The COVID-19 crisis showed us that medical professionals like doctors and nurses are brave and incredibly hardworking. Most of the time, you can be sure that the healthcare professionals in your life are doing their best to help you, but there may be incidents where doctors, nurses, or medical institutions result in inadvertent harm rather than aid. Through negligence or error, medical professionals can hurt instead of heal, and those are the times when you might consider hiring a medical malpractice attorney in Oregon or wherever else it is you might be.
In the case you’ve suffered injury as a result of medical malpractice, it may be necessary for you to work with a medical malpractice attorney to help you be made whole again. In this blog, we’ll examine the following questions:
- What is medical malpractice?
- What are some common examples of medical malpractice?
- When should you hire a medical malpractice attorney?
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is harm done by a medical practitioner, from a doctor to an anesthesiologist to a nurse or nurse practitioner. In layman’s speak, medical malpractice can refer to any treatment from a medical professional that results in substandard care.
From a legal perspective, there are three key components to medical malpractice:
- There must be a relationship between doctor and patient. A medical professional who published a paper about a new treatment that wound up causing harm could not be accused of medical malpractice; only the doctor who recommended the treatment to their patient.
- The medical professional must have been negligent. A healthcare professional who can argue that they were doing their best for the patient would have a potent defense against malpractice. For instance, the doctor who recommended the revolutionary new treatment mentioned in the first point would have an argument against malpractice. Similarly, a neurologist on a plane flight who was asked to help a patient suffering a heart attack could plausibly argue that they didn’t have the tools or expertise to properly help.
- The negligence had a direct connection with the injury in question. The worst ophthalmologist in the world negligently giving an eye exam probably won’t be on the hook for medical malpractice if a patient has a heart attack while in their doctor’s office. Unless it can be shown that there is a direct line between negligence and harm, a medical malpractice claim is unlikely to stick.
What Are Common Types of Medical Malpractice?
Now that we’ve examined the criteria that define medical malpractice, let’s look at some of the most common types of malpractice that people might be unfortunate enough to encounter.
- Misdiagnosis. An incorrect diagnosis can cost people valuable time in pursuing the correct treatment, and in the worst cases, by the time the real problem is identified it may be too late.
- Medication. If a doctor prescribes you medication that has a poor reaction either with medication you’re already taking or a condition you’re known to have, then that is a classic example of malpractice.
- Birth injuries. Childbirth can be a very dangerous time for both parent and child. Improperly handled childbirth that leads to injury for either party can be certainly considered malpractice.
- Surgical mistakes. Errors during surgery that leave lasting harm instead of correcting the issue are a prime candidate for being considered medical malpractice.
When Should You Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Now that we’ve examined the sorts of scenarios that can be called medical malpractice, if you’ve encountered these situations, does that mean you should hire a medical malpractice attorney right away, whether you’re in Oregon or some other state?
The honest answer is “it depends.” If you think your case falls under the three criteria outlined in the first part of this post, then you certainly can consider hiring a medical malpractice attorney.
However, do keep in mind that medical malpractice can be difficult to prove and even with the best medical malpractice attorney in Oregon, you may be looking forward to a costly, prolonged legal battle. Therefore, if you believe you’ve suffered injury as a result of negligent care, your first step should be to file a medical malpractice claim with your state’s medical licensing board.
This will both inform your physician or health care facility that you are seriously unhappy with the quality of care received, and put pressure on them to reach an agreement that may result in your financial compensation without ever having to properly work with a medical malpractice attorney.
This will also result in your harm being officially investigated by the licensing bureau . While this may not directly result in restitution being made to you, it will make it more likely that harm does not come to any other people in the future as part of negligent behavior on the healthcare provider or institution.
Also, the medical licensing board can appoint an impartial arbitrator to analyze the facts and determine whether or not your medical malpractice case has enough substance to move forward, all without you having to spend a dime on a medical malpractice attorney.
However, if you do not have the time to wait for a medical licensing board to work, or if you believe your case is substantial, then you should contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as you see fit. Medical malpractice attorneys are excellent partners for navigating the complex world of medical malpractice, and they can put together documents or navigate the law in a way that benefits you.
A medical malpractice attorney perhaps should not be your first go-to option, but in the event that you have suffered real harm at the hands of a negligent medical professional, hiring a medical malpractice attorney is a no-brainer.
If you’re looking for a top-class medical malpractice attorney in Oregon, it’s time to contact Warren Allen, LLP. We can help you find the restitution you seek and make you whole again.