D'Amore Personal Injury Law, LLC

What is the Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury?

Understanding the Differences Between Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury

Medical malpractice and personal injury law have some key similarities and differences. When you or a loved one have been injured, you may be wondering what you can do to be compensated for your losses. When you’re looking to get legal advice, the first step is to determine what kind of lawyer you need so that you can find someone experienced in the field.

How to find the best personal injury lawyer.


What is Medical Malpractice and How Does it Relate to Personal Injury?

To identify the right lawyer, you must understand the differences and similarities between medical malpractice and personal injury law:

Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law, also known as tort law, protects individuals if they or their property are harmed due to someone else’s actions or inactions. It includes various specialized areas such as:

– Product Liability

Medical Malpractice

– Slip and Fall

Auto Accidents

Wrongful Death

Medical Malpractice Law

Medical malpractice is a specialized branch of personal injury law. Although it is a subset of personal injury law, not all personal injuries qualify as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice involves negligent actions by healthcare providers that breach the standard of care in their field, resulting in injury to the patient. To prove medical malpractice in Maryland, you must demonstrate:

  1. The healthcare provider owed you a duty of care.
  2. The healthcare provider breached that duty.
  3. The breach directly caused your injury.
  4. You suffered injuries or damages.

If these elements are proven, you can claim two types of damages:

Economic Damages: Measurable costs like hospital bills, legal fees, funeral costs, and lost wages.

Non-Economic Damages: More abstract damages such as emotional trauma and pain and suffering.

Key Similarities and Differences

While medical malpractice is a type of personal injury law, some key factors differentiate it from general personal injury law:


– Both are civil cases.

– Both involve claims of negligence.

– Both seek to recover damages for harm caused.


Complexity: Medical malpractice claims involve nuanced complexities of medical injuries and law, whereas personal injury claims are generally less complicated.

Admission of Fault: In personal injury cases, the negligent party often admits fault, while medical professionals and hospitals typically contest liability.

Expert Testimony: Medical malpractice cases usually require expert testimony from doctors, which can be costly.

Statute of Limitations: In Maryland, the statute of limitations for personal injury is three years. In comparison, medical malpractice claims are allowed three years from the date the injury was or should have been discovered, or five years from the date of injury, whichever is sooner.

Damage Caps: Maryland caps non-economic damages. As of October 1, 2022, the cap is $860,000 for medical malpractice and $920,000 for personal injury.

Do I Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer or a Personal Injury Lawyer?

When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

You may need a personal injury lawyer if you were injured due to someone’s negligence. Examples include:

– Car accidents caused by negligent drivers.

– Harm caused by medical professionals unrelated to medical treatment.

– Injuries caused by non-medical professionals.

When to Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Consult a medical malpractice lawyer if your injuries were caused by a healthcare provider while under their care. This includes:

– Doctors (neurosurgeons, cardiologists, surgeons, physicians)

– Pharmacists

– Nurses

– Dentists

– Medical technicians

– Anesthesiologists

– First responders (Note: In Maryland, first responders and EMTs have some legal protections, but they can be sued under certain conditions.)

If you are unsure whether your case is personal injury or medical malpractice, contacting a law firm experienced in both areas is advisable.

Contact D'Amore Personal Injury Law

D’Amore Personal Injury Law has a team of specialized personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers ready to evaluate your claim. Whether your case involves personal injury or medical malpractice, our experienced legal professionals can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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