Medical Malpractice vs Medical Negligence–What’s the Difference?

There is no difference. It’s just two different names for the same thing. The definition of either is: Doing something that a reasonably prudent health care provider wouldn’t do, or failing to do something that a reasonably prudent health care provider would do in similar circumstances.

That’s the defination of malpractice. However (and it’s a big “however”) that’s only the first part of a medical malpractice case. The second part is that the malpractice must cause serious permanent injury or death. You can have malpractice, but no injuries or minor injuries and not have a case. Was the doctor wrong? Yes. Did he cause serious permanent injuries or death? If not, there’s not going to be a case. Smoke but no fire.

The next hurdle is that a claim must be brought within 2 years of when the patient knew or should have known that something was wrong. He/she doesn’t have to know exactly what was wrong, but if they suspect something is wrong that caused their injuries, that’s when the 2-year clock starts ticking. If there’s no way they could have found it out sooner, like a missed finding on an x-ray or mammogram, the statute of limitations is extended to 4 years from the date of the malpractice.

The final hurdle for a medical malpractice (negligence) claim is that an expert doctor of the same specialty as the one who caused the injury must review the records and prepare an affidavit that in his opinion, Doctor X committed malpractice causing the injuries.

So, that’s why it takes a specialized attorney, like Kip Sinclair, at Sinclair Law Offices, to figuratively hold the client’s hand and lead them through this maze. To take the burden of the injuries or death off of their shoulders and put it on Kip’s.