In this blog we will discuss one of the common questions we receive from clients: Do we need to have an expert witness testify in a medical malpractice case?
In Arizona, if you file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a healthcare professional, you are required to certify in a written statement whether an expert witness is necessary. Arizona statutes set forth the requirements regarding what type of expert is needed and when such an expert is needed. Since medical malpractice cases involve suing a healthcare professional, expert witnesses are required.
The type of expert witness you need depends on the facts of your case. In Arizona medical malpractice cases, you are required to hire an expert witness who is a licensed healthcare provider working in the same specialty as the provider who injured you. For example, if you were injured by a board-certified emergency medicine physician, you are required to retain a board-certified emergency medicine physician to prove your medical malpractice case. This expert would testify whether the defendant doctor’s conduct was “within the standard of care.” That means whether he or she acted appropriately. A second medical expert is often also needed to testify regarding the cause of the person’s injuries or death. This is called a “causation expert.” A third expert may then be needed to testify regarding “damages.” That can include a life care planner, a vocational rehabilitation expert, an economist, and/or any other type of specialist who can discuss your injuries.
Due to the rules and requirements for filing a medical malpractice case, you should retain an experienced medical malpractice attorney. These cases become extremely expensive and complicated, and if your lawyer is unable to navigate the waters appropriately, your case could suffer or even be thrown out. If you or a loved one were injured due to medical negligence, contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Snyder & Wenner today or call at 602-224-0005.