The 4 D’s of medical negligence

By November 5, 2020 July 1st, 2021 No Comments

When a medical doctor or practitioner fails to treat a patient with proper treatment or care due to which the patient faces severe harm, this is when medical negligence or malpractice occurs.

The 4 D’s refer to the four requirements in a medical malpractice case in order for a victim to receive compensation for any harm. A medical negligence claim needs to be proved by a specific set of legal requirements. These requirements are 4 D’s of medical negligence from the underlying basis of a medical negligence lawsuit.

Understanding the 4 D’s of malpractice will give you an understanding of what is required for a successful claim, how they impact your case and ultimately, compensation. The four D’s are:

  • Duty

A medical practitioner owes you a duty of care that is consistent and acceptable by medical standards.

The solicitor you hire must demonstrate that the relationship between patient to medical professional or patient to healthcare provider firstly existed.

In short, this duty is breached if you have been harmed by their action or inaction.

  • Dereliction

As mentioned, your healthcare provideris obliged to provide the treatment according to the medical professional standard of care.

The standard of care requires healthcare professionals or practitioners to provide patients care and treatment with the same skill, care, and diligence that another similarly qualified medical professional would provide under the same circumstances.

Some examples of deviations:

  • Misdiagnosing a patient’s injury.
  • Wrong laboratory test or report.
  • Suggesting unnecessary surgery.
  • Prescribing wrong types or amounts of medication.
  • Being unprofessional with surgical techniques, such as leaving a surgical tool or sponge inside a patient during an operation.

To prove this deviation, an expert witness is required. Such experts will describe the normal medical standards and what they would have done under those circumstances. Your solicitor will have experts for each area of medical practice that they use to provide these reports.

  • Direct cause

Causation needs to then be established. What this means is that the action or inaction of the medical practitioner led directly to your injury.

To further explain, if it can be established that the injury was going to occur anyway and that the medical practitioners action did not cause your injury, then your case will be in difficulty.

Again your solicitor will establish causation with an expert report on the matter.

  • Damages

Damages represent the physical, psychological and financial impact that caused medical harm has had on the victim’s life. As a result, a plaintiff must be shown that the medical professional’s negligence caused damages that need to be compensated by a court.

medical negligence 4d's image

The compensation can be shown for:

  • General damages for the injury itself
  • Special damages ie medical bills, physiotherapy, loss of earnings

Again your solicitor will guide you through these and ensure you recover the maximum amount under each heading.

What Solicitor should I hire?

Medical negligence or malpractice is a unique area of law. The field requires extensive knowledge and experience. Proving medical negligence or malpractice claim is very difficult for a number of reasons and hence is a niche area of law.

It is therefore important that you choose a highly-qualified personal injury attorney who has the experience to take on large hospitals and insurance companies in the area of medical negligence.

We offer free consultations. If you find it necessary for more information and more about claims, let us know.

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