Personal injury is divided into several categories one of which is medical malpractice. This happens to also be the most complex type of case in this category. However, there are a few general similarities since they involve an individual becoming injured due to negligence.
There are also key contrasts between the two.
Definition of Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim involves two major issues which are liabilities and damages since it is a tort claim. As a lawyer, you must establish that the accused is liable for all the damages caused. Moreover, you must explain clearly the nature and extent of all the damages. Before a claim can be heard, the plaintiff is given an opportunity to depict the damages and liabilities. This duty is put into place by the tort system.
It is a must for any attorney to show that a specific injury has happened due to the irresponsibility of another party in a personal injury claim. Every individual has a duty to be careful in every situation. When this care is contravened, and an injury is caused, you have the right to be compensated for the inconveniences created. You should also be conscious of the state in which you live; different states have varying systems regarding personal injury claims.
Personal injury cases revolve around negligence. This may include car and bike accidents, slip and fall accidents, defective product recalls, among many other. This goes to show that personal injury claims cover a much broader spectrum than just medical malpractices.
It is essential to keep in mind that negligence is not necessarily the main reason for a personal injury claim. When it comes to dealing with manufacturers of given products, there is a strict liability that is applied. In such cases, rather than proving negligence you must show that a product is faulty in order to file a personal injury claim.
In other cases, a personal injury claim can be established by showing evidence of a willful wrong doing. For example, an assault or battery case can result in a personal injury claim. Conversely, it is also possible to sue for false imprisonment and win. However, evidence must indicate that you were falsely accused. These examples go a long way to demonstrate the general concept of personal injury as much as they are related to crime. Such cases are to be heard in a civil or tort court.
Definition of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice falls under personal injury law as depicted earlier. The third leading cause of death in America is medical negligence as published in the American Medical Association journal. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death followed closely by cancer. This journal continues to state that in 2012, over three billion dollars was spent in compensations for medical malpractices. This equates to resolving such a claim every forty minutes.
According to the law, medical malpractice occurs when a physician does not follow the accepted procedure for standards of care when treating a patient. These standards are put in place to guide the health provider on what to do or not to do in a particular circumstance. Therefore, if an individual can prove that a medical provider was negligent in a given situation, a medical malpractice case can be brought to court.
To win a medical malpractice case you must demonstrate that a health care provider or facility caused injury or damages to a patient. Keep in mind that a patient not recovering fully does not necessarily constitute medical malpractice – there must be a clear example of negligence involved.
Is Trial Compulsory?
In most personal injury and medical malpractice cases the involved parties will attempt to settle the case outside of the court of law. This is done to avoid various issues; for example, increased costs and exposure to the public. However, it is essential that the plaintiff understand that a large majority of such cases result in an unsuccessful verdict – this is the nature of personal injury law.
Statistics shared by Tim Louis & Company, a personal injury law firm in Vancouver BC:
- Only 20% of the plaintiffs are successful.
- Over two hundred thousand people die annually due to medical malpractices.
- Less than 15% of surviving individuals file a medical malpractice claim.
The above statistics are quite discouraging. It is advisable to work with an experienced attorney who will focus on both personal injury and medical malpractice. Such an attorney will assist you in gathering relevant information that will be used in the case. Additionally, he or she is knowledgeable in the statute of limitations. This is necessary for establishing the right time to file for a claim which is mostly between one to six years after the malpractice has occurred.
Many states have changed their laws with regards to the start date of a malpractice case which differs from a personal injury suit. In personal injury cases, the suit starts on the day of the injury while in medical malpractices, the lawsuit begins at the time in which the negligence is discovered.