Did you know: That There is a Medical Expert Witness Directory?

Medical expert witnesses who are available to consult and testify regarding medical issues can be located in this directory and link:  click here 

There are many physicians who are available to consult regarding different specialty areas of medicine:  from  anesthesiology, cardiology, pain management to dental/dentistry and obstetrics & gynecology.  These medical experts may provide reports  resulting from their independent medical exams (IMEs), emergency medicine & trauma, and medical staffing.   Some will go to court to testify under oath.

There is also an Association for Medical Experts:  American Medical Forensic Specialists (in the San Francisco Bay Area)


This consulting company provides  medical expert witnesses to  the legal community and provide a superior method of retaining medical experts. They have access to  8,500 Medical Experts in 250 Specialties.

According to some physicians and knowledgeable administrators working in the medical expert field,  the best medical experts (for testimony) are actively practicing and are not "professional" experts.  Medical Expert Recruitment firms look for objectivity above all other skills and attributes;  Objectivity helps these  experts to provide forensic testimony with the highest credibility.

At NOLO (legal do it yourself publishers)   they authored an article on some of the legal concerns for physicians practicing in this field: Coulter Boeschen wrote about Medical Malpractice: Using Expert Witnesses
In order for the malpractice policy to be activated (or triggered), there must actually be medical injuries from medical malpractice.  Once there is a claim, an investigation ensues and  there is likely going to be some medical testimony from a medical expert.

Coulter Boeschen writes that the facts of medical malpractice claims are usually too complex for non-doctors to determine  if the physician should  be held liable.  

Some states’ require that for a fair trial, the plaintiff must provide a medical expert before you can initiate a lawsuit.

Some information about why medical experts are  needed :

Why Is Medical Expert Testimony Needed?

Without medical expert testimony, the judge may actually dismiss  the case. This is because the courts have decided that the technical information the jury must consider in a medical malpractice case is too complicated to sort through without help. The jury is not required to adopt the expert's opinion, but must use it to consider the facts.

Finding an expert to testify is an  essential early step in most medical malpractice cases.


The Medical Expert's Testimony

A medical expert will address the two questions central to any medical malpractice case:

Was there any negligence? Did the doctor follow the standard of care for doctors in the same position? Was there any damage caused by the negligence?
Did the doctor's failure to follow the standard of care injure the patient?

One of the most common areas of medical expert testimony is the Standard of care.

The medical expert will testify about what a normal, competent doctor would have done in the situation …. The expert will then give an opinion as to whether the doctor provided care to that standard. …as resources, context and information the  expert may use evidence like medical publications or American board of medical specialty guidelines to assist.

An expert must also testify about whether the doctor's failure injured the patient. Because there are so many factors that can impact whether the incompetence caused the injury,  the expert must explain to the jury how likely it was that the doctor's incompetence was actually the cause of the injury.

Medical Malpractice Insurance Policies to cover Medical Expert Witnesses:

Very similar to a conventional medical malpractice policy that is written to cover a clinical or surgical practice. These policies are written in the limits of 1 million per claim and 3 million per year.

What determines the limit of insurance necessary for a medical expert witness liability insurance policy?
They can go higher or lower depending on the venue or the contract. These policies are normally claims-made although they do not increase year over year at the same speed curve as the conventional policy in the first four years. The increases are likely closer to 5%  and 10% and then plateau from there. A conventional medical expert professional liability policy can be as low as $1500 or as high as $3000 or even more depending on the number of contracts and annual revenue. The variables that affect premium are the state and county which you practice, your specialty, the number of consultations you anticipate per month, and your annual projected revenue. These policies will have often a $2500 deductible and there are 5 to 8 companies that specialize in these.


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