For most of the last century and well into the current one, Powell Law has held medical professionals accountable for their medical errors as the attorneys at Powell Law has litigated and settled countless medical malpractice cases. James F. Mundy, Esq.
This is the third part of a blog summarizing the timeline of a typical medical malpractice case. This installment focuses on the expert witness. If a medical malpractice attorney believes that a viable malpractice case exists, he or she will seek and hire a qualified expert medical witness.
Medical records provide a chronological written account of a patient’s examination and treatment. These records generally include the patient’s medical history and complaints, a doctor’s physical findings, the results of diagnostic tests and procedures, as well as medications and therapies.
Medical records are detailed and technical. They generally require the careful, precise, and, therefore, lengthy review of nothing less than a qualified expert. Often one who specializes in the area of medicine involved in the alleged malpractice. A patient’s medical history and records form the factual basis for a medical malpractice case.
On their face, the facts of a medical malpractice case are too complex for laypersons, i.e., non-doctors, to determine if a medical professional should be held legally responsible for the patient’s injury. Thus, all parties, the plaintiff and all defendants employ their own expert witnesses.
Practically every medical malpractice case requires testimony from a medical expert. Most states, including Pennsylvania, require a certified medical expert’s opinion before a cause of action based on medical malpractice may be filed in a Commonwealth civil court.
An expert in a medical malpractice case is almost always another physician. An expert is often someone in the same area of medical specialization or practice as the defendant. If not a medical level, it is someone with doctorate-level training in another related discipline. All experts typically have extensive experience in their field as practitioners. All typically have extensive experience as expert witnesses.
An expert is in the best position to determine if the harm was the result of another medical professional’s act or omission. Additionally, an expert may also establish if the medical professional’s conduct was below the acceptable standard of care for such conduct. For a medical malpractice case to achieve success, a qualified expert must review the medical records and issue an opinion that the health care provider’s conduct failed to meet the appropriate standard of care and equates to medical malpractice.
Powell Law’s attorneys have built a working relationship with hundreds of expert witnesses over the life of the firm. A strong medical malpractice claim requires a team of experts, legal and medical, to assert it and succeed. Our team has the necessary expertise and experience to help victims of professional negligence recover damages. At Powell Law, it is our goal to protect and assert our clients’ rights effectively. Powell Law has an established 113-year-old reputation throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE, and you don’t pay unless we win!