Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider provides treatment that falls below a reasonable standard of care. Sometimes injury victims and attorneys will say malpractice occurs when a provider acted negligently. But are “medical malpractice” and “negligence” really the same thing? The reality is that malpractice is a type of negligence.
What is Negligence?
“Negligence” is a legal term that means a person failed to use reasonable care to prevent harm to oneself or to others.
A person is often negligent if he or she:
- Does something that a reasonably careful person would NOT do in the same situation, or
- Fails to do something that a reasonably careful person WOULD do in the same situation.
Consider, for example, the scenario where you are driving and speed through a stop sign. You then hit a car that is crossing the intersection. Here, the law would say that you acted negligently because a reasonable person would have stopped at the stop sign. In other words, you failed to do something that a reasonable person would have done in the same situation.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is essentially negligence by a medical provider. Malpractice occurs when a provider:
- Acts unreasonably, or
- Provides medical care/treatment that falls below a reasonable standard of care.
A medical provider is said to fall below the acceptable standard of care when a reasonable provider in the same or similar situation would have either:
- Treated a patient differently, or
- Taken a different course of treatment.
Whether or not a healthcare professional fell below the standard of care is typically determined by analyzing all of the facts of a case. Examples of when a provider falls below the standard of care includes instances of:
- Performing unnecessary surgery,
- Failing to diagnose a certain condition or illness,
- Prescribing incorrect medications or dosages,
- Administering wrong medications or dosages,
- Anesthesia errors, and
- Inadequate post-op care and infections.
Contact Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC
Please know that our firm is here to help if you suffered an injury because of a medical professional’s malpractice. Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC provides free consultations to all our potential clients. The attorneys at our law firm also have over 120 years of combined experience representing injured parties in medical malpractice cases. They never back down to insurers and fight for their clients’ interests every step of the way. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal representation you deserve.