Find an Expert Witness

Forensic, General & Medical
Expert Witnesses

The Critical Role of a Medical Expert Witness in a Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice cases arise in the thousands each year that affect individuals and groups in grievous ways. Injury is the most frequent outcome, but some victims lose their lives when a physician is not exhibiting appropriate behavior or standards when operating or caring for someone else.

Because of the actions of these few healthcare practitioners, additional treatment or medical assistance is necessary that raises costs incurred for these persons. When accidents are not dealt with properly or caught in a timely manner, the patient may be left with damage so severe he or she may become a long-term medical issue.

Many of these situations arise from the initial misdiagnosis. When a medical professional is unaware of certain biological issues or medical history, he or she may diagnose the patient with the wrong illness. This leads to incorrect dosages, the wrong medication and treatment that is either unnecessary or may have adverse impacts upon these persons. These issues may lead to severe consequences that could kill the individual or minor concerns of headaches and nose bleeds. It is when surgery occurs on the mistaken party that cases
of medical malpractice may occur. With rising numbers, it has become important to instill guidelines and standards followed by those in a healthcare facility.

Reported Misdiagnosis and Medical Malpractice

It is normal to expect a correct diagnosis when visiting a healthcare physician in determining what is occurring with the patient. However, this is not the case for many American citizens. One report from CBS News explained that about 12 million adults that have sought treatment in the United States have been misdiagnosed each year. Not receiving the correct diagnosis often leads to serious consequences. When involving cancer, this usually means the patient cannot be treated in time. Around half of all cases of misdiagnosis cause serious difficulty or harm to these patients. This usually means that lawsuits of medical malpractice rise when these situations occur.

Study in Malpractice Cases

The BMJ Quality and Safety journal has produced a study that focuses on the review and analysis information provided through three prior studies that have examined diagnoses and visits that occur later. One of these analyzed the rates that misdiagnosis occurs at healthcare facilities. The others investigated rates of certain cancer screenings and diagnoses of future cases. Data was extracted with complex mathematical formulae to correlate findings of these misdiagnoses and outpatient visits in the adult United States population. An estimated result was accumulated to find that just over five percent of these persons have an incorrect diagnosis. This still equates to thousands of individuals a month.

Relevant Statistics

Even with such a small number, the full extent of this five percent is astounding. If the research has been proven accurate, this means at least half of the results in doctor and medical practitioner error end in harm and injury to the patients. A danger is shown to about 6 million citizens in the United States each year when obtaining the wrong medication, treatment or surgical procedure. When an illness needs one specific medication, receiving the wrong one may prove fatal. It is important to apply these findings to a solution to the issue and assist medical professionals in preventing these statistics.

Medical Professional in a Malpractice Case

There is a critical role in a malpractice case in a medical professional. When a lawyer is hired for a victim of medical malpractice incidents he or she often employs a medical expert witness, this knowledgeable witness may prove the case in favor of the previous patient. This person provides the information about the procedure, medication or treatment applied to the harmed person. Because many factors of a healthcare procedure are unknown by a jury or judge, it is vital to understand how the misdiagnosis affected the person internally as well as in the long-term. With this testimony, it may be understood fully why the victim should receive compensation

Proving Probable Effects of Misdiagnosis

With the assistance of a medical professional witness, a lawyer shows how misdiagnosis and treatment affect the person both in the short and long run. Additional healthcare procedures are usually required to both resolve the previous concern and assist in correcting the initial medical problem. The best possible outcome may conclude the case with both a skilled and knowledgeable legal professional and the assistance of a healthcare expert witness to explain all the necessary and relevant details of what transpired. The sustained injuries may be fully understood by this person to lead to a successful medical malpractice case.

Provided by

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.

Find an Expert Witness