Malpractice is negligence on the part of a professional only while he or she is acting in the course of professional duties. This unintentional tort involves acts of negligence by an individual employed in a position where defined levels of knowledge, technical skills, and professional standards are prescribed for anyone assuming that position. It is a failure on the part of a professional to act according to such defined standards or a failure to foresee the consequences that a person having the same or similar knowledge, education, and skills should have foreseen. A [professional] includes a nurse, physician, clergyman, educator, and attorney among others.
A tort of negligence results when an individual fails to fulfill a required duty of care and that failure results in an injury to another individual. Negligence is carelessness. The negligent individual neither intends the consequences nor believes they will occur. This is the distinction between negligence and an intentional tort. Many of the acts previously discussed in the section on intentional torts would constitute negligence if there were no