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Difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence

Doctors nationwide, including in New York, have a duty to provide care of an acceptable standard. If that duty is breached, and the breach causes harm to the patient, there might be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, there might be some confusion between medical negligence and medical malpractice -- both of which could lead to tort claims.

If a doctor knows about a patient's symptoms but fails to order tests to help with diagnosis, it could be judged as malpractice. However, if the results of tests or symptoms are misinterpreted, an inaccurate diagnosis could lead to a negligence claim. When it comes to surgical errors, any deviations outside the standard practices or knowingly doing surgery that involves the wrong body part could constitute malpractice. Making a mistake due to distractions or failure to study medical reports and instructions before the surgery will likely lead to a medical negligence claim.

Birth injuries form a significant percentage of traumatic injuries caused by medical malpractice or negligence. If the delivering doctor fails to address complications and risk factors by adjusting the birthing plan, it might be deemed malpractice. However, if reports or vital signs are misinterpreted, and timely action is not taken -- including communicating orders to nursing staff -- the attending doctor might be accused of negligence.

Medical malpractice is a complicated field of the law and not something to tackle without the support and guidance of an experienced New York personal injury attorney. A lawyer who has experience in gathering evidence and investigating claims of medical malpractice can be a valuable asset in the corner of someone who is suffering the consequences of a doctor's error -- either negligence or malpractice. With the help of skilled legal counsel, a claim in a civil court might result in a monetary award to cover financial and emotional damages sustained.

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