Medical negligence and malpractice can be devastating for patients and their loved ones. When you trust a doctor and the doctor violates this trust, it can have long-lasting physical and emotional effects. Even if the mistake was unintentional, you may still be entitled to compensation.
Not every mistake made in a healthcare setting is considered malpractice, even if the mistake causes harm. The terms “negligence” and “malpractice” are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are important differences. “Negligence” means that a person has acted carelessly and caused harm as a result. Malpractice is a specific form of negligence, one where a practitioner has violated their professional code of conduct and caused harm to their patient or client.
Still, the difference between negligence and malpractice isn’t always clear. Sometimes the term “malpractice” is used when there is an element of intent. Here, “intent” only means that the doctor chose to take risks that reasonable doctors know should not be taken, and not that the doctor wanted to harm you. This definition may exclude mistakes that the doctor made accidentally, like a misspelling that results in the wrong medication being prescribed. The exact definition of medical negligence may vary, so it’s important to consult a qualified legal professional to evaluate your case.
If you have concerns about your current doctor or if you’re considering a new one, it’s worth it to do some research before putting your care in his or her hands. Every state has its own licensing board, and these boards also collect information on each doctor that they licence. You can check your doctor’s background and history by visiting the Federation of State Medical Boards or DocInfo.org. If you think medical negligence has affected you or a loved one, call the Franco Firm at (813) 872-0929 for an initial consultation.