How are Medical Negligence and Malpractice Different?

How are Medical Negligence and Malpractice Different Grand Rapids, MI

If you or a loved one were harmed as a result of medical malpractice or negligence, you’ll need to call an attorney as soon as possible. While not all bad medical outcomes result from malpractice, you’ll want to hire an attorney who will represent your best interests.

 A malpractice attorney will fight aggressively for your rights so you can get the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, emotional trauma, and other injury-related expenses.

Not all bad medical outcomes are the result of malpractice or negligence. Sometimes a patient’s condition is so critical that even the best medical care fails. However, a doctor is guilty of medical negligence when they deviate from the standard of care set by the profession. Malpractice is a type of negligence that we’ll explain in more detail below.

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence happens when a doctor makes a “mistake” when treating a patient that results in further injury or illness. Unlike medical malpractice, the doctor was unaware that their action (or inaction) could cause harm. 

Examples of medical negligence include:

  • Giving an incorrect diagnosis
  • Performing the wrong surgery
  • Prescribing the wrong medication
  • Not telling you the risks of a procedure

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a type of negligence in that your doctor failed to provide adequate medical care despite knowing better. While there was no intent to cause harm, your doctor knew that their action (or inaction) carried the possibility of harm.

Healthcare providers are held to a standard of care set by their profession. When they fail to meet this standard, they can be held accountable for injury or illness caused by malpractice. A malpractice lawyercan help you get your case started.

The biggest difference is whether or not the doctor knows their actions (or lack thereof) could cause harm. In cases of medical negligence, they’re unaware of the potential harm; whereas, in cases of medical malpractice, your doctor knew their action/inaction could potentially harm you.

How can I get compensation for negligence or malpractice?

The first thing you should do after suffering personal injury from negligence is call an attorney with experience handling medical malpractice cases. A medical malpractice lawyer will be able to guide you through the process so you can get the compensation you deserve. If your loved one passed away as a result of medical negligence, your lawyer will need to put together information for a wrongful death lawsuit.

A lawyer can prove negligence by having medical experts with the same education and experience testify how they would have acted differently to avoid injury. Your lawyer will also be able to review your medical records. The more evidence your attorney can find of malpractice or negligence, the stronger your case. Your attorney must be able to prove that medical negligence caused injury.

It’s important you understand that each state has its own statute of limitations for filing a malpractice lawsuit. For the state of Michigan, the deadline to file a medical malpractice claim is 2 years from the day you were injured. 

If two years have already passed, you may still be able to file a claim if it’s within 6 months of when you should have reasonably discovered the injury. The sooner you contact a medical lawyer, the sooner you could receive compensation for negligence or malpractice.

Give Us a Call

Attorney Jerry Beurkens and Kara Beurkens of Beurkens Law will fight aggressively for your rights so you get the compensation you deserve. To schedule a consultation with our Grand Rapids malpractice lawyers, call (616) 459-5344.

This blog post has been updated.

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