Is there a Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence?

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Is there a Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence?

When people go to see the doctor, they trust they will receive proper care. While this is usually the case, there are situations in which doctors are careless and negligent in their treatment. This can cause significant harm to patients under their care. Those dealing with these situations should know that there is a difference between suffering due to medical malpractice or medical negligence. Continue reading below to learn more and contact a Maryland personal injury attorney for help with your case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

When a person receives their medical license, they owe a duty of care to their patients. This means doctors are required to treat patients up to par with a certain standard. If they knowingly breaches this duty of care, they can cause serious harm to their patient. This is known as medical malpractice. In order for a doctor to be considered guilty of malpractice, an element of intent must have been present. This means they were aware that what they were doing was wrong but chose to do it anyway. Patients in these situations can pursue legal action against the doctor to recover damages for their suffering.

What is Medical Negligence?

Everyone makes mistakes at several points in their lives. However, if a medical professional makes a mistake when treating a patient, they can cause great suffering. This is referred to as medical negligence. These situations are different from medical malpractice in that there is no element of intent. In order for a doctor to be considered guilty of medical negligence, they must have unknowingly diverted from the standard course of treatment and caused harm to their patient. It is because of this that these patients can pursue legal action as well. 

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 to know there is a deadline they are required to meet. Legally, this is referred to as the statute of limitations. If the patient fails to meet this deadline, they can lose their opportunity to pursue legal action entirely. In the state of Maryland, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence is five years from the date of the injury. 

Contact our Firm

If you have been injured as a result of a personal injury accident and wish to speak with an attorney, contact Ruben Law Firm today.

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