In May of 2017, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled in the case of, Joseph Smith v Providence Health and Services, that plaintiffs can sue not only for malpractice but have a right to seek damages for negligence that prevented to patient from treatment that allowed for a better medical outcome. In this case, the Supreme Court found that the plaintiff was harmed due to negligence of the doctor, which did not allow the patient to seek a more appropriate and potentially successful medical treatment. This means, in this example, the doctors did not diagnose the patient’s stroke due to multiple incomplete examinations and did not recommend or preform the necessary treatment, which did not allow the patient to seek treatment without permanent damage.
This is a small but significant change to the protections for Oregon residents who are facing potential lifelong consequences to a doctor failing to perform their due diligence. While this ruling will most likely only affect a small percentage of malpractice cases, the potential impact can be enormous if doctors take the ruling to heart and conduct thorough and complete evaluations for medical consumers. There is a tremendous amount of trust between doctors and patients. The release of new drugs, experimental treatment, medical trials, and a confusing and complicated insurance system makes navigating the health care system in America difficult at best. Thus, as the court ruled, the patient has a right to seek damages not only on negligence in direct medical treatment but also the failure of the physician recognize a medical condition that results in lasting damage.
Doctors are recognized as experts in their field and we trust them with the health and well-being of ourselves and families. However, if you or a loved one are victims of medical malpractice you deserve a chance for compensation and justice. If you feel that you have been hurt by the negligence of a medical professional or facility call the offices of Johnson Law today and find out how we can fight on your behalf.