Medical Negligence And Medical Malpractice: A Look At The Differences & Similarities


When you go to seek medical care, you rely on the people providing care to treat you properly. Unfortunately, even medical care providers can make mistakes, and when they do, the results can be critical or fatal. Medical malpractice and medical negligence claims are designed to help patients who find themselves in a situation when they have been hurt during medical care. Take a look at some of the differences and similarities between medical malpractice and medical negligence claims. 

Medical negligence does not have intent, but malpractice can. 

One of the big differentiating factors between medical negligence and medical malpractice is one little thing: intent. Negligence is usually something that happens inadvertently. For example, if a surgeon accidentally leaves an instrument inside a patient during a procedure, they did not intend to do so but the negligence still caused the patient harm. Medical malpractice means that a physician knew they should have handled something in a different way but they didn't do it. For example, if a doctor sees a patient needs to be connected to oxygen, but doesn't take the time to instruct nurses to do so because they are in a hurry, this would be medical malpractice. 

Medical negligence and medical malpractice can have similar outcomes in court. 

Whether a medical situation has intent involved or not, patients can suffer severe injuries in the process. These injuries are examined in court and it is determined if the medical practitioner or facility is at fault or responsible. If so, the client may be awarded monetary compensation to help cover things like:

  • lost wages or loss of employment 
  • medical bills
  • pain and suffering

Medical malpractice and negligence can both be associated with a wrongful death claim. 

In the most severe situations, both negligence and malpractice can lead to the loss of a patient. In these cases, the family can sue due to wrongful death because their loved one died as a result of improper medical care. Personal injury lawyers who handle these types of claims help families seek compensation to cover things like the loss of one of the incomes in a family that would have provided for everyone. 

Overall, medical malpractice and negligence claims can have similarities and differences. If you feel you or a family member has been improperly treated by a doctor or medical facility or staff member, reach out to a personal injury attorney like those at Siben & Siben LLP for advice. 


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