Medical errors are one of the top causes of death in the United States. This is where the medical malpractice vs negligence conversation starts. Both actions cause harm to the patient and can lead to long-term physical, mental, and financial damage.
When dealing with either medical malpractice or negligence you need to identify which occurred. From there you need to seek legal advice from a lawyer. They’ll review your case, explain your options to you, and help you seek compensation.
Keep reading to find out more about the difference between medical malpractice and negligence.
What Is Medical Negligence?
Negligence in general is used to describe someone’s carelessness or recklessness that causes injury. Negligence is broken down into four parts, generally, a lawyer needs to prove these points in order for you to receive compensation. The four parts are:
- The person or institute in question has a legal duty to protect your safety
- This legal duty was breached
- You were injured during the breach
- The breach was the cause of your injury
When it comes to medical negligence the person or institute in point 1 refers to any medical professionals and institutes. This includes doctors, nurses, technicians, hospitals, etc.
To establish a breach your lawyer will need to detail how the professional’s actions differed from an accepted medical standard of care. Generally, their actions will be compared to other medical professionals to see if they would have acted similarly.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Without medical expertise, it can be difficult to determine if medical negligence occurred. The only difference between negligence and malpractice is intent. Medical malpractice is an intentionally negligent action by a doctor or medical provider.
If you believe you have suffered medical negligence you need to contact a medical malpractice lawyer. It’s also a good idea to ask another physician for a second opinion. The physician can tell you how they would have approached the situation and this knowledge can help you decide on the road forward.
To get compensation for medical malpractice a lawyer will need to prove the same points detailed for medical negligence. Since medical malpractice is a graver charge than medical negligence, the compensation will usually reflect that.
It’s important to seek help as soon as possible. In general, you have two years to file a medical malpractice or medical negligence lawsuit after you’ve discovered an injury. This filing deadline is set by a law known called a “statute of limitations.”
Understanding Medical Malpractice vs Negligence
It can be difficult to distinguish the difference between negligence and medical malpractice. The intent is the primary difference when it comes to medical malpractice vs negligence. While both actions negatively affect the patient, it’s important to understand the intent behind the action in order to get help.
If you’re a victim of medical malpractice, you can file a claim for compensation. Contact us to get the process started. At WestLoop Law, we want you to feel confident that your legal rights are being protected.