While every medical malpractice lawsuit is different, all of them require expert witnesses. So, you might be asking yourself, why do I need an expert witness in my medical malpractice claim? Let’s get into it.
Certificate of Merit
In Florida, there is a lot at stake when it comes to a medical malpractice claim. That’s why the state of Florida requires victims to initially validate their claim via a “certificate of merit,” which is essentially a verified written medical expert opinion. The purpose of this certificate is to ensure that there is a good faith basis to bring a claim. That means in Florida, you cannot even start a lawsuit in your medical malpractice case unless you have a certifying expert witness with a written affidavit.
Helps Jury Understand
You will also need an expert witness to explain to a jury the injuries you suffered from the medical error. Most jurors have no formal, medical, or scientific training and if they can’t understand what happened to you, it’s unlikely they will find in your favor. A good expert witness can break down complicated medical topics and communicate them in an accurate yet simple way that a jury can understand.
Expert witnesses can also help you figure out what went wrong, medically speaking. This allows us to gather the proper evidence, documentation and the records needed to prove your case.
Testify at Trial
If your case goes to trial, a testifying medical malpractice expert witness will try and answer these two major questions:
- Did your doctor depart from the appropriate standard of care?
- Did that deviation from the proper standard of care cause your injuries?
Who can Testify as a Medical Malpractice Expert Witness?
The rules here are complex. They depend on the details of the case and the type of medical provider who made the error and ultimately. A judge will determine if an expert can testify at trial. In most instances, the law will require that an expert witness be the exact same medical specialty as the defendant. In other instances, a generalist may be able to testify. In general, the judge will look at the witnesses:
- Research experience and publications
- Work experience
- Experience(s) testifying as an expert witness in other cases
How do you Find the Best Medical Malpractice Expert Witness?
This is where hiring the right personal injury law firm comes into play. At Weinstein & Cohen, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys have worked with the best expert witnesses from across the country for more than 40 years. We know how to identify, recruit, interview, and work with the best experts for your case.
Our experienced Miami and Naples medical malpractice attorneys at Weinstein & Cohen put your priorities first. If you or someone you care about has been injured or involved in medical malpractice across South Florida or Southwest Florida, contact the medical malpractice lawyers and Miami and Naples personal injury attorneys at Weinstein & Cohen at 305-374-1011 or 239-793-3331, or visit fairnessforall.com for an absolutely free legal consultation to learn more about your options.