Timeline of an Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

If you suspect that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you may be wondering what it will take to settle your case. When you are facing health difficulties, especially due to the wrongdoing of someone else, you need to seek legal counsel about how to move forward. It is helpful to understand the order of events and the timeline you can expect when facing a medical malpractice suit.

As a rule, we trust healthcare professionals with our lives with the expectation that they will improve our health and make our lives better. When they fail us, we can be left with dire consequences. Speak to a lawyer with Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC about your Portland medical malpractice lawsuit today.

What is Medical Malpractice?

In the United States, medical malpractice suits are brought before the court regularly. Our legal system allows for tremendous amounts of discovery and handles negotiations between the parties involved in hopes that a settlement can be agreed upon before the case is heard by a jury. Injured patients are required to demonstrate that the medical professional who was in charge of their care behaved with negligence and that the negligence caused them to be injured.

When proving that medical malpractice occurred, four factors must be demonstrated. These elements are as follows:

  1. The physician or healthcare provider owed a professional duty to their patient.
  2. Said healthcare provider or physician breached the duty they owed to that patient.
  3. Because of the breach of duty, the patient was injured.
  4. The resulting injury resulted in damages to the patient.

Types of Damages Caused by Medical Malpractice

The damages experienced by a patient due to medical malpractice can be difficult to overcome and have long-lasting repercussions. Some of the damages that the patient may seek in a medical malpractice lawsuit are economic, while others are non-economic. Below, both types of damages are detailed.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the easiest to calculate when determining how much to ask for in a settlement package. Economic damages directly correlate to economic losses. These damages consist of the following:

  • Medical costs: Often, when medical malpractice occurs, the medical care to correct what was done wrong can be extensive. Any treatments, medications, surgeries or procedures, medical devices, and medical equipment add to the cost of recovery, and the patient should be compensated for it.
  • Home alterations: If the incident of medical malpractice caused the type of injury that requires the home to be altered to accommodate the patient, the patient should be eligible for reimbursement. This includes things like grab bars, handrails, ramps, widened doorways, and bathroom remodeling.
  • Therapy: Therapy may be necessary to overcome the mistake made by a medical practitioner. This might include physical, psychological, or occupational therapy.
  • Household services: The cost of household services that may be necessary post-injury can mount quickly and should be considered when determining how much a claim is worth.
  • Lost wages: When you are out of work due to a medical malpractice injury, you deserve reimbursement for the wages you are not able to collect. Your earning potential may be compromised by the injury, and this should factor into your settlement as well.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate as they do not directly correspond to an economic loss. They cover the diminished quality of life and the pain that is experienced due to the injury. Some examples of non-economic damages are listed below:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of community
  • Loss of consortium
  • Physical impairment
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional anguish
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Damage to the victim’s reputation

Paulson Coletti Trial Attorney PC, will provide you with a comprehensive review of your case and ensure that we pursue the maximum damages possible for your medical malpractice case in Oregon.

Expected Timeline for Oregon Medical Malpractice Cases

Infrequently, medical malpractice cases make it to trial. There are numerous opportunities to reach a settlement agreement prior to going to court. Listed below are the steps that can be expected in a medical malpractice lawsuit:

  • Once you have retained counsel, your attorney will thoroughly examine your medical records, bills, and documentation you have reporting loss of wages and procedures you may have undergone, along with mobility devices and medical appliances that may have been necessary. They will also note any therapy or care you received.
  • The discovery stage happens next. Both sides exchange evidence and questions. Each side has an opportunity to depose all parties involved and the witnesses.  Expert witnesses will be heard, and opinions can be presented about the negligence that may have been committed.
  • After each side sees the other side’s case, they have an opportunity to negotiate a fair settlement based on this knowledge. The healthcare professional or entity will typically make a settlement offer at this point, usually a lowball one.
  • Your attorney can offer you guidance on what a fair settlement would be. Your medical malpractice attorney will have a good idea about whether you have a winnable case and if the offer is a good one. However, you will choose whether or not to accept the offer or to proceed to court.
  • Having your day in court will give your attorney an opportunity to present your story. They will detail your injuries, their cause, and how your life was impacted due to those injuries. You will testify before the court, and your family may too to describe how you have all suffered due to the medical negligence you experienced.
  • The jury will decide if medical malpractice occurred, and you will be awarded an amount for your claim.
  • If the defendant disagrees with the findings of the court, they may choose to appeal the case to a higher court.
  • If there is no appeal, you will collect the money you are owed.

Medical malpractice cases can be long and arduous. It is impossible to accurately estimate how long a case will take without knowing the specifics of your case.

Speak to Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC Today

Reach out to Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC today to speak with an experienced trial lawyer who has experience handling medical malpractice and personal injury cases in Portland. We are here to protect your rights and help you to secure the maximum compensation available.