To win a medical malpractice case, you must prove three basic things: 1) the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, 2) the doctor’s negligence in providing treatment, and 3) that the patient was harmed by that negligence. While medical records and other paperwork easily substantiate the doctor-patient relationship, it can be much harder to demonstrate how a doctor’s conduct constituted negligence.
It is often necessary to obtain an expert medical witness who is experienced in the kind of procedure or heath condition in question and who is respected in the medical community. Their testimony is usually key in explaining negligence and how the patient has suffered as a result.
To establish the health care provider’s negligence, it is the job of the medical expert to convince the jury of two things:
– the “medical standard of care,” and
– how the doctor breached did not meet that standard
Medical Standard of Care
The “medical standard of care” simply means that a doctor has a legal duty to provide patients with the type and level of care that a similarly trained, competent health care professional would provide. The expert witness must show what the “standard of care” would be in the circumstances surrounding the alleged malpractice: What would another doctor have done? What medical issues would have been considered, identified, and addressed? What course of treatment would have been chosen for the patient? How would a prudent and similarly trained doctor have performed the procedure in question?
Next the expert will offer their opinion of how the doctor’s actions (or failure to act) constituted negligence in light of this standard of care. This can take the form of failure to diagnose a condition properly, physical mistakes during surgery or a medical procedure, and failure to account for pre-existing conditions. The expert will present a detailed and thorough argument for how the doctor’s care deviated from the medical standard.
This type of testimony often involves complex medical procedures and use of medical jargon, which can be difficult to communicate clearly to a jury of laypersons. Medical malpractice lawsuits often hinge on whether or not the jury clearly understands your expert and follows your narrative.
This is where Precise comes in. We offer detailed, expert medical illustrations in Pittsburgh that break down x-rays, CT scans, and basic medical procedures into clear, understandable images. We can also bring medical information to life through our Pittsburgh animation services. Persuasive, powerful visuals are one of the most effective ways to ensure jurors will trust your narrative and retain the information you want them to focus on.
As part of our comprehensive trial support services in Pittsburgh, we also offer interactive depositions that allow expert witnesses to interact with the exhibits via a telestrator. This allows for deeper understanding of the information by the jury and helps demystify the medical jargon.