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What’s The Difference Between Medical Errors And Medical Malpractice?


If you suffered harm when receiving medical treatment or undergoing surgery, you need to determine if you were hurt due to a medical error or medical malpractice. While many people believe that these two terms are synonymous, there is a difference. Not every medical error amounts to medical malpractice. Thus, if you were injured due to a medical error, you may not have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or hospital.

Whether you can sue a doctor for medical malpractice depends on whether the doctor adhered to the accepted standard of care when rendering care or treatment. Speak with an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer to determine if you have grounds to sue your doctor for your injury.

What is a Medical Error?

A medical error means a mistake made when rendering medical care, administering medical treatment, or performing surgery. A medical error is not the result of intentional conduct or negligence.

When a medical error is caused by a doctor’s negligence, the injured patient may be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the negligent doctor and/or hospital. In many cases, there is an insignificant difference between medical errors and medical malpractice, which is why you may need to consult with an attorney and obtain testimony from expert witnesses to prove that your doctor deviated from the accepted standard of care.

To sue a doctor for medical malpractice, you will need to prove that the error was not in line with the accepted standard of medical care. In other words, you will need testimony from an expert witness to prove that another reasonably competent doctor would not have made the same mistake in a similar situation.

What is Medical Malpractice?

While some patients get hurt due to medical errors, others may suffer preventable injuries because of medical malpractice. The legal term “medical malpractice” refers to a medical professional’s failure to adhere to the accepted standard of care when rendering medical care.

A medical error meets the definition of “medical malpractice” when the following criteria are met:

  1. There was a doctor-patient relationship
  2. The doctor deviated from the accepted medical standard of care as established by expert witness testimony
  3. There is a proximate causal connection between the doctor’s deviation from the standard of care and the patient’s injury
  4. The patient suffered actual damages due to the doctor’s negligence

It may not be possible to tell the difference between a medical error and medical malpractice right away, which is why it is advisable to consult with a lawyer to understand your legal options.

A medical malpractice lawyer will review your situation to determine if you have grounds to sue your doctor for failure to meet the standard of care. Schedule a case review with an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your particular case and determine if you can sue your doctor for their failure to competently perform their medical duties.

Get a case review with our lawyer at Carroll Law Firm by calling 404-816-4555 today.

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