What is the Difference Between Medical Malpractice & Medical Negligence?

If you were recently harmed by a medical professional, you are most likely looking to hold that doctor liable for his or her actions. However, the first step in doing so is determining whether your doctor performed an act of medical malpractice or medical negligence. Our New Jersey personal injury attorneys are here to help. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is medical malpractice?

When a doctor has a duty of care towards a patient, he or she is legally obligated to do everything in his or her power to treat their patient to the best of their ability, and in accordance with the standard course of treatment. When a doctor breaches his or her duty of care by knowingly diverting from the standard course of treatment, despite knowing that this diversion from the standard course of treatment could negatively affect his or her patient, and the doctor’s patient is harmed and suffers significant damages as a result, there is a very good chance that the patient will have a valid medical malpractice claim.

What is medical negligence?

While medical negligence and medical malpractice both deal with unwarranted harm done to a doctor’s patient, the difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence is that medical malpractice is done with intent, whereas medical negligence is when a doctor simply makes a mistake resulting in harm done to a patient. Therefore, the fact that the medical professional did not realize that he or she was diverting from the standard course of treatment means that the harm done is a result of medical negligence, not malpractice. Make no mistake–you can sue a medical professional for both malpractice and negligence, though you will need an experienced New Jersey medical malpractice attorney who can determine the best course of action to follow.

How long will I have to sue a medical professional for malpractice or negligence?

If you are injured in an incident of medical malpractice or medical negligence, you will have to take legal action against the liable party within two years of the date of the accident, in accordance with the state’s statute of limitations. Do not make the mistake of waiting any longer than two years to sue, for if you do, you will most likely be permanently barred from doing so. Our firm is here to help you today–all you have to do is ask.


Stathis & Leonardis, LLC is an experienced personal injury law firm in Middlesex County, New Jersey that is committed to helping clients who have been hurt due to another party’s negligence. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident or were injured on another person’s property, please do not hesitate to contact our firm today.

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