Medical Malpractice Services Offered
What is Medical Malpractice?
- Medical malpractice is a tort – a civil wrong – that may ultimately require a jury trial to adjudicate. There are some aspects of negligence that are common to all forms of negligence. What makes medical negligence unique is the consideration of professional standards of care in determining whether negligence has occurred.
- Medical professionals like the medical malpractice experts at Medical Opinions Associates know the relevant standards and can determine whether those standards have been breached.
Record Review and Evaluation
- In general, the medical malpractice expert will consider all available medical information concerning the claim. These include hospital records, office notes, operative notes, x-rays, laboratory reports, discharge reports, and any other relevant documentation.
- Objectivity is critical in evaluating the claim. When the medical malpractice expert for the plaintiff reviews the case, the viewpoint is from the one who is claiming to have been injured. Was the care provided sufficiently below the accepted standards for that medical specialty as to constitute medical malpractice?
Expert Opinion in Medical Malpractice
- Expert opinions rendered by medical malpractice experts are crucial in medical malpractice cases – it simply cannot be overstated. In some states, expert opinions are statutorily required for cases to proceed. The logic here is that the average layperson does not have sufficient knowledge of how a health professional should clinically treat a patient in a given situation, especially where decisions about involving treatment are concerned. There is a presumed entitlement for the judge and the jury to hear and consider the opinion of other medical experts.
- This is why obtaining an expert opinion from a medical malpractice physician expert is one of the first steps taken in the investigation of medical malpractice claims. It is also why attorneys look to Medical Opinions Associates to make the difference in litigating successfully .
Documentation and Reporting
- A medical malpractice expert’s opinion is the documented statement of one who has reviewed the available information and come to a conclusion about whether negligence has occurred. Medical malpractice experts render statements based on their professional expertise, education, and training as to whether the health care provider deviated from customary and accepted standards of care to the extent that it cause injury.
- While not the only piece of evidence considered, the expert medical opinion tends to be highly influential with juries and thus is extremely important in establishing the viability of the case. Often, the opposition recognizes this importance and will be seeking the same type of evidence which may support a contradictory position. It then must be determined whose evidence is the most credible, making the selection of the most convincing expert of paramount importance in the investigative process.
- Medical Opinions Associates’ medical malpractice experts have the required expertise and credibility to ensure a successful outcome.
Deposition and Testimony
- The expert witness is often the most important single factor in determining whether a medical malpractice case succeeds, especially if the case goes to trial. Both parties will have medical experts who may offer contradictory testimony as to whether medical malpractice has occurred. It comes down to which expert is the most credible. The qualifications of the expert interpreting the facts in the case are highly relevant.
- Medical Opinions Associates recognizes this and also recognizes the need to walk the fine line between acknowledged expertise and “expertise for hire”. Some physicians are well-known for their expertise in a particular area and have repeatedly demonstrated this in legal settings. The potential problem is that this expert may become known as a “hired gun” who will be presumed to support whatever the hiring party wants supported.
Medical Opinions Associates insists first and foremost on clinical expertise as evidenced by Board-certification , clinical experience, and academic appointments. We prefer that medical training be obtained in American institutions and we are aware, whether justified or not, that some medical schools have more prestige than others. We also ensure that the expert devotes only a minor portion of his time to forensic pursuits. The medical malpractice experts we seek to empanel are those whose principal focus is clinical practice – not courtroom appearances.