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Health care providers and the duty of care

As many Oregon patients know, a medical malpractice lawsuit is a lengthy process. It must be initially established that the health care providers involved in the case actually owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. The appropriate level of care must also be determined and if this level of care was not met, the health care provider could be found to have committed medical negligence.

There are several steps that must be taken in order to prove that the health care provider owed a duty of care to the injured patient. First, it must be proven that the patient was under the care of the health care provider when the alleged malpractice took place. This can be determined from medical records. However, testimony can also be used and can include the fact that treatment with a certain health care provider was ongoing or that the patient specifically chose a certain health care provider for treatment of a specific condition.

In order to defend themselves against malpractice allegations, health care providers will have to provide proof that they used the same degree of skill and care that an average practitioner in the same type of practice would normally use. The amount of specialized knowledge available to the health care provider at the time the alleged malpractice took place is also taken into consideration.

These issues must be a part of any lawsuit that alleges hospital negligence or medical malpractice. An attorney who has experience in this type of litigation can assist the patient in demonstrating that the standard of care was not lived up to through an examination of the plaintiff’s medical records and by obtaining the opinions of medical experts.