How essential is a medical expert testimony for a medical malpractice case?
Almost all states require that the patient present a medical expert to discuss the appropriate medical standard of care and show how the defendant deviated from that standard. Obtaining and filing a certificate of merit from a qualified medical expert who attests to the validity of the plaintiff's cause of action and submitting the claim to a panel of legal and medical experts for evaluation is a major step in a medical malpractice case.
Why we would like to see the medical records directly?
Customarily, victims do not understand why we really need to have the medical records to review the case because they believe their case is straightforward and do not need all the medical records to review the case.
There is only one way to avoid criticism: Aristotle once said, “Do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.”
Undoubtedly, an expert would be criticized if the expert followed Aristotle’s words of do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. The expert witness would be criticized if witnesses have made some conclusions but did not have the medical records in hand or did not review those medical records, then, they would definitely be criticized. Without a thorough analysis, the witnesses would be dismissed or denounced as someone who jumps to conclusions even if their assessments are correct. . Hence, it is important to gather the medical records together or put a good package together and then have it reviewed.
Lost medical records - spoliation of evidence
The foundation of a doctor’s opinions and conclusions are based upon whatever records he/she has reviewed. The attorney who is questioning the doctor will want to make sure that he/she has all the necessary medical records that would allow him/her the ability to make an educated decision about what happened. The doctor needs all the medical records for the surrounding relevant time period to render a medical opinion about whether there was a good and accepted medical care based upon incomplete information. Lost medical records are crucial in a case and lost or damaged evidence is referred to as the spoliation of evidence.
At Legacore, we offer a service called Medical360. Medical360 includes but is not limited to:
- Gathering medical and billing records
- Creating a list of received records and missing records
- Retrieving the missing records
- Reviewing medical records and creating a hyperlinked medical summary
- Reviewing billing ledgers and summarizing in a spreadsheet
- Drafting demand