Two Tips for Selecting a Medical Expert Witness

Posted on: 25 March 2018


If you were injured in an accident or a medical malpractice incident, a medical expert witness can be immensely helpful in explaining your injuries to a judge or jury, which can ensure you obtain the compensation you're due. However, it's important to choose the right expert witness; otherwise, the defense could use the person's weakness against you. Here are two tips for choosing the best medical witness for your case.

1. Choose Someone Who Will Make a Good Impression

Although it is important to hire a medical expert with extensive experience and education in the healthcare specialty related to your injury (e.g. an orthopedic specialist would be educated in the skeletal system, spine, muscles, and ligaments), it's equally essential you choose someone who will make a good impression on the jury. In this image-obsessed society, how a person looks and his or her mannerisms and demeanor can have a significant impact on whether the judge or jury views the expert's testimony as honest and reliable.

Thus, the person should look professional, speak in an authoritative manner, and be persuasive. Additionally, you should make sure the individual has a good reputation in the courtroom. If the medical expert has been cited for bad behavior, proven to have lied on the stand previously, or have similar blemishes on his or her record, the defense can use that to impugn the expert's testimony and that could hurt your case.

2. Confirm the Expert's Position Supports Your Injury Claim

It's not unusual for healthcare providers to write articles, white papers, and participate in research projects as part of their careers. In fact, this experience can elevate your expert's status in the eyes of judges and juries. However, you need to make sure the medical expert didn't write anything that would appear to be in direct contradiction to aspects of your case. Not only can the defense use this contradiction to dispute your claims, but it may make it seem like the person is only testifying for you to get paid.

Ask the medical expert about any published works he or she has and whether that work aligns with or potentially contradicts what the person will say about your injuries while on the witness stand. It can be challenging to uncover this type of problem, so it's best to have an attorney help you vet the expert you want to use.

For more tips on choosing a medical expert for your case, contact an attorney or an expert witness referral service, such as Orthopedic Expert Services.