Finding the right medical expert witness or dental expert witness may be even more important that finding the right lawyer. Without a qualified physician or dentist to present your case, in its best possible light, you have no hope of winning.
In medical malpractice or dental malpractice, the defendant doctor is the champ. He has what lawyers call the Presumption of Competence. The state licensing board gave him a license to practice medicine or dentistry, because he had demonstrated that he was competent. One of the medical or dental specialty boards has certified that he is a competent specialist. He does not have to prove that he was not negligent; you have to show that he was. His board certification qualifies him to testify as an expert witness, in his specialty, in any court in the country. He can act as his own expert witness. If you do not have a medical expert or dental expert to explain your version of what happened, the court will take the defendant’s word that he did everything right and dismiss your case.
When a doctor is sued for medical malpractice or dental malpractice, he can respond with an affidavit (sworn statement) saying he did not commit malpractice and ask the court for a Summary Judgment (dismissal of your case without any more hearings). If you do not have a medical expert or dental expert to present your side of the case, the judge will rule against you and dismiss your case.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. A doctor loses the presumption of competence, if he goes outside his specialty or his area of competence. And, the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur, where the malpractice is so obvious that the average juror does not need a medical expert or dental expert to explain what happened. But, those are unusual situations and even then, you are running a risk of losing everything, if you do not have a qualified expert witness.
Furthermore, defense lawyers have no trouble getting the best medical or dental experts. The doctor, his colleagues, the insurance company, and members of the defense law firm, all have contacts with experts, who are willing to testify – no matter how flagrant the malpractice.
The Rule Is: A malpractice case is no better than its medical expert or dental expert, and like your lawyer, the expert must be the best you can find.
JD.MD, Inc., has served the legal communities in the U.S. and Canada since 1978. Contact us at 800-225-JDMD (5363) to have your malpractice cases reviewed by our medical experts and dental experts.