The Importance of Medical Expert Witness Testimonyby Kevin Smith Author
In civil and criminal cases, juries are often called upon to make decisions based on information with which they have little firsthand knowledge and experience. Cases often include testimony of a medical nature. Jurors can be tasked with deciding whether a doctor made an error or committed malpractice, whether someone was injured by an unsafe drug or medical device, whether an individual is too seriously injured to work, and other important questions.
The average juror does not have the expertise to make these kinds of determinations. This is why attorneys for both plaintiffs and defendants often call on medical expert witnesses to testify.
What Does a Medical Expert Witness Do?
An expert witness is someone with training and experience in a medical specialty that is relevant to the case at hand. This person reviews the facts of the case, including medical records, x-rays, lab results, injury reports, and death certificates, to understand the specific situation. An expert witness will also review recent studies published in medical journals to understand the current opinion of the medical community.
A medical expert witness will answer questions under oath that are specific to the case. He or she will explain the condition the person in question has, typical symptoms, common treatments, and how the condition may affect a person’s life. An expert witness can tell a jury if an individual received appropriate care or if a mistake was made. This can be helpful in medical malpractice cases.
A medical expert witness can help a jury understand the severity of a person’s illness or injury. This can be important when deciding questions such as whether a person is disabled and unable to work. Expert testimony can be important in deciding cases related to disability and worker’s compensation claims.
An expert witness can testify about how drugs and medical devices are supposed to work and possible side effects they may cause. He or she can tell a jury whether a drug was prescribed responsibly, whether it was safe, whether a medical device was used correctly, or whether it was defective. This can help jurors decide if pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers, or doctors are responsible for injuries.
Medical Expert Witnesses Can Help Juries Make Wise Decisions
The medical field is extremely complex and constantly changing. Most people who serve on juries are not doctors, yet they are called upon to make decisions based on medical information. This is why the testimony of a medical expert witness is often crucial. An expert can explain conditions and individual circumstances in layman’s terms and answer jurors’ questions so they can make informed decisions guided by the best facts available.
Created on Apr 11th 2018 00:26. Viewed 339 times.