Some of the most complicated cases for a personal injury attorney are medical malpractice ones. If you have been involved in such a medical accident and are looking for settlement, know that an expert witness testimony is essential to winning your case. You may have heard about these experts testifying in court, on behalf of the plaintiff, but how efficient are these experts and where to find them? Below are a few tips.
Fact: You Will Need a Medical Expert, No Matter What
Almost all medical malpractice cases rely on the expertise of such an expert. This is because the facts are usually too complex for non-doctors to determine if the patient’s doctor should be held liable for the patient’s injury. As your personal injury attorney will explain, some states will even require that you get a medical expert’s opinion before you can initiate a lawsuit.
So what can happen if you ignore this rule? Without a medical expert’s opinion, chances are a judge will dismiss the case or decide the case early. This is because the courts generally consider that the technical information the jury must consider in a medical malpractice case is too complicated to sort through without help. When a jury is involved, they are not required to adopt the expert opinion 100% but they do have to consider the facts.
So, use the help of your specialize attorney to find an expert to testify on your behalf. These experts are usually not cheap and are hard to find but a good lawyer with a proven track record of personal injury cases will be able to recommend someone.
What Can a Medical Expert’s Testimony Establish?
Generally, there are two questions central to any medical malpractice case: did the medical professional follow the general standard of care and did their failure to follow the standard bring about your injury?
A certified medical expert will give their informed opinion as to whether the doctor being sued lived up to that standard or care. There are no hard-and-fast rules about the standard of care in any given field, so the expert may use evidence like medical publications or medical board guidelines to assist. Another important part in the expert’s testimony is the part where that person must explain to the jury how likely it was that the doctor’s incompetence was actually the cause of the injury you suffered.
Who Is Qualified to Be a Medical Expert?
As your expert attorney will tell you, state rules answer to the above question in different ways. But there are a few general rules that do apply. The expert can be a specialist in a certain area of expertise pertaining to your case. An expert might qualify as a specialist through a combination of academic and practical experience, or through board certification.