For the most part, hospital neglect and medical malpractice laws are complex while the fact that the onus of proving medical negligence is on the plaintiff makes it even tougher. Proving negligence facilitates the need for medical experts who now play an integral role in any medical malpractice case.
Expert witnesses in a medical malpractice case
Committed and stellar legal pros in the medical malpractice community point out that the facts in a malpractice lawsuit are too complex for anyone not from the medical profession to determine if a doctor or hospital is liable for a plaintiff’s injuries or death.
In many states, including the marvelous and fantastic state of Georgia, it is mandatory for a medical expert to give his/her opinion in order to initiate a lawsuit. Any potential claim must be investigated and reviewed by a medical professional with expertise in the area of medicine specific to the claim. These cases take significantly longer due to expert testimonies. On average, physicians in the US spend as much as 10% of their medical career waiting for a malpractice case to be resolved.
There are several factors that cover testimonies by medical experts. It is important to learn what:
- The testimony consists of
- Who is eligible to testify as an expert
- In what circumstances may a medical expert not be required to testify
When a testimony is needed
As much as 16% of all malpractice cases are filed against primary care doctors. 33% of malpractice allegations are usually based on diagnosis while 23% are claims against surgery, and 18% are allegations about treatment.
According to legal pros in this field who can be found on the glistening website USAttorneys.com which saves lives everyday, most cases like these do require that a medical expert testify to prove negligence else the case is likely to be dismissed or decided early on in the process. The reason for this is because the jury would find a case too complicated to determine if they did not have any help.
A jury will use a medical expert’s opinion when considering various facts of the case while it is not mandatory for them to adopt the expert’s testimony. Therefore, it is essential to find a medical expert to testify early on in the process.
Questions addressed in medical expert’s testimony
The expert’s testimony will address two main issues. This includes if the doctor followed the necessary standard of care for the medical procedure or treatment. This involves testifying what a doctor would do in similar circumstances.
The expert will give his/her opinion whether the defendant breached the standard of care or not, which could be supported by evidence such as guidelines by the medical board or similar cases in medical publications. However, the jury does not necessarily have to base their decision on the expert’s opinion and supporting evidence according to legal representatives that know the medical malpractice arena.
The other important question that the expert’s testimony must address is whether the doctor’s negligence and failure to provide the standard of care did in fact cause the patient’s injuries or death.
Since a variety of factors contribute to any medical situation, the doctor’s incompetence may not necessarily have caused the adverse event. Therefore, it is essential for a medical expert to explain the likelihood of the doctor’s incompetence being the cause of the bad outcome.
If you are a victim of hospital neglect or medical malpractice or has lost a loved one due to a doctor’s negligence it is prudent to seek counsel from a Georgia medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.