In a move that will undoubtedly change the face of medical malpractice litigation in Oregon, the state House recently passed a bill offering mediation of medical malpractice claims. This was the bill’s final step before reaching the desk of Oregon’s governor. Senate Bill 483 easily passed the Senate and House. It is expected that Gov. John Kitzhaber will soon sign the bill into law.
The new law was developed to address concerns about malpractice lawsuits and it could head off future claims. Under Senate Bill 483, patients, health care providers and medical facilities can enter into confidential negotiations that may avoid medical malpractice claims concerning hospital negligence and other issues. As of now, it is unknown the future impact the bill will have on mediation of claims and the filing of medical malpractice lawsuits.
Despite the passage of the new bill, medical malpractice continues to be a problem for Oregon patients. On a daily basis, patients suffer from hospital negligence, pharmaceutical errors and doctor mistakes. Perhaps one of the most heartbreaking areas involves birth injuries to innocent newborns and their mothers. Despite the probable change in law concerning mediation of medical malpractice claims, it’s important for patients to be aware that they have legal rights if they are injured due to medical malpractice.
In some cases, it may be possible to mediate or settle the malpractice claim outside of the courtroom. In cases that are unable to settle, the skill and expertise of a knowledgeable malpractice attorney becomes invaluable. A malpractice attorney can help protect the rights of innocent patients who suffer injury at the hands of negligent healthcare workers and facilities, and can also help recover the maximum amount of compensation for injured patients.
Source: The Oregonian, “Medical malpractice mediation bill passes Oregon House,” Christian Gaston, Mar. 12, 2013