To some extent, medical malpractice cases work just like any personal injury case.
The concept of medical malpractice is based on the idea that just like anyone else, doctors must act carefully when dealing with others. If their carelessness causes an injury to someone else, usually their patient, they should compensate that person for those injuries.
However, in many other ways, medical malpractice can seem a little different from other civil lawsuits.
For example, medical professionals have a duty to follow what is called the standard of care.
To summarize Oregon’s law, a provider basically has to do those things that a careful provider in the same field and locale would do when faced with similar circumstances.
To unpack this a bit, the practice of medicine is very much an art that is based on a provider’s best-educated guesses.
Doctors cannot be punished simply because, in hindsight, different choices may have led to a better result for the patient. Patients are not guaranteed a good result after medical treatment.
On the other hand, a doctor or other professional in the Portland area whose behavior falls out of step with their professional community may be sued for malpractice if their behavior caused a patient’s injuries.
Medical malpractice cases can be complicated and hard to win
It takes considerable skill and experience to pursue a medical malpractice claim.
Practically speaking, a doctor will often want to fight allegations not only because they cost him money but also because they can do considerable damage to his professional reputation.
In order to succeed, a victim will have to have evidence, which will usually include the testimony of an expert, to show that a provider violated the standard of care. The patient may also have to show that they were honest with the provider and followed the provider’s instructions.
Oregon has strict deadlines for filing medical malpractice claims. If a person misses these deadlines, they may not be able to recover compensation even if their claim was otherwise valid. A Portland resident who believes they may have been the victim of medical malpractice should evaluate their options promptly.