Difference Between Negligence and Malpractice

Colloquially, the terms “negligence” and “malpractice” are often used interchangeably, since because they share certain similarities, many believe that they are the same thing. However, what a lot of people don’t understand is that these terms refer to very specific things that are worth knowing.

Negligence is a more encompassing concept, within which “malpractice” can be included; since this last term has a much more limited definition and connotation.

If you have doubts about it or are simply looking for a little more information to complement what you already know, keep reading, because below we will explain the difference between malpractice and negligence.

NEGLIGENCE  Difference Between Negligence and Malpractice

The word negligence refers to the sense of duty that an individual has towards another and others. However, in this case it describes the fact of not having acted in accordance with said duty; that is, when someone does not do what they should and that it is in their power to do to help another; then one can speak of negligence.

The following could be an example of negligence: a person who is driving on the highway has a responsibility to obey traffic laws that allow him to drive safely. If the person does not fulfill this duty, then it could hurt someone. This is called negligence.

When a person does not follow the rules and laws and causes others to run the risk of being hurt or disrespected, that person can be said to be negligent.


On the other hand, a bad practice differs slightly from what is meant by negligence. In this case, one can only speak of “malpractice” when the negligence caused damage.

This term is generally used in the context of licensed professionals, such as attorneys and accountants; For this reason, professional negligence is almost always spoken of when malpractice occurs.

Finally, a big difference between negligence and malpractice is that in the case of the former the intention may or may not be present; however, in the second there is always a bad intention that provokes it. Those who commit malpractice are aware of the damage that their actions can cause, while someone who is simply negligent may or may not know what the negative consequences of their actions (or not actions) would be.

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