Doctors and surgeons make mistakes on a frequent basis. After all, they are only human and human beings are prone to misjudgment, forgetfulness and oversight. In the vast majority of these mistakes in treatment, the patients don’t suffer any serious injuries.
In some of them, however, the patients have catastrophic injuries or die. In cases where doctors’ errors and medical malpractice result in the death of a patient, the surviving family members may want to investigate the pursuit of a wrongful death claim.
For example, imagine your loved one contracts a serious cancer and visits your family doctor to find out what’s wrong. The doctor misses the telltale signs of cancer, fails to order the appropriate tests and the cancer advances. Once the cancer is finally discovered, it’s far too late for successful treatment and your family member has progressed to a condition that’s terminal. Your loved one dies several months later, but if the doctor had caught the disease early enough — as he should have if he had followed standard medical procedure — your family member would still with you today.
If this case were real, it would likely be a clear example of medical malpractice. Surviving family members might, therefore, have strong wrongful death claims that they could pursue in Oregon civil court. Although no amount of litigation or money would ever serve to make this family fully whole, the pursuit of a lawsuit could help them achieve a certain level of closure.
Furthermore, if successfully navigated, a wrongful death action could bring much-needed financial compensation to the family to pay for end-of-life expenses, outstanding medical bills, lost family income and other damages.