No Matter The Legal Issue, It’s Not Just Our Duty To Help You,
It’s Our Mission

The 4 “Ds” of a medical negligence claim

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2023 | Personal Injury

If something goes wrong when a medical professional treats you, then you might want to hold them responsible.

The law is quite restrictive about when you can do this because it does not want to create a situation where there is a massive shortage of medical staff because everyone is too afraid of being sued to pursue it as a career.

So to bring a claim, you must show that all four of the following are true.

1. Duty of care

You cannot just bring a claim against anyone, it needs to be someone who had a duty of care toward you. Once a doctor or nurse starts treating you it’s usually pretty clear that the duty of care exists. 

2. Deviation from the expected standard of care

The medical profession expects doctors to act in a certain way based on what would be expected of colleagues in the same situation. For example, they are expected to carry out certain checks before performing surgery. If they acted as expected for their level of skill and the situation, then your claim is unlikely to succeed. 

Allowances might be made for the situation though. If a doctor made a mistake when performing emergency surgery in the middle of a smoldering car wreck the court would probably be more lenient toward them than if they made the same mistake in the operating theater.

3. Damages

What lasting harm have you suffered? Typically it needs to be something fairly consequential and not something that will heal quickly.

4. Direct cause

Can you show that the person’s mistake directly caused the damage to you?

If you believe you have a case it’s essential to have a legal professional look at it to see if you really do have grounds to proceed. If so, their knowledge as to how to build it can increase your chances of success.