Medical Malpractice vs Medical Negligence | What Are the Differences?

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When patients see a doctor, they trust they will receive proper care. This is because all medical professionals are required to live up to a certain standard of care when providing treatment. Usually, this is the case and most people seeing a doctor have a good experience. However, there are doctors who may act careless or negligent during treatment. This can cause harm to a patient, which is why they are able to pursue legal action. In doing so, it is important to be aware there is a difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence. Continue reading below to learn more and contact a New Jersey personal injury attorney for help with your case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. This means they must treat patients in accordance with a certain standard. The failure to do so through a knowing breach of this duty of care is known as medical malpractice. These situations require an element of intent, meaning they were aware what they were doing was wrong but chose to engage in the behavior anyway.

What is Medical Negligence?

All people make mistakes in life. However, medical professionals who make mistakes while treating a patient can cause significant suffering. This is known as medical negligence. It is important to know that this is different from medical malpractice, as it does not include that element of intent. Instead, medical negligence is when doctors have unknowingly strayed from the standard course of treatment and harmed a patient. 

How Long do I Have to Sue?

Patients who wish to pursue legal action against a medical professional due to medical malpractice or medical negligence should not wait too long to do so. This is because there is a deadline that they are required by law to meet, known as the statute of limitations. The failure to meet this deadline can cause the patient to lose their right to pursue legal action. In the state of New Jersey, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence is two years from the date of the injury. 

Contact our Firm

Retaining an attorney after an injury-causing accident is the most effective way to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are legally entitled. To learn more about how we can help you, call the Wilton Law Firm today at 732-275-9555 or send us an email through our online contact form.