Medical Malpractice: Expert Witness Testimony and How it Can Help Your Cleveland Malpractice Claim December 19, 2012.

Why Does My Lawyer Have to Hire an Expert Witness?

In Ohio, expert testimony is required when presenting a medical malpractice claim.

Expert witness testimony can help the presiding judge or jury better understand the details of your case, such as how your healthcare provider deviated from what another reasonable healthcare provider would have done in the same situation. For example, would the injury or death have occurred if the doctor hadn’t deviated from the acceptable standard of care? When presenting an opinion, the expert will likely introduce various forms of evidence, such as medical publications and board guidelines. If the expert asserts that the doctor’s error did, in fact, cause or contribute to the injury, he or she will be required to explain this conclusion.

An expert witness can also explain jargon and other technicalities. Jurors and judges are not required to accept the expert’s point of view, but they are expected to utilize the testimony while considering the outcome of the case.

Who Qualifies as an Expert Witness?

Each state has different rules for what constitutes an expert witness in malpractice cases. In Ohio, a medical malpractice expert witness is required to be a licensed doctor or medical professional. The witness also must spend at least 75 percent of his or her time in the same field as that of the doctor against whom the lawsuit is brought.