Use of Medical Experts in Brain Injury Cases

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2.8 million people in the United States sustain a brain injury every year. A majority of brain injuries are caused as the result of some type of accident or medical malpractice. As a consequence, thousands of people pursue personal injury cases each year. These insurance claims and lawsuits necessitate the assistance of brain injury medical experts.

Basic Information about the Role of a Brain Injury Medical Expert

A medical expert plays a significant role in a typical brain injury case. First, a brain injury medical expert assists a personal injury attorney representing a client in determining the extent of that client’s injuries, damages, and losses. This is vital in order for legal counsel to pursue an appropriate claim with an insurance company or to delineate requested compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.

Second, a brain injury medical expert is able to assist an injured person and legal counsel in analyzing and countering contentions made by an expert retained by an insurance company or the defendant in a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit.

Finally, and as is discussed in greater detail in a moment, a brain injury medical expert provides evidence to the trial of a personal injury lawsuit. This testimony is so important that it can make or break a brain injury lawsuit case.

Two Primary Questions Answered by a Brain Injury Medical Expert

A medical expert called to testify in a brain injury lawsuit may present a considerable amount of evidence and technical support in regard to issues raised in the litigation. With that said, a brain injury medical expert primarily is called upon to authoritatively answer two fundamental questions.

First, a medical expert provides testimony as to whether the doctor who is the subject of the lawsuit followed the standard of care that would be used by a physician in similar circumstances. In order to support a claim for compensation, a person with a brain injury must demonstrate that a doctor or other healthcare provider deviated from the established standard of care.

Second, a medical expert provides testimony that the doctor’s failure to follow the standard of care as described a moment ago resulted in injury to the patient, injury to the person now pursuing a claim or lawsuit against the physician or other healthcare provider. A brain injury medical expert will testify regarding not only the connection between the doctor’s negligence but about the nature and extent of the damage caused to the injured patient’s brain. A medical expert will detail what the expected long-term impact and consequences of the brain injury will be in the life of the patient pursuing a malpractice claim or lawsuit.

A brain injury medical malpractice expert may be called upon to present testimony in another setting beyond a trial. In a personal injury lawsuit involving a brain injury, a medical expert is also likely to be called upon to testify at a deposition. A deposition is a part of what is known as the discovery process of a lawsuit. The discovery process involves both sides to a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit making available evidence to the opposition in a legal proceeding.

Many personal injury lawsuits are settled before they actually go to trial. This reality makes the role of a medical expert extremely important during settlement negotiations.

Who is a Qualified Brain Injury Medical Expert?

Statutes, regulations, and even court rules vary from one jurisdiction to another regarding who can testify as a medical expert. At a minimum, a doctor intended to be utilized as a brain injury medical expert in a particular case must satisfy whatever basic requirements a state or specific court may have in place.

As a general rule, a medical expert called upon to testify in a brain injury case has specific experience in regard to treating these types of patients. A person may qualify as a brain injury medical expert because of education, experience, specialized training, or certification.

When is a Brain Injury Medical Expert Needed?

A brain injury medical expert is nearly always needed by a person who desires to obtain compensation for a traumatic brain injury. In the final analysis, a qualified, experienced brain injury medical expert provides the foundation upon which an insurance claim and ultimately a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit is based.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of someone else’s negligence, you obviously want to retain the services of McGehee ☆ Chang, Landgraf, Feiler. We are a law firm that is skilled, experienced, and tenacious in brain injury cases. As part of undertaking due diligence in advance of engaging legal representation, our attorneys will ascertain the specific supportive resources that will help you in getting the outcome that you deserve. Our firm is well connected within networks of medical professionals regarding brain injury medical experts.