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Ask a Lawyer: What’s the Difference Between Negligence and Malpractice?

Published on Mar 19, 2019 at 11:58 am in Personal Injury.

If you or a loved one was hurt because of a healthcare provider, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. It’s a scary situation when you put your trust in a doctor’s or surgeon’s hands and you get wrongfully hurt because they made a mistake. Often, these mistakes cause serious injuries that can have a major effect on the person’s life. The best way to protect your rights is with the help of a trusted Louisville attorney. Thomas Law Offices will make sure you get the compensation and justice that you deserve.

We understand how a case of medical malpractice can be severely damaging to your life. But these injuries weren’t your fault and you can stand up and speak out against the guilty party. We’ll do everything we can to hold them accountable. This includes examining the evidence of why you were there, what you were being treated for, what went wrong, and how that resulted in your injuries. We’ll also look at how the damages have affected you. Then, we can start fighting for your rights.

Breaking Down Negligence and Malpractice

You may think that negligence and malpractice are interchangeable, as some people do use the terms as substitutes for each other. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. It’s important to understand the difference between negligence and malpractice. While both matters are both civil matters, they apply to different situations.

When someone fails to exercise care and harms another person, this is called negligence. Exercising care would apply to how a reasonable, average person would have acted in a similar situation. Thus, the person is demonstrating their negligence when they act carelessly. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen in hospitals. It could be from incorrect information or an administrative oversight, but that’s all it takes for a patient to get hurt.

Malpractice, on the other hand, is different. While it is a type of negligence, it specifically applies to negligence done by a professional who doesn’t follow the standard of care, or how a medical professional trained in the same area would have treated the patient. Because the doctor or nurse didn’t meet the standards of care or didn’t adhere to their responsibilities, their actions caused harm to their patient.

Another important distinction is that while anyone can be held liable for negligence, only professionals can be held liable for malpractice. When comparing the two, malpractice can be more serious because it means the medical professional knew that harm or injury could occur to their patient, but they continued to act anyway and the patient was hurt, while negligence could be the doctor trying to act in the patient’s best interests but accidentally causing harm. Neither is acceptable and you deserve justice no matter what happened.

The complexities of a malpractice case become apparent when determining fault. It could be the act of one person that caused harm, or there could have been a situation where a person in charge failed to delegate duties correctly, so someone working under them made a mistake. The hospital also needs to make sure their staff is qualified and has the skill to perform the duties they’re hired for. Your lawyer will need to determine what happened to you and what specifically went wrong for your claim.

How Can Thomas Law Offices Help You?

Whether you were a victim of negligence or malpractice, a medical error can have terrible consequences. They can result in painful injuries that will require a lengthy healing process. For many people, this means they’ll have to afford all kinds of medical expenses and miss a lot of work. This isn’t a viable option on its own. However, your settlement can help with those bills and damages and even cover the cost of future care.

The sooner you get in touch with a medical error attorney, the sooner you can get peace of mind that you don’t have to handle this on your own. We take pride in fighting for the rights of those who have been wrongfully injured. We’ll make sure that your questions are answered and your concerns are addressed promptly. Contact us today for a free consultation and we can start reviewing your case and talk about your legal options.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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