How to Verify Your Medical Malpractice Doctor’s Credentials

Medically reviewed by: lacolon2016

How to Verify Your Medical Malpractice Doctor’s Credentials Medical malpractice is more common than you think; in fact, recent study reports show that medical errors and negligence are the third leading cause of death in the United States. As the numbers increased over the years, so did the malpractice litigation business; and with it, the number of medical malpractice witnesses, both experts, and scammers. How can one tell which is which?

First Things First: Defining “Medical Malpractice Expert Witness”

Medical malpractice witnesses are often required to testify and share their expert opinions at a trial. Rules vary from state to state about the requirements to consider a medical malpractice witness an expert, but the general idea is that it’s someone with extensive experience in the field at issue.

Four Tips to Keep in Mind When Looking for an Expert?

Here are a few tips to help you locate a solid, helpful expert:

  • Plan Ahead: Don’t wait until the last minute to source an expert witness.  Procrastinating may hurt your chances of finding the right fit. Furthermore, a good medical malpractice expert witness will want to have adequate time to familiarize themselves with your case.
  • Check Your State Regulations: Some states have more stringent rules in terms of the qualifications required for a witness to be considered an expert witness, especially in medical malpractice trials. The bar association in your state can advise you, and often also has a list of expert witnesses they can recommend.
  • Source the Right Expert: This sounds obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people spend time researching for an expert in the wrong medical field because they don’t know what makes the most sense for their case.
  • Don’t Rely on Online Databases Alone: Online databases might be a good start if you have infinite time, which is not the case. Also, these lists are often populated by the ‘experts’ themselves, so can’t be your main source for engaging an expert.

Fine, So Where to Find an Expert?

We’ve rounded up some of the best places to look for medical malpractice expert witnesses; these will help you avoid scammers or less-than-optimal options:

  • Ask your healthcare provider to make a recommendation. In recent years, practicing surgeons who are passionate about patient safety in the operating room and beyond have dedicated a lot of their time to providing expert testimonies in trials, rather than practicing.
  • Look into medical malpractice cases that are similar to yours and tried in courts of the same level as the one looking after your case. The records will have expert witnesses who have testified before.
  • Source medical publications or scholarly journals aimed at the field of your lawsuit, and browse through their advertisements, which often feature trusted expert witness services. For example, if your case is heart/vascular-related, you may want to get a copy of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
  • Another surprising but effective method is to reach out to the medical schools of major universities in your area; they’ll often have a list of expert witnesses they work with.
  • There are several reputable online expert witness directories.  They may be a good resource.

Although it may seem like we’re making you work hard, it’s important to realize that expert testimony can sometimes make or break a case, so every effort is worth it.

A Checklist to Help Verify Your Expert Witness’ Credentials

It’s not enough to find someone who claims to be an expert or whom others recommend as an expert. Medical malpractice is a big deal that could sometimes take years, depending on the complexity of the case and the laws of the state. As such, it’s crucial you’ve done your due diligence and cross-checked your expert witness’ credentials against the following platforms:

  • Blogs: use Google’s Blog Search feature, which can help you filter by relevance.
  • Networking Sites: start with LinkedIn, but don’t ignore personal social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Public Records: public records are public for a reason, so make use of them! You can leverage research systems, such as ChoicePoint and Accurint, as well as others.
  • Professional Credentials: gone are the days when researching a lawyer’s credentials was the most important factor in your trial; researching those of your expert witness is just as important. Sites like DocFinder can help you check what you’ve been told/provided, and make sure it’s accurate.
  • Expert Witness Rulings: websites like Daubert Tracker can help you find information about expert witnesses and track their court performance over the years


Finding the right expert witness is key to a successful case.  Spending your time early in the case may make things easier for you later on when your expert can make all the difference in your outcome.