Guidelines for Understanding Expert Witness Testimony


Expert witness testimony is crucial for deciding if negligence was a factor in medical cases. Essentially, courts use expert witnesses for establishing the elements of care given in a malpractice lawsuit. Many times, the use of testimony is to verify any possibilities that could have led to injury. Also, expert witnesses can be beneficial in understanding the clinical state of the patient, which helps better determine damage.


Understanding Medical Malpractice 

In a nutshell, medical malpractice is any liabilities that occur during medical care delivery. As a medical professional, you are held responsible for situations such as misconduct, negligence, defamation, divulgence of confidential information, breach of contract, failure to prevent foreseeable injuries, and insufficient consent.


Was Standard of Care Breached?

The primary role of witness testimony is often to have a baseline understanding if the standard of care was appropriate for the case in question. An expert’s role is also to determine whether the testimony of other witnesses is in order with medical standards and factual. When care is labeled as substandard, the expert witness's opinion is taken into consideration into whether it played a factor into the patient's injury.


Errors vs Negligence

As you may know, with any form of medical intervention, only a handful of outcomes are possible. These being a patient's improvement, patient staying the same, or a patient' deteriorates. In the lion's share of cases, a patient having a negative outcome isn't justification to imply professional medical negligence.


The Burden of Proof

In medical cases, as the plaintiff, you bear the burden of providing proof. The defense and the plaintiff's attorneys job is to present expert witnesses who seem more credible and objective than the opposition.

The Deposition
Correctly identifying all of the facts of the case is the purpose of discovery. On both sides of the dispute, experts are crucial to proving merits of either's claim. This is why the deposition of core witnesses is possibly the most critical aspect of the process in cases of malpractice. Since the deposition is testimony given under oath, it makes it invaluable if discrepancies appear later on the trial.


If you have questions, or would like to know more about medical expert witness testimony, contact the professionals at Reliable Clinical Experts LTD.