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The Ds of Medical Malpractice

The vast majority of doctors are altruistic people who have the best interests of their patients at heart; however, there are a few bad apples who might harm their patients. In this case, the doctor might be guilty of medical malpractice. In order to prove this case, there are a few criteria that need to be met. These are referred to as the four Ds.


The first D stands for duty. The doctor needs to have a duty to care for the patient in question. If the doctor was not the direct physician overseeing the care of that individual in some sort of medical capacity, then there isn’t medical malpractice Baltimore MD. On the other hand, if there was a clear doctor-patient relationship established, then the first D is met.


The second D stands for dereliction. The physician must have deviated from the standard of care. In this case, an expert witness might be needed to discuss what a reasonable physician would have done in this situation. If the physician performed up to the same standards as any other medical professional, then there wasn’t a dereliction. If the physician made a mistake, then a dereliction took place.


The third D stands for damages. The doctor’s actions must have harmed the patient in some way. Remember that just because a bad outcome took place does not mean that there is a medical malpractice case. Doctors cannot save everyone. On the contrary, if the doctor deviated from the standard of care and a bad outcome resulted, then there might be a malpractice case.

Direct Cause

The final D stands for direct cause. If damages are present, the dereliction of the doctor must have been the direct cause in order for medical malpractice to be present. Some doctors might deviate from the standard of care and still end up with a healthy patient. They have simply gotten lucky. If the doctor’s dereliction from the accepted standard of care was the proximate cause of a patient’s damages, then a trained lawyer might be able to prove that medical malpractice is present.

Proving Medical Malpractice

It is challenging to prove that medical malpractice has taken place. This is why it is important for patients to work with trained attorneys who can walk them through this process. Society depends on trained, compassionate doctors to take care of people when they are sick or injured.

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