Oregon Medical Malpractice: Laws, Claims and Damages
UPDATED: March 7, 2012
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OREGON MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
When a patient in Oregon has been injured by the medical negligence of a health care provider, the patient is eligible to recover damages through a medical malpractice suit. An Oregon health care provider that treats patients using substandard medical care is medically negligent if the treatment results in injury to the patient. Some common instances of medical negligence in Oregon include: Misdiagnosis, mistreatment, or failure to diagnose or treat a condition; birth injuries; or incorrect filling of prescriptions.
Who Can Be Sued in an Oregon Medical Malpractice Case?
If an individual or organization is licensed to treat or provide medical services to patients, they can be sued for medical malpractice. Some common examples of Oregon health care providers include specialists, pediatricians, doctors, dentists, surgeons, nurses, hospitals, medical groups, and clinics, free or otherwise. If you are unsure whether the party that caused an injury qualifies as a health care provider, contact an Oregon medical malpractice attorney.
Oregon Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
An Oregon medical malpractice claim must be filed within two years from the date of the discovery of the injury, but in no case may the claim be filed more than five years from the date of the negligent act, regardless of when the injury was discovered. For minors, the two-year statute of limitations does not start to run until they turn eighteen years of age, but the five-year limit from the time of the negligent act still applies.
Failure to file a medical malpractice claim within the statute of limitations may mean losing the only chance at recovery for your injuries. Once the statute of limitations has expired, the claim is barred from being filed. Therefore, it’s important to act quickly when you discover an injury caused by a health care provider’s negligence. When an injury occurs or is discovered, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims in Oregon
In Oregon, an injured patient may recover economic, noneconomic, and in some cases, punitive damages against a negligent health care provider. However, some limits do apply. Noneconomic damages – defined as damages for loss of consortium and pain and suffering – are limited to $500,000 per plaintiff.
Meanwhile, punitive damages can be awarded to punish a negligent health care provider if their acts are deemed to be intentional. However, Oregon does not allow the awarding of punitive damages against individual health care providers – but they are permitted against hospitals. Because of this important distinction, be sure to consult an experienced Oregon medical malpractice attorney to discuss the facts of your case.
Filing an Oregon Medical Malpractice Claim
Filing a medical malpractice claim – in Oregon or in any other state – is expensive and complicated. To make matters harder, the injured plaintiff almost always finds themselves up against a team of knowledgeable and experienced defense attorneys. To build a strong case for the plaintiff, expert witness testimony and depositions must be taken. Further, a series of appearances in court is usually necessary. Hiring an experienced Oregon medical malpractice attorney will provide you with expert leverage against the defense, and an attorney can help walk you through the complex procedures of a medical malpractice claim.
Finally, a medical malpractice attorney can help you identify other potential defendants besides the one that directly caused the injury. These additional defendants, such as the organization the individual health care provider works for or the manufacturer of the medical equipment involved in the injury, should be added to any claim to maximize the chances of a full monetary recovery. Contact an Oregon medical malpractice attorney immediately if you are interested in filing a medical malpractice claim.
Oregon Medical Malpractice Laws
- Advanced Directives for Health Care: Definitions: Chp. 127, §505.
- Limitations in Actions and Suits: Action for professional malpractice: Chp. 12, §110.
- Tort Actions: Damages: Chp. 31, §§700-740.