We have all come to rely upon professionals – whether in medicine or law – to provide reliable and accurate help. For the most part, that is what we are given. However, if you feel that an attorney or doctor acted improperly and caused you harm, you might have a malpractice suit.
Medical Malpractice Attorney Portland | Jonathan Friedman
case. It’s different than a car crash.To prove a medical malpractice case, you have to hire similarly-situated professionals to come in and testify about the conduct of the first doctor. So we’ll use orthopedists as an example. You say that your doctor said he could perform a knee surgery, and it was going to be a piece of cake, and instead he did something, and you’re now crippled. That’s a serious injury, obviously.
The first question is: Is it repairable? Can a subsequent surgery fix what the first doctor did? If the answer to that is no and you’re left with a life-altering, permanent injury, you may have a cost-effective claim that should be brought. With medical malpractice cases, you actually have to try and think about okay, yes, you have a claim, but is it a cost-effective claim to bring?
The reason for that is, since you have to hire other doctors to testify about your doctor’s conduct, it’s unbelievably expensive; typically, between $50,000 and $100,000 in costs — and that’s got nothing to do with attorney fees — it is just to hire the doctors to come to court and testify on your behalf. Lawyers only get paid if you win and then the lawyer typically takes a percentage of the recovery.And the doctors you hire as your experts to talk about the doctor who treated you and malpracticed on you, have to talk first about the community standard of care. So in Portland, we’re the 26th largest city in America, which means there’s a national standard of care. Therefore, one would expect the highest level of care. You might have a different situation if you were in Baker City or Burns or Klamath Falls, but if you’re in Portland and you feel you have a malpractice claim, the standard of care is: did the doctor who treated you meet the standard of care which doctors follow in Portland’s Metropolitan Area.If the answer to that is no, then the next question is basically one of medical negligence. Did the doctor do something the doctor should not have done or fail to do something the doctor should have done? If the answer is yes, the doctor was negligent, then we turn, again, to causation. What, if any, injury was caused you as a consequence of the doctor falling below the standard of care and committing malpractice? And once you’ve determined what injury was caused you, then and only then does it finally get to a jury to assess what are the damages that would make for fair compensation for the harm that the doctor who caused these problems for you has created.You never get to a jury to assess damages unless you have doctors come and say that your doctor fell below the community standard of care, was negligent and caused injury. There are many, many instances where people will call me and tell me something that is really frightening and clearly shouldn’t have happened.I’m not a doctor. I’m a lawyer who has been doing this kind of work for 30 years. I need to hire doctors to tell me about the standard of care. I need doctors to tell me about medical negligence, but certain times, you know, you get the sense immediately this shouldn’t have happened, but what results is perhaps somebody, in a subsequent procedure, within a month of the bad situation, does something to fix it. So you have a one month injury really.In such a situation, you don’t want to spend $50,000 or $100,000 litigating a case where a jury might come back and feel like they’ve done well by you and given you $25,000 – which is a whole lot of money – but it’s not enough money. In fact, it’s left you upside down if you spend $50,000 or $100,000 trying to bring that claim. As a consequence, most experienced and competent medical malpractice lawyers first will meet with you and then gather all medical records and hire a medical professional to get an initial opinion to determine the validity of the claim. Once that’s done, a lawyer will make an assessment as to how to proceed. Doctors don’t like to settle cases. Doctors, if they do settle a case, have to report it when they seek hospital privileges every two years that they have paid money in a settlement.Medical malpractice cases are very serious, given the cost of bringing such a claim – and a cost effective claim requires a very serious injury to bring a lawsuit.
Medical Malpractice (aka. “Med Mal”)
Medical malpractice is negligence typically committed by a doctor whose performance of duties departs from a standard of care of those with similar training and experience in the same community, resulting in harm. Most medical malpractice cases are based on the concept of negligence; that is, the patient was harmed because the health care provider either did something no reasonable doctor would do or failed to do something any reasonable doctor would do – and thereby caused an injury. Instances of medical malpractice might include misdiagnosing an injury or illness because routine tests and procedures were not followed, or prescribing a drug not approved for the patient’s condition.
If you think that you are the victim of medical malpractice, contact us immediately.