New York medical malpractice lawsuits generally require the use of an expert witness. In fact, there are very few New York medical malpractice claims that can be maintained and proved without the use of an expert witness. For example, a claim for res ipsa loquitor for a foreign object left inside of a patient would warrant the non-use of an expert in most cases. However, even then the circumstances surrounding why the foreign object was left inside of a patient—such as a counting procedure—may be contested and have to be proven.
Another example which has in fact been litigated before is where a doctor operates or pulls in a wrong site surgery. The classic example was where a doctor pulled the wrong tooth. Such incident does not generally require an expert to testify that the doctor pulled the wrong tooth—it is readily apparent!
But these examples are the exception to the rule; you really will need to have an expert to successfully litigate your New York medical malpractice claim. In fact, many New York medical malpractice cases are considered the “battle of the experts” where each party’s expert is trying to outduel and prove the other wrong.
Moreover, most experts are needed in cases where the facts are too complex for law persons—such as jurors—to understand. Most importantly though, experts are used to state the applicable duty of care that the defendant-doctor failed or did not fail to comply with.
The standard of care is the major issue in a New York medical malpractice case because it is the standard of which to judge the defendant-doctor’s conduct. Because these cases are based on negligence, the first two elements are what the duty owed was and whether that duty was breached.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.