Medical malpractice involves the failure to provide at least the minimum standard of care required under the circumstances. It generally consists of medical negligence that the plaintiff proves caused the serious injury or death to the patient. This is the general standard for finding medical malpractice in Oregon and all other jurisdictions.

Studies have recorded the main areas of malpractice. For example, it commonly involves mishaps such as failing to make a diagnosis, making the wrong diagnosis, surgical mistakes, medication errors, mistaken treatment protocols and anesthesia errors. There is a major segment of medical malpractice law that deals with negligent pre-natal care and botched child births. Within all of the foregoing categories there are many variations that can occur, and each case is generally different from all others.

A violation of the required standard of care is established by a plaintiff usually through the presentation of one or more expert reports. The experts are often leading scholars and practitioners in the disputed area or medical procedure in question. The written reports are provided to the defendants in the hope of obtaining a pre-trial settlement of the case.

In cases of exceptionally strong proof that the doctor or medical provider was negligent, and that the negligence caused the injury or death, clear and assertive medical reports may be strong enough to settle the claim prior to trial. In many cases, however, the defense will take the negotiations down to the start of trial before agreeing to pay a significant amount for the claim. One of the reasons for delaying the negotiations is that the defense will often have its own expert reports that at least partially dispute the findings of the plaintiff's experts.

Plaintiffs' attorneys in Oregon and elsewhere do not like to take on borderline cases, such as where the dispute between the experts could be resolved either way. They will select for trial only a strong, clear-cut case of medical malpractice that has good expert support. Even in those select few cases, the jury sometimes makes surprising conclusions and rejects the plaintiff's claim. Consequently, plaintiffs should seek out the most experienced and seasoned attorneys to evaluate and handle their potential claim.

Source: healthaim.com, "Medical Malpractice: What Victims Must Know", June 2, 2016