When you file a lawsuit for medical malpractice in Augusta, there are several facts that you need to prove. You need to show that the at-fault medical provider owed you a duty of care and breached it with his or her actions. At the same time, you must prove that the provider caused your injury and the damages that you experienced.
Validating these facts can be extremely difficult, which is why attorneys often enlist the help of experts who can testify in your lawsuit. Expert witnesses can be invaluable in shedding light on intricate medical issues, providing clarity to both the court and the affected parties.
Who Qualifies as an Expert Witness in Georgia?
In Georgia, an expert witness can be someone whose specialized knowledge can aid the court in comprehending evidence or determining facts in a lawsuit. Expert witnesses can hail from various specializations, including medical professionals, life care planners, vocational experts, and economists.
However, not everyone with specialized knowledge qualifies as an expert witness. Before an expert can testify, his or her qualifications must be demonstrated in court through a process called voir dire. During this procedure, the expert is asked a series of questions in court, which are intended to establish his or her credentials.
According to Georgia Code § 24-7-702, for an expert’s testimony to be admissible, it must meet the following requirements:
The testimony is supported by sufficient facts or data.
The testimony is based on reliable principles and methods.
These principles have been applied reliably to the facts by the expert.
Why Are Expert Witnesses So Important in Medical Malpractice Claims?
Expert witness testimony plays a pivotal role in medical malpractice claims. Based on the expert’s background and knowledge, this information can help prove several important facts:
Establishing Standard of Care: Medical professionals must abide by a certain standard of care when treating patients. In simple terms, they must act in a way that a reasonably competent and similarly trained provider would under the same circumstances. Expert witnesses can help establish the standard of care for the court and explain how the provider’s actions may have deviated from it.
Proving Causation: Establishing the link between a medical provider’s actions and the plaintiff’s injuries can be complicated. Expert witnesses help simplify this, explaining the difference between injuries caused by the defendant’s actions and those resulting from pre-existing conditions or other factors.
Assessing Damages: Expert witnesses can quantify the plaintiff’s damages, detailing medical expenses, lost wages, and other economic or non-economic losses. Their testimony can help the court gauge the extent of harm and its financial implications. This is especially valuable for complex or future costs.
How Do You Find Expert Witnesses for Your Case?
In lawsuits involving medical negligence, the need for expert witnesses is clear. However, connecting with qualified professionals can be challenging. In these situations, it is best to reach out to an Augusta personal injury lawyer.
An attorney’s professional network often includes numerous expert witnesses from various fields, providing the right expertise to strengthen each client’s case. If you plan on filing a medical malpractice claim, schedule a legal consultation as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.