cases involving professional negligence or medical malpractice are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning no legal fees are charged unless we obtain a recovery for you. If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of professional negligence, call one of the lawyers at Callison Tighe at (803) 404.6900 to schedule a free consultation.