Your doctor is someone who you should trust and feel comfortable with. Unfortunately, thousands of people experience medical negligence annually. Most victims of medical negligence do not even realize that they have a claim and the opportunity to seek compensation for their injuries. Here, we discuss the 4 Ds of medical negligence.
The four Ds of medical negligence are duty, dereliction, direct causation, and damages. All four of these elements must be proven for malpractice to be found.
1. Duty - The Healthcare Provider’s Duty of Care
Physicians are required to uphold a certain standard of care for their patients. This entails maintaining high standards while treating patients, informing patients of any potential risks of a procedure, and keeping the personal information of each patient confidential.
Additionally, physicians must know and inform patients of their expertise and scope of practice. For instance, if a family physician recommends that you have surgery, they should refer you to a reputable surgeon.
2. Dereliction - Derelict of Duty from the Healthcare Provider
Whenever doctors fail to maintain the agreed-upon relationship with a patient or overstep their boundaries, this is known as dereliction. For instance, if a medical professional promises a clean, safe environment during surgery, they're required to uphold that promise.
However, if the patient develops an infection or complication due to an unsanitary working environment, this is a failure on the part of the physician. If a physician performs unauthorized procedures, neglects a patient, or provides the wrong medicine, these are all considered dereliction.
3. Direct Causation - The Negligence Directly Caused Injury
Direct causation is the process of determining whether a physician's actions were the direct result of harm towards the patient. In many instances, determining direct causation is straightforward while other situations are more complex. An instance where direct causation would be easily determined is if a physician performed a surgical procedure that a patient did not sign off on.
4. Damage - The Damages You Sustained
Finally, courts will look to determine the damage that medical malpractice has done to an individual. This includes physical harm, emotional harm, and wage loss. If you have been negatively impacted in any way by medical malpractice, make sure to seek the legal help of a medical malpractice attorney who will fight to ensure your voice is heard in court.