If you have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, chances are your lawyer will need to hire an expert witness. An expert witness for your Plymouth medical malpractice case can significantly improve your chances of winning.
How an Expert Witness can Help Your Plymouth Medical Malpractice Case
An expert witness offers more than a simple testimony. They understand how to break down complex issues in a clear and scholarly founded manner.
In order for you to win your case, you need to prove:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship
- The doctor was negligent in providing treatment
- You were harmed by his negligence
The most important element to prove in any medical malpractice lawsuit is negligence and the work of an expert witness is to prove this. They work would have to convince the jury two things:
- The doctor’s duty of care to you
- How they breached that duty of care.
Proving Standard of Care
Your doctor has the legal duty to provide you with the type and level of care that a prudent and competent doctor with similar training would provide. The expert witness will show that the standard of care your doctor provided would have led to medical malpractice. They have to show what a doctor with similar training and education would have done given the same situation. They will identify the medical issues that should have been considered and how they should have been addressed.
Would the course of treatment that the doctor chose have been enough or should they have chosen a different approach?
Proving Breach of Standard of Care
The expert witness will offer an opinion on the doctor’s actions or inactions in light of the medical standard of care. They can offer an opinion based on the diagnosis of your condition, mistakes made during surgery or any other medical procedure.
They will also analyze every aspect of your case including your medical records. They will then present a detailed argument of how your doctor’s provision of medical care wasn’t in line with the standard of medical care.
Proving the Doctor’s Negligence Led to Your Injury
Once negligence has been established, your lawyer has to show that the doctor’s negligence harmed you. In some cases, the doctor might have deviated from standard medical care but that may not be the reason why the patient suffered medical complications.
The expert witness will link the doctor’s negligence to your injuries. They will discuss their findings with your lawyer. Specifically, they will look at which errors most directly led to you being harmed. They will then present their findings in court and the judge or jury will declare their final verdict.
Who Can Be an Expert Medical Witness?
An expert witness has to be:
- Certified or licensed. They have to be legally recognized health professionals. They also have to be currently practicing medicine. Retired health experts may not qualify as expert witnesses.
- The doctor must specialize in the field that is pertinent to your case. You cannot have a general physician testifying when your case is about open-heart surgery.
- They must be focused on medical work. The expert witness must prove that they spend most of their time practicing medicine.
Does Your Case Need an Expert Witness?
If your Plymouth medical malpractice lawyer has not talked about hiring an expert witness, it might mean that you don’t need one. Your case might be one of the very few where it doesn’t take a genius to see that your doctor was negligent in the way they handled your situation.
For instance, if the surgeon left a surgical instrument inside you after a procedure, it would be easy to prove negligence without the help of an expert witness. However, it’s very rare to have clear cut cases in medical malpractice because they mostly involve more complicated errors like misdiagnosis, wrong prescriptions, etc. In such situations, expert witnesses are needed to explain why the doctor’s actions or inactions were wrong.
Nearly every Plymouth medical malpractice case that goes to trial hinges on testimony from an expert witness. Lawyers need to use these expert witnesses because they understand the complexity of your case.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, our lawyers at Kevin P Landry Law Offices can help. Call us at 508-746-2700 or visit our Plymouth offices for a free initial consultation.