The State of Oregon has begun the process of creating a voluntary mediation program for medical malpractice claims.  Established by Senate Bill 483, which was signed into law in March of this year, the program creates a forum in which healthcare providers and patients can attempt to amicably resolve medical malpractice claims outside of the court system.  Under the program, when a patient believes they have been the victim of medical malpractice, they have the option of holding a discussion with the doctor or other healthcare provider they believe has injured them.  The conversation is completely confidential, and the parties have the option of having a mediator present.  The goal is to try to resolve claims before lawsuits are filed. 

Across the country, states have enacted various mechanisms to try to decrease the number of medical malpractice lawsuits.  Many, like those currently employed in Pennsylvania, are geared toward weeding out frivolous claims, while still allowing meritorious claims to make it to the courthouse.  Others, like the new Oregon program, focus on reducing medical malpractice lawsuits altogether by creating a process through which claims can be settled without the need of filing a lawsuit.  Either way, data shows that both efforts are effective at reducing overall numbers of malpractice lawsuits, and that this can be done without denying citizens their fundamental right to seek justice and fair compensation for their injuries. 

If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact the lawyers at Stark & Stark for a free consultation.