Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Portland
Health care providers and medical institutions have an obligation to provide quality treatment and care to patients under their care. When a patient is injured or killed as a result of negligence, the at-fault health care provider can be held liable for medical malpractice. In this situation, it may help to consult with a trusted medical malpractice lawyer in Portland to discuss your legal options.
At Rizk Law, we understand the necessity of patients’ rights to hold health care providers liable for a medical error or negligence. If you or someone you love has suffered from substandard medical treatment, contact our Portland medical malpractice attorneys today. During a free, no obligation consultation, our attorneys will review your claim to help you determine if a health care provider is liable for the damages suffered by you or your loved one.
Since 2001, our accomplished Portland personal injury lawyers have dedicated their professional skills and experience to helping victims of negligence. We have decades of combined legal experience and will help you determine if you have a case against a negligent health care provider. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis. We will represent you at no upfront cost and only require payment if we recover compensation for you. Our medical malpractice lawyers in Portland are dedicated to helping you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.
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What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider’s negligence results in a patient suffering an injury, worsened condition or death. Typically, a medical error happens when a doctor, nurse, physician or other type of health professional displays a lack of caution in treating or diagnosing a patient.
However, it can be difficult to determine when a health care provider’s mistake could be considered a medical error. Certain elements must be present in your claim in order to hold a health care provider liable for medical malpractice:
- Doctor-patient relationship: A professional relationship existed in which the health care provider agreed to diagnose or treat the patient’s condition. Establishing a doctor-patient relationship shows that the doctor owed the patient a legal duty of care to ensure his or her safety.
- Proof of negligent care: The heath care provider that diagnosed or treated your condition provided care that fell below the standards held by the medical community. You can prove a breach of duty of care by showing that a competent health care provider with similar training and experience would have acted differently under the same or similar circumstances.
- Causation: The health care provider’s actions, or inaction, resulted in you suffering an injury or worsened condition. This will require you to show that a causal link exists between the health care provider’s negligence and your medical condition.
- Damages: You suffered monetary damages as a result of the health care provider’s negligence. Monetary damages include measurable losses and suffering you have experienced, such as suffering an injury, expenses incurred from medical treatment, and loss of income or ability to earn an income due to your medical condition.
Who Could Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice?
A medical error can occur at any stage of a patient’s treatment process. As a result, parties who could be held liable for medical malpractice include:
- OB GYNs
- Medical assistants
As experienced medical malpractice lawyers in Portland, we understand how to identify when a health care provider may be liable for medical negligence. We will carefully review your claim to determine if the four elements of medical malpractice may be present in your situation. If we believe you or your loved one may have suffered an injury, worsened condition or death due to a health care provider’s negligence, we will help you pursue every option available to obtain the compensation you need.
Free Case Evaluation form us to find out if you have a medical malpractice case.
Can a Hospital Be Liable for Medical Malpractice?
Hospitals have a legal obligation to provide patients under their care with the treatment and facilities they need to recover from their injury, illness or condition. This includes staying up-to-date on current medical procedures and ensuring staff members are qualified to handle patients’ needs.
Likewise, hospitals also have the following responsibilities to ensure patients receive the treatment and care they need:
- Overseeing each medical procedure that occurs within the hospital
- Replacing faulty or defective medical equipment
- Hiring competent and trained staff members and health care providers
- Adequately supervising their employees
- Maintaining effective operating equipment and medical machinery
- Maintaining a sterile and clean environment
Although you may have suffered an injury or worsened medical condition while being treated in a hospital, it may not always mean that the hospital is liable for medical malpractice. To be held liable for negligence, a hospital must have operated at a level that falls below the medical community’s standards.
There are several factors that may contribute to medical negligence, including:
- Understaffing: Hospitals must hire an adequate number of staff members who are able to tend to each patient’s needs. If a hospital lacks enough staff members to care for or treat its patients, it can be held liable for medical negligence.
- Unsanitary conditions: Hospitals are required to implement rules and procedures that help them maintain a sterile and clean environment. If patients are treated in an environment that is not clean or sterile, they may develop infections or their health issues could get worse.
- Undertrained or unqualified staff: Before hiring a staff member, hospitals must conduct a thorough background check to ensure the applicant’s experience and acquired skills match the position’s requirements. This includes looking into the applicant’s educational background and experience working in a medical environment. Furthermore, hospitals must discipline or terminate staff members who are unable to perform their position’s required duties.
- Failing to protect the safety of patients: Hospitals have a duty to ensure the safety and security of patients under their care. This includes protecting patients' personal information, such as their medical records, financial statements and identity. Additionally, hospitals must take steps to correct safety problems, such as removing slip and fall hazards and properly administering medications.
During your free consultation, a Portland medical malpractice attorney will review your claim to determine if the health care provider that treated you is employed by the hospital. If our investigation concludes that the hospital where you received treatment is responsible for its employee’s negligence, we will pursue the option of holding the hospital liable for medical malpractice.
Call 503.245.5677 to learn more about holding a hospital liable for medical malpractice.
Compensation for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
After suffering an injury or ailment caused by medical negligence, patients often incur significant expenses due to additional medical treatments and missing time from work. The purpose of a medical malpractice claim is to hold health care providers accountable for their negligence and to help the victim recover his or her financial losses.
There are several types of compensation you may recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit, including:
Patients who suffer from medical malpractice are often required to undergo additional medical treatment to correct the adverse conditions caused by their treating health care provider’s errors. As a result, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for the cost of the following types of past and future medical treatment:
- Surgical procedures
- Medical testing
- Medical imagining
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Prescription medication
- Mobility aids and medical assistive equipment, such as a wheelchair
- Doctors’ appointments, including examinations with medical specialists
Often, victims of medical malpractice are forced to miss work due to their injuries or extensive medical treatment needed to correct the medical error. Unfortunately, this may result in the victim losing significant income from being unable to work.
As part of your medical malpractice claim, your attorney will review the income you may have lost during the time you were receiving medical treatment or recovering from your injury. This may include reviewing your average wages to determine the amount of income you would have earned if you had not suffered your injury.
Patients may also suffer long-term or permanent effects that damage their ability to work. In this situation, we will consider pursuing compensation for loss of earning capacity. This may provide you with the amount of money you would have earned throughout your lifetime if you had not been injured.
Pain and Suffering
In some cases, the patient’s injury may be so critical that he or she suffers severe physical pain and emotional suffering. In this situation, our attorneys will help you determine if you may be entitled to pursue additional compensation for your pain and suffering from the at-fault party.
However, proving that you have experienced severe pain and suffering can be difficult. These types of damages are considered to be non-economic damages, which means there is no tangible evidence that provides a reference to the amount of money that would fairly compensate you for your suffering.
Our medical malpractice attorneys in Portland recommend several methods to help you document the pain and suffering you experience after a medical procedure. This may include keeping a daily journal where you describe how the injury or ailment you suffered has affected your life. This may include explanations about the pain you experience and whether you are physically incapable of performing simple tasks or participating in hobbies or activities you once enjoyed. Likewise, you may use your journal to describe the mental suffering you experience, such as emotional distress, depression or difficulty sleeping.
Oregon’s Cap on Non-Economic Damages
In Oregon, victims of medical malpractice may pursue an uncapped amount of compensation for their economic losses. This includes receiving compensation for the full amount of lost wages they suffered and the cost of their medical treatment. Patients may also file a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover full compensation for the pain and suffering they have experienced.
However, Oregon imposes a damages cap on the non-economic damages you may receive for a medical malpractice lawsuit that involves wrongful death. According to ORS § 31.710, the amount of compensation for non-economic damages involving wrongful death is limited to $500,000. Our attorneys will help you understand the correct amount of compensation you may be entitled to pursue and any factors that may affect the value of your case.
Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form today.
Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Victims of medical malpractice only have a limited amount of time to pursue compensation from the health care provider, hospital or medical institution that caused their injury or ailment.
In Oregon, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is two years from the date of the discovery of the injury or ailment, buy may not exceed more than five years from the date the medical error occurred, according to ORS § 12.110.
This means you must pursue a medical malpractice case within two years from the date you first discovered your injury. However, you may not take legal action to recover compensation if five years has passed since the act of medical negligence occurred. If you do not pursue your case within this timeframe, your case will likely be dismissed and you cannot obtain compensation from a lawsuit.
When you first discover you suffered an injury or ailment caused by a health care provider’s negligence, it is important to contact an experienced Portland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. He or she can help you understand the amount of time you have to file your claim and whether you have a case that could provide you additional compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Call 503.245.5677 if you believe you have a medical malpractice case.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Portland
If you or someone you love has been injured or suffered an ailment due to a health care provider’s negligence, contact Rizk Law to find out if you have a case.
Our reputable medical malpractice attorneys in Portland have helped numerous victims of medical negligence and will determine if we can assist you in recovering compensation for your claim. We provide free, no obligation consultations to help you understand which legal options may be available for you to pursue justice against the at-fault party.
All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis. We do not charge upfront legal fees and only require payment for representing you if we help you recover compensation. There is no risk in contacting us to find out if you have a case.
To get started, fill out our Free Case Evaluation form.