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If a healthcare professional makes an error or is negligent, it can be devastating for their patients. People often think medical malpractice and medical negligence are the same; however, they have some key differences. Continue reading to learn more.
Medical Malpractice vs. Medical Negligence
Medical malpractice specifies intent. All medical providers owe their patients a duty of care, and if that duty is breached with intentional disregard for the patient’s safety, it is considered medical malpractice. Medical negligence means a healthcare provider’s practice fails to meet an accepted medical standard. This implies that the healthcare provider had been reckless but did not intend to cause harm to the patient.
Medical malpractice is often regarded as a form of medical negligence. They are not mutually exclusive. You can have a medical incident that involves malpractice and negligence. Proving medical malpractice or negligence can be challenging, so consult with an experienced attorney. Since they have the experience and proper law knowledge, an attorney can guide you on the best legal route for your case. They can help you determine answers to some crucial questions, such as who is liable for your suffering, whether there was a breach of healthcare protocol, and whether the healthcare provider was aware of the consequences of their actions.
The settlement payout of your case can significantly depend on whether you pursue medical negligence or a medical malpractice claim. For example, you can be compensated for your financial losses and pain and suffering in medical malpractice and negligence claims. However, the plaintiff cannot recover any punitive damages in negligence claims. Punitive damages are only awarded in medical malpractice claims when the malicious intent of the defendant to cause harm to the plaintiff is proven in court.
Medical malpractice claims can be slightly more challenging because you have to prove that the defendant had a duty of care and breached that duty while being aware of their wrongdoing. In addition, wrongful death is more common in medical malpractice cases.
Differentiating between medical negligence and malpractice can be complicated, but an attorney can help you through the process. Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers can guide you about what you should expect from your claim. In addition, they can handle settlement negotiations with the defense and expedite the process.
Examples of Medical Malpractice and Negligence
- A surgeon knowing the risks of the surgery performs it without the patient’s informed consent, causing them harm.
- Performing surgery on the patient without informing them about other non-invasive alternatives.
- Misdiagnosing a serious illness such as cancer and allowing the condition to get worse.
- Incorrect use of forceps during C-section.
- Medical staff insulting or physically abusing the patient.
- Prescribing a medicine that could negatively interact with an existing drug the patient is taking.
- Using contaminated equipment.
- Discharging the patient without proper post-surgery care.
- Misreading medical reports
- Poor sanitation of the operation theater
- Improper use of medical devices and equipment
- Not performing the required tests on the patient
- Failure to properly monitor the patient