Many of our clients want to know the difference between medical malpractice and negligence. For example, we often hear the statement, “my doctor was negligent, but I don’t know if he committed malpractice.” What you need to understand is that there really isn’t a difference between negligence and malpractice, except when it comes to proving your case.
Negligence is basically the failure to use ordinary care. When proving negligence, we generally think about what a reasonable person would do in the same situation. This is called the “reasonable man standard.” For example, in a car accident case, you would consider whether a reasonable person would have driven that speed or engaged in that distraction.
Malpractice cases are proven by expert testimony. We don’t look at what a reasonable person would do. Instead, we would review whether the doctor followed the standard of care within the medical community. Medical experts are therefore used to determine if the doctor failed to provide this standard of care.
Virginia medical malpractice cases are not easy to prove. If you suspect that you have been harmed by your doctor’s actions, or lack of, you should talk with an experienced Fairfax medical malpractice attorney.
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