Working With A Great Lawyer

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What To Know About Expert Witnesses In Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Dianne Ellis

Having expert witnesses is crucial for a medical malpractice lawsuit since they offer the professional opinion and knowledge to help evaluate your case. Since it is on you to prove the standard of care that should have been used by a healthcare professional, an expert witness can help prove to a judge or jury what you are claiming is true. Here are a few key things to know about the role of expert witnesses in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Who Is Considered An Expert Witness?

An expert witness is someone who has qualifications, experience, or knowledge in the medical field. It can typically be a nurse, surgeon, doctor, or healthcare provider with specific knowledge about the nature surrounding the medical malpractice incident in question. For example, if anesthesia was not administered correctly during a surgery, it would help to have an anesthesiologist as an expert witness. 

The role of any expert witness that you use is to provide an opinion that does not have any bias in the matter. They are essentially a third party looking at the case with their knowledge to say what they would or would not have done differently. 

How Does An Expert Witness Evaluate The Standard Of Care?

Any expert witness should have the same knowledge and training as the healthcare professional that performed medical malpractice. This allows the expert witness to assess whether the standard of care was met or not. The expert witness will then provide testimony under oath about their opinion on the actions performed by the defendant, whether there were notable omissions, and how those things could have harmed the plaintiff. 

How Does An Expert Witness Establish Causation?

Having a breach of care is not always enough to win a medical malpractice lawsuit, since you need to prove that the breach of care led to a patient being harmed or injured. The expert witness can help link the breach to the harm so that the judge or jury can understand what happened. It's possible to have an expert witness look at test results, medical records, and any other information provided to help establish the link necessary to win a court case. 

It is also the job of the expert witness to educate a judge or jury about their testimony so that it makes sense to them. While the expert witness may use medical jargon to explain something with precision, they should also translate that jargon so that others know what is being discussed.

Contact a medical malpractice lawyer for more information. 


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Working With A Great Lawyer

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