The difference between negligence and medical malpractice

Needing medical attention can be a frightening experience. Though most Kentucky residents expect their conditions to get better after seeing medical professionals, they may find themselves feeling worse off than before. Unfortunately, some doctors, nurses or other medical staff members could act negligently and cause significant issues for patients, which could lead to medical malpractice claims.

It is important to remember that negligence does not always equal malpractice. It can certainly contribute to malpractice, but typically, in order for malpractice to have occurred, the medical professional would have had to violate the standard of care. The standard of care refers to acceptable medical treatment that reasonable health care professionals would take in similar situations. If a doctor's or other medical professional's negligence resulted in unacceptable treatment or otherwise violated the standard of care, malpractice may have occurred.

It is also up to the patient to prove that injury or other harm resulted from the negligence. In some cases, a doctor can do everything possible to properly treat a patient, and negative outcomes could still result. If the negative aspects did not occur as a result of negligence, a malpractice claim would not be warranted. Similarly, if a medical professional acted negligently, but a patient suffered no ill effects, a claim likely does not suit the situation. However, if an injury occurred that would not have otherwise had the doctor not been negligent, there may be cause for a claim.

Certainly, knowing the difference between negligence and medical malpractice can be difficult. If Kentucky patients believe that negligence contributed to a violation of the standard of care and serious injuries or other negative outcomes resulted, it may be worthwhile to gain more information on malpractice claims. Discussing specific scenarios with experienced attorneys could help concerned parties determine whether filing a claim could suit their circumstances.

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