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Expert Testimony in Medical Malpractice Cases

Attorneys for People in Baltimore Harmed by Health Care Provider Negligence

When patients who seek medical treatment suffer injuries or illnesses because of the treatment, they have to contend with unexpected medical bills, pain, and diminished quality of life. Thus, many people harmed by negligent doctors seek recourse via a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice lawsuits are typically fact-intensive and involve an intricate interplay of evidence and the law. Due to the complicated nature of such cases, expert testimony in medical malpractice cases is usually essential to establish both liability and damages. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, it is wise to speak with legal counsel regarding whether you may be able to pursue claims for your harm. The Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group have the knowledge and experience needed to help you pursue compensation in your case.

Establishing Medical Malpractice

Under Maryland law, most medical malpractice lawsuits set forth a negligence claim against the defendant. In other words, the plaintiff will allege that the defendant healthcare provider had a duty to comply with an established standard of care, but that the defendant’s treatment departed from the standard, proximately causing the plaintiff’s harm. A plaintiff that successfully proves a defendant’s liability may be awarded damages for the cost of any medical treatment needed due to his or her harm, as well as treatment that he or she is reasonably certain to need in the future. If the plaintiff was unable to work because of his or her injuries, he or she may be able to recover compensation for lost earnings as well. In addition to damages for economic losses, plaintiffs may be awarded damages for the suffering they endured due to their injuries.

Testimony Provided by Experts

Generally, most people do not understand the nuances of the duties and obligations imposed on healthcare providers with regard to a patient’s treatment. As such, plaintiffs hire experts in medical malpractice cases to explain the standard of care to the jury. The standard of care that applies is the care that a competent provider in the same specialty and with similar skills and experience would provide in the same situation. Thus, the expert will describe what a reasonable provider would have done when presented with similar facts. The expert will also testify regarding the manner in which the defendant failed to comply with the standard and how that failure led to the plaintiff's harm. Expert testimony in medical malpractice cases is also typically needed to quantify the plaintiff's damages. In other words, an expert may be called upon to describe what treatment the plaintiff will need in the future and the cost of the treatment. An economist may also need to be retained to assess any lost wages. Defendants typically hire experts to testify on their behalf as well. Accordingly, the success of a medical malpractice claim depends in large part on the credibility of each party’s expert witnesses. A seasoned medical negligence attorney can help you identify credible experts to testify in your case.

Expert Qualifications

In Maryland, the qualifications for witnesses providing expert testimony in medical malpractice cases are set forth by law. Specifically, the law provides that a person is qualified to opine as an expert in a medical malpractice case if he or she either taught medicine or obtained clinical experience in the same specialty as the defendant within five years of the date of the alleged harm. Certain people are precluded from testifying as experts, however, regardless of whether they are qualified. Specifically, parties to the case, or their partners or employees, and people who have a financial interest in the outcome of the case may not testify as experts.

Discuss Your Case with a Dedicated Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Baltimore

Medical negligence and errors can result in significant and lasting harm that is costly to treat. If you were harmed by medical malpractice, it is advisable to retain an attorney who can engage the experts needed to help you prove your claims. At Arfaa Law Group, we are skilled at handling Maryland medical malpractice cases, and we will work diligently to help you pursue your claims. You can contact us via our online form or by calling 410-889-1850 to set up a complimentary and confidential consultation.