Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can occur as the result of one of three negligent acts by a physician or medical personnel. Those three acts are as follows:
- Failure to Diagnose: A medical malpractice claim may be in order if an attending physician fails to diagnose a patient’s illness, or wrongly diagnoses a patient’s illness, and if a competent doctor would have made the correct diagnosis, thereby leading to a better outcome than the one actually achieved.
- Improper Treatment: If a physician decides on an unethical treatment, or deviates from the standard of care normally applied when dealing with a patient’s particular condition – and if the unethical treatment failed to cure the patient or harmed them in any way – the patient may have a medical malpractice claim on their hands. Furthermore, if a physician improperly applies a standard method of treatment, the patient may file a medical malpractice claim.
- Failure to Warn a Patient of Known Risks: A doctor has a duty to his or her patients to warn them of known risks of a procedure or course of treatment, as well as a duty of care to warn them of the risks associated with not receiving care. If a patient would have acted differently had they known of the associated risks, the physician may be liable for medical malpractice.
Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Oregon
- Proof that a doctor-patient relationship existed: In order to file a medical malpractice claim in Oregon, you must first prove that the doctor under scrutiny is in fact your attending physician. This means that you hired him or her, and that they agreed to treat you. This agreement must be in writing, and may come in the form of a new patient agreement, medical records, a signed and dated HIPAA form, billing statement, or the like. You may not sue a doctor who gave you advice at a cocktail party, or who gave you advice over the phone.
- Proof that the doctor was negligent: You may not sue a doctor just because you were unhappy with the result achieved. In order for a physician malpractice claim to stand in court, it must be proved that the physician in question was negligent with your diagnosis and/or care. You must also show that the doctor caused you harm in a way that any other competent doctor would not have under the same circumstances, and that the doctor did not apply a reasonable degree of skill or care in his or her treatment of you.
- Proof that the doctor’s negligence was the cause of your injury: It is not enough to prove that the attending physician was negligent in his or her care of you; in addition, you must prove that their negligence was the cause of the injuries that you are claiming. You must be able to prove that it is “more likely than not” that your injuries are a direct result of negligence, and not just that your treatment did not turn out as you had hoped.
- Proof that the injury led to damages: Finally, you must be able to prove that your injuries led to specific damages, including:
- Physical pain;
- Emotional suffering;
- Additional medical bills;
- Lost wages or decreased earning capacity; and
Even if you were injured by your doctor, if that injury did not directly result in a decrease in lifestyle or altered state of living, a judge will likely not hear your medical malpractice suit.
How a Medical Malpractice Attorney can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered due to the negligent behavior of a physician or medical personnel, consult our physician malpractice attorney. At Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we can use our knowledge and resources to evaluate your claim, investigate the evidence, determine fault, and craft a compelling case in your favor. If you wish to file a physician malpractice claim in Portland, OR, contact our personal injury law firm at 503-546-3167 or fill out our free confidential case evaluation form.
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