Personal Injury vs. Medical Malpractice

Nursing Errors Lawyer Salt Lake City, UT

Medical malpractice is included as part of personal injury law. However, it is typically much more complicated than other personal injury cases. Both medical malpractice and personal injury involve people being injured as the result of negligence, but there are some significant differences between the two that injured parties need to know.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is a tort claim, a claim in which someone seeks compensation for another person’s wrongdoing. There are two main issues at play: liability and damages. A victim of personal injury must be able to establish that the at-fault party is liable for the damages. Moreover, a victim must be able to explain the exact extent and nature of the damages. The injured party is responsible for demonstrating both liability and damages before a claim can be heard.

In a personal injury claim, victims must be able to show that an injury occurred due to another person’s or institution’s negligence. Personal injury cases are based around negligence. So, medical malpractice is a type of personal injury case. However, so are motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, defective products, and more. Personal injury has a broader scope than medical negligence.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a specific area of focus within personal injury law, and it is a highly defined area of focus. The Journal of the American Medical Association lists medical negligence as, the third leading cause of death in this country.

From a legal perspective, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider does not follow the “recognized standard of care” when treating a patient. A standard of care defines what a medical provider is expected to do, or not to do, in certain situations. Essentially, it is viewed in terms of negligence. If an injured person can demonstrate that a medical provider or institution was negligent in their duty of care, a valid case of medical malpractice may be made.

The primary issue in medical malpractice is providing proof that the negligence of the doctor caused harm or injury to the patient. Someone who does not achieve a positive medical outcome from treatment does not automatically have a case for medical malpractice.

Would I Have to Go to Trial?

In almost all cases of personal injury and medical malpractice, the attorneys on both sides will likely attempt to settle the case out of court. This is for various reasons, including the overall cost and the desire to avoid unfavorable publicity. Healthcare providers and institutions, like hospitals, and their insurance companies often retain high-powered teams of attorneys who are prepared to fight tooth and nail to avoid a medical malpractice ruling.

Therefore, it is essential for an injured person to enlist the services of a qualified and knowledgeable attorney, one who focuses not just on cases of personal injury but also on matters of medical malpractice.

If you were injured or harmed due to the negligence of a medical provider, contact a nursing errors lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT from Rasmussen & Miner to discuss your situation. You’ll need to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires, so call today.