Medical malpractice and medical negligence are very similar to each other. Negligence is the basis for many, if not most, medical malpractice cases. However, the slight difference between negligence and malpractice could become important when filing a claim for damages a patient sustained because of a doctor’s conduct.
The main difference between medical negligence and medical malpractice is intent. Let’s look at the definitions to help explain the difference.
Medical malpractice is a general term encompassing any harm to a patient that a doctor or other medical provider causes. It has an element of intent that is not included in the definition of medical negligence.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor improperly performs their duties. The doctor knew they were engaging in a negligent activity or other wrongdoing but continued with the conduct. In doing so, the doctor failed to meet the standard of care required for the situation.
It can be difficult to separate medical negligence and medical malpractice. However, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can evaluate your case during a free consultation to advise you of your legal options for filing a malpractice or negligence claim.
Proving medical negligence requires you to have evidence showing:
Medical malpractice also requires that you prove the doctor did not meet the accepted standard of care that would apply in your situation. For medical malpractice, you need medical experts to testify about the reasonable standard of care and how the doctor breached the standard of care. For medical negligence, a medical expert testifies how the doctor made a mistake or error that led to your injuries.
The types of damages for medical negligence and medical malpractice claims are the same. The types of damages you can receive depend on the facts of your case.
However, most patients can receive reimbursement for their economic damages, including:
Victims can also receive compensation for the pain and suffering they experience because of medical malpractice or negligence. Non-economic damages include:
The amount you receive for a medical negligence or malpractice claim depends on several factors. Generally, the value of damages increases as the severity of a person’s injuries increases. Working with an experienced Portland medical malpractice lawyer can help you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
A study by John Hopkins suggested that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Errors, mistakes, and negligence occur in hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. Medical malpractice and negligence claims can be filed against physicians, medical staff, hospitals, and medical facilities.
Examples of errors and situations that could lead to a medical negligence or malpractice claim include:
All adverse outcomes in a medical setting are not the result of medical negligence or malpractice. Doctors cannot control all outcomes. However, if you suspect a doctor or other medical provider makes a mistake or error, it is essential to act now.
The statute of limitations for most medical malpractice claims in Oregon is two years from the date of injury. However, there could be exceptions. Therefore, the sooner you speak with a Portland medical malpractice lawyer, the better for your case.