The difference between medical malpractice and negligence cases is:
- Medical malpractice lawsuits are aimed toward medical professionals and facilities specifically. In contrast, cases involving negligence fall under personal injury law and can be toward multiple types of liable parties (private or public).
- Medical malpractice and personal injury lawsuits have different filing deadlines, according to New York law.
- Medical malpractice cases require specific evidence and may be harder to prove than personal injury cases.
Our legal team handles both types of cases, so we can explain the difference between these areas of law in a free consultation. If you reside in New Hyde Park, we can also assign a lawyer who serves your area to work on your case and help you pursue the compensation you need.
Medical Malpractice Cases Can Be Harder to Prove
Part of the reason why medical malpractice cases are harder to prove is that you must provide specific evidence and documentation that show malpractice took place. In short, you will need to:
- Submit your claim to a malpractice review panel to have these experts determine if malpractice took place
- Submit a special notice to the medical professional before filing your claim or lawsuit
- Get expert testimony from another medical professional to prove the liable party did not administer proper medical care
What is Considered Malpractice?
Multiple medical errors can be considered malpractice, including:
- Prescribing the wrong medicine or dosage of medicine
- Making a surgical error, such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving a foreign object in the body
- Not conducting the proper lab tests
- Not reviewing lab test results correctly
- Ignoring or being unable to recognize signs of a patient’s illness
- Failing to diagnose the patient’s condition or misdiagnosing them
- Failing to give the patient proper information about the risks their treatment involves
- Giving improper treatment, which may involve incompetence or even abuse
Who Could Be Liable?
In medical malpractice cases, the following parties may be held liable if their actions or neglect led to a patient’s injury:
- A physician or practitioner, including surgeons
- A nurse or medical staff member
- A medical tech specialist
- A pharmacist
- The hospital or clinic where the malpractice took place, including the owners
Statute of Limitations
According to CVP §214-A, you generally have two years and six months from the date of injury to file your medical malpractice lawsuit. You may receive an additional year to file if you discovered the injury past this window period.
Keep in mind that you must act quickly, as evidence can be time-sensitive. If you do not file your case on time, it may be dismissed. This means you would not be able to recover compensation through litigation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900
Cases Involving General Negligence Fall Under Personal Injury Law
If your case does not involve a medical professional, it may fall under personal injury law, which is less strict about the kind of evidence plaintiffs need to present. However, in some medical malpractice cases, we might find an additional liable party that is outside of the medical field but works with it. An example would be pharmaceutical drug manufacturers.
If your case involves being prescribed a dangerous drug that should have been recalled to avoid causing harm to patients, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit or work with other injured victims to file a mass tort.
A personal injury lawyer from our team can help you build your case argument, which may vary based on the circumstances around how your injury happened. Still, most case arguments on negligence follow four general elements:
- The negligent party owed you a duty of care to keep you safe from harm.
- However, the negligent party breached their duty of care through their actions or inactions, whether they intended to cause you harm or not.
- Because of this breach, an accident or harmful consequence occurred.
- You were injured in the accident or as a result of the negligent party’s harm and suffered damages.
Statute of Limitations
According to CVP §214, you generally have three years from the date of injury to file your personal injury lawsuit. Certain factors might make the statutory window period shorter, such as whether you are filing against a government entity, or longer, such as whether a minor is involved in your case.
Our team can review your case to determine how long you have to file, but the same urgency to act quickly remains the same for personal injury cases.
Our Team Can Help You Calculate How Much Compensation You May Be Entitled to
Both medical malpractice and personal injury cases allow you to pursue compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Income loss
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Physical disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
You may be able to pursue compensation for property damage and other injuries if applicable. However, keep in mind that medical malpractice cases often put caps on damages you may collect from a medical professional.
Our Attorneys Handle Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Cases
At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we handle both medical malpractice and personal injury cases. Our legal team knows the difference between medical malpractice and negligence, so we can identify which area of law your case falls under after we review it in a free consultation. Call (516) 358-6900 to hire a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer from our team.