A prominent medical malpractice case against a doctor at the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston began earlier this month. According to a report by the Times-News, a patient was 35 in 2009 when she went to the emergency room for abdominal pain and was diagnosed with appendicitis. During preparation for the surgery, the doctors discovered that the patient was three weeks pregnant. An emergency appendectomy was performed.
When the patient was about 23 weeks pregnant, she started feeling abdominal pains again. When she went to the emergency room it was discovered that she again had appendicitis and that a portion of her appendix was not removed during her earlier surgery. Unfortunately, the patient’s daughter was born four months prematurely because of the recurrent surgery.
The patient brought a suit for medical malpractice against the doctor because of his alleged negligent actions in performing the surgery. The plaintiff’s attorney is claiming that the defendant doctor did not follow standard medical care, was not using reasonable care, and did not use his best judgment. The defendant doctor is claiming that he had no choice to perform the surgery in the manner that he did because of her pregnancy. The plaintiff’s first witness is an expert witness who will testify as to the defendant’s actions.
Expert Witness Requirements in Florida
A relatively new bill was passed in Florida that provides a substantial amount of guidance regarding expert testimony in medical malpractice suits in the state. The bill provides many important guidelines, but one important facet of the bill is that it provides sovereign immunity to those physicians who volunteer as team physicians. This means that medical malpractice suits, generally, cannot be brought against those individuals. Furthermore, another provision adds that expert witnesses who compile and submit pre-suit expert opinions are no longer immune.
The Need for Expert Witnesses
Expert testimony is extremely important in medical malpractice cases, and in fact it is often required. The judge and jury rely on the testimony of those that are in a similar position to the defendant to explain the accepted standard of care and offer opinions on the defendant’s actions. Expert witnesses must rely on research that is generally accepted by individuals in their field. These experts often play an important role in the determination of medical malpractice cases. It is important that the experts are interviewed to determine their knowledge in the field.
Have You Been Injured as a Result of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice cases involve a significant amount of preparation and research and can often be difficult to pursue. There are many barriers that can make it difficult to bring a claim. Some of these barriers include strict and specific statutes of limitations and necessary pleadings and filings. Additionally, as was mentioned above, it is crucial that expert witnesses are called to testify in these types of cases. Having an attorney assist you in finding and interviewing expert witnesses is very important. All negligence cases can be difficult, but for the reasons discussed medical malpractice cases require a significant amount of time and skill. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact the Dean Law Firm to discuss your case. You may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you suffered. Contact our office at 352-387-8700 to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Florida Helicopter Crash Results in $16 Million Verdict, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published October 3, 2014.
Florida Police Patrol Car Gets into Accident with SUV, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published December 13, 2014.