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What’s the Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Negligence?

Medical professionals are subject to a duty of care for patients, and failure to do so can result in serious injury, death, or irreparable damage. Regardless of intent, healthcare providers are held liable for their actions when their mistakes inflict serious harm on a patient. While both medical malpractice and negligence involve a breach of duty owed to a patient, action or inaction that led to serious injury or death, and resulting damages, there are key differences that can impact filing a case.

Understanding Medical Negligence

A medical professional doing surgery on a patient

Negligence refers to a doctor’s failure to provide the standard of care, which could include the failure to recognize and diagnose symptoms, performing a surgical error, and any acts of carelessness, omission, or oversight that led to injury. In these circumstances, the professional’s action or inaction is the result of unknowingly causing harm through simple ignorance or failing to take action when needed.

Understanding Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice lawsuits are distinct from other personal injury cases, and courts typically require an expert witness testimony. The expert witness must be a professional in a related field regarding the nature of the victim’s injury. Negligence is a component of medical malpractice; however, negligence typically involves a mistake that unintentionally causes harm. Medical malpractice refers to an instance of a medical professional knowingly choosing not to follow the proper standard of care. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the medical professional had malicious intent, but they were aware of alternatives that could have prevented the patient’s injuries.

Count on Leav & Steinberg to Help Build Your Case

Proving a medical malpractice case is extremely difficult without professional legal counsel on your side, and a patient’s injuries do not have to be fatal to build a strong case. Leav & Steinberg LLP offers decades of combined experience for our clients in New York, and our team of highly attentive attorneys has helped them win millions in medical malpractice and negligence settlements and verdicts. When you work with our firm, you’ll have a team behind you that includes a lawyer and a paralegal that will communicate with you throughout the process and be readily accessible. Request your free legal consultation today to discuss your claim and find out if you have a case.