Expert witnesses in Toledo medical malpractice cases are individuals who are board-certified in the same area of practice as the malpractice that one is alleging, and they can be useful in determining damages in a malpractice case. Typically, it has to be somebody who spends two-thirds of their time in active practice in that area and not someone who is a teaching doctor, for example.
It is somebody who is actively engaged in the same area of practice as that expert is stating an opinion as far as the standard of care in that field of medicine. An expert witness can be essential to telling your story, they can add credibility to your case, and can communicate the damages to the jury. In effect, this person is one of the guides that helps the jury determine who is correct and what is a fair amount of damages. If you have suffered complications as a result of negligence, working with a well-connected medical malpractice lawyer that can help you get in touch with an expert witness that can build your case.
Typically, an attorney has specifically requested that a knowledgable medical professional become an expert witness. For example, if an attorney has identified a specific area of medicine, they can go to a service that will find experts in that area that can serve as witnesses in medical malpractice cases. Another way they find experts is by asking other attorneys or going to message boards of various organizations that they belong to see if anybody else can recommend an expert in that area.
Another thing they do is research the medical literature in that area and try to contact the people in that field across the United States who are experts in conducting studies and writing in that area. They try to find doctors that are at the top of their field in that area of practice. The expert witness can be a treating doctor. It is almost better if one of the experts on the standard of care is a subsequent treating physician. However, attorneys often have treating doctors in the same community that do not want to get involved in the case, because they do not want to testify against a colleague.
There is no minimum requirement for experience. Attorneys are looking for the doctors that they believe would be at the top of their field, have an excellent educational background, have an excellent teaching background, or have written in that area. It is going to be somebody who is highly qualified from a different city or a different state who promotes themselves out as a witness to hire in this type of area of practice.
Also, attorneys search for witnesses who can communicate, are easy to understand by a jury and can meet the challenge of having an adequate enough background that a court will not throw out their opinion. Typically, there is a Daubert Hearing, which –is when the court has a pretrial hearing to determine if this expert has enough expertise and a background to be allowed to address the jury.
Attorneys use expert witnesses to discuss the standard of care in a specific type of procedure and to determine damages in medical malpractice cases. They would use economic experts, economists, or vocationalists to determine economic damages. If it is a death case or a serious injury case, they may use psychologists or grief experts to determine what the bad economic damage and emotional impact is on the individual and the family. Oftentimes they make or break the case. If one does not have the best expert witnesses that are of high quality, very guide worthy, and have a large amount of credibility, that can weaken their case.
The jury has the option of believing everything a witness says, some of what the witness says, or none of what the witness says on both sides. It is up to the individual witness that is hired and their believability, credibility, and ability to communicate their position to a jury.
Every jury is different and every expert witness is different. One needs somebody who has the expertise, is believable, is credible, and can communicate. For example, everyone has had teachers in high school and college. Some of them were fantastic and one loved the class, even if they did not love the subject. Others were horrible and one could not stand them, even if one loved the subject. It is the same thing with expert witnesses. A person is hiring somebody in effect to teach the jury about an area of medicine and to tell their story. One needs somebody that is a fantastic communicator.
A person would not want an expert witness in one’s case if they are going to have a negative effect on the believability, credibility, and value of the case. A person is under Ohio law, but when one has to have some sort of expert witness to prove the standard of care and damages sometimes less is more. For example, one might, in some cases, be better off with one or two experts that have high credibility than repetitive witnesses that will bore the jury, confuse the jury, and make an uncomplicated issue complicated.
An experienced attorney understands how to best use an expert witness to your benefit. Under Ohio law, to file a malpractice case one has to attach an affidavit from a board-certified expert in a similar area of care indicating that there was a standard of care, a departure from the standard to care, and as a result of that, the client suffered permanent injuries. One is going to need expert witnesses in Toledo medical malpractice cases both on a standard of care and damages under Ohio law. If you have been injured by a healthcare worker, consult a qualified medical malpractice lawyer that can use expert witnesses to help bolster your personal injury claim.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC