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Bill passed in Ore. aims to settle medical lawsuits efficiently

If facing an upcoming surgery, whether it's a major operation or a routine outpatient procedure, Denver residents may be feeling many different emotions. Many may be looking forward to ridding themselves of a painful medical condition. Others may fear that their condition will not improve, and some may be concerned about the possibility of a surgery mistake.

A recent bill passed in Oregon, which mirrors programs in Michigan and Illinois, aims to help those who have been victims of a careless surgeon or other medical errors by giving them options to settle a potential lawsuit prior to going to court. Oregon's State Bill 483-A will allow victims of malpractice and healthcare providers to meet in a confidential setting to discuss the lawsuit, possibly reducing the number of litigation cases throughout the state. 

Lawmakers say that the bill will help reduce the amount of time a patient has to wait for compensation from a medical error. While Colorado residents do not currently have the same option, if the program is successful, it may open doors for a similar law to be passed in other states in the future.

The prospect of surgery may be daunting, even in the best of circumstances when everything goes smoothly and there are no complications. But unfortunately, surgical errors can occur during a procedure. If this happens to a Colorado resident during an operation, he or she should contact an experienced attorney to discuss their options and begin the process of recovery.

Source: ModernPhysician.com, "New Ore. law offers med-mal alternative," Andis Robeznieks, March 19, 2013 

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