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The Role of a Medical Expert

The Role of a Medical Expert

To succeed in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must prove three elements: (1) a doctor-patient relationship existed between you and your health care provider, (2) the doctor’s care was negligent in some manner, and (3) you were harmed as a result of the doctor’s negligence.  

In order to show the court that a doctor’s actions were negligent, you may need to obtain the assistance of an expert medical witness to clearly demonstrate how a reasonable doctor should have treated your health condition. 

A medical expert is a doctor or healthcare provider in the same field as the defendant. The expert could either be a currently practicing and licensed physician or a specialist who has extensive education and medical experience. 

The medical expert must convince the jury of the following two elements: 

  1. The medical duty of care owed to the patient – A doctor has a legal duty to provide a patient with the level of care that a reasonable and similarly-trained healthcare provider would give. A medical expert must show establish the “standard of care” under similar circumstances. 

  1. How the defendant breached that duty – The expert medical witness will also testify about whether the doctor failed to provide the proper standard of care and how the doctor's incompetence is what led to the cause of injury. 

Keep in mind, the defendant may also hire an expert medical witness to prove their case. But before the trial begins, both sides’ experts must disclose their testimony to the court. 

During the trial, each side will present a comprehensive and detailed argument about how the defendant’s actions deviated from the medical standard of care or how their treatment followed that standard. The jury’s decision will be based on how each witness makes their case and how the jurors are able to understand complex medical information. 

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice in Anchorage, AK, contact The Law Offices of David Henderson today at (888) 295-6566 and schedule a free consultation. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients since 1998. 


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