Medical malpractice vs. Personal injury; what’s the difference?

It is easy to confuse malpractice cases with personal injury lawsuits because medical malpractice is an element of personal injury. Though there are many similarities between the two, there are also some important differences.

The personal injury claim is a tort claim which means that the two issues disputed include liability and damages. Once it is established that the defendant is liable for the damages incurred the next step is determining the extent of those damages. Before any claim can be made those two things must be accomplished. Though personal injury lawsuits can come in a wide variety such as product recalls and car accidents, the foundation of all these claims are negligence on the defendant’s part.

Medical malpractice is also defined as a case of negligence which is why it is categorized as a type of personal injury lawsuit. When a health care professional causes damage or injury to the patient, it should result in a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, as a disclaimer, not everyone automatically qualifies for a malpractice case after a negative medical outcome. Enough evidence is required to establish that the medical professional was responsible and at fault for negligence.

What type of case do you have?

If you are the victim of medical negligence, you will want to consult with a personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable in medical malpractice. An experienced attorney will be able to review your case and predict your odds of winning a medical malpractice claim. Unfortunately, plaintiffs in personal injury are rarely successful. Only 21% of all cases filed for medical malpractice are successful and a majority of those are settled out of court to reduce cost and publicity. Even when there is a wrongful death involved and enough evidence to determine liability, an attorney must navigate complex factors such as the statute of limitations and how it is affected by the discovery rule which is the start date of the malpractice suit.

The odds of winning a medical malpractice lawsuit are not great, but they are better when you have a highly-experienced, reputable attorney on your side. Having the best representation available can help you receive the restitution for the resulting physical and financial damages of medical negligence.

Your next steps

If you are unsure if your situation would classify as medical malpractice, finding a personal injury lawyer in San Diego is your first step towards justice. The Law Offices of Scott S. Harris, APLC, are dedicated to recovering financial compensation in personal injury cases. Experienced in understanding the differences between personal injury and medical malpractice cases, Mr. Harris and his associates will fight for your rights and help you recover what was taken away as a result of negligence. Schedule your initial consultation today at the Law Offices of Scott S. Harris, APLC, to get your life back on track.