Malpractice comes in different forms. Most associate the word with “medical malpractice.” However, “professional malpractice” arises in the accounting, legal and other professional industries.  One must determine whether someone has committed malpractice versus an ethical violation.

Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice arises when a doctor, caregiver or hospital falls below the level of reasonableness for the medical profession. Not all medical mistakes or poor outcomes amount to malpractice. On the other hand, horrible outcomes and mistakes give rise to malpractice actions.

Nevada Revised Statute 41A.009.  “Medical malpractice” defined.

“Medical malpractice” means the failure of a physician, hospital or employee of a hospital, in rendering services, to use the reasonable care, skill or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances.

Currently, Nevada’s legislature has elected to limit recovery on medical malpractice cases for non-economic damages to $350,000. This is something consumers of medical services and trial lawyers are concerned about and trying to reverse. Doctors and insurance companies oppose changing the limit arguing it is too expensive to be insured and harder to keep quality medical care in Nevada. This is disingenuous. Bad doctors cause lawsuits. Lawsuits do not cause bad doctors or bad medical care. Meanwhile consumers suffer.

Professional Malpractice

Professional malpractice applies a similar level of reasonableness standard for the particular profession. It may be an accountant, a lawyer or other professional.

Nevada Revised Statute  § 89.020 states:

“Professional service” means any type of personal service which may legally be performed only pursuant to a license, certificate of registration or other legal authorization.