Medical Negligence vs. Malpractice

Medical Negligence vs. Malpractice: What Are the Differences?

Over 1/3 of physicians, or 34%, have had a medical liability lawsuit filed against them at some point in their careers. Although medical negligence cases seem rare, the threat of litigation proves otherwise.

If you obtained injury while under the care of a healthcare professional, you might have grounds for a medical negligence or malpractice case like many others. These cases are hard to win, but attempting is the first step.

Before hiring a lawyer, understand the differences between medical negligence vs. malpractice.

What Is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence refers to when a medical professional or healthcare provider fails to provide the standard of care that results in injury or harm to a patient.

The four elements of medical negligence include:

  1. Duty
  2. Breach
  3. Injuries
  4. Damages

Duty refers to the standard of care established between a provider and their patients.

Once duty is defined, it must get shown that there is a breach of that duty that has occurred between both parties. The breach is typically shown when a medical professional outlines if they would have responded the same in the situation.

The patient in question must have sustained injuries or fallen ill because of the breach. Damages refer to economic or non-economic losses as a result of the injury.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice follows the same four elements but the key difference is that the medical professional intended to breach the standard of care.

A medical professional, like a pharmacist, doctor, or nurse, will fail to provide a patient with accepted practice and causes harm or even death in malpractice cases. Common examples of this include:

  • Performance of the wrong medical procedure
  • Patient suicide
  • Surgery performed on the wrong part of the body

These can occur when a medical professional knowingly didn’t fall within the standard of care.

Medical malpractice does not assume malicious intent to cause harm. Instead, it implies that the medical professional knew a mistake could have been prevented if alternative measures were taken.

The difference focuses on the medical professional and not what injuries the victim incurs. When it comes to medical negligence vs. malpractice, the patient always suffers harm.

To win a medical malpractice case, medical negligence has to be proven. You’ll need help from medical malpractice attorneys as these cases tend to be complex and hard to win.

Medical Negligence vs. Malpractice: Do You Have a Case?

If you were harmed by a medical professional who breached the patient standard of care, you might have grounds for a case. Knowing the differences between medical negligence vs. malpractice can help you decide.

The key difference between the two is intent. While medical negligence is a mistake, medical malpractice refers to an intention that leads to patient injury whether malicious or not.

In either case, you’ll need to hire a lawyer to help you win your case and receive the compensation you deserve.

For more free legal advice and resources, check out the other posts on our website.

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