Medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and Florida. It is important to understand the basics of medical malpractice and how to determine if you have a case. In order to file a case against a negligent medical entity, it must fulfill certain criteria. According to PubMed, the four Ds of malpractice include duty, dereliction, damages, and direct cause. 

The first of these, duty, requires that the plaintiff in a potential malpractice case establish that there was an actual patient-physician relationship in place. Generally, duty is the easiest D to establish. The only thing necessary is documentation showing that the medical entity in question was overseeing the treatment of the plaintiff.

Deviation means that the medical entity in question failed to comply with general medical standards held for treatment of the specific ailment in question. Examples of deviation could include unnecessary surgical procedures, providing the wrong medication, or surgical errors.

The plaintiff must also show damages. This means that the medical treatment in question cause actual damage to the plaintiff. Essentially, the extent of the suffering must be shown.

The final D is direct cause. This means that the suffering outlined in damages was a direct result of the medical entity. For instance, being prescribed the wrong medication is a direct cause of potential injury. If you have been prescribed a certain medication and are told not to consume alcohol while on that medication but do so anyway and experience damages, this is not direct cause.

Understanding standing the three ds of medical malpractice can go a long way in a successful medical malpractice lawsuit.