Expert Witnesses in Virginia Medical Malpractice Cases 

Expert witnesses in Virginia medical malpractice cases are experts in their field who can use their specialized knowledge or expertise to assist the fact finder. It depends on the case, but an expert witness knows the background on particular topics.

For example, a person who holds no advanced degrees but has years of experience in a certain field may be qualified as an expert in that field. However, other issues like medicine, legal, or economic issues will require someone with advanced schooling in addition to real world experience.

A Virginia medical malpractice attorney knows the set of criteria in Virginia of who could be an expert and what qualifies someone as an expert. Consult one today.

Becoming an Expert Witness

Years of experience determine someone’s status as an expert witness. Advanced training or an advanced degree, and specific knowledge makes someone an expert witness in Virginia Medical malpractice cases.

Common examples of expert witnesses are doctors, architects, engineers, nurses, physiologists, accountants, economic loss experts, economic loss calculators, et cetera. There may also be safety experts and certain other types of occupational experts.

There is no minimum requirement for experience per se, but one has to have more experience than an ordinary person or adult.

Types of Expert Witnesses

Most common and obvious expert witnesses in a Virginia medical malpractice case are going to be medical experts that establish what the duty of care is in a medical malpractice case and how the defending party reached the standard of care. That typically will require at least one expert in addition to any types of experts that are commonly seen in other types of personal injury cases.

There may also be some expert of causation as to the medical device and the mechanical aspect as well as an expert as to the types of injuries suffered, economic experts to calculate present and future losses, and sometimes even pain and grief experts to educate the jury on what the person went through as a result of the injuries they may have suffered in a medical malpractice case.

Medical Professionals Involved

It is possible to have an expert witness be a fact witness in a case. For example, an expert witness can be one of the medical professionals who treated the plaintiff but is not on trial. However, It is still important to be careful to follow the rules proposed to expert witnesses. It is not uncommon that there is an expert witness who is also a fact witness, but attorneys must be very careful on how they employ this expert.

Using Expert Witnesses

An attorney is going to suggest using an expert witness to best educate the jury or the judge. Expert witnesses in Virginia medical malpractice cases are the fact finders in understanding and gaining knowledge about the case that are not readily apparent to a layperson.

Importance of Testimony

Typically, expert witness testimony is weighed quite heavily, often more heavily than a lay witness’ or a fact witness’ testimony. Expert witnesses are qualified, meaning the judge or the jury hears why this particular person is well-fitted to present certain opinions.

An expert witness’ credibility and the weight given to their testimony may vary significantly case to case. There are things both parties could do to try to diminish the weight of that expert witness testimony. They may try, for example, to bring up other issues with other experts, including biases, past similar diagnoses, and things of that nature.

Benefits and Drawbacks

An expert witness can give an opinion and greatly assist the fact finder in making a decision. While experts give more detail and greater assistance in helping a fact finder make a decision, they are expensive. That is the only drawback of having an expert witness involved in a Virginia medical malpractice case.

Hiring a Lawyer

People should know that expert witnesses will appear in almost all Virginia medical malpractice cases. Talk to an experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorney about whether or not expert witnesses are necessary in a medical malpractice case and how they can be used most effectively.

Medical Malpractice Cases in Virginia