Medical Negligence vs Malpractice: What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between medical negligence and malpractice? To the average person, it probably doesn’t matter: both mean that someone’s medical care got botched and there should be hell to pay. Shift the perspective over to a court of law or insurance company, however, and the question takes on some more meaning.

That said, a lot of people don’t know the exact differences between the two terms. So what are they?

Well, we’re glad you asked. It’s time to take a look at medical negligence vs. malpractice and find out what the difference is! But first, we need to determine what these terms represent…

Medical Negligence vs. Malpractice

The primary difference between the two terms falls into how the medical accident came to pass. Medical negligence means your doctor either made a mistake with your care or forgot to take a certain step. This was under the belief that you had a disorder that wasn’t there (or was something else) or plain forgetfulness.

They were wrong and could have caused you harm with their incorrect assessment. But, they genuinely believed they were doing the correct thing. These range anywhere from incorrect doses to forgetting to tell you any steps you should take after surgery to heal.

Malpractice, on the other hand, is the result of your doctor knowing a procedure or medication isn’t needed (or has consequences they don’t tell you) but putting you through it anyway. This can range anywhere from unneeded surgeries (so they can charge you a ton of money) to put you on the wrong medication. 

However, it’s important to note does not mean that your doctor wants to harm you. Instead, it only deals with your doctor knowingly putting you through something without disclosing negative side effects or that the procedure was unneeded. If your doctor did intend to hurt you, that carries over into a murder or involuntary manslaughter charge.

How This Applies in the Courtroom

Within a court, you’ll need to prove how your case qualified as malpractice or medical negligence. To do so, make sure you keep detailed records of everything that happens in your medical care: doctor’s notes, receipts, etc. These documents are critical to letting a judge and/or jury decide whether your case possesses grounds to warrant such charges. 

You’ll also need an exact representation of the damages you are seeking. This means pulling up your medical bills and calculating what income you lost as a result of negligence or malpractice.  Finally, make sure you’ve brushed up on exactly what to know about medical negligence and malpractice law so you don’t miss the window of timing to take action or other critical information.

The Fight for Justice

And there you have it! Now that you know all about medical negligence vs. malpractice and what the differences are, you’re prepared to start the fight for your justice should such a tragedy ever befall you! And if you want to learn more about law and your rights as a citizen, make sure to check out the other articles on our website!