Expert Testimony in Medical Malpractice Cases: Why is it Needed?

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

What do I know about astronomy?  What do most people know about it?  How about rocket science, particle physics, laser technology, radiology, or anesthesia; what do most people know about this stuff?  The answer is simple – people know very little or nothing at all about these complex matters.

So when there is a dispute about someone doing something wrong in a highly specialized field, how can the dispute be resolved?  Ask this question within the arena of medical malpractice.  You probably know something about medical malpractice; it happens when a doctor or some other medical professional makes a mistake and injures a patient.  

Most people also know that it takes a long time to become a doctor; years and years and years…of classroom study in addition to hands on experience.  The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers will simple never completely understand medicine at the same level as a medical professional does.  

When a medical malpractice case hits the court room, how can a bunch of normal people, such as the plaintiff, judge, attorney, and jury member understand what is going one.  Who are these non medical professionals to say that a doctor made a mistake?  

The answer is quite simple.  If you want to know more about physics, you would talk to a physicist; if you want to learn about car engines, you go and learn from a mechanic.  So the same is true if a court and jury wants to learn if a doctor committed medical malpractice; learn from another doctor.

In New York, the courts will require plaintiffs to prove their medical malpractice case by using testimony from a medical expert.  The subject matter in the medical field is so complex, an expert is needed to explain the concepts to the judge and or jury.  In general, any subject beyond the knowledge of an ordinary person must be explained by an expert.  

Since New York courts require expert testimony in medical malpractice cases, how does an injured patient find the expert?  The experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney will find the expert for the plaintiff, so the injured patient need not worry about such matters.  Sometimes it will be hard to find the right expert, but the most experienced attorneys will know where to look and who to choose.  

The right expert will explain to the jury what the offending doctor’s duty to the patient was; how the bad doctor breached that duty; and how that breach could cause the victim to suffer the injury that in fact was suffered.  Those injuries will then be tied to the damages suffered; pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and the like.  

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

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