Portland Medical Malpractice Attorney
When we trust a Portland doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to provide medical care, we expect that he or she will uphold a certain standard of care while treating us. Unfortunately, not all medical providers treat patients with the diligence and respect they deserve—sometimes committing dangerous errors that put their health at risk.
If you have experienced negligence at the hands of a Portland medical professional, you may be eligible for financial compensation. In these situations, the Portland personal injury lawyers at DuBois Law Group can fight for your right to compensation and represent you in your claim.
Why Choose Us
- Over our years of operation, our Portland personal injury attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of our clients. We are dedicated to achieving maximum compensation in your case.
- Our firm understands the financial hardships that often occur after medical malpractice. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that if we do not secure compensation in your claim, you will not be charged legal fees.
- Our firm operates a separate medical department designed to support you on your path to recovery. We can connect you with the treatment you need and recommend specialists who can support your unique medical needs.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Like many professions, nurses, physicians, surgeons, and other medical providers must adhere to certain guidelines while treating patients. This is known as the medical standard of care. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional deviates from the accepted standard of care and causes harm to a patient. The at-fault provider’s actions or omissions differ from what a similarly trained and reasonable healthcare professional would have done under the same circumstances.
Common examples of medical malpractice include the following.
- Failure to properly diagnose a condition
- Misdiagnosing a condition
- Administering the wrong medication or dosage
- Committing an error during surgery
- Failure to provide adequate aftercare or follow up
- Misreading or ignoring laboratory results
- Failure to order the proper diagnostic tests
- Failure to take patient history into account
- Discharging a parent prematurely
- Using dangerous or inappropriate birthing techniques
If you have experienced any one of these, reach out to one of our Portland medical malpractice lawyers today.
Damages Available to Medical Malpractice Victims
Acts of medical malpractice can have severe and profound complications. You may develop a worsening illness or medical condition that can even result in death, which could have been avoided with a proper diagnosis. You may also become injured or develop new complications due to the actions of the medical provider.
If you experience medical malpractice in a Portland hospital or clinic, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault professional and his or her employer. Through your claim, you can recover two types of damages related to your injury or worsening illness: economic damages and non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering.
Common damages available in Oregon medical malpractice claims include the following.
- Past and future medical expenses related to your condition
- Lost wages during your recovery period
- Loss of future earnings if your condition prevents you from returning to work
- Rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other forms of long-term care
- Disability accommodations and mobility equipment
- Loss of quality of life
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Depression and anxiety
- Chronic pain
How to Prove an Oregon Medical Malpractice Claim
To secure compensation in an Oregon medical malpractice lawsuit, you will need to provide enough evidence to establish the at-fault doctor’s negligence. Specifically, there are four elements of negligence that you will need to prove.
- Duty: The at-fault medical professional owed you a duty of care. All providers have to uphold a certain duty while treating patients formally. Your medical records listing the at-fault provider’s name can help you establish a duty of care.
- Breach of duty: The at-fault provider breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act. You must prove that his or her actions deviated from what another provider would have done in your case. You can use your medical records and testimony from third-party medical professionals to establish this point.
- Causation: The at-fault provider’s breach of duty caused your illness or injury. You will need to prove that you would not have sustained this damage if not for the actions of the at-fault party. Expert witness testimony, medical records, and scientific evidence can help prove causation.
- Damages: You sustained damages due to the at-fault provider’s actions that you can collect in the lawsuit. You can use documents such as medical bills, invoices, paystubs, correspondence, and journal entries to prove damages. For long-term care costs, your medical malpractice lawyer can enlist the help of expert witnesses who can create a care plan on your behalf.
What to Do After Experiencing Medical Malpractice
For many Portland residents, it can be difficult to identify medical malpractice, and whether they need to consult an attorney. However, if you suspect that your doctor is acting in a negligent manner, it is important to act quickly and seek help as soon as possible. After you realize that you may have experienced medical malpractice, take the following steps to protect yourself and your right to compensation
- Seek medical attention from another provider. Depending on the nature of your condition, you may need another doctor to correct the mistakes of the at-fault provider and get you the treatment that you need. In addition, the records that you receive from the second provider can help you establish the at-fault professional’s mistakes.
- Request copies of your medical records as soon as you can. These documents will be valuable in establishing your future case; they contain detailed summaries of your condition, treatment, medical history, and other important pieces of information. Using these records, you can prove that the at-fault provider acted in a negligent manner.
- Start a journal and document your condition. Each day, write down how the act of medical negligence affected your physical and emotional health, as well as your financial well-being. This journal can help establish your right to damages, including intangible pain and suffering losses.
After taking these steps, contact a DuBois Law Group lawyer as soon as possible. This type of lawsuit can be difficult to navigate alone, and a Portland medical malpractice attorney can provide you with the support you need.
How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Medical mistakes are devastating and dealing with the aftermath of a medical professional’s negligence can be painful. If you were injured or developed a worsening illness due to medical malpractice, filing a lawsuit can help you seek justice and hold the provider accountable. However, you need to act quickly if you want to protect your right to financial recovery.
In every state across the U.S., civil lawsuits are governed by a law known as the statute of limitations. These laws establish time limits for filing certain lawsuits. If you miss the statute of limitations, the court will most likely dismiss your case and you would not be eligible to recover financial compensation.
In Oregon, the medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years from the date that the injury occurred or the date that you should have reasonably discovered the injury. If the medical malpractice resulted in death, the statute of limitations is extended to three years from the date of the injury, the date of discovery, or the date of death.
There are certain exceptions to this rule:
- If you were under the age of 18 at the time of the incident, you have five years from the date of your 18th birthday to file your claim.
- If you were deemed mentally incompetent at the time of the malpractice, you have five years from the date that you were no longer considered mentally incompetent.
It is important to keep in mind that there is an overall statute of repose for medical malpractice claims. No person may file more than five years from the date of the initial malpractice, regardless of the circumstances.
What to Do If Medical Malpractice Results in the Death of a Loved One
Some medical errors can be deadly, resulting in a serious injury, complication, or worsening illness that takes the life of a patient. If you lost a loved one due to the negligence of a medical professional, you have the right to pursue a specific type of legal claim against the person who was responsible. These cases fall under the definition of wrongful death.
If your loved one died as a result of medical malpractice, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is likely your optimal path to justice. However, there are specific rules regarding these claims that are important to understand.
What Is a Wrongful Death in Oregon?
Under Oregon law, a wrongful death is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another person. If the victim had survived the incident, he or she would have been eligible for a personal injury lawsuit. Wrongful deaths can be caused by negligence, intentional acts, or medical malpractice.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Oregon?
Because a deceased person is no longer able to represent his or her own interests in court, state laws limit who can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on his or her behalf. In Oregon, only the personal representative or executor of the deceased’s estate may file a lawsuit for a death caused by medical malpractice. If the deceased did not name a personal representative in his or her will, the court can appoint one for him or her.
Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice if You Consented to a Procedure?
Consent forms are used by hospitals and other medical facilities to protect themselves and their employees from liability. Patients are often asked to sign consent forms that state that they understand the risks of a procedure and agree to it anyway.
Even when a surgeon does everything right, a procedure can still result in poor outcomes. However, some surgeries end in serious complications and even death due to the negligence of surgeons, doctors, and other medical professionals. If you find yourself in this situation, you may wonder if you have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault provider.
Patients can sue for medical malpractice even if they signed consent forms—but eligibility for litigation will depend on the information contained in the document.
Medical Malpractice and Informed Consent
Doctors have a duty to obtain informed consent before performing a procedure on a patient. Patients must understand the risks of the procedure and be of sound mind when they agree to the treatment. As a result, consent forms are often very detailed and list all of the possible complications and side effects that are reasonably expected to arise from the procedure.
Hospitals and clinics often list as many conditions as possible in these documents to cover their legal bases. If a patient suffers a complication that is listed on this form, it would be extremely difficult to file a successful lawsuit against the medical provider.
For example, if a patient is having a tooth extracted, the consent form may list facial numbness as a potential side effect. Due to the consent form, the patient is not likely to win a lawsuit if he or she suffers from facial numbness after the procedure.
Consent Forms Do Not Shield Providers from Litigation Involving Negligence
While consent forms do shield hospitals and providers from liability for expected complications, they are protected from all lawsuits. These documents only account for complications that are known to arise during a medical procedure. If a surgeon, doctor, nurse, or another professional commits an act of negligence that harms a patient during treatment, the at-fault party could still face a medical malpractice lawsuit.
For example, say that a surgeon is performing a procedure on a patient who signed a consent form. However, the surgeon’s recklessness leads to surgical tools being left inside the patient’s body. The patient suffers from lacerations, organ damage, and severe internal bleeding as a result of the surgeon’s mistake.
Although the patient may have been informed about risks like blood clots, it is highly unlikely that the consent form listed any complications related to surgical tools. This error likely falls outside of this list. In this situation, the patient would be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon and recover fair compensation for their losses.
What If You Did Not Give Informed Consent for a Procedure?
Doctors are required to obtain informed consent before proceeding with treatment. A lack of informed consent may also be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, as long as the case meets the following criteria:
- The doctor failed to present the risks and benefits of the procedure and inform the patient of alternative options.
- If the doctor had adequately informed the patient about the procedure, he or she would have refused the treatment.
- The treatment contributed to the patient’s injury, even if it was appropriate and carried out without negligence.
Contact DuBois Law Group
If you believe that you are the victim of medical negligence, the attorneys at DuBois Law Group can help. Our lawyers can help you recover the compensation you deserve and hold the at-fault healthcare provider accountable for his or her actions. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and identify your optimal path forward. (503) 222-4411