Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt | Attorneys At Law

The four D’s of medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2019 | Firm News |

Medical malpractice, or otherwise called, medical negligence, is an incident that can deliver life-altering and possibly life-ending circumstances. Filed lawsuits against the doctor or hospital’s negligence can lead to substantial payouts.

It’s very tough to prove medical negligence. The standard of care must be neglected, and the four D’s will need to be confirmed.

The four D’s are:

  1. Duty
  2. Dereliction
  3. Damage
  4. Direct cause


It must be proven that a doctor-patient relationship existed before the procedure and that a duty was owed to the patient. Also, you must be able to determine that the doctor could perform the necessary responsibilities and expectations of the procedure in the same manner that another physical could in the same or similar circumstances. If the physician couldn’t perform the duties required, that they should have referred the patient to a physician that could competently perform the procedure.


Dereliction applies to the patient being able to prove that their ailment was misdiagnosed, providing the wrong medication, or failing to meet the standard of care.


The patient must be able to prove that the negligence led to physical or mental damages. To establish your damages, medical records or prescriptions are excellent avenues to consider.

Direct cause

It must be proven that the physician’s malpractice and poor care was the direct reason for your damages. Examples of this could be an improperly applied cast or the improper placement of a bone, ligament, tendon, organ, etc. during surgery that led to further complications.

Doctors, like those in all professions, make mistakes, but don’t let this stray you from pursuing a lawsuit if you feel negligence occurred.



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