What is the Difference Between Medical Negligence and Medical Malpractice?

When people see a medical professional, they trust they will be in good care. While this is usually the case, there are situations in which patients experience carelessness or neglect from a medical professional. This can cause them further harm, which is why they may pursue legal action for their suffering. In doing so, it is important to know there is a difference between being the victim of malpractice and negligence. Continue reading below to learn more and contact a New York personal injury attorney for help with your case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

When a medical professional becomes licensed, they owe a duty of care to every one of their patients. This means they are required to treat them up to a certain standard. Medical malpractice takes place when they knowingly breach this duty of care by living up to this standard. In order for a doctor to be found guilty of malpractice, there must be an element of intent. This means they knew what they were doing was wrong but chose to do it anyway.

What is Medical Negligence?

Medical professionals are human, just like anyone else. It is because of this that they can make mistakes. While this is true, mistakes while treating a patient can cause serious suffering. This is known as medical negligence. This is different from malpractice in the sense that there is no element of intent. Medical negligence takes place when a doctor strays from the standard of care unknowingly. 

How Long do I Have to Sue?

Patients can pursue legal action after sustaining harm due to a medical professional’s negligence or malpractice. In doing so, it is important to keep the statute of limitations in mind. This is a deadline they are required to meet when filing a personal injury claim, otherwise they can lose their opportunity to do so. In the state of New York, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence is two and a half years from the date of the injury. 

Contact our Firm

The Law Offices of George Poulos is an experienced Workers’ Compensation, personal injury, bankruptcy, and Social Security Disability law firm with offices in Queens and the Bronx. We understand the implications of a serious accident, which is why we take pride in tenaciously representing our clients. If you require strong legal representation, contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.