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What are the 4D’s of medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

When you enter a hospital for treatment, you are likely aware that it’s impossible to guarantee that things will turn out exactly how you want. Yet, that does not mean you have to accept every instance of things failing to meet your hopes and expectations.

For instance, sometimes, an unsatisfactory outcome occurs due to medical negligence. In this scenario, you’ll need to show all of the following four things were true if you wish to claim compensation.


Did the person or entity you intend to sue have a duty of care toward you? Essentially, you need to ensure you are suing a treating physician or another person or entity that had legal obligations related to their care of your situation.


Did the medical professional deviate from giving you the duty of care that would be expected of their profession under the circumstances? For example, a doctor who treated you with no help and very little medical equipment after a remote car wreck may get more leniency than one who made an error in a well-equipped hospital while surrounded by a team of colleagues.


What damage did you suffer? What injuries or illness? Typically, a court will only consider something significant enough to seriously affect your life, not something you will get over in a few days or weeks.

Direct cause

You must show the harm you suffered arose as a direct result of the provider’s deviation from an expected standard of care. In other words, if they did what they should have, you would not have suffered the harm. You must show that your harm was not just a coincidence or attributable to another cause.

If you believe all those four things are (or may be) true for your situation, seek a legal opinion to double-check your assessment of the situation and, if appropriate, help you build a strong claim.


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