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In order to practice medicine, doctors go through years of school and training. It is because of this that they are held to a high standard and patients trust them with their lives. While patients are usually in good hands, there are cases in which a doctor’s carelessness can cause further suffering. When facing these situations, it is important to be aware that there is a difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence. Continue reading below to learn more and contact a New York personal injury attorney for help with your case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

All doctors owe a duty of care towards their patients. This means they are required to treat them up to par with a certain standard. If the doctor knowingly breaches this duty of care and causes harm to their patient, it is known as medical malpractice. In order to be considered malpractice, there must be an element of intent. This means the doctor knew what they were doing and chose to do it anyway. It is because of this that patients can pursue legal action against them.

What is Medical Negligence?

All people can make mistakes in their life, including doctors. However, unlike a regular civilian, when a doctor makes a mistake, they can severely harm a patient. When this happens, it is known as medical negligence. These situations are different from medical malpractice in the sense that there is no element of intent. This means the doctor unknowingly diverted from the standard course of treatment. While this is true, patients can still pursue legal action for damages.

How Long do I Have to Sue?

When a patient wants to pursue legal action against a doctor in the event of medical negligence or medical malpractice, it is important to do so in accordance with the statute of limitations. Simply put, this is a deadline that injured parties are required to meet when they are filing a personal injury claim. In New York, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence is two and a half years from the date of the injury. 

Contact our Firm

If you have been injured in a New York City car accident, Swerling Law is here to help. Our firm understands the challenges that many people face after being hurt in an accident and is prepared to help you receive an award of significant compensation to ease some of your burdens. To schedule a consultation with an experienced construction site accident attorney in New York City, contact Swerling Law today.


Settlement to a barista who slipped and fell on a defective stairwell while working for Starbucks who sustained back injuries requiring multiple surgeries in 2012.


Settlement to a woman who was assaulted and sustained back/hip injuries in 2015.


Verdict to a high school student who was assaulted by a school dean during her lunch period dislocating her hip in 2014.


Settlement to a man who was run over by a dump truck on a Brooklyn street causing him to sustain multiple injuries, including but not limited to a broken leg and detached urethra in 2019.


Settlement to a woman who slipped and fell down a wet stairwell in a New York City Housing Authority building requiring a back surgery in 2018.

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