Forensic, General & Medical
Expert Witnesses

Expert Witness Testimony about Standard of Care in Med-Mal Cases

     By HG.org

Medical malpractice suits have a great connection with the standards of care as these are what incur violations when the physician is not performing to his or her best or engages in negligence. The claim generally requires the expertise or knowledge of an expert witness to provide additional details or remove confusion about the situation.
Medical malpractice cases generally involve the standards of care that have a foundation in the claim when the person injured needs to recover compensation to become whole. In these claims where an expert witness is necessary, he or she may need to explain and remove confusion over these standards. Because the negligence or breach in the care provided leads to the lawsuit, the judge or jury may need a better explanation about any medical guidelines or principles involved in the case. The case must include the four factors in the duty of care owed to the patient, the injury from any breach of a duty as well as the breach and an explanation for the injury connected to the breach of duty.

What Are Standards of Care?

When a medical malpractice arises from negligence or a breach of the duty of care, this is due to a direct violation of the standards of care. Every medical professional must provide the best possible care to the patient through his or her ability to do so in the facility. Responsibility may disappear from the doctor or hospital staff other factors mitigate the damage such as out of date equipment or standards that caused the incident by the facility. However, when the medical professional violates these guidelines, he or she may engage in negligence or a breach of the duty of care owed to the person.

The Standards of Care in the Case

When a physician or medical staff is negligent in his or her duties to a patient, he or she may violate the standards of care. These are to ensure the person receiving treatment has the same and best possible care taken for diagnosis and processes as well as treatment with the doctor or medical facility. There should exist no bias for any reason when a patient is in need of medical care. Violating these standards may lead to litigation for the specific doctor or open the hospital to take responsibility for any injury or lack of care.

The expert witness will have the task of explaining what the standards of care are and how they relate to a medical malpractice suit. In the details the professional relates to the courtroom, he or she may need to draw on personal experience. He or she may state how the standards of care provide the patient with the best possible treatment available and a medical professional looking out for the best interests of the person seeking medical care. The doctor or other hospital staff should refrain from discrimination for any reason and ensure that healing the person is the primary concern.

The Explanation from the Expert

When an expert must explain the standards of care in the courtroom before a judge or jury panel, he or she may need reference material or information from his or her background. If the expert is a qualified medical expert as well as an expert witness, he or she may have everything necessary for the explanation. He or she may detail how the standards of care relate to patient treatment, consent, aftercare and what procedures may entail. If the doctor has no bedside manner, the patient may feel upset or anxious about a surgery or other procedure. Standards of care often extend beyond the medical handling.

With his or her detailed explanation of the standards and guidelines that apply to patient care, the expert may need to also provide information about what a doctor or hospital should never engage in with a patient. This could range from discrimination or harassment to sexual relations. The doctor and healthcare facility must remain professional at all times. This requires the physician and staff to check dosages, correct medication and details of the patient’s history often.

Expert Testimony for Standards of Care

When the expert must explain what standards of care are and how they affect medical malpractice cases, the professional may give his or her testimony in how the malpractice happens and relates to the injured party. His or her explanation of the violations are important in holding the defendant responsible for the injury.

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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