Medical Malpractice vs. Negligence: What is the Difference?

When we put our health in the hands of a medical professional, we expect a certain level of care to be provided. When this standard is not met, patients can get hurt – or worse. If you or a loved one has suffered from these breached regulations, you may be dealing with negligence, or worse, medical malpractice.
While these two terms may sound similar, they are treated very different in the eyes of the law. In order to recover compensation for your damages, it is important that both you and your personal injury attorney are familiar with these terms:

  • Negligence occurs when an individual fails to exercise a very basic level of care, and this lack of action leads to another individual getting hurt.
  • Malpractice is an advanced form of negligence that occurs when a licensed professional (such as your doctor) fails to meet the standards set by their governing body.

To further simplify, malpractice is a form of professional negligence. Generally speaking, four elements must be proven true when suing for medical malpractice:

  1. the existence of a patient-doctor relationship
  2. the provision of care that fell below the accepted medical standard
  3. quantifiable harm to the patient
  4. a connection between the provider’s negligence and the patient’s harm

If you suspect that you have been a victim of medical malpractice, the first thing you should do is contact a lawyer. A qualified medical malpractice attorney is familiar with the laws in your area, and can help you determine whether or not you have the grounds for legal action.
If you live in North Carolina or South Carolina, the attorneys at Stewart Law Offices, LLC are available for consultation. Contact us online to get started with a case evaluation, or call (888) 286-5600.

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