When you seek help from a doctor, you expect the best possible care. However, what you should get and what you do get won’t always match up.
In some cases, you may need to seek compensation for negligence or malpractice. But what is the difference between negligence and malpractice, anyway?
It’s a complicated and thin line, but keep reading as we do our best to make it understandable.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence occurs when a person makes a mistake that could’ve been avoided in the first place had the medical professional provided adequate care in the first place.
Let’s say you’re going into the hospital for surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon performing your operation is distracted or impaired. As a result, they make a mistake
It sounds crazy, but it happens all the time. There are even instances of doctors leaving full-on medical instruments in patients. One woman had a surgical sponge inside of her for six years!
What Is Malpractice?
For this article, we’ll define malpractice as improper care from a licensed professional.
So, what is medical malpractice?
Say you seek medical treatment for a suspicious-looking mole. During your consultation, the doctor tells you it’s nothing to worry about.
A few months later, you’re in the hospital. It turns out, the mole was cancerous. If caught earlier, you would’ve been able to start treatment sooner.
One of the most common examples of medical malpractice is a misdiagnosis. Note that this is different from a difference of opinion.
In this instance of a misdiagnosis, the doctor likely failed to take proper care of the patient by not asking certain questions or refusing to give the patient adequate time or care.
Misdiagnosis is more than just a mistake. These are serious, life-altering gaffs that can permanently ruin one’s quality of life.
As this article from Gadsbywicks.co.uk points out, there are multiple ways to seek compensation for medical negligence. If you can prove that the medical professional who cared for you or your loved one failed to live up to their expected duty, you can seek general damages, as well as specialized damages.
The latter includes things like expected lost wages, which is quite important if you think you’ll lose out on work.
As for malpractice, things are unsurprisingly a bit more complicated. The plaintiff must prove that the specific injury or accident occurred due to a mistake made by a doctor or medical facility staff member. Often, malpractice is harder to prove.
In contrast, negligence is a bit easier, although robust proof is required. You’ll need to prove that your case meets the four pillars of negligence:
In short, you must prove that you were harmed upon agreeing to seek treatment and that the breach of duty was the direct cause of your harm.
Exploring the Difference Between Negligence and Malpractice
We hope we’ve provided a thorough explanation of the difference between negligence and malpractice. If you have any questions, think about consulting a personal injury attorney for clarification.
And don’t forget, we have plenty of other helpful articles! Be sure to check back with our blog for more content!