What Is the Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence?

Medical malpractice and medical negligence cause injuries and harm to patients. The difference between negligence and malpractice has to do with intent. A Gainesville personal injury lawyer can help you decide whether to file a negligence vs. malpractice claim.

Medical Malpractice Definition 

Malpractice occurs when a professional fails to meet their duty of care to a client. Medical malpractice is the failure of a healthcare professional to meet the accepted medical standard of care given the circumstances of the case. It covers negligent conduct, intentional acts, breach of ethical rules, and general misconduct.

Proving medical malpractice requires the patient to prove the following:

  • The medical provider owed the patient a duty of care
  • The medical provider breached the duty of care through their actions or inactions
  • The medical provider failed to meet or exceed the standard of care based on the circumstances 
  • The medical provider’s actions were the direct and proximate cause of the patient’s injuries
  • The patient sustained damages 

The standard of care varies depending on the circumstances of the case. You need to prove what the standard of care should have been in your case and how your doctor did not meet the standard of care. This generally entails needing medical experts to testify in your case. 

Medical Negligence Definition 

Negligence is failing to use a reasonable level of care for a specific set of circumstances. The party might not intend to injure someone, but their conduct harms someone. Typically, negligence involves an unintentional error or avoidable mistake. 

Therefore, medical negligence is an unintentional act that causes a patient harm. The patient can sue the medical provider for damages. However, the patient must prove the elements of a negligence claim:

  • The medical provider owed the patient a duty of care 
  • The medical provider breached the duty of care
  • The breach of duty was the reason the patient suffered harm
  • The patient sustained damages

Medical negligence is a form of medical malpractice. As a result, the burden of proof is the same as a medical malpractice claim.

Examples of Malpractice and Negligence in Gainesville Medical Malpractice Cases 

Medical errors and mistakes cause thousands of deaths and injuries each year. They are a leading cause of death in the United States. 

Examples of medical malpractice and medical negligence include:

  • Radiological errors
  • Failing to monitor patients after surgery or medical procedures
  • Medication errors 
  • Birth injuries
  • Surgical errors and mistakes
  • Failing to obtain and review a patient’s medical history
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Not referring a patient to a specialist promptly
  • Misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, and delayed diagnosis 
  • Failure to order diagnostic tests and lab work
  • Treating patients while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Recommending an incorrect treatment plan
  • Failing to sanitize and clean treatment rooms and medical equipment
  • Lack of informed consent from the patient
  • Miscommunication between medical providers and healthcare professionals

Every bad outcome does not mean the medical provider was negligent or committed malpractice. An attorney can review your case during a free consultation and advise whether you have a medical malpractice or medical negligence claim. 

What Damages Can I Receive for a Florida Medical Malpractice or Medical Negligence Claim?

Patients can receive compensatory damages for medical malpractice and negligence claims. The compensation you receive depends on the facts of the case. However, you should be entitled to economic and non-economic damages, including:

Many factors determine how much a medical malpractice case is worth. The severity of your injuries and the strength of your evidence are two important factors. 

Is There a Deadline for Filing Medical Malpractice Claims in Florida?

The Florida statute of limitations sets deadlines for filing medical malpractice claims. The statute of limitations for most medical malpractice and medical negligence claims is two years from the cause of your injury. 

If you did not realize you were injured right away, you could have two years from the date you knew or should have reasonably known about the injury. However, the deadline is not more than four years from the original event.

There could be other exceptions that change the deadline to file a case, such as cases involving minors or fraud. If you suspect your doctor or other healthcare provider caused you harm, you should contact a Gainesville medical malpractice lawyer immediately. 

Contact Our Gainesville Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258