What Do I Need to Know About the Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence?

Patients trust they will receive the proper care when they go to see a medical professional. This is because these professionals are required to provide it. While this is usually the case, there are cases in which patients experience a doctor’s carelessness or negligence during their treatment. This can cause them significant harm, which is why they are able to pursue legal action against the professional. During this time, it is important to be aware there is a difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence. Continue reading below to learn more and contact a Washington D.C. personal injury attorney for assistance with your case. Here are some of the questions you may have about the claims process ahead:

What is Medical Malpractice?

When medical professionals receive their license to practice, they owe all patients a duty of care. This requires them to treat patients in accordance with the rightful standard of care. Failing to do so through a knowing breach of this duty is known as medical malpractice. It is important to note that these cases require an element of intent in order for the professional to be found guilty. This means they knew what they were doing was wrong but chose to engage in this behavior anyway.

What is Medical Negligence?

Everyone makes mistakes in life, even medical professionals. However, if a medical professional makes a mistake while they are treating a patient, it can lead to severe suffering. This is called medical negligence. This is different from medical malpractice in the sense that an element of intent is not present. Medical negligence occurs when a professional strays from the standard course of treatment unknowingly. While this is true, it still can cause great harm to a patient.

How Long do I Have to Sue?

Patients who want to pursue legal action against a medical professional due to medical malpractice or medical negligence should keep the statute of limitations in mind. This is a deadline they are required by law to meet, otherwise, the patient can lose their right to pursue legal action. In Washington D.C., the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence is three years from the date of the incident. If you wait any longer than three years, you will most likely be permanently time-barred from suing. Our firm is ready 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.