Medical Malpractice Expert Witness and Consultants


Reliable Clinical Experts has board-certified medical malpractice experts available to help your legal team build a solid case for your clients. Our medical expert witnesses are available nationwide and in Puerto Rico.

Our medical malpractice consultants have varied backgrounds across all medical specialties, allowing us to provide the right expert for your client. The medical-legal initial case review we complete includes a thorough analysis of the events and determines whether malpractice has occurred.

What Should I Do If I Am the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional’s negligence causes harm to a patient. Preventable diagnoses errors, childbirth injuries, surgical mistakes, anesthesia problems, and medication gaffes are among the most common types of medical malpractice claims. 

If you or someone you care about has been the victim of medical malpractice, you may pursue compensation for your damages and losses. 

Proving your malpractice claim requires medically sound evidence. This makes expert witness testimony essential in these cases. Learn more about recognizing potential medical malpractice and steps to take next.

Understanding the Difference Between Unsatisfactory Service and Medical Malpractice

To prove malpractice in a court of law, four elements must exist:

  1. Duty: The provider had a duty or responsibility to you, like in the doctor-patient relationship.
  2. Dereliction: The provider acted negligently or strayed from the expected standard of care.
  3. Damage: You suffered harm.
  4. Direct cause: The provider’s action or inaction was the direct cause of the harm you suffered.

That’s the basic legal overview of malpractice. It can be difficult to fully understand without a background in law and malpractice suits. For many people, it’s easier to define medical malpractice when you understand what is not medical negligence.

Here are a few examples of what may be unsatisfactory care but is not necessarily medical malpractice:

  • Rude physicians
  • Unsuccessful treatment or a poor outcome
  • Missed diagnosis
  • Accidents
  • Human error
  • Adverse reactions to medications or treatments
  • Death

It’s important to realize that alone, those problems are not enough to prove that your provider was guilty of negligence. Remember, all four legal elements must be present for a finding of medical malpractice.

Steps to Take When You Suspect Negligence or Malpractice

Whether it was malpractice or a justifiable error, trust in your healthcare provider disappears. However, you must continue receiving treatment for the medical issue that’s under scrutiny. 

The first step to take when you suspect medical malpractice is to find a new doctor, right away. That way, you still get the vital care you need. 

There is no potential conflict of interest in receiving treatment from a provider you may be suing. If the claim goes forward, you can attest to the fact that you did everything required to reduce damages or harm.

Next, ask for a copy of your medical records as well. You’ll avoid the possibility of anyone tampering with records and documentation after you file a claim. Be sure to take notes about what happened and the aftermath. This supports accuracy down the road.

Finally, retain an attorney. Choose someone with experience with your specific medical dilemma and a proven background in successfully litigating medical malpractice claims. 

Medical expert witness services will be a critical part of proving your claim, so be sure to discuss this requirement with your attorney. A qualified lawyer understands the value of expert witness consultation and testimony.

4 Types of Medical Malpractice Experts

A medical expert witness may be a necessity during a malpractice case. There are many aspects of the situation that may not be fully understood. An expert witness will be able to explain the laws and best practices so that the situation can be better understood. There are a number of different types of medical expert witnesses and the one needed depends on the specific case. An attorney will usually be able to help find the right medical expert for your case but it’s still good to know the different types. Here are some of the types of medical expert witnesses that may be needed for a malpractice case.

Nursing Expert Witness

When a patient is treated for a condition or illness, they will be treated by professionals in various roles. Patients will typically have more contact and communication with nurses than anyone else. There is a certain quality of care that must be met by nurses. Failure to meet that quality or effectiveness of care could result in a claim of medical malpractice. In this situation, you’ll need a nursing expert. They’ll be able to review the nursing notes to determine if there were any errors or omissions about the patient’s condition, treatment, or progress.

Pharmaceutical Expert Witness

The treatment of a patient may require the prescription of medication. The wrong type of medication or the wrong dosage could result in further health problems for the patient. If it’s suspected that a doctor or pharmacist provided the wrong medication or dosage, it could result in a medical malpractice suit. A pharmaceutical expert may be needed in this case to determine if the right medication was issued for the patient’s specific condition and the impact it had on their health. The witness should be able to provide their professional opinion on if it was the right medication, the industry-recommended dose, and if appropriate safeguards were followed.

Physician Expert Witness

When the quality of care a medical doctor provides a patient is brought into question, a physician expert will often be called in to provide further information. This physician should practice medicine in the same field so that they have a thorough understanding of how care should’ve been provided. With the use of modern technology, the expert can be located anywhere. If they’re located nearby, they will be brought in for a live deposition but can join using videoconferencing technology if they are far away.

Radiology Experts Witness

Modern technology allows doctors to use various machines that can provide a view inside the body to make a diagnosis. If the machine’s capabilities or limitations are brought into question, a radiology expert may be called in to testify. This person will have experience using these machines, and their expertise will allow them to confirm that the findings made were reliable.

A Detailed Comparison between Negligence and Malpractice

What Is Negligence?

Negligence is broadly defined as “the failure to exercise reasonable care.” Medical professionals are negligent if they fail to provide care that, given a similar set of circumstances, any other prudent person would provide. The key phrase here is “any other prudent person;” medical negligence covers the actions of any individul who can reasonably be held liable for a person’s injuries.

For example, a receptionist in an ER who ignores obvious signs of an emergency and does not alert medical personnel can be found medically negligent, as might an ambulance driver who makes an unecessary detour en route to the hospital. In tort law, negligence is associated with carelessness.

Our medical malpractice experts evaluate cases for negligence by considering the following:

·        Did reasonable, appropriate care in the circumstances require a medical professional?

·        Could the harm have been prevented without the need for professional medical care if the patient had been examined in reasonable time?

·        Was the harm caused by ignoring, forgetting, or simply not caring for the patient?

·        Was the right and appropriate care a matter of general rather than professional care?

In sum, negligence is the failure by any responsible individual to exercise reasonable care.

What Is Malpractice?

In contrast, malpractice is a matter of professional care. Medical malpractice occurs when the care provided by a licensed healthcare professional fails to meet the standards of care set by a governing body, and this substandard care results in harm to the patient. Medical malpractice involves licensed professionals and specific, delineated standards.

Reliable medical experts look for malpractice by asking the following questions:

·        Did a medical professional fail to meet the standard of care?

·        Did a medical professional make an error?

·        Did the error cause harm?

·        Did the error occur an event that would only be done by professionals? 

Medical professionals can be guilty of malpractice through negligence (careless errors) or through deliberately harmful actions.

The Need for a Reliable Clinical Expert

Very few adverse medical outcomes are the result of deliberate acts. Medical malpractice suits are generally based on negligence; the plaintiffs must prove that the medical professional was negligent in the care provided. Common errors include medication mistakes, poorly functioning equipment, anesthesia errors, diagnostic erros, birth injuries, and lack of informed consent.

What Are the Four Elements of Medical Malpractice?

When the outcome of your medical care or procedure doesn’t have the outcome you’d hoped for, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are the victim of malpractice. A law firm that specializes in malpractice is the place to start. An experienced lawyer can help you through the murky waters of filing a malpractice suit. There are four elements that must be present, or you don’t have a legal case.

1. Existence of a Legal Duty

First you must prove that the doctor in question had a duty to care for you. In most cases, the evidence is a document you and your doctor signed allowing the doctor to treat you. You must have receipts or other evidence that proves you hired the doctor to perform medical services for you. The doctor/patient relationship is usually the easiest part to prove.

2. Breach of Duty

Second, you must prove something the doctor did wrong. Breach of duty could be negligence, failure to diagnose or administer treatment for something, or improper treatment. Your lawyer will make a comparison between your doctor’s care and the medical standard of care for a given procedure by other doctors in the same circumstances. Certain states require some sort of expert testimony included with your initial filing. Medical expert witness services can provide a doctor or other professional to give testimony regarding your treatment and resulting injury.

Another type of negligence could be harm caused by the improper prescribing of medications. If a doctor fails to follow the manufacturing recommendations, the patient could fall into anaphylactic shock, get liver or kidney damage, or perhaps have a heart attack. Your lawyer will need to get representatives from the pharmaceutical company to testify as medical expert witnesses regarding the information provided to doctors listing all side effects, drug contraindications, and other potentially dangerous side effects.

3. Causal Connection Between the Breach and Injury

If you can demonstrate that your injury could have been avoided with proper care, you might have a malpractice law suit. If your injury is from a preexisting condition, or another injury after the fact, you don’t have a case.

4. Measurable Harm

You must be able to describe the suffering you have endured due to the doctor’s breach of duty. Your lawyer will make a list of damages you can sue for including time and money lost from work, medical expenses, or physical pain and suffering. A medical expert witness can testify on your behalf regarding the type of injury you are suffering from.

Filing Your Claim

Timing is very important. File your claim as soon as possible after the negligent act occurred. There are different statutes of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in different states. You should also consult with another physician for a second opinion to determine if your case has merit. Filing a certificate of merit is required in some states and will show you have a strong case. An expert medical witness must be qualified in the same area of medical practice as the doctor being sued. Reliable Clinical Experts has a team of medical professionals who are experts in their own professions and are also well-acquainted with medical law. They must provide accurate details about what a reasonably skilled doctor would need to do in your situation. Your lawyer will help you decide whether to settle out of court or go to trial. No matter what you decide to do, make certain you are well-informed every step of the way and have the best medical witnesses to support your case.

Mistakes Doctors Make Resulting in Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor makes a preventable mistake. Doctors are human and the science behind modern medicine is also based on human discoveries and we all know that humans aren’t perfect. Some mistakes in the field of medicine are inevitable and even expected. Not every mistake a doctor makes will be considered medical malpractice. However, more preventable mistakes are made each year than you might think, and many of these mistakes can even be fatal. Here are the five areas where doctors often make mistakes resulting in medical malpractice.

Diagnostic Errors

When you go to the doctor with concerning symptoms, the doctor’s job is to then give you a diagnosis. A diagnosis will identify the problem, its source, and potential treatments for the problem. A misdiagnosis can be disastrous for many reasons. The treatment itself may be harmful if the condition is not present. Some treatment may be painful or have other negative side affects that could have been avoided if a proper diagnosis was made. Misdiagnosing the problem is also a concern because it means that the necessary treatment is going to be withheld and the condition may worsen or end up being debilitating or fatal.

Surgical Mistakes

Surgery can be complicated and dangerous. Surgical errors can result in serious injuries, illnesses, disabilities, and even death. Surgical errors may include damaging a healthy artery, organ, or other structure during the surgical process. This could cause internal bleeding, lasting pain, or worse. There are numerous cases of doctors performing surgery on the wrong limb or body part. Surgical equipment or materials may be left inside the body. Sponges, rags, or even small instruments have been found in previous surgical patients. This can cause infection, pain, or serious life-threatening complications.

Inappropriate Treatment

A doctor may have the correct diagnosis of a patient but administer inappropriate treatment. Sometimes, the standards of care or new treatment options are available, and the doctor hasn’t kept up with current practices or the doctor may simply fail to create an appropriate treatment plan with the patient.

Medication Errors

Prescribing the wrong medication to a patient can have devastating and even fatal consequences. A doctor may make a medication error by not paying attention to a patient’s history or allergies listed in medical records. If a patient is allergic to ingredients in a prescribed medication and the doctor had access to that knowledge, he would be liable. Prescribing wrong dosage amounts or medicine that’s inappropriate for the condition are other common errors.

Not Preventing Infection

According to medical malpractice experts, a significant number of patients contract infections while staying at the hospital. If the hospital did not take reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses and the infection of patients staying at the hospital, it can be held liable for damages.

If you’ve been harmed by a preventable mistake, an expert medical witness can help prove that the mistake that was made could have been avoided if reasonable care had been taken.

Steps You Should Take in a Medical Malpractice Case

In movies or television shows, medical malpractice suits seem like a walk in the park to win. Listen to some politicians and you will get the same uninformed opinion. The reality is a medical malpractice suit takes a lot of planning and specific steps, including, but not limited to, hiring medical expert witness services, researching the histories of all the medical staff involved, and even steps you, the client, can take.

Go Dark

The World War II adage says that “loose lips sink ships” and that saying is even truer in legal cases and applies to all forms of communication, even social media. You never know when something you say or post will come back and haunt you. The best strategy and first step you can take to help your medical malpractice suit is to disappear from all forms of public communication.

Document Your Experience

The more information you provide your attorneys, the better your chances of giving them the information they need to push your case over the hump. Unfortunately, very few of us possess total recall of events, which means we remember stuff as we go through our daily lives. One suggestion capitalize on that is to carry around a notepad and pen and jot down any information pertaining to your experience that pops into your head.

Remember that your attorneys know more about this process than you do, so don’t be afraid that something you think of is too inconsequential or silly. You never know what tidbit of information might be worth its weight in gold.

Ask Questions

You want to let your attorneys do their work, but you also want to make sure you understand what is going on. Do not be afraid to ask them why they are doing the things they are doing. Asking your attorney “why do I need a medical witness?” is not being intrusive, it is making sure you understand the dynamics of your particular case.

Be Available

A lot of your case is in the hands of your attorney and the medical expert witness they’re relying on, but both of those entities might have questions for you. Make sure you’re available to them, by phone or in person to the greatest extent possible.

Listen to Your Attorney

In most cases, your attorney will not see a dime unless you prevail in your case. That means it’s in their best interest to make decisions that benefit your case. This is particularly important to remember if your attorney recommends you take a particular course of action that might not be what you expected.

Preparing for a malpractice case takes a lot of planning and effort. From your attorney’s strategy to the medical expert witness services you use to your own actions, everything you and your legal team do must help build your case. Following these rules will make sure you have your part down.

Why Expert Witnesses are Crucial in Medical Malpractice Cases

Over the last decade, the number of malpractice suits filed has declined due to tort reforms, increased patient safety initiatives, and increased scrutiny of cases prior to attorney acceptance. However, the ones that are filed often prove to be complicated, expensive, and time-consuming, and not all cases meet the legal parameters required for litigation. Many legal teams now seek out the services of medical legal consulting services to help analyze the facts of the case to determine whether or not there is sufficient legal standing for a malpractice lawsuit. It’s cost-effective and saves valuable attorney hours.

Crucial Medical Analysis

The facts in a medical malpractice suit are not usually clear-cut or easily discerned. Medical legal consulting teams first sift through the facts and evidence provided to see if the standard of medical care has been met. They provide an analysis of the case based upon research performed by medical experts who specialize in the field named in the potential lawsuit. The services provided by a reputable medical expert are crucial for any medical malpractice case for a variety of reasons.

From the Beginning

Should you seek out the services of a professional medical expert, there will first be a consultation to discuss the case. Once the case is presented, you’ll be matched with a medical expert or team of experts who specialize in the field connected to the case. They’ll review the case, then provide an opinion based upon the facts presented. Should you choose to continue with the case, the experts will assist you in preparing it for trial and if needed, testify to those facts in court.


Helps Jury Understand the Facts

Few cases are clear cut when it comes to negligence, and medical malpractice cases often deal with hard-to-understand terms, difficult medical terminologies, confusing points of law, and complicated issues. The success of the case relies on the ability of the jury to understand each and every detail. If the case goes to trial, an experienced medical expert witness can provide crucial testimony to a jury in layman’s terms, presenting a clearer understanding of the technicalities of the case.

    Does Your Case Require A Medical Expert Witness?

    Consult Our Experts Today

    Don’t waste your trial funds on a consultation with a high initial case review rate just to find no evidence of medical negligence. Let Reliable Clinical Experts closely examine the merit of your case for a low-cost consultation. Schedule an appointment with our medical experts today. Learn more about how we can help with your legal issues by giving us a call.

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