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Oregon case makes it easier to claim for loss of chance theory

What can you do if you're in pain and sick but a doctor doesn't diagnose you correctly? It's normal to file a claim for medical malpractice, but something that you can also seek out is compensation for the "loss of chance," thanks to a current case in Oregon. This legal theory rides on the allegation that the patient lost his or her right to a chance at recovery due to medical negligence.

In the case in Oregon, a man went to the hospital complaining about symptoms that would typically point to a stroke as a cause. He was experiencing issues like slurred speech and a headache. When the doctor spoke to him, she also did a neurological exam and ordered a computerized tomography scan, or CT scan. When she did not discover anything indicative of his need to stay in the hospital, the doctor sent him home telling him to stop his sleep aid.

He returned to the hospital the following day stating that his eyes were still giving him trouble and that his headache had worsened. The same doctor saw him. She ordered a prescription for Vicodin and asked him to see an optometrist.

Finally, the following Monday, he went to his family practice doctor. An MRI was ordered, and it showed substantial brain damage. This injury was indicative of a stroke.

Cases like this are shocking, because the right tests could have helped the patient seek care and begin recovery much sooner. If this or something like this happens to you, you may be able to seek compensation as well.

Source: Legal NewsLine, "Ore. SC allows claim for loss of chance at recovery in med-mal case," Dee Thompson, accessed June 15, 2017

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