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What are the 4 Ds of medical malpractice claims?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Entering a hospital for treatment requires putting your faith in the doctors and nurses treating you. Most of the time, they do a great job, but the consequences when they do not can be catastrophic for the patient involved.

If you are unhappy with the treatment you received, you might be able to bring a medical malpractice claim. Yet, doing so requires much more than just being unhappy or disappointed. Here are the four general criteria that must exist if you are to consider a medical malpractice claim.  

Duty

Did the person you are trying to sue have a duty of care toward you. In other words, are you claiming against the right person? Hospitals are full of staff, but you were not a patient of all of them.

Dereliction 

Did they neglect their duty toward you, or were they negligent in performing it? You need to show the person acted out of the ordinary somehow. 

Damages

Did you suffer a serious injury? For example, you suffered brain damage due to a lack of oxygen during surgery. Damages are some kind of quantifiable loss for which you can claim compensation.

Direct cause

Can you show that they caused you that harm? For example, if the nurse in charge of ensuring you had sufficient oxygen failed to notice the bottle had run out, you may have grounds to claim. If the oxygen deficit was due to complications inside your body, holding someone responsible could be much more challenging.

If you think your case meets those four criteria, the next step would be to seek legal help. The burden of proof is high in medical malpractice claims, and understanding what evidence to gather and how to present it will be crucial.

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