What Is a Medical Expert Witness?
Medical expert witnesses are professionals who provide testimony in legal proceedings which involve medical knowledge, such as medical negligence and personal injury cases. These expert witnesses will provide valuable testimony, withstand cross-examination, and potentially contradict any expert witness testimony provided by the defendant. This makes the credibility of the medical expert witness crucial to the success of your case.
This person should either currently be practicing medicine, teaching medicine, or is very recently retired. Additionally, having this person be Board Certified in the medical field associated with the case can be beneficial in establishing expertise. Finally, consider choosing someone with years of experience and who is up to date on the latest medical trends. While MDs and other providers are often chosen for expert witnesses, other professionals such as biomedical engineers and pharmacists may be additive to your case.
Why Is a Medical Expert Witness Needed?
The testimony of a qualified medical professional can:
- Establish the standard of care that a similarly trained medical professional would have demonstrated in a similar circumstance.
- Prove that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by a breach of the standard of care.
- Add credibility to a plaintiff's claims.
- Help non-professionals better understand complex medical information.
- Establish medical procedures required to treat the injuries obtained to support compensation claims.
How to Establish Negligence in Cancer Treatment
Negligence in cancer treatments can take many forms, ranging from a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis to sub-standard care and treatment. In some cases, negligence may even result in an incorrect prescription of medication that worsens the patient’s condition. Negligence can also include failure to refer a patient for additional tests or specialist advice when necessary, resulting in physical injury, emotional distress, or financial losses.
Proving negligence in cancer treatment can be a complex process and requires the expertise of at least one medical expert witness. These experts provide testimony that supports allegations of medical negligence or other forms of malpractice. In cancer treatment cases, these experts must review the evidence to determine whether there was a breach of duty by the treating physician or any other healthcare professional involved in the care. The witness must also assess if this breach resulted in harm to the patient, as well as what type and extent of damage was caused by the actions or inactions.
Are Expert Witnesses Always Required in Medical Malpractice Cases?
Medical expert witness testimony can play a crucial role in medical malpractice cases, which is why it is highly recommended to include this in your legal strategy. However, there are certain forms of negligence or misconduct that are so egregious that the average juror could understand the breach of care without an expert witness. This might include: leaving a tool inside a patient’s body, operating on an incorrect body part, or committing sexual assault.
It’s important to note that you should not assume that the malpractice is obvious, and obtaining the opinion of a medical malpractice lawyer will give you a better understanding of the ins and outs of your claim.
At Simonson Goodman Platzer PC, our legal team has extensive experience representing victims of medical negligence—devoting a significant portion of our firm’s resources to cancer malpractice claims. In addition to helping victims find justice, we seek to obtain compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, reduced quality of life, future care costs, as well as pain and suffering.
We offer a free consultation, so you can learn more about how we can help. Call us at (800) 817-5029 or reach out online.