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The terms medical malpractice and medical negligence are often used interchangeably–but are they the same?

Medical malpractice is when a doctor’s intentional decision or action causes a patient harm. Medical negligence and hospital negligence are when a medical professional or a hospital employee fails to act in a safe and reasonable manner and another person is injured.

Medical negligence and hospital negligence can be thought of as honest mistakes that lead to injury. In comparison, medical malpractice requires intent. Talking with a qualified attorney can help you further understand the difference.

Listen to Dan Hodes Explain How to Prepare for a Medical Negligence Case

Cases 4 Causes Podcast | S2: Episode 2

Medical injuries can severely impact your life. Your life may be drastically changed in the blink of an eye, leaving you physically, emotionally, or financially affected. If you or a loved one have been injured because of improper medical care from a doctor, medical professional, or hospital employee, you may have the right to bring a lawsuit.

If you have been injured as a result of medical malpractice or medical negligence, contact California-based personal injury lawyers at Hodes Milman online or by phone at (949) 640-8222. They are standing by to help you. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between medical malpractice, medical negligence, and hospital negligence.

What Is Medical Negligence?

Medical malpractice and medical negligence are two types of personal injury law. In personal injury law, negligence generally refers to the failure to behave as a reasonably prudent person would have under the same circumstances. When negligence takes place in a medical setting, it will be considered medical negligence or, if the conditions are right, medical malpractice. Determining whether your case is medical negligence or medical malpractice should be left to an experienced attorney. 

Medical negligence is slightly more specific because it involves a healthcare professional, like a doctor or a medical specialist who deviates from the acceptable standard of care. Medical negligence is incredibly common. Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Medical malpractice is slightly different from negligence because it involves intent. In a medical malpractice claim, the doctor knew that their decision or action was likely to cause harm to the patient. The healthcare professional may not have intended to cause harm to the patient but the action was intentional because they were aware of the risk.

Your personal injury lawyer will understand the difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence and work towards a successful outcome for your case.

Some common examples of medical negligence include:

Sometimes, it may be difficult to ascertain if medical negligence has taken place at all. You may not recognize the negligence or the effects of the injury may not become apparent until much later. A properly trained medical malpractice attorney will be able to examine the facts and circumstances of your particular case and determine whether or not medical negligence has occurred. Your lawyer will be able to evaluate the ways your injury may affect you in the present and the future and help you recover.

What Damages Are Available To Me if I Have Experienced Medical Negligence?

If you have experienced medical malpractice or medical negligence, a medical negligence attorney can help you get the damages you deserve. Damages are the remedy requested by an injured party, usually in the form of financial compensation, that the court will award to make that injured party whole. Damages between medical malpractice and medical negligence will vary in size.

Medical malpractice may be worth more because it usually involves a doctor’s mistake or misconduct rather than slip up by an administrator or other hospital staff. Doctors are held to a higher standard because they are specialized professionals.

Some examples of the types of damages available in both medical malpractice and medical negligence cases are: 

  • Compensatory damages: Compensatory damages will be awarded when the court finds that an illness, accident, or injury was caused by another person’s negligence. The court will consider the type of hardship caused and how it has affected the injured party. Compensatory damages are meant to restore the injured party to the level they were at before they were injured.
  • Non-economic damages: Non-economic damages are damages tied to the non-financial impact of an injury. Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, humiliation, emotional anguish, damage to your reputation, and diminished quality of life.
  • Punitive damages: Punitive damages will be awarded when the court wants to punish the offending party for willful or malicious behavior. The purpose of punitive damage is to dissuade similar behavior from others in the future.

If you have suffered any kind of injury at the hands of a medical professional, you may be entitled to damages. It is important to contact a skilled lawyer who will be able to examine your unique facts and circumstances and help determine if you have a case. Read on to learn more about medical negligence.

An experienced attorney will be able to navigate the facts and circumstances of your particular case and determine whether your case is medical negligence or medical malpractice. The lawyers at Hodes Milman are experts at navigating this complicated area of law. To talk to them about your unique situation, contact them online or by calling (949) 640-8222.

What Is Hospital Negligence?

Hospital negligence is distinct from medical malpractice and medical negligence. Hospital negligence is when a hospital employee injures a patient as a result of a negligent act or omission. By definition, medical negligence and hospital negligence may sound similar. However, they are not the same.

A common misconception is that hospitals are responsible for physician negligence. This is not the case because doctors are usually classified as independent contractors with admitting privileges. Hospital employees usually include nurses, technicians, and other support staff. Accidents  If the doctor is employed directly by the hospital, then the hospital may be liable.

Typical examples of hospital negligence are: 

  • Poor follow-up care or aftercare
  • Hospital employee negligence
  • Negligent hiring practices
  • Inadequate hospital staffing
  • Premature discharge of the patient

If you have suffered an injury after a hospital stay, it may be necessary to hold both the physician and the hospital responsible if both parties contributed to your injury. A hospital negligence case can become complicated very quickly. It may be difficult to ascertain who is responsible for your injury. An attorney who is experienced in hospital negligence will be able to efficiently sort out who is at fault and bring a lawsuit against them while you focus on healing and recuperating.

Contact an Experienced Medical Negligence Attorney

Proving medical negligence and hospital negligence requires in-depth knowledge of both law and medicine. The attorneys at Hodes Milman are experts when it comes to personal injury law and medical negligence and will work tirelessly to get you the damages that you are entitled to.

They have achieved many successful settlements for their clients, including a $17.25 million dollar settlement awarded to a man who suffered a kidney function misdiagnosis.

In California, personal injury cases such as those experienced because of medical negligence, medical malpractice, or hospital negligence are limited by a two-year statute of limitations period. Don’t wait to get the justice that you deserve. Contact the attorneys at Hodes Milman  online or by phone at (949) 640-8222 to consult with them today.




HMI team

When you work with us, you’ll see the difference. A lot of firms are quick to show you numbers, and it is absolutely true that your lawyer should have experience and a strong track record in the area that you require. However, we’ll take it one step further. We also believe that your attorney should put your needs, cares and desires first. Because you deserve more than just compensation for your losses - you deserve a true advocate.

HMI team