The difference between medical malpractice and negligence is intentional versus unintentional. Rules and regulations followed by medical professionals fall under tort law. With that said, tort law finds negligence as an unintentional offense whereas it considers malpractice an intentional offense.
Considering these main differences, the process of filing a lawsuit and the compensation rewarded may be different. When you are filing a lawsuit, you want to make sure you are filing accurate claims with hard evidence to support it. This includes claiming negligence or malpractice. If you file a lawsuit on the claim of negligence when in reality it is malpractice, this simple mistake could dismiss your case altogether.
All cases of negligence are considered malpractice but not all cases of malpractice may be considered negligence. Having legal representation can help you distinguish between the two and clear up any confusion you may have with your case. This may give you a better understanding of the elements of your case, which parties should be held liable, and the compensation you may be rewarded.
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Elements for Filing a Lawsuit for Negligence or Malpractice
If you are claiming that an act of negligence caused a birth injury in your lawsuit, you must be able to prove a few things. If you fail to do so with any one of them, you may lose your chances of receiving a fair and full settlement for your birth injury case.
In order to prove negligence in your malpractice case, you must be able to establish the following:
- a standard duty of care
- a breach in standard duty of care
- an injury
Under tort law, a nurse is responsible for providing you with a standard duty of care. This means they must conduct the same quality of care as all other nurses across the board. If they fail to do so, this is called breaching their standard duty of care. If a serious injury results, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit to seek rewards. You must be able to show how their negligence caused the injury.
For example, say you delivered a premature baby that is now in the ICU and should be checked and monitored every 30 minutes. This is your standard duty of care. Your nurse, however, checks on your infant every hour. This is a breach in the standard duty of care. During this time, your baby’s oxygen levels are falling causing serious damage. If your nurse would have checked and monitored your infant accordingly, the problem may have been caught and prevented. This is the causation element of your lawsuit. As a result, your baby now has brain damage. This is the injury you are seeking compensation for in your case.
This is slightly different from a malpractice claim. You do not need to prove that a standard duty of care existed when you are solely claiming malpractice in your lawsuit.
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Understanding Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice and Negligence
Anyone who is licensed in the medical field can be sued for malpractice or negligent practices. This includes doctors, technicians, surgeons, nurses, etc. It can get complicated though if other parties are involved. This commonly happens if a nurse is negligent in her practice.
Nurses are often employed by the hospital they work at. Therefore, if they make a medical mistake that causes injury, the hospital is ultimately liable. This does not mean the nurse will be off the hook. It just means the hospital may be listed as the defendant in your case and you may seek a settlement from the hospital, instead of the individual nurse. In fact, according to CRICO, nurses are listed as the responsible party in malpractice cases less than 15% of the time.
Be mindful that these types of cases involve more pieces and possibly more time to figure out. It may be beneficial to hire an attorney to handle your legal matters. A lawyer can help you build a strong case where you may receive a fair and full settlement that you deserve. Additionally, you can focus on your home life instead of having the burden of legal matters rest on your shoulders.
Contact Our Office Today to Learn More About Malpractice or Negligence Causing Birth Injuries
If your child sustained birth injuries due to the malpractice or negligent actions of your medical care team, you may be able to seek compensation. It may be wise to have an attorney look over your case and determine your rights to take legal action. You can learn more about your rights today by contacting the Birth injury lawyers Group for a free consultation at (800) 222-9529.