Instances of a slip and fall, car accident, or faulty product can all fall under the umbrella of personal injury claims. Simply defined, a personal injury is any incident in which the negligence demonstrated by an individual causes injury to another. So, by this definition, medical malpractice can be included within this branch of law. And although both types strive to bring justice to an individual who was injured by no fault of their own, each present several critical distinctions.
While all medical malpractice lies within the realm of personal injury, not all personal injuries can be classified as medical malpractice. That’s because medical malpractice cases deal with instances involving error caused by a medical professional. And as such, they are typically far more complex. In this article, we will take a look at the particular commonalities and differences between these two areas of law.
Similarities they share:
- All personal injury cases, including those of medical malpractice, must involve an injured party.
- A plaintiff in both types of cases can receive non-economic damages. These take into account and accommodate one’s pain and suffering endured from a particular incident.
- Monetary compensation will be awarded for the economic and non-economic damages inflicted upon the plaintiff in the case that their lawsuit is successful.
Distinctions between personal injury and medical malpractice:
- Medical malpractice is far more complicated than a typical personal injury case. That’s because these deal with technical and detailed medical issues, requiring extensive research and detailed documentation.
- Dispute issues will more commonly arise with medical malpractice cases. In most personal injury incidents, the defendant will typically admit fault. However, in medicine-related cases, physicians will most likely deny wrongdoing and come well-equipped to fight back.
- An Affidavit of Merit or a sworn statement from a physician is required before a plaintiff can file a medical malpractice case. This should signify that the defendant was negligent in their medical practices.
- Expert witnesses are also necessary. They are hired to review records and provide objective, expert medical testimony. And since their knowledge is valuable, they demand high fees for their service, driving up the costs of medical malpractice cases.
- The statute of limitations, or the time frame in which a case may be filed, is different and shorter for medical malpractice claims. In California, this time limit is three years.
- Finally, the success rate of medical malpractice cases is far shorter than those of personal injury. That’s why these pose a far higher risk and require a larger investment of time and resources.
We at Raynes | Erickson specialize in personal injury cases of medical malpractice. So in the case that you or a loved one is injured due to medical negligence, we are here for you. We strive to meet each client with compassion in this challenging time as we advocate for the just compensation of their sufferings. If you are in search of legal counsel or assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to our team of medical malpractice experts today.