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The Big Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence

September 30, 2016

Medical malpractice and medical negligence are very different things but are very much related in that medical malpractice is a kind of negligence. The distinction between the two is that, while all medical malpractice is negligence, not every instance of negligence in a medical setting is malpractice.
The difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence comes down to one key word: intent. While no medical professional sets out with a goal to harm the patient, there is a lot that can happen in an exam room or on an operating table by accident or via a conscious choice. When this happens to you or someone you love, mull over what happened. Start to think about which of the following two categories might apply to the potential mistreatment and consider contacting a medical malpractice lawyer.

What is Medical Negligence?

Negligence in all personal injury cases simply means that the defendant failed to do something, which in turn caused harm. In medicine specifically, negligence takes the form of a doctor’s failure to uphold the patient-physician relationship in a way that would be reasonable when held up next to that of their peers.
This usually takes the form of mistakes that result in harm to the patient. An example of this would be accidentally leaving surgical tools inside of a patient once the surgery is done. No doctor would knowingly leave something inside of a patient, but this must be acknowledged as both a mistake and an oversight. If you believe that you or a family member has been affected by this, consult with a medical injury lawyer.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Malpractice falls under the banner of negligence. It refers specifically to a deliberate breach of the contract between the patient and their caregiver, whether the caregiver is a doctor or a hospital staff. In malpractice, the health care provider knew something that could either help or harm the patient and consciously chose the option that harmed them. Again, no one set out with the goal of harming the patient, but they still took an action that had the risk of causing injury or death.

This can come in many forms. Misdiagnosing medical conditions is both common and extremely dangerous, as it could very easily result in death or permanent injury. If a doctor fails to order a necessary procedure or prescribes a medication despite the risks or side effects coupled with a lack of communication, it could be considered medical malpractice. In all of these cases, the knowledge was there, but the intent is questionable. Speak with one of our Indiana medical malpractice lawyers to assess the particulars of your case.

Let a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Indianapolis Help

If you believe that you have a medical negligence or a medical malpractice case on your hands, the first thing that you should do is put together your records. Keeping detailed records of your medical history and care is the best way to compile all of the evidence you need to have a strong medical malpractice or negligence case. To win such cases, hard, fool-proof evidence will be your saving grace.

Medical malpractice cases are some of the most complicated, so hiring a medical malpractice attorney who has past experience with these types of cases is a must. The medical malpractice and negligence attorneys at WKW are on standby for your call today. Give our Indiana attorneys a call at 317-920-6400 or 800.525.802 or simply reach out through our online form for a free case evaluation. 

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