What Does an Expert Witness Do in a Medical Malpractice Trial?

Published on Dec 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm in Medical Malpractice.

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Medical malpractice is one of the most complex areas of personal injury litigation. If you’ve been injured as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, filing a claim can help you recover from your losses. Proving negligence and fault, however, is not an easy task. Medical terminology is confusing and without the proper breakdown, proving injury can seem impossible. When you work with a lawyer from Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, we have the ability to bring an expert witness in to speak on your behalf and prove you were wronged. Let’s take a look at what an expert witness does in a medical malpractice trial.

Medical Malpractice Expert Witness Credentials

The ideal expert witness for your medical malpractice case will meet certain credentials. Your lawyer will vet possible experts and determine who is best suited for your case. To make that decision, there are legal and practical requirements to consider.

According to Federal Rule of Evidence 702, an expert witness must have knowledge, training, skill, education, or experience that helps the judge and jury understand the evidence the lawyer presents. As you can tell, that’s a very broad standard. In some situations, there may be additional requirements. For example, the expert witness may need to be a physician in the same specialty as the defendant, or they may have to have a license to practice in the state they’re providing testimony in.

The practical requirements for a medical malpractice expert are much more specific. First off, your lawyer will ensure the area of expertise is relevant. If the individual has the necessary background and knowledge, your attorney will make sure that person has a flexible schedule, can meet deadlines, is competitive and committed to your case, has enough free time to help your case, and has quality organizational, investigative, and research skills.

An Expert Witness’s Testimony

In most medical practice cases, an expert has the ability to address the standard of care. Their testimony can prove how the doctor failed to follow the standard of care and how that resulted in the patient being injured.

The standard of care refers to what a normal, competent doctor would do in any given medical situation. There are no specific rules when it comes to determining if the standard of care has been met, but a medical expert can use evidence from publications or medical board guidelines to prove their point.

Once the expert has proven the standard of care was violated, they’ll testify about whether the doctor’s failure caused injury to the patient. In any medical situation, there can be a variety of factors that contribute to a bad outcome. The expert will need to prove the direct correlation between the doctor’s incompetence and the injury.

How an Expert Witness Can Help Your Case

An expert medical witness can mean the difference between an uncertain future and a successful lawsuit. They can freely testify their opinions to address the case. If they’re well-spoken, intelligent, and persuasive, a judge or jury will be more inclined to rule in your favor.

The expert also helps those in the courtroom understand medical facts and terminology. Because medicine is so complicated, it can be difficult for a judge or jury to comprehend what happened to the patient and why. The expert witness has the ability to provide unbiased scientific and medical testimony in a way that everyone can understand.

As you can see, there are a variety of benefits to having a medical expert by your side for a malpractice case. The process, however, of finding the right expert and ensuring they’ll fight for you is often complicated. As such, it’s best to work with an attorney you can trust.

At Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, we have a team of expert witnesses we can call upon. No matter the circumstances of your case, we’ll be able to find someone who can support the evidence we produce. The sooner you have an expert tied to your case, the more time they’ll have to build testimony that benefits your lawsuit. That’s why filing a claim as soon as possible after you’ve been injured is crucial.

We understand that filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is intimidating. If, however, you’re worried about your family’s future and your recovery, filing is the most assured way to receiving the compensation you need to move forward. To learn more about filing, contact our office today. We’ll start by evaluating your situation and helping you determine how to proceed.

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