Role of Expert Witness In Medical Malpractice Case

The testimony provided by an expert medical witness could help to support a charge of negligence on the part of the defendant. Without proof of negligence, a plaintiff would have little chance for winning a medical malpractice lawsuit, as per personal injury lawyer in Woodbridge.

Of the 3 needed proofs of negligence, the second one usually proves to be of greatest significance

First proof: Establishment of fact that a doctor-patient relationship had existed
Second proof: Evidence that the doctor’s negligence had downgraded the effectiveness of the treatment that was administered to the patient
Third proof: Ability to show that the patient was harmed by the doctor’s negligent actions

The testimony provided by the medical expert is normally the most significant of all the proofs

That testimony/proof should come from someone that has been recognized as a member of the medical community. By the same token, the expert that has agreed to support the plaintiff’s argument typically comes from the local community.

That medical professional from the local community should have a familiarity with the types of procedures and methods that were used, or might have been used to treat the now injured patient/the plaintiff.

What does the medical professional with the supportive testimony have to prove?

That the patient’s doctor owed that same patient the ability and willingness to adhere to the standards that apply to all physicians
That the doctor’s actions had reprinted a decided breach for the duties to which each physician is supposed to adhere

Approach that should be taken by the ideal expert witness

Explain standard of care as it relates to a medical professional with a specific level of education and training, a level that is similar to that of the defendant
Provide an opinion of the defendant’s actions, and in doing so show that the same actions represented a deviation from the accepted standards

Challenges to obtaining good expert witness

Few doctors like to point an accusatory finger at another physician
Not all physicians can offer a convincing and easy to understand explanation to the jury. Jurors tend to reject any factual argument that they cannot understand.

Possible defenses for a physician that has been charged with medical malpractice

The defendant’s actions did not represent a deviation from the accepted standards.
The expert’s testimony had not come from someone that had all the necessary qualifications: That would be a strong argument in one of the states that required that all experts must meet certain qualifications.
Question the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, prior to the time of the defendant’s allegedly negligent actions.
Cast doubt on the claim that the patient had been harmed, when under the care of the defendant.

More to explorer

Value of Witness Statement

A witness can state facts about what took place before, during and after the accident. The account of an eyewitness holds the

BPC Law

BPC Law