In a recent installment, we explained how medical malpractice and medical negligence mean the same thing. Medical malpractice is a type of negligence—unreasonable conduct by healthcare providers that harms patients. In this piece, we explore ordinary negligence in a medical practice case.

A Closer Look

Not all injuries in a medical facility are caused by medical negligence.

In a medical facility, ordinary negligence is unreasonable conduct that harms a patient but does not involve professional judgment or skill. If a patient falls because a nurse fails to monitor the patient, that’s medical malpractice because monitoring involves nursing judgment and skill. If a patient falls because the nurse is texting a friend and bumps into the patient, that’s ordinary negligence. The difference depends on the facts. Sometimes the line gets blurry.

Unreasonable conduct by non-professionals is ordinary negligence because it does not involve professional judgment or skill.

Negligence in Medical Malpractice

Often, the root cause of medical practice is negligence committed by the facility’s managers and administrators at an institutional level. That’s also an example of ordinary negligence.

A facility’s managers and administrators may be (a) employees who are not healthcare professionals or (b) healthcare professionals acting in managerial or administrative roles.

A poorly run facility may ignore and even enable medical error. If a hospital’s administration improperly trains nurses, for example, they will eventually make a mistake that harms a patient.

By getting to the root cause of medical negligence, ordinary negligence can supercharge a medical malpractice case. See a recent example here, starting on page 39.

The Bell Law Firm represents clients who have suffered death or catastrophic injury in medical malpractice and other personal injury cases. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a healthcare provider, contact us today.