At Latona Law, we are never shy about reminding our clients that medical negligence is all we do. We are experts on medical negligence and malpractice in all their forms. After all, we have been defending Pennsylvanians from preventable injuries resulting from medical negligence for more than 30 years.

Aside from fighting to win our clients the financial compensation they deserve for their injuries, we also see ourselves partially as educators in the area of medical negligence law. This is why, when we present information about our services to the public on our website, we also like to explain how various aspects of malpractice law work. That way, should you need to call us with a problem, you can be informed about what will be required of you to proceed with a case.

In this case, anyone needing a medical negligence lawyer in Archbald, PA, would do well to study up on the 4 D’s of medical negligence. We use them all the time to determine if an injury occurred that would earn compensation for a victim.

4 D’s of Medical Negligence

Don’t worry if you have never heard of the 4 D’s of medical negligence. The point of them is to make the components of a medical malpractice case easy for people to remember. As medical malpractice lawyers, we always ensure the 4 D’s are present before we file lawsuits against doctors.


The first D stands for duty. It refers to the fact that, for negligence and malpractice to have occurred, there must have existed a doctor-patient relationship in which the doctor had a responsibility to provide a reasonable level of care to the patient. Proving duty in a malpractice case is as simple as producing medical records that show the doctor was treating the patient.


The second D indicates dereliction of duty. This means the doctor departed from the normal standard of care expected of medical providers. This could mean anything from failing to diagnose a disease to operating on the wrong patient. Dereliction simply means the doctor made a mistake that a more competent and diligent doctor would not have made.


The third D stands for damage. This part involves the patient-lawyer team proving that the doctor’s dereliction of duty damaged the patient physically, emotionally, financially, or a combination of any of these. Proving damages requires a lawyer to accumulate documents showing what further treatment the patient needed to recover from his or her injuries, and what it cost in medical bills to receive that treatment. The damages portion of a malpractice case involves accounting for everything the patient suffered due to the doctor’s mistake.

Direct Cause

The last D means direct cause. This refers to the requirement that all the patient’s injuries and damages were directly caused by the negligent doctor. The stipulations for this are clear: even indirect cause would be inadmissible as evidence in the case. The doctor making a mistake in wrapping a broken limb that leads to further injury is an example of a direct cause. However, if the doctor advises the patient not to put pressure on the limb, and the patient does it anyway and gets reinjured, the doctor cannot be held responsible.

Your Medical Negligence Lawyers

The 4 D’s of medical negligence make it easy to remember how medical malpractice cases are constructed. You can always trust the medical negligence lawyers at Latona Law to handle your injury case with poise and diligence. We have been doing it for more than 30 years, winning financial compensation for patients who have been hurt by negligent doctors.

If it’s an Archbald medical negligence lawyer you need, contact Latona Law today at 570-825-9000 or with our online contact form. We always work hard to win justice for you and your family.