Orthopedic expert witnesses play a crucial in orthopedic malpractice cases. Their role is undeniable and without their help, it’s impossible to prove a malpractice claim. One of the common surgeries that happen is arthroscopy. It is a minimally-invasive procedure in which the joint problems are analyzed with the help of a tiny camera. Small cuts are made and the camera is inserted to get a clear and magnified image of the joints on the big TV screen. This procedure has proven results and most patients will be happy with the outcome.
However, mistakes do take place in arthroscopy surgeries. This can happen due to professional misconduct or due to technical faults. Orthopedic malpractices can happen due to the following reasons:
- Misdiagnosis or prescribing wrong medications/wrong dose
- Using faulty equipment
- Cutting the wrong organ
- Failure to evaluate the medical history of the patient
- Failure to perform lab tests
- Failure to seek consent/approval from the patient
These are some of the instances where your doctor can go wrong. So now the question is how an orthopedic expert witness can help you in orthopedic malpractice claims. Proving malpractice claims is not at all easy. This is because medical malpractices are highly technical in nature and the attorneys will call upon these expert witnesses to understand these complexities. No matter how much experienced the solicitor might be, they’ll need help of these medical expert witnesses to prepare the case strong. It has to be found out whether there has been negligence on the part of the doctor. Just because the outcome of the surgery did not live up to your expectation, it does mean that you can sue your surgeon. Certain important things need to be established:
- The doctor owed a duty of care to the patient. This is how a doctor-patient relationship works
- That there has been a breach of the duty of care by the doctor.
- The patient has sustained injuries because of the breach of the duty of the care.
- To establish the relationship between the cause and the effect. It means that the cause of injury is directly related to the malpractice by the doctor.
These are the four essential grounds that you have to prove. Establishing breach of the duty of care and the relation between cause and effect is highly complicated. The attorneys do not have in-depth knowledge about the technical matters of malpractice cases. This is when an attorney will seek medico-legal opinion from orthopedic expert witnesses. The attorneys will never file a lawsuit before consulting with the expert witnesses. It is important to find out if there has been contributory damage by the plaintiff. So the attorney along with the medico-legal support of the orthopedic expert witnesses will look after the different aspects of the matter. Accordingly, if they rule out contributory damage, and if they can find sufficient grounds to prove the allegations made by the victim, a malpractice case will be filed by the attorney.