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Metallurgy Expert Witness’ Role in Hip Replacement Cases

Metallurgic processes and similar procedures for hip replacement are not common knowledge to judges, juries and the average person. Because of this, it is important that expert witnesses with this experience and understanding are hired to clear up confusion and data about these events.

Medical malpractice is the usual reason that a medical expert witness is hired. However, when a hip is replaced for someone, no matter what age, these procedures are often fraught with difficulties during and after the replacement. During and after the completion of the surgery, the patient may experience pain, aches and various complications. When the procedure is ongoing, the patient could sustain harm from the doctor or other medical staff. These malpractice suits arise when negligence has occurred in some form. The expert witness is hired to explain the processes, the compensation needed and how the incident occurred.

Hip Replacement Procedures

Medical professionals may use various types of metal to replace a hip bone when it has deteriorated past usefulness. The metal that takes its place becomes necessary if the bones are brittle or if the individual
is elderly with thin and breakable bones. Some of these metals are better than others, and certain professionals have more knowledge in how to progress through these methods. Sometimes, injury occurs during the replacement, and the patient may seek a claim of negligence against the physician. During these cases, an expert is generally hired to explain the incident, why the courtroom should award the victim with damages and what occurred for negligence to become part of the incident.

The procedure itself may require the use of pins or screws that permanently place the plate of metal on the surrounding bones. The metals may require shaping for replacement as if the bone never left. However, there are many complications that may arise during these procedures. Other surgeries may leave scar tissue. Some physicians have defective materials or are not qualified to replace the bone with metal. The incidents that proceed the surgery may include infection, additional breaks and intense pain. For someone that is older, the pain is not often manageable. They must then hire a lawyer to litigate if medical malpractice occurred.

The Expert Witness in Metallurgy

If the materials that used to replace the hip are defective, the expert may need to explain what this means to the judge and jury. Defects occur through batches of a product, through design or with the materials that purchased for a project or job. In metallurgy matters, the metal could contain trace amounts of molecules that rust, have extra air or brittle metals that break or crack. When placed in the body, the hip replacement could damage the bones, muscles and other internal spots within the hip section. Further damages sustained in this manner may lead to additional surgery, complications and internal bleeding.

The expert witness may need to present testimony based on injury or death of the victim. If the hip replacement did contain defects, internal bleeding or poisoning of the blood often causes death. A malpractice suit in these conditions may provide the family with damages that will replace the income the deceased would earn to take care of financial matters. Sometimes, insurance is not enough to care for the surviving family. Additionally, if negligence was the culprit through the actions of a doctor, the surviving family may need the any awarded funds to survive.

Testimony and the Courtroom

An expert’s testimony is necessary in the courtroom once he or she has enough information to provide a conclusion and opinion on the matter. This leads to explanations about piping, metal types, defects or complications. For negligence claims, the expert will provide a reason why the doctor was negligent. Malpractice is serious, and it requires care and precision in the case and courtroom. By detailing the incident to the judge or jury, the evidence becomes clearer and any issues of confusion alleviated by presented testimony provide a basis for deliberation.

The expert’s details and connection of evidence and the defendant or plaintiff provide a better picture of what happened during the incident and at the scene. For hip replacement surgery, this may show the courtroom how the procedure caused additional injury or damage to the body. Later symptoms and pain explain how the doctor caused future issues in certain circumstances. Covering compensation payouts generally occurs with the expert, and he or she may explain why a specific amount is reasonable and fair.

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Disclaimer: 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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