| Read Time: 4 minutes | Medical Malpractice
4 D’s of Medical Malpractice in New Mexico

Do you think you have a medical malpractice claim against a medical provider in New Mexico?

When you seek medical treatment, you assume the medical provider will help you, not cause further harm.

However, sometimes–and the reasons vary wildly–medical providers fail to treat you to the best of their training and ability.

In some situations, their actions rise to the level of medical malpractice.

However, you must prove the 4 D’s of malpractice before you can collect any compensation for your damages.

Proving negligence in a medical malpractice case can be complicated, which is why you should speak with a skilled New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer.

At Poulos & Coates, LLP, we specialize in medical malpractice injury claims.

In fact, we have a doctor and nurse on staff to evaluate your case and help prepare your case for trial if necessary.

What Are the Four D’s of Negligence?

To successfully recover compensation for your medical malpractice claim, you must show the medical provider was negligent.

You can achieve this by proving the four main negligence elements, commonly referred to as the “four Ds” of negligence or malpractice.

These elements are duty, dereliction, direct, and damages.

1. Duty

The first element is duty, which is whether the medical provider owed a duty to you as the patient. Duty is often easy to prove, especially if you are a registered patient of the medical provider in question.

If the doctor was not treating you, then they may not be responsible for your injuries.

If you are at a social gathering and have a discussion with a physician, it doesn’t qualify as a doctor-patient relationship.

You would need to schedule an appointment with the doctor to have them treat you.

To speak with a top lawyer specialized in medical malpractice in the state of New Mexico, call (575) 523-4444 for a free case review with Poulos & Coates.

2. Dereliction

If you can prove the medical provider owed you a duty, then there is a chance they were derelict in their duty to you.

For example, if the doctor didn’t meet certain expectations set by the standards of care within his profession.

Examples of dereliction a numerous, and include:

  • Failing to adequately investigate your condition;
  • Misdiagnosing your condition;
  • Diagnosing your condition too late; 
  • Failing to involve specialists in either diagnosing or treating your condition;
  • Prescribing the wrong medication, or at the wrong dose;
  • Performing the wrong medical procedure;
  • Failing to communicate with other healthcare team members about your condition or tests; and
  • Many more.

There are accepted industry standards that medical providers are expected to adhere to when treating a patient.

When they don’t do so, it can be dereliction.

3. Direct

The third D of medical negligence is direct.

This element requires you to prove the doctor’s misconduct directly caused your injuries.

If the medical provider made a mistake, but that mistake didn’t cause your injuries or lead to any other negative outcome, then you may not be able to prove your malpractice lawsuit.

If you can prove the doctor’s misconduct directly led to a negative outcome, then you may have a chance at holding them accountable.

4. Damages

The final element of the 4 D’s of malpractice in New Mexico is “damages”.

Did the alleged medical malpractice lead to damages?

For example, did you suffer physical harm, emotional damages, or financial damages?

Damages can include things like time off work, additional medical bills, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of your ability to work, and much more.

What to Do If You Can Prove the 4 D’s of Malpractice Negligence

If you believe you can meet all four D’s of malpractice, your next call should be to a knowledgeable New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer.

These claims are notoriously challenging to pursue.

You are going up against a doctor who has experience with these types of cases and has a large, very well-funded insurance company and an experienced lawyer defending them.

You need someone on your side who can improve your chances of getting the compensation you are rightfully due.

Many of these cases require one or more experts to weigh in and provide testimony that supports your claim.

At Poulos & Coates, LLP, our on-staff doctor, and nurse will evaluate your case, help locate expert witnesses who can testify on your behalf, and ultimately prepare your case for trial.

Contact Our New Mexico Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

Our firm has more than 70 years of combined experience representing clients in medical malpractice claims.

We are the only New Mexico law firm that focuses exclusively on medical malpractice.

We have successfully obtained more than $300 million in gross recoveries for our medical malpractice clients.

Because we handle only medical malpractice cases, you can relax knowing your claim is in very experienced and competent hands.

To learn more about how we can help you with your potential medical malpractice claim, contact Poulos & Coates, LLP,  today to schedule an initial consultation.

We offer free consultations, and you’ll never pay any upfront costs if we take your case.

We collect fees and expenses only if we successfully recover compensation for you in a settlement or jury verdict.

Call us today for a free consultation 888-478-5424, and let us protect your rights in a medical malpractice case.

Author Photo

Greig Coates, M.D., J.D.

Over the last thirty years, Dr. Coates has successfully represented plaintiffs in every conceivable type of medical malpractice lawsuit–from single-physician cases to complex litigation involving over a dozen doctors and several hospitals. Dr. Coates has taken several thousand physician depositions in his career involving every known physician specialty and sub-specialty, and almost as many depositions involving hospital personnel such as nurses, techs, and administrators. He has tried several dozen cases to successful verdicts.