Imagine trying to explain a complex medical condition when you’re not a doctor. Sounds challenging, right? This is where expert witnesses step in during medical malpractice cases. They bridge the gap between intricate medical jargon and the law, shedding light on critical details.
At Strickland, Diviney & Segura, our Roanoke medical malpractice lawyers understand the importance of expert witnesses in Virginia medical malpractice claims. Furthermore, we know how to use expert testimony to support your case and help you receive compensation for your injuries. Let’s uncover how expert witnesses can tilt the scales in your favor in a medical malpractice case.
What Makes Someone an Expert Witness in Virginia Malpractice Claims?
The Code of Virginia outlines what makes someone qualified to be an expert witness in medical malpractice cases. Specifically, the law says someone can testify as an expert witness on the standard of care regarding a defendant healthcare provider’s practice if they demonstrate expert knowledge of the standards of the defendant’s medical specialty and of what conduct conforms or fails to conform to those standards. To opine on the standard of care, the witness must have practiced medicine in the defendant’s field or a related area within one year of the alleged act of malpractice.
That part about the “standard of care” is important because of the higher burden of proof in medical malpractice cases. To recover compensation for medical malpractice, it’s not enough for the plaintiff to show a healthcare provider’s efforts were unsuccessful. Instead, they must show that the defendant’s actions are not in line with what a reasonably prudent practitioner in a similar field or practice would have done under similar circumstances.
How Expert Witnesses Support Your Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice cases require a keen understanding of both law and medicine. As you pursue a malpractice claim, you need to lay out the facts as clearly and convincingly as possible. Expert witnesses are indispensable in these situations, and here’s how they can strengthen your claim:
- Clarifying Complex Medical Concepts: Medical terminology and procedures can be daunting and inexplicable to the average individual. Expert witnesses, with their specialized knowledge, make these concepts easier to grasp for a judge or jury.
- Establishing the Standard of Care: To prove malpractice, it’s essential to determine whether the healthcare provider in question deviated from the accepted standard of care. Expert witnesses, often with years or even decades of experience in their field, can clearly outline what constitutes a “standard” procedure and pinpoint where things went awry.
- Quantifying Damages: Beyond establishing fault, it’s crucial to accurately calculate the compensation owed to the victim. Whether it’s future medical costs, loss of earnings, or the emotional toll of a medical mishap, expert witnesses can provide a detailed assessment, helping ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Bolstering Credibility: When an acknowledged expert stands up and details the errors that occurred in a medical procedure, their voice carries weight. Their testimony can reinforce your claim’s legitimacy and influence the court’s perception.
- Countering the Opposition: The opposing side will undoubtedly bring their own experts to challenge your claims. Having an expert witness by your side not only reinforces your case but also effectively counters challenges thrown your way.
Contact Our Roanoke Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today
The Roanoke malpractice attorneys at Strickland, Diviney & Segura know how challenging these cases are and what it takes to recover fair compensation for your injuries. We can find the expert witnesses and other resources you need to win your case and hold a negligent healthcare provider accountable. Call us today at (540) 982-7787 or complete our contact form for a confidential case evaluation.