The Role of Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractice Cases
When people who are ill or injured seek medical attention, they rightfully expect that the treatment they receive will make them better, not worse. Unfortunately, every year thousands of people are injured when medical professionals are careless or make unreasonable mistakes when treating patients. Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence that occurs when a physician or other medical professional fails to conduct himself or herself within the relevant standard of care, which is defined by Florida law as “that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.”
Expert Witnesses are Often Critical to The Success of a Medical Malpractice Case
Establishing that a particular act or omission on the part of a medical professional violated this standard of care can be a complex issue, as judges and juries generally do not have medical training and are unfamiliar with the standards of care in the medical profession. For this reason, expert witnesses are often used by both defendants and plaintiffs to educate the court about the relevant standard of care as well as to provide opinions as to whether a particular course of conduct was reasonable in light of the circumstances.
Medical Experts can Testify to a Variety of Issues Related to a Malpractice Case
There are many issues to which a medical expert could testify that may be relevant to a medical malpractice case. Some of the more common include the following:
- The way in which a particular procedure is generally performed;
- Whether a reasonable physician would have ordered certain tests in a given situation;
- Whether it was unreasonable for a medical professional to not make a particular diagnosis based on a patient’s signs and symptoms;
- The appropriate amount of time that should pass between a diagnosis and the beginning of treatment; and
- Whether the use of a particular medication is appropriate given a patient’s medical history.
It is important for people who have experienced a negative medical outcome to understand that not every medical mistake is actionable. On the other hand, there are many cases of medical malpractice in which the mistake resulting in the injury is not apparent to the untrained eye. For this reason, if you have had any type of adverse health event occur during or after medical treatment, you should be certain to have your case reviewed by an experienced lawyer familiar with representing the victims of medical malpractice.
Contact an Ocala Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today to Retain Legal Counsel
Individuals who have been hurt by the negligence of medical professionals should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. While victims of medical malpractice are often legally entitled to compensation, it is all but impossible for a non-lawyer to obtain this compensation. Fortunately, an Ocala medical malpractice lawyer familiar with medical malpractice litigation can obtain the settlement you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with lawyer John Piccin today, call 800-969-5446 or 352-351-5446.