Victims of medical malpractice often pursue legal claims against health care providers for compensation with respect to their losses. When a legal case is opened against a medical facility or provider, evidence will need to be organized and presented during discovery to support the victim’s claim. Often, this process will include securing one or more medical malpractice experts who can testify on behalf of the plaintiff to indicate their opinion that the defendant’s negligence caused or contributed to the plaintiff’s losses. Thus, finding a qualified expert is a very important task that may determine the outcome of the case. Finding a medical expert is usually handled by the attorney, but plaintiffs might be able to help by checking with the following sources.
City or county medical associations.
Often, a city or county medical association may exist in the community where the victim resides. While the medical association may not necessarily maintain a database of medical experts for testimony purposes, they may know of and be able to recommend nurse experts or physicians who have provided legal testimony in similar cases. Not every doctor and nurse or other medical professional is willing to review a patient’s records and provide legal testimony during discovery or courtroom proceedings. But those that are sometimes are known and referred to by the local medical association.
Area bar association.
Similarly, the local bar association in a city or region might have a list of local experts that provide this type of legal service. If a formal list is not on file, bar association employees may know of medical experts who have worked on previous cases and be willing to provide a name and contact information. Sometimes they prefer to work directly with the plaintiff’s attorney, and if so, the attorney will request the experts’ information.
Medical service providers.
Hospitals and medical groups usually know of experts within their ranks who work with attorneys as legal experts. They can sometimes recommend the experts to attorneys or victims who are looking for medical expertise in reviewing records and providing legal support to the case.
Medical malpractice victims with similar issues.
Inquiring by word of mouth about others who have been involved in medical situations where experts provided testimony can lead to informal referrals to experts who may be willing to work with an attorney on a specific case in a medical area where the expert has experience.
Attorneys have access to professional databases of medical experts who are willing to review legal claims and provide an informed opinion. The experts should be vetted in terms of credentials, including academic preparation, job history, and legal experience to determine their suitability for a particular legal case.