Medical Malpractice vs. Legal Malpractice: Is The Lawyer Process The Same For Both?


When it comes to legal malpractice and medical malpractice, the lawyering process is often similar. However, a few key differences between the two must be considered before proceeding with a claim. This guide will examine the differences between medical and legal malpractice lawsuits and provide some necessary details on proceeding with JJS Law if you think you have a case.

What Is Medical Malpractice And What Is Legal Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is an act of negligence or carelessness by a healthcare provider resulting in harm or injury to a patient or failure to diagnose or treat an illness or condition properly. Medical malpractice includes misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, improper treatment, failure to obtain informed consent before treatment, surgical errors, prescription errors, and birth injuries.

Legal malpractice occurs when a lawyer fails to exercise reasonable skill and care when representing their client. This can include failing to meet deadlines, neglecting cases, communicating adequately with clients, drafting agreements with mistakes, and giving bad advice.

How Do The Two Differ In Terms Of The Lawyer Process?

The JJS Law lawyer process for medical and legal malpractice cases is similar but has some key differences. Generally speaking, both require filing a complaint in civil court against the responsible parties. This triggers the discovery phase, where attorneys for each side investigate the evidence related to the case.

Both types of lawsuits require expert witnesses who can testify whether appropriate standards of care were met in either instance. Finally, both types of claims require extensive legal research into applicable statutes of limitation and potential damages that may be awarded if successful.

What Are Some Key Differences Between The Two?

The primary difference between medical and legal malpractice cases is the burden of proof required for each type of lawsuit.

Medical Malpractice

For medical malpractice claims specifically, plaintiffs must demonstrate that a healthcare professional breached their duty of care by acting negligently or recklessly while providing treatment or diagnosis—something known as “causation” in legal terms—and prove that this breach resulted in direct harm or injury (this is called “damages”).

Legal Malpractice

On the other hand, legal malpractice cases don’t necessarily require causation; instead, they focus on showing that the attorney failed to meet the responsibilities owed to their client while employed as a lawyer (e.g., missed deadlines).  

Additionally, most states have laws limiting how long after an incident someone can file a claim for either type of lawsuit—these are known as “statutes of limitations”—which can vary from state to state. Hence, potential claimants need to research these closely before filing any paperwork with the court system. 

The Bottom Line      

There are some fundamental similarities between medical and legal malpractice lawsuits; however, some important distinctions should be considered before deciding whether such claims are viable options for justice-seeking individuals looking for compensation from negligent health professionals or lawyers who have caused them harm.

Ultimately it is up to those considering such suits and their appointed attorneys to determine which path makes sense given their circumstances. However, understanding both processes can help inform decision-making along the way.

Hire JJS Law To Find Out If You Have A Case

If you think you may have been wronged through either type of negligence, it is highly recommended that you speak with an experienced attorney like JJS Law about your situation immediately. They can let you know what steps should come next to pursue justice accordingly. Thanks for reading.