The five things you should figure out before hiring a medical expert witness


medical expert witness

1.) Budget

Money talks and experts can be aware of this. Medical expert witnesses are some of the most expensive (in terms of per hour fees) experts in all of litigation. This largely stems from the demand, as many jurisdictions require at least one medical expert witness in each medical malpractice suit. As well as the salaries that many medical practitioners earn in their profession. As such, you should be aware of the budget when finding an expert witness. Specifically if it’s a complex case (extending the time duration) or one that may require multiple experts. This can help narrow down what experts you may wish to find or in what locality will be appropriate.

2.) Specialty needed

When searching for a medical expert witness, knowing what to find makes the search much easier. This is because of the complexities involved in many of the different specialties that medical practitioners engage in. For example, in oncology, there’s surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and general oncology. While all three will have overlapping knowledge, the specifics and minutia of each practice (and, thus, what they would be asked to testify on if brought in as an expert witness), is likely isolated to the individual specialty. As such, it is critical to identify both the specialty (as specific as you can make it) and individual procedures you want the medical expert witness to be familiar with.

3.) Duration of case

This one is definitely the most speculative, but also plays a critical role in the selection process. Some experts, while ideal, may not have the availability to work with you on a case. Unfortunately, a medical expert witness you cannot get ahold of is usually not going to help out much on a case. Try and utilize case law, your own experience, and a quick survey of the relevant documentation to judge how long the case is likely to go on for. With this, you can provide better info to the expert, and better be able to manage your time.

4.) Where to look for an expert

Before looking for an expert, take some time to examine the different routes to finding an expert. At The Expert Institute, we go through a unique combination of experts in our network and custom recruiting to find the best expert for each case. Similarly, understand the different resources available to you, in order to perofrm an effective search.

5.) Initial Questions

When first discussing the case with a prospective, medical expert witness, the expert is likely to have some preliminary thoughts. Based on this, be sure that you have clear and easy to understand initial question. This will accurately gauge how effective of an expert they could be. Furthermore, discussing the preliminary items of case give you a sense of how the expert would present similar facts to a jury. Take particular note of how the expert speaks, how well they explain the medical elements of the case, and how the expert details any errors that may have been committed.

About The Author

Stephen Gomez, J.D., is a legal compliance and professional risk specialist who manages employment lawsuits for large corporate entities including, banks, fortune 500 companies, hospitals, and universities.