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What's The Difference Between Ordinary Negligence vs Professional Negligence?


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When we consult with or retain the services of a licensed professional, we expect that person to keep our best interests in mind and also to conduct themselves within the standards we expect from their particular profession. Every day, millions of people place their personal well-being and future into the hands of a professional who is expected to conduct themselves according to a certain level of skill and professionalism. When this does not occur, people can be seriously injured or suffer other adverse results, and may be able to recover in an action for professional negligence.

From a physician misdiagnosing a patient to an attorney failing to file a document in time, often people fall victim to instances of malpractice through no fault of their own. In order to determine whether you may have a professional negligence claim, you should consult with an experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer. A malpractice lawsuit could result in significant recovery for you and your family, and can help uphold the standards of a profession.

Ordinarily, a lawsuit for negligence seeks to hold another person or party financially responsible for injuries or other damages the plaintiff suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence. In a legal action for negligence there are usually four elements that need to be shown:

  • Duty – the defendant must have owed a “duty of care” to the plaintiff.
  • Breach – the defendant must have taken some action that breached that duty of care. A person breaches that duty if they fail to exercise the care that a reasonable person would have exercised.
  • Causation – the defendant’s actions must have proximately caused the injuries to the plaintiff.
  • Damages – the plaintiff must have actually suffered a loss or an injury.

In a case involving professional negligence, the question of what constitutes “breach” changes. Rather than analyzing the defendant’s conduct against the standard of a “reasonable person,” the applicable standard to which professionals are held is that of a “reasonably prudent member of the profession.” The exact rule depends on the profession that is at issue, but the fundamental idea is that professionals are held to a higher standard of care that takes into account their training and experience. In this way, the custom and standards set by a particular profession or industry come into question when determining whether a professional acted negligently. Some of the types of professionals that may be held liable for professional negligence include:

  • Physicians
  • Surgeons
  • Attorneys
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Contractors
  • Accountants
  • Investment advisors
  • Pharmacists
  • Brokers

Professionals may also be liable for the negligent actions of their support staff; for example, a physician may be liable for actions performed by his or her assistant, or a lawyer liable for the actions of his or her paralegal. Also, depending on the circumstances of a professional’s working situation, you may be able to hold another party, such as a hospital or law firm, liable for any negligence on the part of the professional.

If you feel that you have been harmed by professional negligence, you should contact an experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorney as soon as possible. These types of claims are governed by a strict personal injury statute of limitations, meaning that there is a limited amount of time in which you can bring a claim.

Proven Results


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Woman suffering physical and emotional abuse at nursing home.


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Man suffered back injury after head-on collision.

***Every case is unique and your results will differ. Contact us for a free case review of your circumstance.

– Pat D.
"After being involved in a car accident, I was very fortunate to work with Don Wruck. He explained everything to me and my family and made me feel involved in all decisions. I was very happy with the result of my case and happy to have found this firm!"
– Kayla D.
"My case wasn’t very large, but they made it easy to recover damages when the insurance company didn’t even want to cover basic costs. The firm was responsive to my inquiries, and very clear about what was required and what could be expected, during every step of the process."
– Wayne M.
"From start to finish, Wruck Paupore PC Law were the best! Knowledgeable and straightforward, they explained the process, start to finish, and gave guidance while allowing us to determine the best course of action to take. We would highly recommend them and would certainly use them again."
– Chris V.
"We are so thankful with how the lawyers and staff handled our case. The folks at Wruck and Paupore were always pleasant and helpful in all their phone calls and letters. It was always a pleasure to get their calls. We were especially pleased with their tenacious pursuit of the goal of full recovery which was far greater than we could have imagined."
– Jay Zoellner
"Attorney Wruck did an amazing job in settling my personal injury case. His knowledge and experience specific to semi truck accidents made all of the difference in the outcome of my case; the settlement exceeded my expectations! The staff at his firm was helpful, responsive and caring during a difficult time following a life-altering experience. I highly recommend Attorney Wruck and his firm."
– J B
"Attorney Wruck did an amazing job in settling my personal injury case. His knowledge and experience specific to semi-truck accidents made all of the difference in the outcome of my case; the settlement exceeded my expectations!"
– James M.
"Exceptional team. They took on my case and made sure that I was consulted on every issue. If it wasn’t for the caring staff and my legal team I don’t know what I would have done. Everyone did an awesome job thanks so much for your help."
– Rhonda M.
– Adriana
"Wruck Paupore was fantastic. I was informed every step of the way, they did all of the work, and I got my case settled."
– Idell J.
"It was awesome watching Donald Wruck at work during mediation. He really fights for his clients."
– Lisa L.
"Wruck Paupore did more than they promised and did all of the work. I was worried about bills and dealing with insurance people. They did everything while I recovered. They were not concerned about earning money but about helping me and my husband."
– Edithe P.
"Don did a great job on my case! Staff was amazing! Kept me in the loop the entire time. I highly recommend!!!!"
– Dana L.
"A great experience from beginning to settlement. Handled our case from start to finish. Explained every step and communicated very well."
– William H.

Your Legal Team

Your Legal Team

Top-Rated Litigator.
Helping injury victims move forward.

Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.

More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.

Best Indiana Auto Accident Lawyer
Understanding the Insurance Company:
Getting Results.

In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.

Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.

Best Personal Injury Lawyers Indianapolis
More than 40 Years of Experience.
Still Fighting for Justice.

For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.

Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.

Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.

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Proven Results

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***Every case is unique and your results will differ. Contact us for a free case review of your circumstance.

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