Medical Expert Witness

If your client has a complex personal injury case, often times a medical expert is necessary.  A medical expert witness will need to review the facts of the case including all pertinent medical records and the case fact pattern.  Often times, the expert will use visual aids and develop models to explain their theories and interpretation of the case and events.  

Different jurisdictions have different rules on what basis a medical expert witness can base their explanations and theories.  In some jurisdictions, a medical expert witness can base his or her opinions on academic work as well as personal work experience.  A witness can be afforded “expert” status by virtue of the fact that he can provide opinions and statements with a “reasonable medical certainty.”  

Medical malpractice claims often times require an expert witness.  Both plaintiff and defense attorneys often times provide the testimony and use of a medical expert witness.  The witness usually has extensive medical experience in a hospital or academic setting.  Malpractice cases center around negligence during medical care and when serious medical conditions are misdiagnosed by a a primary care provider.  The Mayo Clinic estimates that about 20% of patients with serious conditions are misdiagnosed by their primary care physicians.  

Cases Involving Surgical Errors

Medical expert witnesses are often called into evaluate cases where a surgical error has taken place.  For instance, the number of elective cosmetic procedures has increased dramatically, and claims related to plastic surgery procedures are usually related to death or severe injury.  In addition, child birth errors are a large medical malpractice category.  About 20% of all medical malpractice cases are filed against  obstetricians, gynecologists, and OBGYNs.  There are a number of child birth related medical malpractice claims including injuries to the child or mother.  Also, prenatal negligence includes a physician’s failure to recognize critical complications during pregnancy.  

Legal Resources