Medical Malpractice vs Medical Negligence | Is There a Difference?

Patients put great trust in their doctors. They believe that in seeing a medical professional, they will be provided with the proper standard of care. While this is usually the case, there are professionals who may be careless or negligent with their treatment and cause harm to patients. Those facing these situations should know there is a difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence. Continue reading below to learn more and contact a California personal injury attorney for help with your case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

All medical professionals have a legal obligation to provide their patients with the rightful duty of care. This means they are required to treat patients in accordance with a certain standard. If they fail to do so and knowingly breach this duty of care, it is considered medical malpractice. It is important to be aware that these situations require an element of intent to be present. This means they knew what they were doing was wrong and chose to engage in the behavior anyway. It is because of this that patients can pursue legal action against the medical professional to recover damages.

What is Medical Negligence?

Everyone makes mistakes in their life. However, if a medical professional makes a mistake while treating a patient, they can cause severe damage to the person’s life. This is known as medical negligence. It is important to note that this is different from medical malpractice because it does not include an element of intent. Doctors must have unknowingly diverted from the proper standard course of treatment and caused harm to their patient to be found guilty of medical negligence. 

How Long do I Have to Sue?

When a patient wants to pursue legal action against a doctor due to medical negligence or medical malpractice, it is important they do not wait too long to do so. This is because there is a deadline they are required to meet, known as the statute of limitations. If the patient fails to meet the deadline, they can lose their chance to pursue legal action entirely. In the state of California, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence is one year from the date of the injury. 

Contact our Firm

When someone is wrongly injured in an accident, they often require financial compensation to heal. That’s where we come in. Contact the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady today to learn more about what our firm can do for you.