Medical malpractice and negligence are similar but different legal terms in New Jersey. You should know the difference between the two to pursue the right type of litigation. Medical malpractice involves intent whereas negligence is unintentional.
Did your doctor intend to harm you?
A medical malpractice case usually doesn’t mean that the health care professional wanted to harm you. Doctors often have good intentions. With medical malpractice, a doctor withholds information from you that results in harm. He or she may have thought another choice was better and didn’t inform you of your options. Thus, medical malpractice isn’t necessarily a malicious situation. Due to your injuries, however, the law permits you to seek compensation.
Did your doctor forget something?
Forgetting to remove a surgical tool is an example of medical negligence. Almost any type of mistake that causes you harm would count as medical negligence. Examples of other errors include a failure to recognize symptoms, inadequately treating health conditions and prescribing the wrong medication.
When it comes to prescribing drugs, what the doctor knew at the time matters. If he or she chose to not prescribe a certain medication for you that could help your condition, this is medical malpractice. Making mistakes when prescribing medication is medical negligence.
Whether you have a medical negligence or malpractice case, you could seek compensation for your injuries and any emotional distress you went through as a result of the negligence/malpractice. Although a doctor most likely isn’t intending to harm you, he or she may make decisions that are a breach of contract that result in unintended harm. Explaining your situation to a lawyer who has experience with medical negligence and malpractice cases could help you understand what type of lawsuit is best.