An Introduction Into The Four D’s of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice cases seem to be an open and shut case for the average layman, but the reality is that one has to prove a number of things before the case can have some kind of weight or validity. Robust evidence forms the foundation of any legal argument, and medical malpractice cases are no different. At McCready Law, every medical malpractice case we take on from any part of the country has to go through the 4 D’s before we even decide to take it up. Read on to find out more about these 4 D’s and why they are vital in medical malpractice lawsuits.
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The first “D” of medical malpractice is duty. This is short for duty of care, which typically exists between a patient and a caregiver or physician or nurse. All health professionals are legally bound under law to provide a reasonable level of physical care to any patient they come into contact with. This level of care should be similar to what other doctors in their position would offer their patients. This duty of care is implied when there is a doctor-patient relationship, which can be proven by a quick glance at medical records.
Dereliction, the second “D” of medical malpractice is a fancy word that means the abandonment of one’s duty of care towards a patient, leading to the patient suffering injuries. Dereliction of duty of care can look like a number of things, such as failure to diagnose, not diagnosing in a timely manner, failure to ask for informed consent, performing surgery on the wrong body part, failure to provide reasonable level of after-care, overprescribing opioids for pain relief, discharging the patient before they’ve fully recovered, and so on.
It is important to understand that just because you got injured or suffered complications at a healthcare facility doesn’t mean that you’re home free and are able to recover money damages in the form of a medical malpractice lawsuit. The third “D” refers to direct causation, in the sense that you must show that a doctor’s or nurse’s actions were the direct cause of your injuries.
In order to have a valid personal injury lawsuit in medical malpractice, you must have suffered compensable damages. These are quantifiable concepts that will compensate you for specific damages or injuries, such as a kidney operating at 35 percent after a botched surgery requiring kidney transplantation or dialysis. Certain damages, however, are non-economic, such as pain and suffering due to the after-effects of the doctor’s negligent actions, and emotional pain.
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These four “D”s are a great guide that show you have a valid case and can recover compensation in the form of a medical malpractice claim. If you’re not sure about your ability to sue your physician for a mistake they did, please give us a call and we’ll assess the issue further via a 100% FREE consultation. Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you.