Nearly all medical malpractice cases require a testimony from a medical expert. The facts are often too complicated non-physicians to determine if a person was harmed as the result of a medical error. As a result, expert witnesses play a pivotal role in most medical malpractice cases. Fortunately, a seasoned accident attorney knows how to handle expert witnesses in a Baltimore medical malpractice case and can make sure that you obtain the assistance of an expert who will provide a strong testimony.
Why Is Medical Expert Testimony Necessary
Without the testimony of a medical expert, there is a significant risk that a judge will dismiss a case or decide matters early. As a result, obtaining a testimony from a medical expert is an essential part of many medical malpractice cases.
There are many obstacles that exist in obtaining a medical expert, however, which include cost issues and the difficulty of finding a medical expert. The legal counsel at the Law Office of Rudolph Rice, however, has significant experience interacting with expert witnesses in a Baltimore medical malpractice case.
The Elements of a Medical Expert’s Testimony
Medical experts frequently must address two issues in their testimony: whether the medical provider followed the standard of care of medical professionals in the same position and whether the medical provider’s failure to follow the standard of care injured the patient.
There are no definite rules about what constitutes a standard of care, which means that experts will frequently use evidence like medical board guidelines and medical publications to assist them.
Who Is Qualified as a Medical Expert
In most medical malpractice cases, you will be required to obtain the services of a specialist within the same medical field. A person is determined to be an expert due to a combination of academic and practical experience or board certification.
If the medical malpractice case involves general medicine, a wide range of doctors will likely be able to qualify as an expert. After a medical expert is determined to meet this criteria, a medical malpractice lawyer must file a Maryland Certificate of Merit.
This Certificate of Merit must satisfy three criteria including where the expert medical witness is licensed to practice, an opinion that the medical professional will testify the malpractice deviated from the accepted standard of care, and that the medical expert does not devote annually more than twenty percent of his professionals activities that directly the testimony in personal injury claims.
When Medical Experts Are Not Necessary
In some situations where medical malpractice obviously occurred, a medical expert is determined to not be necessary for a jury to understand the facts.
For example, a medical expert’s opinion would likely not be necessary in a case where a surgical instrument was left inside of the patient after surgery.
Expert witnesses are also often not necessary when the medical professional against whom the medical malpractice case is filed is the only person who had control over what caused the injury and the injury in question only would have occurred due to the medical provider’s failure to adhere to the normal standard of care.
Even if your case will likely not require the assistance of a medical professional, it is often a better idea to make sure a medical expert is available to help with your case. It should be noted that expert witnesses in a Baltimore medical malpractice case are just one of the important issues that you will face on the road to compensation.