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The Importance of a Highly Credible Medical Expert Witness

Medical malpractice and birth injury attorneys need someone a jury can trust

A physical therapist uses a pen to point to the low back of a human skeleton

Medical malpractice litigation often comes down to a “battle of the experts.” For example, what’s at issue in a medical negligence case isn’t merely whether a doctor or nurse made a mistake; it’s whether they failed to meet established standards of care and whether an injury or illness resulted from that failure.

The only way to prove malpractice is to have compelling testimony from a medical professional in the same specialty who can explain the applicable standards of care. Indeed, in most states, plaintiffs must submit a Certificate of Merit signed by a qualified physician before they can even file a lawsuit.

Likewise, in other types of litigation involving catastrophic injuries, including personal injury matters, toxic torts, and disability cases, having credible expert witness testimony makes all the difference. From doctors and nurses to life care planners, the right experts can make or break a case.

Needless to say, credible and effective medical experts are not easy to come by. Here are three attributes of highly credible medical malpractice expert witnesses – and how Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants provides attorneys with the best in medicine.

  1. Credible expert witnesses work only with the information available to the defendant

Again, the core issue in a medical negligence case is whether the defendant doctor or other medical professional, given the information they had available at the time, made a decision that was consistent with established medical standards of care. It’s one thing to poke holes in a medical decision with the benefit of hindsight. It’s quite another to put oneself in the defendant doctor’s shoes and ask whether the correct decision should have been made given the available information.

During an initial case summary review, our medical expert witnesses build their opinions based on the information that was available to the defendant at the time the alleged malpractice occurred. They actively avoid outside information that could bias their opinion toward one side or the other.

Speaking of which…

  1. Credible expert witnesses are willing to testify for both plaintiffs and defendants

Unfortunately, there are many physicians who are unwilling to testify against a fellow physician – they will work with defense attorneys but not plaintiff’s attorneys. This is the “culture of silence” around medical malpractice, and it’s an obvious problem for plaintiff’s lawyers but an underrated issue for defense counsel as well. If a particular expert is known to only testify on behalf of defendants, not plaintiffs, then it’s easy for the plaintiff to argue that the expert is biased in favor of the defense.

At Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants, we proudly work with both plaintiff and defense counsel on all types of legal matters, including medical malpractice, birth injury, personal injury, toxic torts, and more. Our responsibility isn’t to one side or the other, but to the truth. And our medical experts are likewise willing to testify for either side depending on where the truth leads them – which makes their testimony more credible in the eyes of a judge and jury.

  1. Credible experts are highly qualified, practicing medical professionals

Another critical aspect of an expert’s credibility is the expert’s actual credentials. Board Certification in the relevant medical specialty is the bare minimum. Does this expert actually see patients? Are they highly regarded in their field? The answers to those questions will affect how a jury views their testimony.

Our medical experts are highly qualified practicing physicians. They’re the same doctors we would see if we had a medical issue. They are published in medical journals. So if one of our experts testifies in your trial, you can rest assured that their qualifications will be above reproach.

Our network also includes other healthcare professionals as well as life care planners who can speak eloquently and confidently about a plaintiff’s long-term care needs. Again, these experts are highly qualified, credentialed professionals who are prepared to offer objective, compelling testimony.

Contact us today to find a highly credible medical expert witness

Again, when it comes to high-stakes injury and disability matters, the credibility of your medical expert witness is everything. Since 1986, Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants has been providing the best in medicine to assist the legal community. If you need an expert to review a potential case or assist with an existing case, you have come to the right place. Contact us today to find out how our medical experts can help.

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