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You May Not Know Everything an Expert Witness Can Do for You

Every time to go to the doctor or you seek medical treatment from any medical professional, you have the right to expect that you will receive a certain standard of care. You have the right to expect that the medical professional will use his or her best judgment in your care. Furthermore, you have the legal right to expect that medical professionals will not be negligent, reckless or careless in your medical care. Even though not every bad result constitutes medical malpractice, when a doctor, hospital or medical provider breaches the standard of care, the patient may have a valid claim for medical malpractice.

Proving Medical Malpractice

In order to prove medical malpractice, you must prove that the medical provider breached the standard of care and that his or her negligence, recklessness or carelessness was the direct cause of your injury or the death of a loved one. Medical providers do not have a checklist that they use to ensure that the standard of care is met for each patient nor is there a handbook that medical providers can refer to when determining the proper standard of care for any given situation. Standard of care is actually a legal term rather than a medical term. It is used to describe what a prudent, educated medical professional with the same or similar experience would have done given in the same or similar circumstances. If you can show that other medical providers would have acted in another way that would have probably prevented the death or injury, you can prove medical malpractice.

To do this, you must have expert witnesses who can define the standard of care for the particular case at hand because most jurors do not have a full working knowledge of medical practices. Without an expert witness to explain what the doctor should or should not have done and how that violates what other similarly qualified medical providers would have done to care for the patient given similar circumstances, you are unable to prove medical malpractice.

By using expert testimony, your attorney will establish what the standard of care was within the industry by showing what other doctors would have done given the same set of circumstances. He will then use the expert witness to point out how the medical doctor deviated from that standard of practice through a negligent, reckless or careless act. Finally, the expert witness will testify as to how this deviation from the standard of care resulted in the injury to the patient. Once it is determined that the medical provider, doctor or the hospital failed to meet the standard of care, they can been held accountable for their negligence and liable for the damages sustained by the patient.