The 4 D’s of Medical Malpractice

Personal Injury & Workers' Compensation Attorneys Serving Atlanta, Marietta, Cumming, And Nearby Areas Of Georgia

Posted: June 28, 2021

Were you harmed by substandard medical care? If so, you may be entitled to justice and compensation through a medical malpractice claim. 

Filing this type of lawsuit involves proving a specific set of legal elements. These elements are known as the four d’s of medical malpractice. Below, our attorneys explain each requirement in detail to shed light on whether you may have a viable claim.

4 D's of Medical Malpractice1. Duty of Care

The first element that plaintiffs must demonstrate in a winning medical malpractice lawsuit is called duty of care. A healthcare provider only owes you a duty of care if you hired them and they agreed to be hired. A doctor eating at a restaurant, for example, does not owe a duty of care to another diner who is choking on a piece of steak. 

You should be able to show that the doctor in question began seeing you and treating you. Establishing a doctor-patient relationship can be as simple as producing your medical records. 

2. Deviation 

Healthcare providers who deviate from the standard of care can be held liable for medical malpractice. The medical standard of care is often defined as the level of care that a similarly- skilled healthcare professional would have provided under similar circumstances. 

Examples of deviation include giving the wrong medicine or committing a surgical error. You may need an expert witness to testify on your behalf to prove that your care fell dangerously short of the industry benchmark.

3. Direct Causation

Medical malpractice cases often involve patients who were already sick or injured at the time of treatment. That can make it difficult to figure out whether the doctor’s breach of the duty of care was the direct cause of your damages. You must show that it is “more likely than not” that your doctor’s negligence caused your injury. 

4. Damages 

Patients don’t always get hurt when doctors deviate from the standard of care. Some mistakes are relatively harmless and therefore cannot form the basis of a lawsuit. You can only sue for malpractice if you suffered damages, such as physical pain, additional medical bills, or lost earning capacity.

Schedule a Free Medical Malpractice Case Evaluation 

Our attorneys will evaluate the merits of your medical malpractice case for free. Call 770-888-8901 to learn if you have grounds to take legal action for your injuries. The Law Offices of Humberto Izquierdo, Jr., PC proudly serves Atlanta, Marietta, Cumming, and nearby areas of Georgia.

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