Medical Malpractice Lawyer Oregon
If you believe you or a loved one was the victim of malpractice, you should consider calling our staff at Andersen Morse & Linthorst to sign up for a consultation with our professional Oregon medical malpractice lawyers. We have years of experience representing the rights of those that have been harmed by the negligent actions of doctors, dentists, nurses, and others in the medical field. We can provide you with an assessment of your case and help you navigate the complicated legal system.
Table of Contents
- Do’s and Don’ts of Medical Malpractice Claims
- Is Medical Malpractice Cause for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
- 3 Ways To Know You Have A Medical Malpractice Claim
- Types of Collectible Damages In A Medical Malpractice Suit
- Oregon Medical Malpractice Law Statistics
- Oregon Medical Malpractice Law FAQs
- Andersen Morse & Linthorst Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer
- Oregon Medical Malpractice Law Infographic
- Client Review
Types of Medical Malpractice
There are many different forms of medical malpractice. A few common ones include:
This occurs when a doctor incorrectly diagnoses a person or didn’t provide them a diagnosis at all, and as a result, they received improper or no treatment. Heart attack, stroke, cancer, depression, and thyroid disease are some of the commonly misdiagnosed conditions. The symptoms of the conditions in these cases present in a typical manner that a qualified healthcare provider should have diagnosed.
These errors can result in long-term consequences for the patient and even death. Some examples include operating on the wrong part of the body, performing the wrong procedure, using unclean instruments, and not providing adequate care before or after the surgery is complete.
A prescription error is when a patient is harmed by the medication prescribed by a provider. Inaccuracies can occur when a provider doesn’t consider the patient’s medical history, prescribes the wrong dose, selects the wrong type of medication, or over-prescribes a medication.
There are many more types of malpractice. If you think you have experienced any of these or other types of wrongdoing at the hands of your provider, you may want to contact our medical malpractice lawyers in Oregon to see what your options are.
How Medical Malpractice Lawyers Will Support You
Our medical malpractice lawyers will help you determine if your case can be successful in court. They will assemble and analyze your medical records, work with medical experts to develop and understand the merits of your case, take depositions from medical professionals, establish trial strategies, obtain objective, third-party review of your medical condition, and if deemed necessary litigate your case.
Medical malpractice can contribute to severe injuries to a child during the process of birth. Cerebral palsy and seizure disorders, fractured bones, and paralysis can be a result of malpractice, although sometimes can result from natural causes. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be able to help determine if such injuries to the newborn are a result of medical malpractice or doctor negligence, or if the injuries are of natural causes, and will be able to offer advice on how to move forward.
Anesthesia errors, although relatively infrequent, can be more dangerous than errors made in surgery. Permanent injury, brain damage, and death can be a result of seemingly minor errors made by anesthesiologists. A failure of an anesthesiologist to investigate a patient’s medical history for possible conflicts that could lead to anesthesia complications, or failure to educate the patient on proper pre-surgery preparation procedures may lead to complications. Also, being administered too much anesthesia, failing to monitor vitals, and improper intubation may also constitute malpractice in anesthesia.
Failure To Treat
A frequent cause of medical malpractice claims, failure to treat violates standards of care that a caregiver agrees to when taking on patients. Some examples of failure to treat include:
Premature release of a patient from hospitalization
- Failing to provide clear or instructions for follow-up care.
- Not ordering correct medical tests
- Ignoring the medical history of a patient when diagnosing an illness or disorder
When a doctor or provider is responsible for caring for more patients than they can handle, failure to treat can become more likely. When the provider is overwhelmed the quality of care may be sacrificed and could lead to failure to treat, and other forms of medical malpractice.
When a patient suspects they may be a victim of medical malpractice, a number of things must be done to take action and pursue compensation for damages and losses. We must prove a direct and relevant link between the provider’s actions, or lack of action, and the resulting injuries or illnesses. We must also prove how such injuries or illnesses caused damages in the form of expenses such as medical, lost wages, and other losses related to pain and suffering.
Are Prescription Errors Medical Malpractice?
If your doctor has prescribed you the wrong medication and it causes you to harm in the long run, are you dealing with medical malpractice? This is a great question to ask because it does happen very often. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes the medication is for misdiagnosis, sometimes the dose is too high. There are many ways that a prescription error can happen, and there are many reasons for giving you these prescriptions.
A doctor is only liable if they are the one who actually made the mistake and not someone else such as the pharmacist with the drug manufacturing company. This means that this is a very complex case to prove, there are too many variables. Did the drug manufacturing company actually manufacture 20 mg pills instead of 10 mg pills but the label is 10 mg pills? Or did your position right the wrong dosage and your pharmacist give you the dose adjustment by the physician? Or did your physician write the right dose, but your pharmacist gave you the wrong dose or the wrong medicine?
So you can see there are a lot of variables when you are trying to prove medical malpractice and negligence due to a prescription error. In order for the lawsuit to be viable, you have to prove that the doctor’s actions actually amounted to medical negligence. Proving liability in this type of lawsuit means that you have to prove the doctor was negligent in prescribing a certain medication, and you need to look at what the standard of care was under the circumstances for your illness that requires medication, how your doctor deviated from that standard and how you were harmed as a result.
The medical standard of care is the first thing that has to be established, and you will have to find an expert witness with experience in the same medical field as your dock. Next, you must again show how your doctor failed to meet the standard of care when treating you; what they did or did not do during your course of treatment. And last but not least you have to prove the medication caused you some kind of injury, such as exasperating health problems or creating new ones.
There are many ways in which a doctor can make a mistake in prescribing medication and here are some of the most common examples. While this is not an exhaustive list, it is a list of the most common ways these errors are made:
- The doctor prescribes the wrong dosage.
- The doctor provides incorrect instructions for taking the medication.
- The doctor prescribes the medication for the wrong amount of time.
- The doctor prescribes a medication that contains an ingredient to which the patient is allergic.
- The doctor prescribes medication that has a dangerous interaction with one of the other medications that the patient is taking.
- The doctor prescribes a medication that will harm the patient because of the patient’s other underlying medical conditions.
- The doctor prescribes a medication that is ineffective and causes the patient’s underlying and untreated condition to worsen.
- The doctor fails to relay a drug manufacturer’s warning of risks and side effects to the patient, which is needed in order for the patient to make an informed decision.
Medication-related mistakes can happen anywhere in the supply chain for manufacturers or patients, so you need to make sure that when you are dealing with these cases you are actually working with a doctor who has been negligent in some way.
Do’s and Don’ts of Medical Malpractice Claims
Do Document Everything
Your Oregon medical malpractice lawyer at Andersen Morse & Linthorst may advise you on what specific documentation you should have to pursue your medical malpractice case. These documents may include:
- Your medical records
- The names of everyone who treated you, including nurses, techs, and aides
- Your birth certificate or the birth and death certificates if you’re filing on behalf of a loved one who passed away
Do Locate Your Income Tax Records
If you are going to be claiming lost wages and/or lost future wages, you need to have concrete numbers about your income. What better way to document that than through your income tax records? Make sure your medical malpractice lawyer in Oregon at Andersen Morse & Linthorst has copies of the last five years of income tax documents.
Do Gather Family Photos & Videotapes
Depending on the case, you may be able to receive damages for things such as loss of enjoyment of life, loss of services, and loss of consortium. Loss of enjoyment of life means the person who was injured by medical malpractice isn’t as happy or content as he used to be. Loss of services comes into play when your loved one can’t do things like wash the dishes or mow the lawn. Loss of consortium is when a spouse is no longer in a condition for intimacy with the uninjured spouse.
However tempted you may feel to share about what that horrible doctor or insane nurse or crazy physical therapist put you through, don’t do it. Don’t email anyone about it; don’t blog about it; don’t post it on social media; don’t share it with your friends. Don’t share it with anybody but your medical malpractice lawyer in Oregon.
Don’t Miss Any Scheduled Doctor’s Appointments
If you miss any doctor’s appointments, the other party’s insurance company can claim that you must not be all that injured after all because you don’t feel the need to see the doctor regularly anymore. Make sure you see your doctor regularly.
Don’t Sign Any Waivers
When you collect your medical records, there may be a form for you to sign. Read it carefully to make sure it doesn’t include any waivers. Better yet, show it to your attorney at Andersen Morse & Linthorst and let your attorney deal with it. Don’t sign anything the other party’s insurance company mails you. Don’t give any recorded statements to an insurance adjuster. Don’t let the other party have your full medical records; for example, an insurer might decide that since you have asthma, you were more susceptible to anesthesia mistakes.
Is Medical Malpractice Cause for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Medical malpractice is one area of personal injury law. However, it is far more complex than other causes of action such as motor vehicle and workplace accidents. This is why clients who have suffered as a result of health care errors and incompetence should get counsel from a medical malpractice lawyer in Oregon, as such an attorney specializes in this area.
Medical malpractice shares many things with other personal injury cases. They both fall under the category of torts, which is civil law; both types of action are brought by a party whose injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. As it is for other injury cases, the plaintiff is eligible to receive both economic and non-economic damages. The latter category includes pain and suffering, emotional and psychological distress, and loss of consortium or companionship. In Oregon, non-economic damages are capped at $500,000.
Aside from the complexity that a medical malpractice lawyer in Oregon must deal with, there is a matter of issues in dispute. For example, when a plaintiff is injured by a drunk driver, proving the defendant’s responsibility is a simple matter of calling up police records and test results. On the other hand, hospitals will go to great lengths to deny responsibility, even when the evidence is overwhelming. Proving liability to the court requires a great deal of time and effort.
Medical malpractice cases usually involve hiring expert witnesses who have medical training. This drives up the cost of pursuing such a claim considerably. There is a slight difference where it concerns the statute of limitations. Like other personal injury claims, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years of discovering the injury. Suppose Jane underwent surgery in May of 2019 and the doctors made an error. However, the consequences of the error did not become apparent until September of 2021. Jane would have until June of 2023 to file her lawsuit.
One thing to keep in mind; regardless of when the malpractice is discovered, any lawsuit must be filed within five years of the time the treatment or surgery was carried out.
Going to Trial
Most parties to a lawsuit attempt to come to a settlement before going to court; Oregon law even stipulates that a medical malpractice lawyer in Oregon and the defendant must attempt to resolve the case within 270 days of filing the complaint. Only after negotiations are unsuccessful will the case go before a judge and jury.
3 Ways To Know You Have A Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical providers are human, and there is the potential that they will make a mistake when delivering care, making a diagnosis or addressing a patient’s condition. Many of these mistakes are minor and do not cause significant harm to the patient. However, there are situations where the mistake can lead to serious injury, significant financial loss, or even death. Not all malpractice suits will be successful in court. While the services of Anderson Morse & Linthorst can help litigate a medical malpractice claim, it is important to know if your situation would qualify as a case of medical malpractice.
When you seek treatment from a physician, the provider has an obligation to thoroughly explain foreseeable and reasonable risks or benefits of the proposed plan. There is always the risk that an unforeseeable and unusual outcome may occur, and in the case that it does, it may be time to contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Oregon. For example, a patient may be scheduled for a relatively non-threatening procedure like gallbladder removal. While the surgery itself may go well, the surgeon may accidentally cut the bile ducts and an infection could ensue. Sepsis from the infection can be life-threatening. This situation creates additional complications and consequences that may be litigated as medical malpractice.
Lack Of Informed Consent
There is a valid expectation that you, as a patient, will know what impact a potential treatment, surgery or medication will have on your health. In addition to being fully informed, there should be the ability to accept or decline to have the proposed medical care. When patients are not able to give informed consent and the results of the care cause actual harm, a patient could rely on a medical malpractice lawyer in Oregon to open a case of malpractice. In these situations, deviations from standards of care are not the burden of proof, but rather lack of opportunity a patient may have had to decline the procedure or choose an alternative.
Acknowledgment Of An Error
In an instance when a healthcare provider or representative from a medical facility informs you that an error or mistake has occurred, there may be grounds to pursue a malpractice claim. This is particularly true when harm has occurred following a procedure or other medical intervention.
If you believed you’ve suffered harm on account of medical intervention or a provider’s services, consider speaking to a medical malpractice lawyer in Oregon. The office of Andersen Morse & Linthorst may be the legal support you need to pursue a case of medical malpractice.
Oregon Medical Malpractice Law Infographic
Types of Collectible Damages In A Medical Malpractice Suit
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Loss of future earning capacity
These are more quantifiable expenses caused as a result of medical malpractice such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages resulting from missing work
- Punitive Damages
The rules on when a patient may get punitive damages vary from state to state, but the general requirement is that the provider must have known that he or she was behaving in a negligent or harmful way.
Many states have caps on both economic and non-economic damages. However, in Oregon, there is no limit to economic damages. For non-economic damages, however, the cap is $500,000 and this number applies to wrongful death cases as well.
Oregon Medical Malpractice Law Statistics
According to the Oregon Medical Board’s quarterly report, as far as medical specialties go, in Oregon there are 4,500 family practitioners. 1,260 of these are in general practice, 1,900 are general surgeons, 2,300 were in emergency medicine, 1,550 were in diagnostic radiology, 2,000 were in obstetrics and gynecology, 1,500 were orthopedic surgeons, 2,400 were pediatricians, 1,300 were ophthalmologists, 727 were neurologists, 2,000 were psychiatrists, and 6,600 were internists. Tactics used by malpractice insurers can be used against you to delay or downplay the seriousness of your claim. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will serve to advocate for you and defend your case against these potential actions of malpractice insurers. A medical malpractice lawyer will stand up for you against the insurers, and work to hold the negligent care providers accountable.
What You Can Do To Support Your Case
Once you decide to take action, you should make sure to document the symptoms you are experiencing, your medical visits (conversations you are having with healthcare providers, what happened at the visit, etc.), as well as any other pertinent information. Take pictures of your condition and other relevant items to your case. Request your entire medical record and make several copies. Continue to follow your doctor’s orders unless you feel they are harming you.
If you believe that you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you may want to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer based in Oregon right away. If your injury or condition developed as a result of the negligence committed by a medical professional who owed you a duty of care, you may be able to file a claim. There are important key things that you should know about preparing a medical malpractice claim.
Oregon Medical Malpractice Law FAQs
What Qualifies As A Medical Malpractice Case?
While many medical malpractice cases involve negligence, it’s important to understand that not all instances of negligence automatically constitute medical malpractice. For a case to qualify as malpractice, you must provide evidence that negligence directly resulted in your injury. A doctor, nurse, or other medical professional must have acted in a way that resulted in harm to a patient to who they owed a duty of care.
How Can I Benefit From A Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
There are numerous ways that you can benefit from speaking with a malpractice lawyer. A lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice is knowledgeable not just about the law, but the vast healthcare system. When you have a trusted Oregon-based medical malpractice lawyer like one from Andersen Morse & Linthorst handling your case, you can receive personalized legal advice, and ongoing support throughout your case, and if you need more specific and detailed information, a medical malpractice lawyer can be able to provide you with an in-depth explanation.
What Types Of Conditions, Disorders, And Injuries Are Covered Under Medical Malpractice?
Certain injuries, disorders, and conditions can be considered eligible for compensation if you have a valid case of medical malpractice. These include birth injuries, injuries that occurred due to surgical errors, disabilities, prescription errors, and more. If your pre-existing condition or injury worsened due to the failure to provide standard care, you may also be eligible to file a claim.
What Damages Can I Recover For A Medical Malpractice Case?
There are many types of damages that you may be eligible to recover if you are a victim of medical malpractice. Damages include current and future medical expenses, pain, and suffering, reduced quality of life, missed wages, and emotional anguish.
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim?
There is limited time for you to file a medical malpractice claim if you are hoping to submit one. In most states, the statute of limitations to file a claim is limited to only two years. If you want to file one on time you must make a decision quickly and seek legal help right away. Medical malpractice cases can be sophisticated and complex because they involve hospitals and intricate healthcare laws, which can be hard to understand. For more information and to receive quality and personalized legal advice, talk to a qualified lawyer.
Do not wait until the last minute to get started on your medical malpractice claim. Request a risk-free consultation with a seasoned medical malpractice lawyer in Oregon so that you can get the legal advice that you need now.
What To Do If You’re Offered A Settlement?
Often the other party might try to settle the case before it can reach court. The reason for this is that cases can take a lot of time and money and so the defendant may find that it’s easier to settle. However, the problem is that malpractice insurers will usually try to undercut you upon the first offer. Even when an offer sounds like it may be good enough, there are bound to be costs that you may not consider such as lost wages, pain, and suffering, etc. As such, it’s usually best not to take the first offer. Instead, you will want to consult with your attorney and who can help determine a more realistic figure and negotiate on your behalf.
How Long Will The Case Take?
The overall length of a medical malpractice case may take anywhere from months to years depending upon the severity. Typically, the more severe the injuries/neglect, the longer the case will take as it will need more time to prove. Of course, the lengthier cases are the ones that end up going to court where the discovery phase alone may take several months.
It’s also important to note the statute of limitations. In Oregon, the statute of limitations is two years, meaning any medical malpractice cases must be filed in court within two years after the injury took place and no more than five years from when the injury occurred. For wrongful death, however, this limitation becomes six years.
How Much Does A Medical Malpractice Lawyer Cost?
While in some areas of the law you’re expected to pay a lawyer hourly as well as a retainer fee when it comes to medical malpractice a lawyer is paid based on a contingency fee. A contingency fee essentially means that your attorney will cover any upfront costs and will be paid a percentage of your final settlement/court award (provided your case is won). The percentage may vary, but often can be around 33%. For example, if you’re awarded $100,000 then a lawyer may take around $33,000.
While this may sound steep, keep in mind that this arrangement allows clients to not have to worry about paying any legal fees which can especially come in handy if they’re already dealing with medical bills. Additionally, when you work with an attorney they will help you receive greater compensation and the justice you deserve.
Andersen Morse & Linthorst Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer
1730 E. McAndrews Rd. Suite A Medford, Oregon 97504
Call A Professional Medical Malpractice Lawyer
There is a statute of limitations on when you can file a lawsuit against a provider. Cases take time to build so you will want to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to begin working on your case. In addition, waiting can lead to lost evidence and create barriers to a successful suit. Contact us at Andersen Morse & Linthorst today to learn what our medical malpractice lawyers in Oregon can do for you.
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