When a person suffers an injury or dies due to the actions of a health care provider, it can be categorized as either medical malpractice or medical negligence. However, there are differences between each type of wrongdoing.
Comparing Medical Negligence & Medical Malpractice
A medical professional is guilty of negligence when he/she deviates from the accepted medical standard of care and indirectly causes a patient to suffer serious or fatal injuries. In this case, the professional doesn’t intentionally harm the patient, rather does so due to ignorance and/or lack of action. Cases of medical negligence typically involve unintentional errors or oversights.
By contrast, medical malpractice is the breach of the duty of care by a health care provider or medical facility. The difference between negligence and malpractice is that the latter has an element of “intent.” The doctor or provider knew he/she should’ve done or not done something to treat the patient, but failed to do so knowing his/her failure may cause harm to the patient. Although the doctor or provider did not intend to harm the patient, it was intentional because he/she knew that by doing so the risk of harm was present.
Simply put, medical negligence becomes medical malpractice when the doctor or provider’s negligent treatment causes undue injury to the patient, either making the patient’s condition worse or causing unexpected complications that require further medical treatment. In essence, medical malpractice is a subcategory of medical negligence.
How to Succeed in a Medical Malpractice or Negligence Case
If you have suffered an injury caused by the actions of a health care provider, you may be able to receive compensation for your losses. Yet, winning a medical negligence or malpractice case is difficult. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can make a substantial difference in your case.
For more information about medical malpractice, contact our Norman personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. today.