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Florida’s Law in Disqualifying Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractice Cases

     By HG.org

Before a medical malpractice case may proceed in the courts of law in Florida, the state has a requirement of an opinion being obtained by a qualified medical expert to explain that the claim has merit. If those in the case do not follow the correct procedure, the expert witness could be disqualified, and the case may be thrown out.
The state’s law in this manner is a must, and if the medical expert is not qualified to provide an opinion that the claim has merit and may proceed, he or she could be disqualified in Florida courts. This could depend on the specific injury or problem sustained during the medical treatment or procedure and the doctor or other medical staff consulted for the opinion. However, if the medical expert is disqualified, the case could be thrown out for lack of the required specification needed.

There are sometimes issues with expert witnesses being regulated in medical malpractice cases. In Florida, it is necessary to consult with someone that will be qualified in the state’s court to ensure the merit of the claim. If the doctor or other medical expert does not provide this positive opinion on the claim, the case could have no grounds to proceed. This may involve certain issues not existing such as negligence or intentional sabotage of the procedure. It is important to seek a lawyer that has experience in these matters as well as a medical expert witness with a corresponding background in the medical malpractice case.

Disqualifying Expert Witnesses

When an expert is hired to help with a case, he or she usually provides testimony and qualifications before a judge. At this time, his or her reliability and relevance with methods and subject matter of the case are tested. If he or she does not appear to be sufficiently connected to the claim of medical malpractice, then his or her ability to remain an expert witness is removed. While the lawyer may still utilize the professional’s experience and knowledge as a consultant, the professional is disqualified as an expert witness in these matters. His testimony is stricken from the case.

Disqualification may also occur during the court proceedings either through a Daubert challenge on reliance and reproduction of scientific methods used by the professional or by the judge striking the testimony from record based on other factors. This could take more time away from the claim, but it is important to have an expert that is proven above reproach in the courtroom. If he or she is not relevant enough to the specific type of medical malpractice, his or her testimony is not necessary. The lawyer may instead use his or her knowledge in acquiring a new expert witness with better credentials.

Florida Law Further Explained

For certain cases, it is required for a victim of a medical malpractice suite to obtain the written and sworn opinion that the person responsible breached a duty of care that tis owed to the victim from a medical expert. This duty of care that was breached must have caused the injury. The expert that provides the information must have practiced during his or her medical career in the same field as the accused. There are exceptions such as emergency room doctors, but if the professional contacted has not practiced medicine in the same specialty, he or she may be disqualified as an expert for the case.

Complications arise for these experts when they have already retired. While they may have been practicing in the same field, they may no longer be qualified due to retirement. The issue of qualification for these professionals is then decided by the presiding judge. If the expert witness is deemed sufficiently qualified, he or she may take part in the case. However, if he or she has been disqualified, then it is important to seek another to replace the professional in these instances. The law itself is open to interpretation, and this could lead to some judges making different decisions.

Florida Expert Witnesses in Malpractice

Some medical experts provide testimony that directly opposes other doctors. However, if the professional is not disqualified, he or she may explain the matter before the courtroom. To keep the expert from disqualification, it is crucial to understand Florida laws.

Copyright HG.org


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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