Medical Negligence Laws in Portland

Are You Aware of Your Rights Regarding Medical Negligence in Portland?

In Portland, medical negligence laws ensure that the rights and safety of patients are protected. These laws govern the legal responsibilities of healthcare providers and institutions and the rights of patients who have experienced harm due to medical malpractice.

Understanding the medical negligence laws in Portland can help protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you are owed. Let’s explore medical malpractice, the elements needed to prove negligence, the Statute of Limitations, and filing a claim in this article.

What is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence is when a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare professional fails to provide appropriate medical care and causes injury or death to a patient. The failure can result from their negligence or incompetencies in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, health management, or medication errors. [1]

What is Medical Negligence?

Elements Required to Prove a Medical Malpractice Claim

To successfully file a claim for medical malpractice, it is necessary to prove the following elements of negligence: 

  • The individuals responsible for your care owe you a duty of care (standard of care)
  • They did not meet that standard of care (breach of duty)
  • As a consequence of that failure, you suffered harm (causation) and have sustained a quantifiable injury (damages) [2]

Standard of Care

Medical providers licensed to practice medicine or podiatry by the Oregon Medical Board have the duty to use that degree of care, skill, and diligence used by ordinarily careful healthcare professionals in a healthcare facility with the same or similar circumstances in the community of the healthcare professional. [3]

Breach of the Duty

A breach of duty occurs when medical experts fail to provide treatment that aligns with the established level of care expected at a particular stage. This standard is not a rigid, one-size-fits-all measure; instead, it adapts to the circumstances, considering the prevailing medical knowledge, accepted practices, and the specific details of patient care.


Causation in medical negligence involves linking the provider’s actions or omissions to the patient’s harm, showing a direct link between the medical professional’s conduct and the patient’s negative outcome. Demonstrating causation involves showing that the healthcare provider’s breach of duty directly led to the patient’s injury or worsened condition.

Statute of Limitations for Filing Medical Negligence Claims in Portland

The Statute of Limitations for medical negligence claims refers to the specific time-period within which a patient must file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a healthcare provider or medical facility. Once this period has elapsed, the patient loses the legal right to pursue legal action for the alleged instances of negligence.

You must file medical malpractice lawsuits for the following within two years from when the injury was discovered or should have been reasonably discovered:

  • Medical treatment
  • Surgical errors
  • Dental treatments
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Medical procedures [4]

If the cause of action occurs while the person is a child under 18, the Statute of Limitations may be put on hold until they turn 18. However, the medical malpractice time limit for filing a lawsuit may not be extended for more than five years or more than one year after the person turns 18, whichever comes first. [5]

If a person has a mental disability that prevents them from understanding their rights when the cause of action occurs, the Statute of Limitations for commencing the action is paused until the person no longer has the disability.

The time limitations for commencing the action may not be extended for more than five years or more than one year after the person no longer has the disability, whichever occurs first. [5]

Statute of Limitations for Filing Medical Negligence Claims in Portland

Types of Damages Awarded in a Medical Malpractice Case in Portland, Oregon

In Oregon, damages awarded in a case related to medical errors can include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

  • Economic Damages: A specific monetary value that can be proven through bills, receipts, and other documentation. If you were a medical malpractice victim of malpractice, you may be eligible for various economic damages, including medical bills, loss of income, disability, etc.
  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Intangible losses like pain and emotional suffering. These are difficult to quantify as they don’t have a precise dollar value. Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, etc.

    Portland, Oregon law specifies that in any civil action for bodily injury, emotional distress, death, or property damage, the maximum amount awarded for non-economic damages is $500,000. It includes claims for loss of care, comfort, companionship, society, and consortium. [6]

  • Punitive Damages: In Oregon, awarding punitive damages against healthcare professionals is usually prohibited. [7]

Contact Goldberg & Loren’s medical malpractice attorneys in Portland today for legal advice regarding whether filing a malpractice case might be appropriate for you.


Determining the validity of a medical negligence claim involves assessing whether a healthcare professional breached their duty of care, resulting in harm.
In Portland, the Statute of Limitations for medical negligence lawsuits is two years from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury. Consult with our legal professional in Portland to ensure compliance with deadlines and gather necessary evidence for your case.


[1] Brazier, Y. (2023, June 8). What is medical malpractice?

[2] Medical Malpractice. (n.d.).

[3] ORS 677.095 – Duty of care. (n.d.).

[4] ORS 12.110 – Actions for certain injuries to person not arising on contract. (n.d.).

[5] ORS 12.160 – Suspension for minors & persons who have disabling mental condition. (n.d.).

[6] ORS 31.710 – Limitation on award for noneconomic damages in claim for wrongful death. (n.d.).

[7] ORS 31.740 – When award of punitive damages against health practitioner prohibited. (n.d.).

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