Most medical malpractice instances need a medical expert’s testimony. The complexity of the facts makes it hard for professionals who are not in the medical field to determine if a doctor should be liable for injury to a patient. Actually, in several states, one cannot commence a lawsuit before getting an opinion from a medical expert. Hence, it is good to be informed on the testimony essentials, who can be an expert witness, and when the expert witness is needed.
Why Is Medical Expert Testimony Needed?
Without medical expert testimony, the judge can disregard or make an early decision on a case. This happens when the testimony‘s technical information to be considered by the jury is too complex. The jury is not obliged to adopt opinion from the expert but has to use it to review the facts. Therefore, the first major stage in the majority of medical malpractice cases is finding an expert to testify on one’s behalf.
The Medical Expert’s Testimony
In any medical malpractice case, a medical expert has to main questions to address:
• Did the doctor observe the standard of care as other doctors in a similar situation?
• Did the lack of Standard of Care observance hurt the patient?
Standard of care
The medical expert is supposed to testify on how any accustomed, credentialed physician would act in the circumstance at hand in the case. Afterwards, the expert gives views on whether the sued doctor met the required standard of action or not. There are no definite guideline on standard of care in many fields, but the expert is allowed to provide information on how the accused medical professional should have acted.
Did the lack of Standard of care observance hurt the patient?
An expert can testify with a doctor’s failure to fulfill the standard of care was not in the best interests of the patient. Multiple factors affect a given medical situation and it is often hard to determine if a bad medical outcome was a result of a physician’s incompetence. The expert, therefore, must prove to the jury how the incompetence of the doctor was the true cause of an outcome.
Who Is Qualified to Be a Medical Expert?
Rules on who can be a medical expert witness vary from state to state. Mostly, if the malpractice case is within a specialized medical sector, then you will be required to have a specialist as the expert. The academic combination, practical experience, or board certification may qualify the expert as a specialist.
When Is an Expert Not Necessary?
In cases where the medical malpractice is so evident, the jury does not need medical malpractice experts to comprehend the facts.
An expert witness is not be needed when the cause of the injury was under the sole control of the doctor or medical staff and the doctor’s lack of standard of care was the only cause of the injury.