What Are the 4 D's of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

The Hippocratic Oath is the cornerstone of modern medicine. It is one of the oldest binding documents in existence, and yet physicians still use it today. When a physician or medical worker takes the Hippocratic Oath, they swear to provide the best possible medical care and cause no harm to their patients. When a person breaks this oath, they shatter the lives of those who trusted them with their health.

Sometimes it might be hard to tell if you've suffered from medical malpractice, especially when doctors, nurses, hospital lawyers, and other parties deny it happened. To know if you have a case, it helps to know the "four D's" of medical malpractice.

The 4 D's of Medical Malpractice

1. Duty

The term duty defines the relationship between a patient and their doctor, nurse, or other medical professional. It establishes that every patient-physician relationship is founded on the principle that doctors help patients. Medical workers have a duty to follow specific procedures and provide the care a patient requires. If they can't provide adequate medical care or meet a patient's needs or wishes, they should refer them to a specialist. No matter what, a doctor or medical worker must ensure they aren't betraying a patient's trust.

2. Dereliction

All medical professionals receive training to care for patients. When they fail to perform according to their training, dereliction occurs. In some instances, dereliction is also referred to as deviation.

Dereliction includes mistakes such as:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Late diagnosis
  • Prescribing incorrect medicines
  • Not following standard practices
  • Surgical errors

In short, a person needs to prove that medical professionals didn't follow their training and could have prevented an injury had they done so.

3. Damage

A person needs to prove that a medical professional somehow damaged their health. Medical records might be enough to prove damage in some instances. In other cases, a patient might need to be diagnosed by another medical professional to show that damage occurred.

4. Direct Cause

It is not enough to prove that harm occurred; a patient must also prove that the medical professional's failure to follow protocol was the direct cause of said injuries. For example, if a patient has a hip replacement, and an error during surgery causes nerve damage, this could be considered a direct cause. However, if the same surgery was successful but a patient later falls and breaks their hip replacement, this is not direct cause.

Think You Have a Case? Don't Wait to Act.

Recovering from medical malpractice injuries is difficult. If a botched medical procedure caused you lasting harm, the last thing on your mind might be compensation. However, victims of medical malpractice shouldn't wait to consider their legal options, as the state of Louisiana limits how long a person can wait to file their claim. The law states that all medical malpractice claims must be filed within one year from a procedure or the discovery of an injury.

Turn to Clayton, Frugé & Ward to Prove the Four D's

If you are suffering because of medical malpractice, it's important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Hiring a lawyer will enable you to focus on recovery while your attorney investigates the case, working to prove the four D's.

In medical malpractice cases, attorneys can help you recover losses such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of an ability to earn wages
  • Loss of consortium

Through the years, Clayton, Frugé & Ward has secured over $1 billion in victories for clients, winning some of the largest verdicts in state history along the way. While nothing can change what happened to you, our firm can fight to hold negligent medical workers accountable for their actions.

Contact us today for a free consultation of your case at (225) 209-9943. We never collect a fee unless we win results for you.