The facts that surround a medical malpractice case tend to be rather complex and complicated. Hence, the information presented to the jurors can prove hard to understand. As a result, both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s attorneys find it necessary to seek testimony from experts.
Experts’ testimony helps the jury to answer this question: What was the standard of care?
When the students in medical school learn about the methods used for treating different diseases, and the methods used to test for different illnesses, they are expected to follow the protocol that has been established by the medical profession.
If you were a patient, you would want any doctors that were performing a test on you to follow the established protocol. During a medical malpractice case, an expert witness can provide details about various protocols. The jury must then decide if the details that were mentioned match with the actions that were taken by the physician-on-trial.
Over time, a new test might replace an old one. Normally, a newer test is less invasive and causes a lower level of discomfort. An expert could specify the date when the newest test became accepted as the one that all doctors would use.
For example, sometime in the early part of the 1970s, the CT scan replaced the old pneumoencephlogram. That former test called for introducing air in the patient’s spine, so that pictures could be taken of the ventricles in the same patient’s brain. Obviously, the CT scan has spared patients of the need to undergo that older procedure.
An expert’s testimony might also help to answer this question: Did this doctor’s failure to practice properly injure the patient?
Sometimes the expert needs to provide guidance, as the jury seeks to answer this question: Did this doctor’s incompetence cause the death of the patient that was under his or her charge?
Now there may well have been other doctors in the room when the allegedly incompetent physician committed a fatal error. Still few doctors want to come forward and testify against another member of the medical profession. That is why an expert’s opinion can prove so valuable, as per injury lawyer in Lethbridge.
Sometimes an entire hospital tries to cover-up for the incompetence of a certain physician on its staff. If the medical community were to learn that a hospital has allowed its patients to be cared for by an incompetent doctor, then that same hospital could lose its license.
Of course, if a hospital loses its license, then all the doctors that have been seeing patients in the same facility get deprived of a reputable place at which to work. That fact helps to highlight the reason that lawyers seek testimony from experts for medical malpractice cases.