When you enlist the help of a colorectal surgeon to help you prove a medical malpractice case, it is important that you know what to expect. Having the right experts on your side are often key in winning compensation. Simply because of the way the justice system works in the United States, doctors, surgeons, and specialists often play an essential role in determining negligence and assigning liability in malpractice actions.
Expect Them to Be Well-Versed on Their Specialty
Colorectal surgery is an ever-changing field, filled with subtle and intricate complexities. The field has evolved tremendously in the last decade. It goes without saying that you can expect your colorectal surgical medical malpractice expert to be able to speak to the standard of care required to successfully perform any given procedure within the specialty. Your medical expert has probably seen similar cases, perhaps thousands of them. Equally important in understanding the complexities of a medical negligence case is the understanding of appropriately evaluating patients and also caring for the patient after surgical procedures. Often, a case revolves around a non-surgical decision or care. The expert must have an in-depth knowledge of diseases, appropriate tests and up to date knowledge of surgical care issues.
Being able to testify as to the recognized standards is at the heart of any medical malpractice case, since surgeons are required by law to provide care at the same level of other physicians with similar training and experience.
An expert should be able to discuss the best practices and common challenges associated with the procedure in question at length and answer the questions you have about the way other colorectal surgeons would handle the same situation. They should be able to speak with authority about contraindications, complications, and other similar topics, as well.
Expect Them to Stay Up-to-Date on Colorectal Surgery Research
Research trials, modern technology, and other breakthroughs mean that the field of colorectal medicine is almost constantly changing. It is imperative that surgeons stay abreast of the latest research related to their specialty, as well as the newest techniques or technology. This is a key part of ensuring that they understand the full range of options for each patient and help them stay current on what could become the future standard of care. Without this type of time investment in learning as much as possible about the future of their work, they run the risk of being left behind while the standards of care move forward. Being part of a large institution and part of a teaching team is a tremendous asset for any expert.
Expect Them to Look at Both Sides, and to Help You Understand the Case
The first thing your surgical expert will want to do is review the facts of the case and get a good grasp about exactly what happened, when, and why. This review of the patient’s surgery and related care looks at not only what went wrong, but why the surgeon made the choices that were made.
In some cases, it will be one sided. Your expert will have no idea why the surgeon in question acted the way they did, and it defies all explanation. More often, though, your expert will need to try to understand both sides of the case.
Only then can they understand exactly how and why the surgeon in question acted in a way that is not in agreement with accepted medical practices, and the role that decision making played in causing the plaintiff’s injuries. This allows them to explain it to you in clear terms so that you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the case you build on behalf of your client.
Equally important is the expert who can help the defense understand what the plaintiff may allege. A good expert will advise the defense team as to what to expect in the way of arguments and criticisms. Being prepared is key to successfully defending a case.
Expect Them to Understand Their Role Communicating with the Jury
When it comes to explaining what went wrong in a medical malpractice case, expert witnesses have a duty to act as translators. They are the only ones who can testify to exactly what is expected of someone with their training and experience. They have to ensure that you understand the complexities of each case whether you represent the plaintiff or defendant
When it comes to the jury, it’s an entirely different language. The expert needs to be able to make a group of people who may or may not have finished an anatomy course understand the appropriate standard of care during a very specific surgical procedure and how the defendant deviated from this standard, or how the defendant fulfilled his or her obligation at least at the standard of care, if not higher. Not only should your expert be able to understand these procedures inside and out, but they also need to be able to simplify them in a way that anyone can comprehend.
When your case depends on a colorectal surgical medical malpractice expert, you want to know you have the best on your side. Knowing what to expect above and beyond their board certification, hospital affiliation, and credentials ensures you have the right surgeon for the job.