When a person gets injured and has broken bones, skeletal-related wounds, fractures and other bone or musculoskeletal conditions, an orthopedic surgeon is generally used to provide professional medical treatment and do surgical procedures. An orthopedic surgeon deals with a wide range of conditions, including sports injuries, back pain, tendon injuries, stiff neck, arthritis hips and knees among others. Accounting for more than 3 million hospitalizations each year, musculoskeletal ailments amount to nearly $245 billion dollars in medical costs annually.
In this guide, we’re going to discuss some of the important things you should know about orthopedic expert witnesses, their roles in resolving orthopedic malpractice lawsuits, how their services play a critical role in orthopedic litigation and how to choose the right one for your case.
What You Should Know About Orthopedic Expert Witnesses
Orthopedic surgery expert witness services in California are the go between for attorneys and claimants when it comes to understanding the exact procedures used in orthopedic treatment surgery. The best orthopedic expert witness has the knowledge and experience of the subject they’re providing testimony for with the malpractice case. That means, if the case involves bone injuries, an orthopedic expert witness should be hired to assist with the claim. Just like treating orthopedic surgeons, orthopedic expert witnesses have extensive medical experience.
It’s with this level of knowledge and expertise that they’re able to understand the complexities of orthopedic malpractice cases in which someone has been injured, harmed or abused in some manner that involves musculoskeletal conditions. Expert witnesses have expertise in therapy, pain management and costs associated with these orthopedic treatments. Reliable orthopedic expert witnesses must be able to understand how orthopedic procedures can affect someone’s day-to-day life and work.
The Roles of an Orthopedic Expert Witness in California
In orthopedic malpractice cases where litigation is necessary, injuries or complications arising from procedures done must be understood. Parties involved in the litigation should also understand how treatment in the specific case affects the matters in court and why compensation is needed. This is why choosing the right orthopedic expert witness services in California is critical. Medical expert witnesses are asked to confirm that they’re aware of, and that their medical evaluation reports and evidence conform to the principles set out in court.
Here are some of the most important roles of an orthopedic expert witness:
- Provide independent and objective assistance to the court by way of credible, impartial and evidence-based opinion in relation to matters within their medical expertise.
- Provide expert witness evidence that is confined to technical matters on which the court needs assistance. The evidence should be based on common professional practice.
- Corporate with the expert witness of the other party in attempting to narrow down the technical issues in dispute at the earliest possible litigation stage, so as to place in context or eliminate any peripheral issues in the medical malpractice lawsuit.
- Present expert witness evidence to the court that is void of any influence from either party.
- Clearly state the facts or assumptions upon which their expert witness opinion is based.
- Make it clear that a particular issue or question in the litigation case falls outside their expertise.
- Ready to reconsider their medical opinion, and if appropriate, change their mind when they’ve received new factual information or considered the opinion of another expert.
Orthopedic expert witness services in California adhere to strict standards of professionalism when carrying out litigation roles. It’s important that orthopedic expert witnesses be members of professional associations or societies, and be aware of the latest medical practices and ethical expectations. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has several established guidelines that form the basis for the conduct of an orthopedic expert witness. These include:
- Adherence to published scientific data when expressing opinions in court
- Expectations of ethical witness testimony
How Their Services Play an Important Role
Orthopedic surgery expert witness services in California play a critical aspect in orthopedic litigation, including understanding the standard of care, causation and harm. Orthopedic surgery expert witnesses also determine the extent, etiology and prognosis of various musculoskeletal ailments and conditions, including complications caused by alleged medical negligence. For instance, an orthopedic expert witness may look at the different circumstances surrounding a workplace injury so as to determine if the injury was related to a pre-existing condition.
Orthopedic surgery expert witness services also help determine the prognosis of a person’s condition, such as the need for future medical care or the disability rating. Orthopedic expert witnesses are also called upon to perform professional, Independent Medical Examinations (IME) to assess an individual’s physical and medical condition. A thorough medical examination is critical in helping expert witnesses make critical determinations regarding the origin, existence and prognosis of a specific orthopedic ailment or condition.
An orthopedic expert witness should be impartial and honest in evaluating a case before acceptance. These are perhaps the greatest assets that any orthopedic expert witness can demonstrate when handling orthopedic malpractice cases. They should also maintain an active clinical practice and have a record of impartiality before agreeing to be an expert witness to avoid issues like sanctions for prejudicial or false testimony.
Choosing the Right Orthopedic Expert Witness in California
With the growing number of orthopedic expert witness services in California, it’s important to know the right orthopedic expert witnesses to work with. The right orthopedic expert witness should be board certified, be in full-time clinical practice, have years of experience in orthopedic procedures and have an impressive record in orthopedic litigation. Given the complex nature and expense of dealing with orthopedic surgery litigation, it’s imperative that you choose a well-established orthopedic expert witness.
Today, many of California’s top physicians are joining expert witness networks to offer litigation services. Arrowhead Evaluation Services provides one of the largest networks of IME experts as well as medical expert witnesses to help attorneys and their claimants resolve complex litigation cases. Find an orthopedic surgery expert witness at AES today.