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  4.  – Does Oregon allow punitive damage awards in wrongful death cases?

Does Oregon allow punitive damage awards in wrongful death cases?

Medicine is not an exact science. There are risks that go along with any procedure and not all treatments can be guaranteed to deliver the expected or desired results. But that does not mean that individuals who place themselves in the hands of a licensed health care professional are casting their fates to the wind.

There is a justified expectation that when you go to your doctor or other care provider that you will be given all the information necessary to understand the risks of treatment so that you can make a truly informed decision. And then, there is the equally justified expectation that once the decision is made the provider will see that you receive, at the very least, the normal standard of care.

Where that standard is not met there is the possibility of a patient suffering injury or wrongful death. No award settlement in the event of the latter can ever serve to really compensate those who have lost a loved one for all the pain and suffering they endure.

Emotional support is something that has to be delivered at the personal level. Financial reparation remains the main means that the legal system offers for making sure that those who have lost a loved one due to negligence or reckless care get the material support they need to weather the moment and can try to look to the future.

Many are likely aware that Oregon law allows recovery of verifiable costs related to a personal injury claim and that noneconomic damages for personal pain and suffering are capped at $500,000. However, there are provisions in the law that may allow seeking punitive damages.

It requires the plaintiff to provide clear evidence of wrongdoing. In a medical malpractice claim that might mean showing that the provider acted recklessly or with indifference to the patient’s welfare. That can be challenging when doctors and hospitals become tight lipped after a procedure gone wrong.

To assess your situation and to ensure your rights when issues of this nature arise, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney.