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You can hold an expert liable for a bad report

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

The traditional rule held that medical expert testimony was immune. You could not sue or hold responsible a doctor who gave a bad report or testimony; you were stuck with the results. But the modern trend has been to hold these experts accountable.

Various state governments and professional organizations are passing industry standards to ensure that plaintiffs and defendants are not trapped by false or unqualified expert witnesses. Several Supreme Court cases which outline the requirements for a valid expert witness also spurred this development along.

Medical malpractice experts are unfortunately a staple of these types of cases. The only way that a judge and jury can understand the issues is if someone with industry knowledge explains them. Expert witnesses must, therefore, review the medical record for any non-standard treatments or methods.

Sadly, medical experts are like asking the fox to guard the henhouse. Medical experts tend to downplay departures from the standard level of care and paper over mistakes. Concerns about the accuracy and honesty of expert reports prompted these changes.

In fact, the crackdown has led to recognition by the courts of a professional standard of care that all medical experts must reach. Your lawyer can go over the specifics and ensure that you retain an expert worth your time.

Did you suffer an injury due to a doctor’s negligence? Then you may want to consult with an attorney. As you can see, even finding a qualified expert who can delve into the issues and explain them to you is complicated. A lawyer that focuses his practice on medical issues can connect you with experts who will lend their considerable knowledge and talents to your case, rather than detract from it.

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