Medical negligence can potentially result in serious or permanent injury to you or a loved one, suffering, protracted legal wrangling and immense heartache. Of course, the absolute worst-case scenario is medical negligence that causes someone’s death. There are certain specific elements of medical negligence that are typically referred to as the four D’s – “duty, dereliction, damages and direct cause.” It is helpful to know if these four areas of negligence apply if you are planning to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The four D’s of medical negligence explained
Duty, or duty of care, refers to the tasks that a medical professional usually performs that constitute responsible treatment of a patient. This category can include doing necessary medical procedures, discussing possible risks of treatment with the patient and maintaining patient confidentiality. If a medical professional, for some reason, cannot provide adequate care to a patient, he or she needs to direct the person to an appropriate specialist for treatment.
Dereliction refers to an instance when a physician does not adhere to an accepted standard of care. Examples of dereliction include an incorrect diagnosis, errors made during surgery, medication mistakes and performing uncalled for medical procedures.
Damages are incurred when dereliction leads to harm in any of the following categories:
Documents like medical records and statements from other doctors can be used to help substantiate damages.
Direct cause establishes a link between the negligence of a medical professional and the damages claimed by a patient. It is not always easy to prove.
An attorney experienced in medical malpractice in Nevada can be a good source of information about this subject.