I was recently involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, since it was my first accident, I was scatter-brained and anxious. What I did not realize at the time was that the actions you take immediately after the accident can affect a personal injury case and the outcome of that case. I wanted to find a way to share my experiences and mistakes with other. Since the Internet is so popular, I figured this would be a great way to do so. While you likely aren't planning on being in an accident soon, if you are, hopefully you remember some of the tips I share on this website.
When orthopedic surgery goes wrong, there can be devastating consequences. A mistake in the operating room can lead to surgery on the wrong knee. Overlooking a deep-seated infection after a surgery or orthopedic injury can lead to the amputation of a leg. A botched knee replacement can lead to chronic pain and dependence on a walker or cane for the rest of someone's life. When that happens, it's important that you have someone who can give expert testimony on your behalf. Learn more about what exactly the orthopedic expert is and does in a medical malpractice claim.
An expert witness may be necessary to certify that there's a reasonable case for malpractice.
Because medical malpractice claims are expensive and time consuming, a number of states have passed laws that require the plaintiff's attorney to submit some proof of medical malpractice before they're even allowed to begin the lawsuit. This is usually called a Certificate of Merit. While requirements vary from state to state, an orthopedic expert may be needed to look through the victim's medical records and give the court certain assurances, such as the following.
It's also important that the expert be reasonably familiar with local standards of care, even if he or she never actually practiced in that location. The locality is important because standards of care can vary greatly depending on where you are. For example, a patient in a big-city hospital that does thousands of orthopedic surgeries each year could probably expect more extensive and expert care than a patient in a rural facility with limited experience and resources.
The orthopedic expert may also make your attorney more inclined to pursue the malpractice claim.
Even in states that don't have this requirement, an opinion from another orthopedic expert can help substantiate a case and make an attorney more comfortable moving forward with a claim. It's important to remember that attorneys aren't physicians. While they can listen to your story, they may not be able to make an easy decision about the value of a claim until they have an expert look at the evidence and weigh in.
Orthopedic surgery is considered a fairly high-risk occupation, with about 14% of orthopedic surgeons facing a claim during their career. However, only about 4% of claims against orthopedic surgeons actually result in a payment—which understandably makes attorneys reluctant to proceed unless they have some assurance that there truly was malpractice involved and that another medical professional is able to articulate the cause.
For more information on how an orthopedic expert opinion from a company such as Orthopedic Expert Services, LLC can help your medical malpractice case or to discuss a potential claim, talk to an attorney in your area today.