If you or a family member experienced injury as a result of health care provider negligence, you may have a medical malpractice case. Oregon residents must file a legal claim within two years of discovering the injury and no more than five years after it occurred. When the injured person is younger than 18, he or she has five years to file the lawsuit after turning 18.
Before moving forward, learn more about how to file this type of lawsuit in Oregon.
Criteria for a claim
In general, the plaintiff must prove that he or she had a clinical relationship with the health care provider. With the help of medical expert testimony, he or she must establish the standard of care and illustrate the ways in which the health care provider violated that standard. The plaintiff must also prove that these negligent actions resulted in personal injury and resulting economic damages.
Oregon does not limit economic damages in a medical malpractice case. This category includes the actual costs resulting from the injury, including job loss, medical bills and transportation costs to access health care.
The limit for noneconomic damages in Oregon is $500,000. This category includes loss of care, loss of guidance, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
Liability and comparative negligence
Oregon practices comparative fault when the court finds that a plaintiff has less than 50% fault for his or her injury. For example, if the judge finds the plaintiff has 30% of fault for failing to seek necessary emergency care, he or she would receive 30% of the damage award.
The court can also find more than one person liable for medical malpractice. In this case, the judge will divide the damage award among the defendants based on fault percentage. For example, if you receive a $100,000 medical malpractice award and three doctors shared equal fault, each would pay 33.33% of the cost. If one provider goes bankrupt, the others remain responsible for the full cost.