- Using a medical expert witness is a common move in medical malpractice cases. Here's why it's done, and the benefits it can involve.
Medical malpractice cases are often very complicated. The average man or woman lacks the medical knowledge necessary to understand the facts. A medical expert witness can smooth away some of these difficulties.
These cases are born from someone’s pain. They’re a result of physician negligence or misconduct. Combined with detailed medical records, the right expert witness can explain the facts in a way that most people can understand.
It Strengthens Your Case
An expert medical witness can be the linchpin that your entire case hinges on. If you choose someone who is credible, the jury may trust them more than the typical witness. They won’t seem as biased.
You might be alleging malpractice based on a medical principle that’s not obvious to the layperson. A reputable expert helps you get your point across. They’re free to be completely honest about their opinion.
A medical witness can persuade the jury to your side.
There are nearly endless ways a malpractice suit can come about. Healthcare providers are held to a very high standard of care. You need someone who can explain the nuance of what happened. The problem with using someone connected to the case is that the jury may view them with suspicion, thinking that they’re biased.
It Brings Clarity
The complicated medical facts in the case need to be explained. If the jury can’t understand what happened, they won’t be able to make a good decision. A medical expert that you hire needs to understand that part of their role is to bring clarity to the case.
For example, it’s possible that you were injured during a hospital stay. An expert witness can explain the scope of the injury and if it’s likely to heal. Your future may look very different now. The right expert will be able to explain what life with your specific injury can look like.
It Leads to Settlements
Sometimes, the expert witness testimony is so clear that one party abandons all thoughts of going to trial. Instead, they to attempt to negotiate a settlement. This is a good thing.
Medical malpractice suits are often long and tedious. The court process can drag on and there’s no guarantee that you’ll win. Even if you do, you might not be rewarded as much money as you’d hoped.
A settlement can work out for everyone.
Medical malpractice is a big term. It covers a lot of scenarios. That’s because modern medical care is extremely complicated. A negligent doctor can hurt you in a myriad of ways.
The pain and damage need to be significant if your suit is going to be successful. A minor inconvenience is annoying, but you won’t be compensated much. You also can’t file a malpractice suit simply because the patient passed away or is still sick. The human body doesn’t work like a predictable machine.
What you can file a malpractice suit about is if your healthcare team fails in their duty toward you.
In one case, a woman with breast cancer sued her doctor. He ignored multiple signs that her health was in danger and didn’t suggest she get screened for cancer until it was too late. The cancer had already progressed.
Her medical expert was able to demonstrate that her physician failed to provide her with quality care. A normal doctor would have suggested a breast cancer screening far earlier.
That’s why expert witness testimony is so valuable. The average person has no idea when it’s appropriate to order a breast cancer screening. Explaining it is the expert’s job.
Selecting a Witness
None of the benefits that have been discussed exist unless you choose the right expert. A bad medical witness can damage your case. The jury might think that you were trying to trick them. There are a few different factors you need to consider.
For one, what’s the expert’s specialty? If you filed your suit because of a mistake that was made during childbirth, you need to find an expert in obstetrics and gynecology. An oncologist won’t be able to help much.
In addition to picking the right specialty, you need to find someone with the right demeanor. The brusque, rude doctor shines on TV shows like House but would do terrible in court. Your witness should seem authoritative, objective, and relatable. If they don’t know how to get their point across in a way that’s easy to understand, they won’t do much to help your case. You can find an expert medical witness online.
A medical expert witness can make a big impact on a medical malpractice case. Be sure to choose one with care and consider all options available to you. It can make all the difference.