Medical Malpractice Vs Medical Negligence: What's the Difference?
medical malpractice vs medical negligence

Medical Malpractice Vs. Medical Negligence: What’s the Difference?

Scartelli Olszewski P.C.
Scartelli Olszewski P.C.

When it comes to medical treatment, we put a lot of trust in our doctors and healthcare providers. We often assume that they have the knowledge, skills, and experience to properly diagnose and treat our medical conditions and emergencies.

However, sometimes things go wrong. You can be misdiagnosed, prescribed the incorrect medication, or have something unexpected happen during surgery. This can lead to injuries or even death. In these situations, you can seek compensation for yourself or on a loved one’s behalf. But it’s important to understand the difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence before you do. The medical malpractice attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski P.C. can explain.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide proper treatment through some fault of their own. The decisions of a healthcare proxy do not count. The patient also has to have suffered harm or injury as a result of the improper treatment. Improper treatment can include:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Surgical errors
  • Medication errors
  • Failure to properly treat a medical condition

Criteria For Medical Malpractice

There are certain criteria a case must meet in order to be considered medical malpractice, including:

  • An existing doctor-patient relationship between the accused and injured party
  • The healthcare provider was erroneous when providing treatment
  • This error caused harm or injury to the patient
  • The injury resulted in significant damages such as additional medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or death.

What is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence is a type of medical malpractice in that it involves a healthcare provider failing to act in the way they’re supposed to, leading to a patient being harmed. Unlike other types, there isn’t necessarily a malicious intent, or an erroneous medical recommendation or decision. This type is marked by the lack of action or a decision.

Emphasis is put on the ignorance or forgetfulness of a medical professional. It can include not following standard procedures, not obtaining informed consent from the patient, or not properly monitoring the patient’s condition during treatment. This would not include failing to diagnose a disease or condition before it causes irreparable damage or death.

Who is Responsible in Cases of Medical Negligence?

When it comes to medical negligence, the responsibility often falls on the doctor or healthcare provider directly involved in the patient’s care. However, there are also cases where other staff members, such as nurses or technicians, who may be held responsible for their actions.

If the healthcare provider is employed by a hospital rather than by their own personal practice, you may file a lawsuit against the hospital. This is usually the case where multiple people in a hospital can be held responsible.

Contact the Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence Attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. for Help

While both medical malpractice and medical negligence involve a healthcare provider failing to provide proper treatment to a patient, some key factors dictate when you are specifically experiencing a case of negligence. Patients need to understandnd these differences to determine if they have a valid case for legal action. If you or a loved one has been harmed by medical treatment, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.