Medical malpractice and personal injury cases involve situations where someone suffered an injury because of another’s wrongful act. Likewise, both scenarios require the victim to seek compensation for their injuries. But medical malpractice (or negligence) refers to the mistakes or carelessness carried out by medical professionals. In contrast, personal injury claims encompass a wide range of harms caused by negligent actors, such as property owners, careless drivers, and greedy corporations. In both cases, it is beneficial for the injury victim to seek the advice of an experienced attorney to help research their legal options and file the legal paperwork to pursue compensation.
The Snyder Law Group has recovered hundreds of millions in compensation on behalf of clients throughout the years. We understand the special challenges that personal injury and medical malpractice victims face. Often, their lives are forever changed because of the accident or their injuries. Our Baltimore personal injury lawyers help them regain their agency and rebuild their lives by seeking justice and fair compensation.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury claims describe a broad range of harms. In essence, anytime someone suffers an injury because of someone else’s actions, the potential for a personal injury claim is there. Most personal injury claims have their basis in negligence. Negligence occurs if someone owes another person a duty to act (or refrain from acting) in a certain way but fails to conform to this conduct. If someone suffers an injury as a result, the actor may be liable.
What Are Common Types of Personal Injury Claims?
There are a host of different types of personal injuries that people commonly suffer from each year. Common types include the following:
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Car accidents,
- Slip and falls,
- Premises liability cases,
- Negligent security,
- Product liability,
- Catastrophic truck accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Medical malpractice, and
- Dog bites.
These are just a few examples of personal injury cases. Whenever someone suffers an injury due to no fault of their own, the person may have a personal injury claim against someone else. If you were harmed because of someone else’s action or inaction, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a case and are eligible for compensation.
What Do You Need to Prove to Win a Personal Injury Claim?
The specific elements you must prove to have a successful claim depend on the allegations you are making against the other party. Most personal injury cases are based on the theory of negligence, but some states require victims to prove additional elements to have a valid claim.
For example, to bring a slip and fall claim (also called a premises liability claim), you must prove that the property owner owed you a duty and failed to meet it. Each state has different rules around the protections property owners owe to visitors. In most cases, invited guests have the most protection, but trespassers have little to no protection. That said, some states allow trespassers to recover if the injured party is a child or the property owner uses deadly force (such as booby traps) to protect their property.
Product liability cases also have special requirements that injury victims must meet to have a valid claim. For example, they usually must show that they were using the product as intended and it malfunctioned because of a defect or manufacturing error. Personal injury lawyers can help victims understand the legal requirements they must follow to bring a successful claim against the at-fault person or business.
Is Personal Injury the Same as Medical Malpractice?
In many respects, personal injury claims and medical malpractice are similar. After all, both involve someone who is hurt because of another’s actions or inaction. So, what is the primary difference between personal injury vs medical malpractice claims? The term “personal injury” refers to a broad range of injuries, whereas “medical malpractice” refers to a specific type of harm inflicted by negligent healthcare professionals. So, while every medical malpractice claim is a personal injury claim, not all personal injury claims are medical malpractice.
What Are Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims?
Medical malpractice claims encompass a wide range of harms caused by negligent healthcare professionals. These harms come in many forms, but here are examples of some common types:
- Surgical errors,
- Birth injuries,
- Nursing home negligence,
- Failure to diagnose,
- Wrongful death,
- Plastic surgery errors,
- Hospital-acquired infections, and
- Failure to read or properly interpret radiological results.
Despite the well-known and documented harm that medical mistakes can force on patients, many hospitals and healthcare professionals still struggle to provide adequate and competent care for patients. The National Library of Medicine credits burnout as a contributing factor that may lead to an increase in medical malpractice claims during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of the underlying cause of the medical mistakes, it should not fall on the unsuspecting patient to have to live with the effects when doctors and nurses do not do their jobs correctly. When patients suffer injuries because of a doctor, hospital, or nurse’s mistake, the patient deserves to seek compensation.
Who Is Liable for Medical Negligence?
Many people are familiar with the concept of holding a doctor responsible if a patient suffers an adverse outcome. But that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to medical malpractice. Negligence in nursing is also well-documented and an unfortunately frequent occurrence. Other parties who may be liable to their patients for medical malpractice include the following:
- Dental hygienists,
- Oral surgeons,
- Plastic surgeons,
- Physical therapists,
- Anesthesiologists, and
By virtue of the fact that they are practicing in the field of health, all medical professionals must follow certain guidelines and standards of care when examining, treating, diagnosing, and interacting with patients. If they fail to do so and a patient suffers harm, they may be held accountable.
What Do You Need to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Case?
In a medical negligence case, the patient’s essential argument is that their doctor should have acted in a certain way but did not, causing the patient an injury. To bring a valid claim against an at-fault provider, the patient must prove the following four elements:
- Duty of care. The victim must show that the provider owed them a duty of care to act or refrain from acting in a certain way. They can show this by proving that the doctor saw and treated the patient or provided them with medical advice.
- Breach of duty of care. The patient must then show that the doctor or provider did not act appropriately under the circumstances. The patient can show this by proving the doctor should have done one thing but instead did something else or nothing at all.
- Causation. The patient must prove the doctor or provider’s breach of duty of care caused or contributed to the patient’s illness or worsening injury.
- Damages. The patient must prove they suffered damages (such as by incurring medical expenses) because of the doctor or provider’s breach of duty.
One of the many benefits of hiring a medical malpractice lawyer is they have the specialized knowledge required to prepare and bring a claim against faceless hospitals and medical malpractice insurance providers. They understand what is at stake and how to navigate the complex litigation process. They are also well-versed in Washington, D.C., and Maryland’s special rules about bringing these types of claims and can help clients file the case before the expiration of the applicable deadline.
Need Representation for Your Claim? Call 410-THE-FIRM!
The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration of working with an insurance company, medical professional, or another party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing our talented and experienced lawyers are ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice and personal injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents. Our team has secured hundreds of millions in verdicts and settlements* on behalf of injury victims. Please visit our website, www.410thefirm.com, for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.