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Medical malpractice claims and the role of expert witnesses

If you feel you were hurt due to the negligence of a physician, you may wish to investigate your options for recovering your losses. In some cases, the injury you suffered may not have been preventable, and the physician used his best judgment and options available to try to heal you. However, there are a myriad of different ways in which negligence on the part of a doctor can make matters much worse.

If you suffer from disability, or even worse, if you or someone you loved died from complications of medical treatment, you should consider pursuing a lawsuit. As long as your case meets certain requirements, then you have options at your disposal.

The four factors of a successful medical malpractice claim

To win your medical malpractice case, you will need to demonstrate four things. First, you will need to show that your physician owed you a duty of care. Then you will need to show that he or she was negligent in providing that care. Because of the negligence, you must have suffered injury or damages, and you must show that the damages were a direct result of his or her negligence.

The expert witness testimony

To help you prove that your physician was negligent in providing care and that he or she deviated from the accepted standard of care in your case, you have the right to call in an expert witness or witnesses. These individuals will typically have a similar professional background as your physician. He or she will give an opinion as to whether the doctor in question acted within accepted standards of care.

Before any expert witness testimony, courts must first determine if the medical evidence that is to be presented by the expert witness will be beneficial to the case. The method used by most courts for this includes the verification of any evidence testing, an evaluation of any peer-reviews and error rates of the evidence, determining if the scientific community typically legitimizes such evidence, and evaluating whether the experts conducted the research independent of the court case.

The opposing lawyer will review and scrutinize the credentials of the expert witness who supports your case. This will include a background check and verification the qualifications, education and relevant work of the witness.

Where to turn for help and support

Every doctor should always make the best judgments for his or her patients given the unique set of circumstances and limitations presented in each situation. Sadly, this isn't always the case, and if you or a loved one has suffered due to a doctor's negligence, there are resources readily available to you.

By acquiring experienced legal counsel, you could significantly increase your odds of recovering the maximum amount of damages to which you are entitled. Any awarded damages from a successful medical malpractice claim can help to ease your pain and suffering, and the compensation can help to cover many of the overwhelming medical costs you may be facing.

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