If you or a loved one has been harmed by the negligence of a medical professional,
you may be considering filing a medical malpractice case. As most litigants
know, there is a cost associated with pursuing a court case. You may wonder
whether it is really necessary to hire an expert witness to testify in
your medical malpractice case. The short answer is “yes.”
In all actions in Georgia alleging professional negligence, Georgia law
requires an affidavit of a licensed professional which specifically sets
forth at least one negligent act or omission claimed to exist and the
factual basis for the claim. Not only is the expert affidavit a requirement,
it generally must be attached and filed with the initial compliant. In
fact, the success of your case may rest largely on the testimony of expert
The Role of Expert Witnesses
In broad terms, proving that a medical professional has negligently caused
harm to you or your loved one involves demonstrating that the medical
professional failed to follow his or her duty of care. The
duty of care is a legal obligation that requires each medical professional to perform
his or her job according to recognized standards of reasonable care. In
short, each medical professional must do his or her job competently and
according to accepted standards within the medical field.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by the actions (or inactions) of
a medical professional, you will need to show that the medical professional
somehow failed to perform his or her duty as expected. For example, you
will need to show that the medical professional failed to diagnose a disease
that should have been caught, failed to prescribe the proper medication,
failed to properly perform a medical procedure, or the like. This is where
a expert testimony is particularly helpful in medical malpractice cases.
The expert can testify as to the proper level of care and how the medical
professional failed to fulfill his or her duty.
The Attributes of a Qualified Expert Witness
A qualified expert will have the following attributes:
Training – An expert witness will have the proper training to demonstrate
that he or she has a full understanding of the particular medical procedures
at issue. This may be someone who graduated from a well-respected medical
school, who has had years of practical experience, or who has received
important fellowships or grants.
Expertise – An expert witness will be someone who can demonstrate a superior
knowledge in his or her field. This may be someone who has received awards
or other forms of recognition for their expertise, who has published important
papers, or has written books on the subject.
In short, an expert witness is just that–a demonstrated expert in
his or her field.
Get the Help of an Experienced Attorney
If you or your loved one has suffered harm at while under the care of medical
professional, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately.
An attorney can review the facts of your case and determine whether you
have a viable claim. If so, they can help you seek the compensation you deserve.