Medical Malpractice Vs. Medical Negligence | What You Should Know

There are few things more upsetting and frustrating than going to a medical professional to treat an illness, only to find that the doctor made it worse due to carelessness or malpractice. That being said, there is a difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence, which is why you need an experienced Washington D.C. personal injury attorney who can determine the cause of your injuries and find the best route forward. Here are some of the questions you may have regarding the difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence:

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is when a doctor has a duty of care towards a patient and that doctor knowingly breaches that duty of care by purposely taking a different course of treatment outside of the standard course of treatment, thereby injuring the patient and causing the patient significant financial damages as a result. The most important thing you should understand about medical malpractice is that there is an element of intent, which means that the doctor fully understood that what he or she was doing was wrong, and decided to do it anyway.

What is medical negligence?

On the other hand, when a doctor simply makes a mistake when treating a patient, without knowingly diverting from the standard course of treatment, this is considered medical negligence. The main difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence is the absence of intent. When a doctor does not realize that he or she is making a mistake, though he or she injures a patient and causes that patient to sustain significant damages, that patient can sue the doctor for medical negligence. Though medical malpractice and medical negligence are different, you can sue a doctor for both of those cases, as long as you have a knowledgeable Washington D.C. personal injury attorney at your side.

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

If you are looking to sue a medical professional for medical malpractice or medical negligence, you will have to do so within Washington D.C.’s statute of limitations. Since the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Washington D.C. is, generally, three years, you will have three years from the date of the incident to file your lawsuit. Our firm is here to help you today–all you have to do is pick up the phone and give us a call.


The experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Trombly & Singer, PLLC are prepared to represent clients facing legal matters after being injured due to another person’s negligence. If you require strong legal representation in Washington D.C. or Maryland, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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