Orthopedic Surgeons As Expert Witnesses: Things You Should Know

Orthopedic surgeons are the medical practitioners dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of muscles, joints, bones, and tendons. The surgeons make use of surgical and non-surgical procedures to treat a variety of injuries and damages related to sports, muscoskeletal problems, tumors, degenerative conditions and spinal cord injuries. The musculoskeletal problems include injuries include surgeons specializing in the fields of hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, foot, or ankle. Orthopedic surgeons having credentials and validation in the medico-legal field are called upon by the attorneys to provide initial case reviews, record reviews, and evidence at deposition and trials. An Orthopedic expert witness has streamlined the process of getting compensations in medical malpractices or personal injury cases related to musculoskeletal problems. In a broader context, orthopedic witnesses provide advisory services in two main areas- medical malpractices and personal injury cases. However, to receive the compensations for the injuries/damages caused to the patient, it has to be proved that the claims are true. In general, two important criteria have to be fulfilled to stand the chances of winning a lawsuit:

  • That someone has contravened the duty of care and responsibility
  • Breach of duty has caused injury or damages to an individual.

Now, we’ll take a look at the role played by an orthopedic expert witness in personal injury cases and medical malpractices.

Personal Injury case– The orthopedic witnesses do not have much say into the issue of breach of duty.  In these cases, the court is concerned with the effects of breach of duty and the current situation of the plaintiff. They’re also concerned with the future prognosis of the plaintiff. Expert witnesses are called by the attorneys representing the patient to provide testimony and initial case reviews in a personal injury case. They provide reports related to musculoskeletal issues, sports injuries, or worker’s compensation because several injuries can take place due to workplace accidents. However, it is important to choose the best experts having comprehensive knowledge in treating and diagnosing orthopedic problems in a clinical setting. The orthopedic surgeon can continue to work as an expert witness even after partial retirement from the clinical setting, provided that they have undergone appraisal and revalidation.

Medical malpractices/Medical negligence– The orthopedic experts play a straightforward role in lawsuits related to medical malpractices or medical negligence. Like in cases involving shoulder surgeries, ankle surgery, and others, an expert witness can be called upon by an attorney to provide expert advice and testimony during trials. These experts play a laudable role in orthopedic medical malpractice cases which are as follows:

  • Independent medical examinations
  • Record reviews for medical malpractices
  • Testimony at court sessions, adjudication and depositions on orthopedic problems like knee, injury, spine, hip replacement, etc.

Because these expert witnesses are central to medical malpractices or personal injury lawsuits, it is important to choose them based on experience and knowledge in this field.

Jeffrey Roberts

Emily Roberts: Emily, a former corporate lawyer, demystifies the world of law with clear explanations of legal principles, case analyses, and insights into the legal profession. Her blog is a valuable resource for law students, legal professionals, and anyone interested in law.