A StatPearls article noted that one in three doctors will face medical malpractice claims during their careers. However, in the realm of healthcare, two distinct scenarios often lead to harm or injury to patients: hospital negligence and medical malpractice involving individual healthcare professionals, such as doctors or nurses.
While both situations can result in harm, they differ significantly in their causes, implications and potential consequences.
Hospital negligence vs medical malpractice
Hospital negligence happens when a healthcare facility does not take good care of its patients. When this happens, many patients can get hurt in different ways.
Some examples of hospital negligence include not having enough staff, not keeping things clean, not following safety rules and improper staff training.
Medical malpractice occurs when certain healthcare workers, like doctors, nurses or other medical professionals, commit erroneous errors and hurt patients. These cases focus on what one person in the healthcare team did or did not do and how it affected the patient’s health.
Some examples of medical malpractice are:
- Mistakes when diagnosing an illness or not diagnosing it at all
- Errors during surgery, like operating on the wrong body part
- Mistakes with medicines, like giving the wrong dose or type
- Problems during childbirth that harm the baby
If someone gets hurt because of hospital negligence or medical malpractice, they might want to ask for money to make up for their losses and suffering. But it is important to know that dealing with these claims without a lawyer can be really tough and not a good idea for a few reasons.
The importance of legal representation
The process of taking legal action against healthcare facilities or professionals can be very complicated. To understand the legal rules for negligence and malpractice, gather evidence, and navigate the intricate legal procedures, you need to have a deep knowledge of the law. Without experienced guidance, it can be challenging to build a strong case. In addition, the healthcare industry usually has a lot of legal resources and insurance, which makes them tough opponents in legal disputes.
Furthermore, a skilled attorney can assist in figuring out the full extent of losses and suffering, including both economic and non-economic damages. They can also negotiate on behalf of their clients to try to get a fair and just settlement that covers these damages.
People harmed in a healthcare setting must understand the differences between hospital negligence and medical malpractice. Although both situations can lead to injuries, the legal complexities involved in these cases make it unwise for injured individuals to handle or settle them without legal representation.