Medical Malpractice vs. Negligence

Photo of author

( — April 27, 2022) —

Medical negligence occurs when a medical provider’s acts or inactions fall short of the medical standard of care. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional’s carelessness results in an injury to a patient. When a patient can show proof of medical negligence or malpractice, they can file a lawsuit against the practitioner to seek compensation for their injuries.

Understanding the Occurrence of Negligence and Malpractice 

Despite medical practitioners’ best efforts to minimize errors, as well as guidelines and regulations designed to promote patient safety, mistakes still occur. Medical mistakes are the third leading cause of mortality in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer, according to the British Medical Journal. When a circumstance emerges that leads you to believe you may be a victim of medical negligence or malpractice, it’s helpful to know the legal requirements and distinctions between the two terms.

Medical negligence and malpractice can come in a variety of forms. The following are some examples that might result in a lawsuit:

  • Failure to diagnose a problem that any other competent medical professional would have been able to diagnose

  • Surgical blunders or surgery that isn’t essential

  • Prescription of an incorrect medication , resulting in harm

  • Ignoring or neglecting to evaluate the patient’s medical history, to their detriment

  • Ordering the wrong tests in some circumstances

  • Performing procedures while under the influence

If you believe you have been injured as a result of medical negligence or malpractice, you should contact the State Medical Practices Board as soon as possible.

Spotting Medical Malpractice or Negligence

In some circumstances, such as when the incorrect limb is amputated or when a surgery is performed on the wrong part of the body, the carelessness and harm are obvious. In other circumstances, the patient may not notice the malpractice right away because the harm does not emerge until later — or medical practitioners refuse to provide facts about the errors they committed. When navigating such situations and dealing with large medical institutions and their legal teams, it can be helpful to have adequate legal representation of your own. 

Getting Compensation for Your Injuries

Medical injuries may have a significant financial, physical, and emotional impact on your life. As a result, your lawyer will examine all of the ways in which your injury has affected you in the past,how it affects you presently, and how it may continue to affect you in the future.

Your lawyer will assign monetary and non-monetary values to these damages and offer them to the medical provider’s insurer. They may together to reach an amicable agreement. If they can’t come to an agreement, your Des Moines lawyer can file a case in civil court.

You may be compensated for the following sorts of damages, among others, whether through an insurance settlement or a court award:

  • Medical expense. You might be facing significant medical fees, including doctors’ appointments, therapy, prescription medicines, corrective surgery and future medical costs

  • Pain and suffering.This covers not just compensation for physical pain, but also for mental anguish caused by your injuries, such as worry and sadness.

  • Loss of companionship. If a loved one dies as a result of medical malpractice or carelessness, the family members of the deceased may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. Loss of “family advantages,” such as sexual interactions, companionship, tenderness and comfort, are also examples of loss of consortium.

  • Loss of wages and future earnings. 

If you suffer a serious injury that prevents you from working now or in the future, you may be able to seek compensation for lost income, as well as damages for future earning potential.