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Medical Negligence vs. Malpractice

Even though nobody expects to be harmed by the actions of a medical provider, there are times when errors occur. When a medical professional makes a mistake, this can cause severe consequences for a patient. However, there is a difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence. It is important to distinguish between these two, particularly if you or somebody you know has been harmed due to the actions of a medical professional. Victims of medical malpractice should be able to recover compensation for their losses. Victims of medical negligence are usually not able to recover compensation.

Understanding Medical Negligence

In order to understand medical negligence, we have to briefly define the four elements of negligence:

  1. Duty. There has to be a duty of care established between the medical provider and the patient in question.
  2. Breach. It must be shown that a breach of duty has occurred between the two parties. This will typically be shown by determining how a similarly trained medical professional would have responded in the same situation.
  3. Injuries. The patient in question has to have sustained some sort of injury or illness resulting from the breach of duty.
  4. Damages. The patient must have sustained some sort of economic or non-economic losses as a result of the injuries.

Medical negligence is a term applied when a medical provider makes a mistake when treating the patient, and that mistake results in an injury or illness.

Understanding Medical Malpractice

The biggest difference between medical negligence and medical malpractice is that medical malpractice has the element of “intent,” whereas medical negligence does not.

In a successful medical malpractice claim, we will find that the medical professional knew they should have done something to treat the patient but failed to do so, knowing that their failure could result in harm to the patient. This does not necessarily mean that the medical professional wanted to harm the patient, but it will be considered intentional because they knew that what they were doing or failed to do increased the risk of harm to the patient.

Work With a Skilled Attorney

When working to distinguish between medical negligence and medical malpractice for the purposes of filing a lawsuit, an attorney will need to examine the extent to which a medical professional’s actions varied from the accepted medical standard of care. This can help determine whether or not the injury was caused by an avoidable yet unintentional mistake or by an intentional, negligent action.

If you or somebody you care about has been injured as a result of the careless or negligent actions of a medical professional, you need to speak to a skilled Irvine medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. These claims can become incredibly complicated, and it is crucial for you to work with an attorney who can examine the facts of your case and determine the best steps moving forward. Medical malpractice claims can become incredibly complicated, and the line between negligence and malpractice can be blurred. An attorney will be able to conduct an independent investigation into your claim and help you recover any compensation you may be entitled to.

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