Speech-Language Pathology Expert Witnesses
The expertise attorneys need in communication disorders
Speech-language pathology, also known as speech pathology or language therapy, is a branch of healthcare that deals with the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of speech, language, voice, and fluency, as well as swallowing disorders. Speech-language pathologists use a variety of techniques to evaluate and treat speech and language disorders, such as articulation therapy, language intervention activities, and oral-motor exercises. They may work with clients who have conditions such as stuttering, voice disorders, language disorders, or speech sound disorders.
In the United States, speech-language pathologists (SLP) must complete a master’s degree program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Speech-language pathologists may be nationally certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). They must also pass state-level licensing requirements.
Speech-language pathologists can work in various settings, including schools, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and private practice. They may work independently or under the supervision of a physician.
The role of a speech-language pathologist as an expert witness
SLPs are valuable expert witnesses in birth injury and personal injury cases involving speech disorders caused by negligence. A speech pathologist can evaluate and document communication or swallowing deficits that may have been caused by an injury or accident and offer an opinion on causation. An SLP can also explain the scope and cost of necessary treatment for a speech disorder, the effects the disorder could have on the plaintiff’s quality of life, and the long-term prognosis.
Speech-language pathologists are also critical expert witnesses in nursing home negligence, assisted living negligence, and medical malpractice cases involving choking incidents. For example, an SLP can offer their opinion on swallowing disorders and proper protocols to prevent a resident or patient from choking. They can also opine whether the healthcare facility should have conducted a swallow study and what recommendations would have come out of such a study.
The expertise attorneys need in high-stakes injury cases
Since 1986, Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants has been working with some of America’s top personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys. Our network includes experienced, highly qualified speech-language pathologists who are available for consultations, depositions, and trial. Contact us today for a free case summary review.